At first glance, Seagate’s new Backup Plus drive might seem to be primarily intended for PCs, rather than Macs. It’s equipped with a USB 3 interface, and is formatted in the Windows NTFS format. However, Seagate has done a good job of making sure that the Backup Plus caters for Mac users too. See also Group test: what's the best portable hard drive?
The drive includes a Mac version of Seagate’s Dashboard software, as well as NTFS driver software that allows Macs to use the drive without having to reformat it first. The latest MacBook models now have USB 3, but owners of older Macs can also buy a separate Firewire adaptor for about £17, which will provide better performance than just using USB 2. Visit Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Desk External Drive.
The Backup Plus is slim and neatly designed, with an attractive brushed metal finish that is available in a number of different colours. We tested the 500GB version, which costs about £70, and there’s a 1TB model also available for around £95.
Testing the Backup Plus with the USB 3 ports on one of the new MacBook Pro models allowed us to back-up our 5GB batch of test files in just 61s, compared to 160 seconds for USB 2 and 80 seconds for Firewire 800, so it’ll certainly be a good option for lucky owners of the latest MacBooks.
Seagate’s Dashboard software has some clever features too, allowing you to quickly upload photos to YouTube, Flicker or FaceBook. Many people also like to take photos with their smartphone and upload them straight onto Facebook without transferring them onto their Mac first. In that case, the Dashboard program can also be set to download those photos from Facebook onto the Backup Plus, ensuring that you’ve always got a backup copy of all your photos stored on the drive for safe keeping.