A fast desktop drive with a switchable interface.
The FreeAgent GoFlex Desk 3TB USB 3.0 is the desktop variant of the GoFlex Ultra-portable and it boasts the same GoFlex technology: the base of the drive can be detached and replaced with one that supports eSATA, FireWire or Thunderbolt. None of those will likely improve the performance of the drive, although they may make it more compatible with some systems, especially Apple Macs and certain NAS devices and PCs that support eSATA, but not USB 3.0.
Tested with the USB 3.0 adapter attached, the Seagate certainly delivered on the performance front, besting every other device we tested here when writing large files. It’s certainly fast enough for heavy usage and speedy full system backups, and of course, the 3TB drive has more than enough capacity to completely back up most home systems, with enough space left over for archives and other miscellany.
The drives comes with a licensed copy of Memeo Instant Backup, a solution we have a lot of time for and favour over Windows Backup. It’s a little more complex and a little less user-friendly than WD’s rival SmartWare, but it has more options and a greater level of configurability. Like SmartWare, it provides continuous backup of your files -- as soon as they’re changed, they’re backed up, no schedule required. If the backup target drive isn’t available, then Memeo waits until it is then commits all the changes that occurred while the drive wasn’t connected. Available from Seagate, retailing for $259
.APC rating: 8/10 (Highly Recommended)