Seagate Backup Plus Hub 8TB External Desktop Hard Drive Storage (STEL8000100)
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The Seagate Backup Plus Hub drive optimizes external storage with simple local or cloud file backup for your computers and mobile devices— and an intelligent USB hub to charge and manage your USB-connected devices. High-speed USB 3.0 and 2.0 connectivity offers plug-and-play functionality on your PC. The drive is formatted for Windows computers— install the provided NTFS driver for Mac® on your Mac computer, and you can use the drive interchangeably between Windows and Mac computers without reformatting. The two front-facing intelligent USB 3.0 ports amplify the functionality of your drive by allowing you to charge and connect two external devices, like your phone, tablet or camera—even if your computer is in off/standby mode. Via the downloadable Seagate Dashboard software, you are provided with tools for local, mobile, cloud and social media backup. Run a one click backup or schedule an automatic backup plan to protect your files in your Backup Plus Hub drive at your convenience. Install the free Seagate Mobile Backup app on an iOS or Android mobile device, and you’ll be able to back up all of the pictures and videos from your device to your Seagate drive or to the cloud.
Most helpful customer reviews
609 of 624 people found the following review helpful.
Plusses and minuses of SMR drives
The Backup Plus Hub series appears to consist of SMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording) drives. We know the 8 TB version is SMR because another reviewer (Pacific coast) opened it up (voiding his warranty) and found a Seagate Archive drive, which is SMR. I asked Seagate if the 6 TB version I got is an SMR drive, and they said "Unfortunately, we do not have this information available." Ha ha! Their reticence is understandable, the more common PMR (Perpendicular Magnetic Recording) technology is generally preferred. The prices of these Backup Plus Hub drives are less than Seagate's bare PMR drives of equal capacity, which also supports the idea that the Backup Plus Hub series is SMR.
SMR technology allows more physical bits of memory in the same space without decreasing the size of the bits.
Advantages of SMR
-- Fast burst sequential writes are possible due to higher density and allied technology.
-- Larger drive capacities in same-size enclosures.
-- Cheaper to produce in large capacities.
Disadvantages of SMR
-- Slower random writes. SMR drives use large write heads relative to the width of the tracks of bits, so writing one track affects the next tracks of bits too. This limits SMR drives to sequential writing, where the next tracks don't matter. To do random writes (such as changes to data on the drive already), data must be arranged sequentially in cache, by the drive in this case, and entire sections of the drive must be rewritten sequentially. Some of this can be hidden by the use of large cache on the drive, believed to be 20 GB or more on Seagate SMR drives. Data can be written quickly to cache and then rewritten more slowly to another part of the drive.
-- Highly variable sequential write speeds, due to the particular ways the drive manages where to put data.
Read speeds aren't affected as much. The consensus about SMR drives is that they're well suited to backup use, which is reflected in the name of this series of drives. They probably aren't as suitable to use as a main drive to run a computer from, and are generally not recommended for RAID configurations (which wouldn't be likely uses for a single external drive anyway).
The 6 TB version of this drive hasn't been tested by professional reviewers, but the 8 TB version has tested very well in standard benchmarks in numerous professional reviews, often well over the 160 MBs maximum rate claimed by Seagate. It's been more variable in practical use. I'm unable to test it myself with a USB 3.0 connection, but one professional reviewer who did got an average of 72 MB/s for a write of a little under 90 GB of files. That's a little over 20 minutes. (A customer review here--Pacific coast again--gets a similar 75 MB/s.)
Differences between Windows and Mac versions
According to Seagate, the only differences between this Windows version and the Mac version of the Backup Plus Hub series are the initial formatting of the drives and the cosmetics of the cases. The formatting can easily be changed at home, so buy whichever drive you please for either OS.
-- Windows 7 or later
-- Mac OS 10.7 or later
-- for Mobile Backup app: iOS 8 or higher, Android 3.0 or higher
-- Doesn't run too hot. I've seen measured temps of 100 and 113 degrees inside, which is fine for a hard drive.
-- A little noisy when operating, not any worse than most computers.
-- No fan, has passive cooling through vents on the bottom.
-- Includes USB 3 (or 2) cable, type A to micro-B.
-- 2-year warranty.
439 of 457 people found the following review helpful.
In case if you are wondering what bare drive inside
By Pacific coast
UPDATE-2: After Christopher K.'s feedback I conducted further tests to isolate that "cyclical head activity" situation.
I first unplugged CAT6 cable to my NAS (Synology DiskStation DS213air). Wi-fi is already disabled. So NAS become absolutely stand-alone, away from all external interaction. When you unplug the ethernet cable, it goes thru a busy few minutes with disk activitiy. Then after it "calmed down", I noticed that such semi-cyclical head activity is still going on. At that point the only possible intervention to drives can obviously be coming from NAS operating system (DSM 6.1.3-15152 Update 3) and/or these 3 "packages" running on that NAS OS:
-Universal Search (can't disable)
-File Station (can't disable)
-Media Server (can uninstall)
So in theory either NAS OS or one of these packages can be "polling" the drives cyclically. Otherwise, such cyclical activity must be coming from drive itself. I checked a bit more online for that ST8000AS0002 drive. Looks like Seagate part no is 1NA17Z and firmware version of my drives is: RT17 . Seagate website informs that; "No Newer Firmware Available / A field update is not available" (I guess they don't want to give users the ability to change firmware - potentially discovering built-in "NSA code"! (as discovered by Kaspersky few years ago)).
Since user Christopher K. reported silent NAS operation of his same drives; the chances are that they might have never firmware. Or it could be purely because of NAS OS.
I update both OS and packages on my Synology NAS as they become available. So it might be theoretically possible that one such update (which coincided with me installing these new Seagate drives) could be the reason behind such cyclical activity. But I noticed this nuisance immediately after upgrading to these new Seagate drives. So I still reasonably think that it's being caused by the drive itself (whether SMR structure or firmware level).
On my test, next I plugged back CAT6 cable to my NAS. So now it's hardwired to my router (Netgear Nighthawk R6700); another potential source of external polling to the drives. Again after few more minutes of "calming down"; already existing activity level of drives didn't change. So the router is not guilty.
At that point my hard-wired desktop PCs are off. I turned on one of my Win10 PCs (running Kaspersky Internet Suite); still same activity level on those Seagate drives.
So my conclusion is; I still think that these drives (at least the ones I have - with potentially earlier firmware) are not able to "sit quite" in my given NAS. The only absolute proof will be when I upgrade them in the future (it'll be a non-SMR drive). If the new drives will be as quite as my earlier (non-SMR) Seagate drives; then I'll know that the reason was those drives after all...
UPDATE: In my NAS; drive heads seek in irregular intervals (about every 5-15 seconds), even there is no user read/write activity going on. Drives might be refreshing their buffers or something. Previous Seagate models (non-SMR type) were not doing that.
Other than that extremely audible nuisance, this non-stop mechanical activity might shorten life-span of drives. I'll update if they fail prematurely. I suggest that you avoid this (and any) drive that uses SMR technology.
Inside the unit is a Seagate Archive HDD v2 ST8000AS0002 8TB 5900 RPM 128MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive.
I needed the internal drive. This external unit was cheaper than buying the bare drive. Plus I have an extra USB3-to-SATA board with power adapter.
This drive uses SMR technology; so it's supposed to be slow (not to be used as system drive - for archive purposes only).
I replaced one of my aged NAS drives (also a Seagate 4TB Barracuda ST4000DM000 which reliably served me about 4 years - 24 hrs) with this new ST8000AS0002. Both drives have 5900 rpm speed. New one uses SMR technology, old one does not. New one runs at 100 F temperature (measured by my NAS) - old one at 90 F side-by side in NAS enclosure (fan cooled).
I use my NAS strictly with ethernet cable (although it has wi-fi option; it's a joke and I disabled it after trying it once). So with old drives (in parallel writing RAID mode) I was getting 75MB/sec transfer speed. Surprisingly with one new drive (other 4TB still keeps running after 4 years) I still get the same speed. So speed of this 8TB SMR drive is totally acceptable to me. Much more than archiving speed, I can consistently stream HD movie with that 75MB/sec hard-wired ethernet connection.
For those who are thinking about doing the same; opening the case is pretty much destructive (read: your warranty for whole unit is void). Interestingly; I checked warranty status for bare internal drive : Seagate web site informs that "the unit was sold as a system component. Please contact your place of purchase for service"... So after all; directly buying an internal drive (and paying a bit more) makes better sense for warranty purposes.
I'll update later on about longevity of the new drive.
147 of 158 people found the following review helpful.
Working very well so far
Honestly, I was a bit nervous to buy this product. Some of the reviews on other Seagate external hard drives (at least among the 6/8 TB size) left me a bit wary, and leaning towards WD.
I needed more space though, and already had several other external hard drives hooked up. I had already had to resort to a separate USB hub for two of them, but that just made handling cabling even worse. My hope was that with this new external, I'd not only have plenty more space, but could potentially get rid of the hub and neaten the cabling situation.
Although the description listed the ports as USB 3, I was slightly alarmed upon opening the package, and seeing black USB ports (which much more often signify USB 2, as opposed to the blue color that more typically comes with USB 3 ports/connectors). I fired up USBViewer and was relieved to find that they were reporting as USB 3 ports, and I also transferred some data to confirm that things were being transferred at USB 3 speeds. Fortunately, everything was fine.
I was also a bit nervous about whether there would be some goofiness if I plugged in two other USB 3 external hard drives into the ports on the front, but the USB controller on it handled them appropriately.
I've also read some worries about the Seagates getting hot, but even after a number of hours of continuous operation (transferring over 7 TB onto it), while it was a bit warm, it was not concerningly so (seemed to be reasonably in line with my WD drives after such use).
Probably my greatest critique of the drive is that I'd actually prefer for the USB ports to be on the back. Supposedly you can use them for charging things/etc., but this seems like a very poor idea to actually use them for this purpose, as it would significantly increase the chance of knocking the hard drive over while in use (which is a very bad thing). It's wonderful to have the USB ports, but one should really limit themselves to using those ports for things that aren't often going to be plugged/unplugged. Having them on the back would encourage such usage and improve the aesthetics a bit.
I've given this 4 out of 5 stars for now. I'll save the last star for a few months if the drive behaves reliably (an area of significant concern among the reviews for some of the other recent Seagate drives).