A Great New Slim And Trim Portable Hard Drive

Bruce Von Sties

There are those of us who don’t have the latest computers with larger than life hard drives. You know what I mean; those new ones with the 1 and 2 Terabyte hard drives. But we still feel the need for more and more space yet don’t want to spend the money for an upgrade.

A simple solution to the problem is either upgrade our existing hard drive or get an external drive for storage. But unless you are a hardware expert, it’ll cost quite a bit to swap out your hard drive and rake off the files from the old one and copy them onto the new one. An easier, and more cost effective solution is to purchase an external hard drive.

For a while the external hard drives were big and bulky. I have a 700GB My Book from Western Digital. But that thing is indeed big and bulky, just like a thick book. I wanted to have something smaller, more compact, that I could slip into my laptop bag and take with me on the go.

I found the best solution in a new portable hard drive from Seagate Technology. It is a slim and trim portable external hard drive they call the FreeAgent Go. The drive is available in several capacity sizes; 250GB, 320GB, 500GB, 640GB, 750GB, 880G and 1TB. The drive I got was the 500GB size FreeAgent Go.

The drive has such a small physical presence that you might wonder if it could actually store anything. It is not quite an inch tall, is only 3 ½ inches wide and 5 ½ inches long. See what I mean about it being small?

But there is more to the FreeAgent Go than just being a storage device. It comes with a sync feature so that you can synchronize files and folders between two or more computers. There is also a automatic backup software program that comes with the drive. For those of us who are constantly worried about losing files and data, this is a must have. And as Seagate is one of the premiere hard drive suppliers for computer manufacturers, they have developed quality backup software to the nth degree. And there are settings where you can control different aspects of your software and hardware elements such as power management and software updates.

The drive connects to a PC by way of a USB 2.0 cable. The cable is supplied with the drive. Installation of the drive is simple as can be. Simply connect the USB cable to the drive and then to the computer. The installation software will then be activated and you will see simple software installation instructions on your computer screen. The Seagate Manager software will automatically be installed on your computer. More about the software later.

You can easily copy files from your computer’s hard drive to the FreeAgent Go. You can either drag and drop the files or copy and paste them. And the transfer rate is quick. A whole folder of Word files took less than a minute to transfer. And a 3GB video file only took about 2 ½ minutes to transfer from the hard drive to the FreeAgent Go.

After everything has been installed, a Seagate Status icon will be sitting on your taskbar. Roll your curser over the icon and a box will appear on the screen. It will tell you the capacity of the drive, the amount used and free and even has a little vertical graph depicting the available storage.

Clicking on the Seagate Status icon will bring up a menu. The options on the menu are for start an immediate backup, to edit your backup settings, encrypt file or folders and to activate the Seagate Manager. The Seagate Manager allows you to edit your backup settings, begin a backup or to even restore files. It is from this program that you would sync up files and folders between computers. And it is through this program that you will encrypt files and folders that are being stored on the FreeAgent Go drive. The program utilizes AES 128-bit encryption. You can also adjust the power settings, test the drive, adjust the LED controls and update your Seagate software. Use the Seagate Manager to automatically back up files and folders. You can even schedule backups. Restore files from the Backup quickly and easily.

One of the cool parts of the physical presence of the drive are the indicator lights at the back of it. There are several pin holes at the back of the drive. Through those holes light shines. Depending on the function of the drive when you look at it, all or only a portion of the lights will shine through. If a data transfer is occurring, lights will be flashing and the lamination will be anywhere from 20 to 90 percent. If the drive is idle, there will only be 20 percent illumination.

Before I forget, the FreeAgent Go drive comes bundled with a movie making software program called Muvee. I took the program through a quick test. You can import various types of video files into the program. It then allows you to make a movie using those imported files. It is quick and easy to do. After adding your video clips you can use various transitions between them. From a cube that revolves to strips that slide up and down and sideways on the screen, there are a lot of transitions options. You can add a title, credits and even do a voiceover. You can add music to your movie. With the music addition, you can loop the music if it isn’t long enough or trim it out if it’s too long. The only thing that I didn’t like about the program is that the audio track to the clips I imported didn’t come across. Overall, this is a quick and easy to use movie making program.

There are many more features to this product but I have probably gone on long enough. Let me just say that the FreeAgent Go drive is one of the most compact, efficient and cost effective external hard drives that I have ever checked out.

FreeAgent Go is available through amazon.com, Circuit City, Best Buy and other online and traditional electronics retailers. You can also order it directly from Seagate Technology. Check for pricing before purchase and you might get a real good deal on the drive size you want.

To find out more about the FreeAgent Go portable hard drive visit www.seagate.com.



© 2010 Bruce E. Von Stiers