Seagate FreeAgent Pro
- FireWire, USB 2.0 and eSATA connectivity; Speedy performance across all connections, Runs quiet and cool
- Doesn't come with a full version of backup software, Doesn't come with an eSATA cable
The FreeAgent Pro's large capacity, multiple connectivity options, fast performance and unique design aren't quite enough to justify its high price. If it came with a full version of Memos Autobackup backup software, then we'd rate it higher.
Price$ 649.00 (AUD)
The FreeAgent Pro is a 750GB external hard drive that has a style all its own. It's perfect as a backup drive for a PC, but it can also act as a vast dumping ground for media files.
With a formatted capacity of 698MB and a recommended retail price of $649 (at the time of writing), the FreeAgent Pro's cost per gigabyte is 92 cents, which isn't competitive when pit against the likes of Western Digital's 1TB MyBook. But, it's currently one of the largest capacity single-drive units on the market (1TB drives use two 500GB drives to reach that capacity) so it runs very cool and quiet.
Physically, the FreeAgent Pro is made out of brushed plastic (although it looks like metal) and it has an amber light that illuminates three of its four edges (easier on the eyes than the blue lights of other external hard drives on the market). A sturdy and unique base gives the drive a vertical orientation. It can house two different snap-in modules, depending on the connectivity you require. The package includes one module with two FireWire ports on it (one acts as a pass-through for another drive, while the other connects to the PC) and one module with USB 2.0 and eSATA ports. The modules are held in place by a screw at their base and are very easy to swap.
Testing with both the FireWire and the USB 2.0 connection, the drive proved to be faster under USB 2.0. Using FireWire, the drive was able to read 4GB of data (and transfer it to our test PC) at a rate of 21.5MBps. It was able to write 4GB of data from our test PC at a rate of 19.6MBps. Copying 4GB of data from one location on the FreeAgent Pro to another, resulted in a transfer rate of 9.7MBps. In comparison, the USB 2.0 connection was able to read and write 4GB of data at 23.5MBps. It was able to copy data from one location to another at a rate of 12.5MBps. A typical internal SATA hard drive can copy data from one location to another at a rate of around 20MBps. For an external USB 2.0-based hard drive, 12.5MBps is a good rate.
If your PC has an eSATA port, the FreeAgent Pro will perform even better. The FreeAgent read 4GB of data (and copied it to our test PC) at a rate of 35.71MBps. It wrote the same amount of data (copying from our test PC) at 35.2MBps. Copying 4GB of data from one location on the FreeAgent Pro to another, resulted in a transfer rate of 19MBps, which is much faster than the USB 2.0 connection, and almost on par with what an internal SATA hard drive can accomplish.
This performance, the large storage capacity, and the fact that it runs so quietly, means that it's a well-suited storage device for movies, TV shows and music. However, the FreeAgent Pro also excels as a backup drive. It ships with Memeo's Autobackup application (unfortunately, it's only a 30-day trial version, a full version can be purchased online for $US29), which works in the background and backs up data in real-time. Any changes that are made to monitored drives or folders are almost instantaneously backed up to the FreeAgent while you work. This can have its drawbacks. While ripping a CD to a monitored music folder, for example, Autobackup will start copying the ripped music tracks from the get-go. This can slow down the overall performance of your system as the hard drive needs to work harder to store the ripped music as well as transfer it to the FreeAgent.
While Autobackup is only a trial version, there is a 'System Rollback' feature that is present in the supplied 'Seagate Tools' application. It allows for system checkpoints to be created and for the system to be rolled back. It's similar to Windows' own System Restore feature. 'Seagate Tools' also provides a link to 'Seagate Data Backup', which is a service that allows you to store data online using Seagate's servers, but this isn't a free service. The 'Utilities' in 'Seagate Tools' are simple, but useful: the amber light can be switched off, which is convenient if you find it annoying or don't want to use it as a nightlight, and the 'Drive Sleep Interval' setting can put the drive to sleep after a predetermined period of inactivity.
All these features aren't really enough to justify the drive's high retail price, especially because the supplied backup software isn't a full version. Its performance, and its multiple connectivity options are redeeming factors, and its design is definitely interesting. If you like the look of this drive and you require all the connectivity it offers, then go for it. If you just want a simple USB 2.0 drive with a large capacity, then look for cheaper alternatives.
Join the newsletter!
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Apple iPhone X
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Toys for Boys
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Bose SoundLink Micro
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Xbox One X
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 65E7T Ultra HD OLED TV review: The South Korean thoroughbred is still first past the post
- 2 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 3 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 4 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 5 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
Latest News Articles
- Synology Introduces FlashStation FS1018 and DiskStation DS218
- CES 2018: Crucial launches next generation MX500 SSD
- QNAP Releases QTS 4.3.4. Beta for x86-Based NAS
- QNAP ships world’s first Ryzen NAS, promising boosted Virtual Machine performance
- QNAP Rolls out Quad-core 4-bay TS-453BT3 Thunderbolt 3 NAS Tailored for Creative Professionals
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- CES 2018: Belkin go big on wearables accessories and wireless charging
- OPPO Load Up A73 Smartphone With Flagship Features
- CES 2018
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCNetwork EngineerNSW
- TPData ArchitectQLD
- CCDesktop EngineerQLD
- TPSenior Business AnalsytACT
- FTProject ServicesSA
- FTBusiness AnalystOther
- FTKnowledge AnalystOther
- FTData Analyst / Reporting Analyst - $496.00 per dayOther
- TPService Desk AnalystVIC
- FTDevOps EngineerVIC
- FTSecurity DevOps EngineerOther
- CCCISCO Project ManagerACT
- FTICT Team Lead - EL1 -Non-OngoingACT
- FTSenior Rail Project Manager, Fleet TransformationOther
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTDatastage Systems Engineer - Financial Services - Permanent - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTCyber Security Threat Management SpecialistOther
- FTProject Manager | 12mth ContractOther
- TPTraining ManagerVIC
- FTVB DeveloperOther
- TPProcurement ManagerACT
- CCSenior IT Project ManagerNSW
- CCSharePoint / Web DeveloperNSW
- FTUtilities Contract Administrator - $34phOther
- FTUser Interface (UI) DeveloperACT