Seagate Replica external hard drive (500 GB)
A stylish Seagate external hard drive
- Easy backup
- Inflexible software
The Seagate Replica external hard drive looks good, and can be a great time saver. The no-nonsense backup and easy restoration of all data make it an attractive tool in the kit of those who need to maintain systems (albeit systems with relatively low-capacity HDDs). It is also useful for home users who don't want to keep bothering about data backups or about software that may be complex to understand. However, functionality of the Replica drive comes at a price premium compared to normal external drives.
Price$ 149.00 (AUD)
When all external hard drives are clones for all practical purposes, manufacturers see unique functionality as a differentiator and value add. To this end, Seagate has come up with what they can call an appliance -- the "Replica Complete PC Backup System".
It is an external hard drive that connects to your laptop/desktop PC over a USB 2.0 cable. Our unit was colored grey, with rounded edges on two sides, and a blinking blue activity indicator on top. You can use it as a normal USB hard drive, with file-transfer speeds on par with any other USB drive. The fun starts once you allow it to install Seagate Replica software on your PC.
The software allows for restoring deleted files or even your entire operating system and all folders. It does its work quietly, does not ask you any complex questions or lead you through wizards to setup itself. All files on the laptop/desktop hard disk are backed up automatically, and on a continuous basis as long as the machine is switched on and the Replica drive is connected. You don't need to remember to backup, or be subject to losing files that were created between backup schedules.
With the Replica you have a backup copy of all your files, which can be restored if you accidentally delete them, or your OS is corrupted, or your main hard drive fails. Note that the backup functionality is implemented as a Windows application, so you need Windows XP or a later version of Windows to use it.
Before installing the software, the Replica drive shows up like any other. But once installed, it ties in to your "My Computer" window as a special object, not as a normal drive. Clicking on this object starts up the integrated browsing feature -- you can see a list of names of PCs that are backed up, and then navigate through to the folder or file you want to retrieve.
Restoring all the data of a backed up machine is simple. Connect the Replica drive via USB, boot from the provided Recovery CD, and click through the step-by-step graphical wizard to restore the system to its former state.
Those who have installed Ubuntu or Fedora Linux will recognise the GUI. The Recovery CD is only 65 MB, and uses the IsoLinux bootloader to boot into a LiveCD-like interface.Our favourite grudges with this backup solution? It is not possible to choose what you backup, absolutely everything on all partitions of your system hard drive is backed up. There is actually no graphical interface to configure the software, other than the system tray it offers. Also, since it does not wait for schedules to backup, be ready to suffer a slow system for the first day or so, while all your data gets "replicated" for the first time, with heavy disk activity (took about 6 hours for us with 200GB of data to be backed up).
The "multi-PC" label for a 500GB drive induces humour, considering the software insists on copying the entire hard drive as-is, and that one terabyte desktop drives are common. Seagate could probably have still got away lightly if they had labelled it "multi-laptop" instead. Lastly, while it does help cut down on time spent backing up with its software, there is a price premium for this feature. However it still manages to come out looking better than the offering by ClickFree. The drive model includes a "dock" that can hold the drive vertically to save desk space. Admittedly, the dock makes it look quite stylish.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 2 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 3 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 4 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 5 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
Latest News Articles
- HPE is bringing Optane storage to Unix servers
- These new super fast Intel SSDs provide a bridge to Optane
- Prices of SSDs and DRAM will crash in 2019, Gartner predicts
- Pure adds more NVMe with an eye to the next storage speed bump
- What one company learned from testing Intel's superfast Optane SSDs
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Huawei P10 smartphone review
- Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 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
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTICT SpecialistNSW
- FTL&D Manager, Transformation Program in Finance ServicesNSW
- CCProject ManagerACT
- TPETL DeveloperNSW
- CCPHP DeveloperNSW
- CCTesting SpecialistVIC
- TPSQL Server DeveloperNSW
- FTDisaster Recovery AnalystNSW
- CCInfrastructure Business AnalystNSW
- FTMobile Apps TesterWA
- FTBI and Report DeveloperQLD
- FTProject CoordinatorVIC
- TPEOI - Developers and Tester (APS)ACT
- FTERP Reporting AnalystNSW
- FTNetwork AdministratorQLD
- PTProject ManagerNSW
- TPBI ConsultantNSW
- CCProject Manager - Grant managementNSW
- FTSenior Project Manager (Applications) - 2 positionsQLD
- FTSenior Business AnalystQLD
- FTProject Control Analyst - PMONSW
- FTSAP HANA ConsultantNSW
- FTSolution ArchitectWA