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 newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Miofive 4K Dash Cam review: This friendly road watcher is ‘here for you!’
- 2 Dell U3223QE review: A winning debut for an IPS Black monitor
- 3 Netgear Nighthawk M5 mobile router review: Probably too expensive, but nice
- 4 Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A review: This 4K monitor plays nice with consoles
- 5 Firewalla Gold review: Powerful home network security in a tiny box
Latest News Articles
- This write-once portable SSD can never be erased
- Seagate’s Star Wars ‘Beskar Steel’ SSDs are storage fit for a bounty hunter
- Micron’s microscopic NVMe SSD packs 2TB of lightning-quick storage
- ‘UltraRAM’ breakthrough could merge storage and RAM into one component
- Samsung’s first PCIe 5.0 SSD is here and it’s stupidly fast
PCW Evaluation Team
Set up is effortless.
The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.
Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.
Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
- 100 Great PC Games You Should Play Before You Die
- Best Click Frenzy mobile and Internet plan deals
- Microsoft’s iconic browser Internet Explorer is being killed off in June
- 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