The SeaGate Backup Plus: a Better Backup Drive?


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I’ve long been a fan of Western Digital’s cheap, no-frills WD Elements line of external hard drives. After all, if your only purpose is backup, all you really need is a hard drive in a case.

That said, the Wirecutter cites some compelling reasons to consider a SeaGate Backup Plus, starting with the $150 price tag for a huge 3TB drive. That’s a lot cheaper than a 3 TB WD Elements drive, and the Backup Plus has USB 3.0 for much faster file transfers. (Mac users may want to add the Thunderbolt adapter for even more speed.)

Although I haven’t yet tried the SeaGate Backup Plus, I’ve had great luck following the Wirecutter’s recommendations in the past, so I’m going to rely on it and add the SeaGate Backup Plus to our Top Tech Upgrades buyers’ guide as the top pick for backup drives.


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  • Christopher

    One consideration when choosing a hard drive is the long term reliability. I wonder how the Seagate drives compare with other brands. The last time I looked at hard drives I seem to recall that on sites like Amazon Seagate drives had more negative reviews. Maybe their newer drives are better though.

    • Long-term reliability is definitely important, but it’s nearly impossible to accurately determine which company makes the most reliable drives. It’s made more complicated by the fact that many companies use “bargain” drives in their lower-cost products, have bad production runs that you don’t know are bad for a few years, etc.

      I just assume that my hard drives will fail and structure my backup plan accordingly. An extra hard drive or external drive for backup in the office, Dropbox for sync, and CrashPlan for remote backup, and I think it would be pretty hard for me to lose data, no matter which hard drive died.

    • I have bought 3 Seagate drives. 2 500 GBs and 1 350 GB. 2 are the smaller flat size- size of a passport but a bit thicker. One potential problem with those is that Seagate manufactured it with a small receptacle on the driver to receive the cord (i.e, rather than a usb size, it’s the smaller type that is common for cameras). One the first one I bought, this receptacle got bent and now the connection is bad (it gets bent easily if you aren’t careful).
      The other one is a 500gb that is the bigger size, kind of like a paperback book, that has it’s own power cord to plug in directly to a wall outlet. I am very pleased with that one – I don’t move it around, I just leave it attached to my desktop as a backup.