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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Seagate Central 2 TB Shared Storage Ethernet External Hard Drive (STCG2000100) Dreadful Software!

One year later, this is really a dodgy product.  It gets lost, it loses connection and the software is dreadful.  I just spent over four hours trying to get it re-set up after it lost connection.   It is frankly a huge waste of time.  I do not recommend it. 

This is a NAS (network attached storage) drive.  It is a very good concept, particularly for a small business or a home with multiple users having a variety of devices.  I had some issues getting it to be seen by my computer.  I could not get it recognized plugged into a switch.  I had to plug it into the switch incorporated into my router.  It popped right up then.  Oh, Seagate spring for a brighter light to tell when your drive is working.  It is a pinpoint of light under a black screen that blinks or is solid green, amber and red and darn near impossible to see.  Not a big thing but kind of annoying. 

Quick setup was a breeze after it was direct connected.  Software had to be done online and was not terribly intuitive.   I did download the aps for my phone and tablets.  They worked but again not very intuitive.   It took some puzzling out to get it done.  Once it was done it was interesting to send a file from my phone to the drive and pick it up with my tablet.   I have a flash drive that does the same thing wirelessly  (albeit much, much less capacity)but I can use this from anywhere I can get the Internet.

It will take some time to get all things working smoothly. I have set up the back up and have not seen the results of that yet.  Overall I am pleased.  The YouTube video on the menu helped a great deal but the narrator when too fast.   This is one of those review items that will remain in use and not thrown in the closet.  At $129.00 on Amazon, it is a very good bang for the buck.

From the vendor:

You can't enjoy what you can't find when your digital life is spread across multiple computers, hard drives and flash drives. With Seagate Central shared storage, it's simple to back up all your files, documents and media to one location on your network, and enjoy the convenience of a shared digital library that is compatible with both Macs and PCs. Access your music, movies and docs from computers, game consoles, Smart TVs and other connected devices throughout the home. If you own a Samsung Smart TV or Blu-ray Disc player with Smart Hub (2012 model or later), you can take advantage of the Seagate Media app to enjoy easy content browsing with your remote control. Enjoy your content where you want, when you want. After downloading the free Seagate Media app, you can view your content by type, size, even compatibility, regardless if it is a PDF, Word doc, music, photo or movie file. The Seagate Media app offers a full screen view that allows for quick and easy selection as well as a visually rich experience that is available for Android and Apple platforms as well as Amazon Kindle. You can even offload or back up your photos and personal videos from the Seagate Media app. Upload and download any of your files from most Web browsers-from anywhere-with the Central Remote Access Service. System Requirements: Router with an available Ethernet port (Wi-Fi router required for wireless file access and backup), Internet connection for activation and Internet file sharing, Internet Explorer 7, Firefox 3.x, Chrome 4.x, Safari 3, or later Web browser, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP or Mac OS X 10.4.9 or later operating system. Remote Access App Requirements Android Smartphone and Tablet (Android 2.2, Adobe AIR) Apps Available: Seagate Media, iTunes App Store, Android Market, Google Play, Amazon Appstore, Samsung Smart Hub. Inside the Box: Seagate Central shared storage, Quick start guide, Ethernet cable, 2-year limited warranty, Power supply.

Day Two, the bloom is off the rose.
The software is klutzy.  The Dashboard on the desktop is laggy and unresponsive to clicks.  The backup software claims to be configured but won't start, says job is pending.  The remote access allows you to upload three files at a time.  The option to add more files to upload does not function.  After the three files are uploaded, you can add three more.  That is tedious at best and ludicrous at worse.  You can't upload a folder, only a file.  I got an email telling me support can be done through phone, email, facebook or chat.  I clicked on the link and there is no option for chat.  I left a message on Facebook, waiting for a response.  The link took me to a page that asked for a login.  I registered the product yesterday, I have the password in front of me.  The site did not recognize email address or user name.  So far the drive seems fine, the software buggy and the support remains to be seen.  I'll be back with an update.

Day 3
I got a response on Facebook 2 hours later. The "fix" they suggested did not work.  I uninstalled the software. I disconnected the drive, I rebooted the computer, I reconnected the drive, I downloaded the software again and reinstalled the dashboard. when I click on the icon placed on my desktop by the software installation I got "This action is only valid for products that are currently installed." So that didn't work. Seagate's Dashboard software for the desktop does not work.  I did use 2nd Copy, a third party backup software that I am fond of and it worked just fine with the drive so the drive isn't useless.  The Remote access doesn't allow me to see anything but the "public" folders, there may be a work around and I will be back to post that if I find it.  Also if I can get the Dashboard problem solved I will be back to post that as well.  So far it seems like a good idea with decent hardware and the drawback of klutzy software.

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

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