So one of my hard drives started to fail, and I NEED to have enough storage for all my stuff. I guess 3.5 TB overall wasn’t enough, so I just got another 2TB more. Yes…. Just let me be clear, those 5 TB are distributed among my many computers and external hard drives.
Anyway, I have multiple Western Digitals but decided to be bold, so I got a Seagate Home GoFlex 2 TB with wireless printing and I don’t remember what more promises I got from Amazon’s description.
Bottom line: genius idea all around, EXTREMELY CRAPPY EXECUTION
Being honest: it gets the job done, 2 TB accessible without being attached to a computer. Connects directly to the router, speed is “decent”, around 10 MBPS with two 500GB WD pounding on it at the same time. Not quite what I expected, but I can live with it.
Why is it bad execution of a great idea:
– Setup is not fit for a regular human being. The “out of the box, one disc, easy set up” did not work. I tried on the work network and then directly plugged in to my router at home. I had to log in to my router, find the ip address from the MAC address list and then slash slash my way to the drive.
I am quite geek and it was not pleasant at all
– When installing, it installs all kind of stupid applications that are supposed to help. Again, a horrible user experience IMHO. How easy would it be to have a folder in your computer, where everything would be synchronized with the hard drive, just like dropbox.com did to beat the crap out of Microsoft’s skydrive. Simplicity beats features IMHO. Or just a picasa folder selector style where you chose what to back up. Again, common sense did not get into the design of this product.
– It then installs a control panel that has all kind of stupid options too. It also has a web access, so why do you want to install a “Seagate Dashboard” that would only confuse end users?
– Moving forward, I tried to add another user. It hung, but cancel worked. So I try again and to my surprise the textboxes are disabled. Some crappy programmer forgot to do “MyTextbox.Enabled = true;” on cancel. Something as simple as that worries me about what else is inside this code.
– Here comes one of my favorites, you CAN’T change the name!!!!!! That means that you can only have ONE in your network.
Oh well, I think Seagate knows how crappy the user experience is with their software that they don’t expect anybody to buy a second one. A for effort on this one, but F for execution
My personal recommendation is stick to what works, go for a Western Digital that you simply plug into your USB port.
Seagate: c’mon… you can do better than this… And in case you are wondering, yes I can do it better. It just takes some good ol’common sense.
What would’ve I’ve done differently
– Add a little led that would display the ip address, that way when I connect it I can see “10.10.20.123”
– So I can go to http://10.10.20.123, log in as admin admin and create users. Don’t make the user install a dashboard, give web access which even my mom would be familiar with.
– If you have different areas like backup/personal and others, use different ips for those. I am pretty sure that is possible with one ethernet, not a full requirement but nice to have
– Now have a VERY SIMPLE application to install in the computers you wan’t to back up. Allow either “backup everything inside MyStuff(i.e.) folder” or the Picasa style folder selector
– Let the user change the name, so he can personalize his HD (who knows, this might be possible but all forums say it isn’t). More importantly, that allows people that LIKE this HD (if the previous steps are done) to buy additional ones
– Have a simpler way of explaining to users what the pro version does. Very simple, just have a “Do you want to access this drive from outside your home/network? Just pay $20 a year and we give you a way”. If you go geeky tech and explain, you are getting your users scared and can’t convince them no matter what.
For me, this simple steps would make a big difference on this product.
Ohh… don’t get me started on the printer!