Review: Seagate Backup Plus Portable isn't fancy, but will get the job done
As we move into an area with higher resolution photos and 4K video, storage is more important than ever. We check out the 2019 Seagate Backup Plus Portable external HDD to see if it is up to everyday tasking in the home or office.
External drives come in all shapes and sizes with features of all forms. But when it comes down to it, most people need a solid, dependable drive that is reliable, affordable, and still has a nice design. That's where the Seagate Backup Plus Portable fits best.
Available in a variety of different metal finishes, this drive can be configured with up to 5TB of external storage. For most, that will fit their needs and style. Let's look at the specifics.
A stylish enclosure
The Backup Plus Portable is a spinning hard drive, rather than an SSD. With a high capacity, it is a bit larger than some of the more compact drives. Seagate alone offers slimmer drives with lower capacity or pricier SSDs.
Ours has a white, plastic shell with a brushed metal plate that wraps around the top and front. In our case, that plate is a very light blue. On that metal side, a small pinhole LED that illuminates whenever the HDD spins up.
For connectivity, there is a USB micro-b port that fits the micro-b to USB-A cable that included. The cable is color-matched white to the color of the enclosure. We would have liked USB-C, but for those who are using a Mac or PC without the newer port, large capacity drives with USB-A are still necessary. This isn't a major crisis, and a USB-C to micro-B cable can be had inexpensively.
Seagate does specifically offer many USB-C drives and if you do like this drive, Amazon offers USB-C to micro-b cables for only a few dollars that will fill in great.
Speed and software
This drive easily works with both Mac and PC and can be reformatted as such. Seagate also offers quite a bit of software on the drive, including a year of Mylio Create and two months of Adobe Photographer Creative Cloud.
Mylio Create is a useful tool for organizing and backing up photos as well as editing and sharing them, but if you've got Photos and sufficient iCloud storage or Google Photo storage, you probably won't use it. Two months of Creative Cloud isn't much but it is enough if you are on the fence about subscribing. Lastly, there is the Seagate Toolkit Backup software which is an excellent option to use if you don't want to use Apple's Time Machine.
This drive isn't the fastest out there — it is still spinning platters after all. But it does the job and is enough for casual backups. In our Blackmagic Disk Speed Test we got read speeds of 122.9MB/s and write speeds of 114MB/s.
Should you buy the Seagate Backup Plus Portable hard drive?
If you need storage — and quite a bit of it — this is an excellent option to go with. It requires a little extra effort if you want USB-C, so you might as well check out one of Seagate's other offerings that includes it.
What you do get, though, is 5TB of storage in a compact enclosure all for just around a hundred dollars at retail price, which is exactly what you want in an economy drive. The internal Seagate drive includes a two-year warranty.
- Large storage capacities
- Sleek, metal design
- Good software included
- No drop protection
- No USB-C cable included
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Where to buy
You can pick up the Seagate Backup Plus Portable in 1, 2, 4, or 5TB capacities in either black, silver, red, or blue. The 1TB capacity starts at $49 while the 5TB maxes out at $109 on Amazon.