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203 of 205 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Value Entry-Level NAS - Some Limitations
The Seagate Central is a hefty unit. This is largely because it contains a heavy, 4-platter hard drive, and because there are additional peripheral components packed into the unit for running the NAS logic.

It can best be described as 'unobtrusive'. It's matt black, and designed to lay flat on a surface. It can't be stood on its end, but as it's all too easy...
Published 16 months ago by Robert Groom

versus
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Promises much but delivers little
I was in two minds whether to buy a portable wifi hard drive, or a NAS unit. In the end, I went for this, eventually swayed by other reviews and the fact you could remotely-access the data stored on it.
On the plus side, it quickly settled itself into my home wifi network with no fuss. I could access the drive from my ipad, laptop or mobile phone and transfer files...
Published 1 month ago by djay


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203 of 205 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Value Entry-Level NAS - Some Limitations, 18 May 2013
By 
Robert Groom (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Seagate Central is a hefty unit. This is largely because it contains a heavy, 4-platter hard drive, and because there are additional peripheral components packed into the unit for running the NAS logic.

It can best be described as 'unobtrusive'. It's matt black, and designed to lay flat on a surface. It can't be stood on its end, but as it's all too easy for external drives to get knocked over in that orientation, and you have a good chance of losing data if you do so, that's no bad thing.

The case has a fine mesh covering, which is very effective at allowing heat to escape, but it is a bit of a dust-trap, so I think a regular vacuum clean will be in order. There's no integral cooling fan - cooling is via natural convection - this does make the unit practically silent in operation however, and less likely to fail from heat stress if the fan fails (which they often do). Note that you should not place other devices on top of the unit, or it will not be able to cool itself adequately, so if you're stacking equipment, the NAS will need to be top of the heap; perhaps a challenge if you're pairing it with something equally un-stackable like a D-Link Boxee media player.

The drive itself is a Seagate ST3000DM003 5900rpm with 4 platters and 8 heads. It has 64BM of cache, and a latency of 5.1ms. It's rated for 180MB/s peak sustained data, but in practice, this is limited by the network interface to substantially less.

Apart from the small LEDs on the network port, there is only one light on the unit, secreted beneath the mesh covering. This glows orange on boot, and then changes to steady green when it is ready for action. It has robust, grippy, rubber foot on each corner of its base which make it feel very stable and secure, and it's about the size of a typical external 3.5" USB hard drive unit. It has a fairly standard, black, external mains transformer which is reasonably compact.

Setup was a breeze. I plugged the NAS into my LAN via the patch cable provided, and it immediately showed up in my Windows 7 PC under 'Network' in Windows Explorer. I clicked on it and was able to browse to the setup file. Running this launches a web interface, where you are invited give the NAS a meaningful device name and login credentials. After that, you just type the device name into your browser and you are connected. Login using the credentials you created and you have access to the whole web management interface:

USERS
=====
Manages user accounts on the NAS, allowing you to create them and optionally give them management access. Each is allocated their own password protected folder. The only issue I have is that you cannot restrict the amount of disk space each can consume, as you can with more advanced NAS devices. This may not be an issue for you however.

SOCIAL
======
You can add a Facebook account which allows you to archive content you have uploaded there.

SERVICES
========
Remote Access and Seagate Media - gives you access to your files & media from anythere on the Interned via a web browser. You will need an app to do this. They are available for iOS, Android, Kindle and Windows Phone.

DLNA - (code provide by Twonky) will allow you to stream media to any supporting home devices (TVs etc.)

iTunes - gives you the ability to link iOS devices to content on the NAS over Wifi.

SETTINGS
========
General - Allows you to rename the device and register with Seagate.

System - Gives you the ability to restart, stop, restore settings and erase all data on the device.

About - Displays info on the serial number and firmware version (which can be upgraded).

ADVANCED
========
Date & Time - enable or disable NTP and set the preferred time zone.

LAN - choose DHCP or manually set up the settings in Static mode.

Disk Manager - shows the drive parameters and shows SMART information giving an idea of drive health.

USB Manager - allows you to connect and disconnect external USB devices (external drives) to the NAS. It is not immediately apparent what the purpose of doing this is, but after some digging I was able to establish that you can get free (unprotected) access to the external USB drive via a dedicated network folder allowing you to copy content from your own folder onto it for backups etc.

As you'll have guessed, this feature set is pretty basic, but that's to be expected on such a reasonably priced NAS device. If you want more features, you should probably be looking at something like a QNAP, but for the price Seagate is selling these units at, it's a real bargain, and I have to commend them. They're obviously trying to claw their way out of the commoditised hard drive market by adding additional value, and this is a great candidate.

Once you're set up and have your users and shares created, you can go to work backing up files and streaming media.

Transfer rates over Gigabit ethernet are approximately 50MB/s and around 7MB/s over Wifi. This is certainly fast enough for general media streaming right up to full HD Blu-Ray data rates. For backing up a single PC, you might prefer a directly connected USB 3.0 drive which will give faster data rates, but for general storage this is a great unit. If you want to run an external hard drive and you'd prefer to connect over Gigabit ethernet or Wifi rather than USB, this is a perfect tool for the job.

The DLNA streaming service works great, and was picked up by all my various DLNA compatible devices (Dune D1, QNAP NMP-1000, Sony TV, Asus O!Play). I've tested its ability to stream full HD to two devices simultaneously from MKV files over the LAN without stuttering, and there were no apparent issues.

NOTE: The DLNA service will only scan for media files in the Public folder. No files held in private folders will be available for DLNA streaming. Also, sometimes you may need to re-boot the device after enabling DLNA to get the service to start correctly.

I've read that the release of Twonky Server installed on the Seagate Central is version 7.

That release is supposed to be able to stream the following formats:

Music: MP3, WMA, WAV, 3GP, M4A, MP4, LPCM, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, MP2, AC3, MPA, MP1, AIF
Photo: JPEG, PNG, TIF, BMP
Video: MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG2-TS, MPEG4, AVI, WMV, VOB, DivX, 3GP, VDR, ASF, MPE, DVR-MS, Xvid, MKV, M4V

I've personally had success streaming the following via DLNA:

AUDIO FORMATS
=============
FLAC (Encoded by Media Monkey)
MP3 (Encoded by Media Monkey)
M4A (iTunes)

VIDEO FORMATS
=============
MKV (Full HD, encoded by DVDFab)
MOV (Full HD, MPEG-4 Quicktime)
M2T (Full HD, MPEG-TS)

I had issues streaming MTS (AVC) files which are encoded with PCM audio - these are files taken from my XA20 camcorder. No audio is reproduced, though the video streams fine.

There are a few things which detract from its usefulness:

1. It's not possible to make a folder available as 'Read Only' which exposes any media you make available in the Public share liable to possible deletion.

2. When moving files from one share to another on the NAS, it copies the entire file over the network and back rather than just re-linking the file locally. It does seem a bit inefficient and time-consuming to do it this way, but it's not really a deal-killer.

3. There is no way to see in the web interface how much drive space is available, or to set up email alerts warning you if the drive is nearly full.

4. The external USB port is only USB 2.0 and not 3.0. Also, it's not possible to add this drive's capacity to the total storage of the unit, or use it as an automatic backup destination. The function of copying files to it is rather peculiar, as it involves you connecting the drive via USB, sharing it over the network and then copying files from the NAS's built in drive over the network onto the USB attached drive. Why they thought this was a good way to structure the process and not allow you to move files to the drive via USB is beyond my comprehension.

5. There is no web based file management interface.

6. It is not possible to allocate individual disk space 'quotas' to users, so anyone is free to write data to the drive until it is completely full.

7. For some reason, my Dune D1 media player has trouble connecting to the NAS through normal file & folder network browsing, and can only connect to it in DLNM mode. It can see the NAS on the network, but it cannot discover any folder shares. My other media players (QNAP NMP1000 and Asus O!Play) do not experience the same issue.

Given the low cost of the unit, it has to be added to your short-list for consideration, and if the feature set covers your needs, then I can recommend it.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great drive for the price, 7 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was looking for a large storage device for my media library. Wanted something that could be connected to wirelessly, so my TV could see it, and could stored 300+ DVDs in mpeg format. This does the business.

The drive is not physcially large, but it isn't tiny either, but what would you expect for 4TB? It isn't truely wireless requiring an ethernet connection to the router but once setup everything else is gravy. It does require a plug socket as it must be powered, but as mentioned elsewhere it is not fan cooled, so once running is virtually silent. It needs a reasonable amount of space around it so don't put things on top if you can help it and certainly don't completely block the top up. Dusting as mentioned elsewhere is also essential.

Setup is quick and simple, it comes with a management program call Seagate Central and can integrate with TVs and mobile devices using the media app. You can also access your content via the web using the External Seagate Tappin website. Note though that finding detailed documentation on both the management program and the media app is a tad difficult though and when found leaves a lot to be desired.

Finally, when I received mine I had a problem with the PSU. Sent an email to Seagate Support and received a reply within a day and a new PSU shortly after with no hassle.

Definitely recommend this.

For some extra reference, here are some helpful tidbits missing from the documentation for you:
1. The drive comes with sample files (some small videos, photos and music files). If you want to keep these don't wipe the drive using the the restore function. The data isn't restored after the wipe and isn't available anywhere to down load.
2. The seagate media app is basic but ok and allows your TV, tablets, and phones to access your media library in a sensible way. But don't expect anything flashy. It is just a search tool really. The rescan function doesn't work very well though so if you need to make changes, it is best to rescan by disabling the Media App in the Seagate Management tool and then reenabling instead of rescanning with the app in your phone/tablet/tv.
2. Storing cover art with your files for showing in the media app isn't documented anywhere, but can eventually be found in the support FAQs on the Seagate website. So here's how you do it: in the folder with your file copy a jpg with at least 50% similar name as your file. Rescan the drive with the Media App and it will link the file with the jpg by copying the image to a temp folder. The linking doesn't use tags so can be used with any file type even those that don't normally support cover art such as mpg. Note though this occurs once only for each picture and each file. So if a picture is associated with a file it cannot be used again to associate with another file. Likewise once a file is associated it cannot be reassociated with a picture. Finally, association of pictures and files of the same name happens all at the same time. All pictures with a similar name are associated with the first file of the same name and can't be used with others. This is a bit crap so if you've got multiple copies of file (for example mpg, mp4 and avi) associated pictures one at a time else all pictures will be associated with the first file even though the file will only use the first pictured associated.
5. Genre and other info though do use tags, so want to use genre and year created info though you must save the files in a format that supports tags (i.e. mp4, avi etc).
6. You can access your data via the web which is great! (remember to set up your firewall correctly though). But the email address it asks you for must really exist. It doesn't create the email address as it suggests. You'll get an email to this address which you'll use to activate the web content access.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sits on my network doing its job, 13 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this to copy up to 1TB of data onto this device then use it as my primary location for documents, videos, photos etc. Then back from the Seagate to USB drives connected to a computer.

I think the designers of this had thought that you would want to backup to the Seagate, which, of course is easy to do. From this point of view, you can use the USB connection, or attach it to your network. I have attached it to my wired network, and it can be seen by my wireless laptop. The Seagate Central software helps you backup to the Seagate NAS from your computer(s).

However, I wanted to use it as my main location for documents etc and to back up to a computer, not from computer > Seagate and as far as I can see the Seagate Central software has not provisioned for this. No worries, Robocopy built into windows 7 or RichCopy the later GUI does the job nicely.

It sits on a shelf on small rubber legs, and is pretty unobtrusive.

There is remote access to a folder called "Public" this is different to part of the drive where you save all your private documents. This can be accessed remotely when you are away from your network. I haven't used this feature, but it looks useful. when you activate this, you get an e-mail with a link and you login to the Public area. I understand you can even access this on a phone, but I haven't tested this. As far as I can see the Public and Private parts of the drive are dynamic, they only take up space as you fill them.

I did find a slight issue with W7 wireless. If you do an ipconfig /all from the command prompt and Node Type is set to Peer to Peer, you can only access the drive using its IP address. This needs to be set to Hybrid to access the drive using the name you have given it. (peer to peer uses WINS, there is no WINS, so Hybrid will check DNS)

It does seem to keep running the whole time, with a very low level slight hissing sound, and give what sounds like a little squeak when the drives are accessed. Compared to my Iomiga drives, there is more noise in this respect, but tolerable, even at night.

The operating system seems to take up a bit of space, so you actually get less than 4 TB.
The Drag and drop feature did not work for a TB of data, it failed, so I would recommend that any large transfers be done using propitiatory software, such as the Seagate Central software (which comes with it) to copy from computer > Seagate, or one such as RichCopy which I find really useful.

I find with good equipment, you forget its there, it just works and does not keep reminding you that there are problems. I have given it 5 stars as it does the job I wanted if for and the access is quick.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Promises much but delivers little, 15 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Seagate STCG2000200 2TB Central Wireless Hard Drive (Personal Computers)
I was in two minds whether to buy a portable wifi hard drive, or a NAS unit. In the end, I went for this, eventually swayed by other reviews and the fact you could remotely-access the data stored on it.
On the plus side, it quickly settled itself into my home wifi network with no fuss. I could access the drive from my ipad, laptop or mobile phone and transfer files back and forth.
However, the negative aspects could not be ignored.
Despite following the instructions regarding installation, I was not able to gain remote access to the drive from any of my devices. The Seagate Media app did not provide the functionality it claimed to, and on the ipad and iPhone there was no option for deleting files. It also could not even be recognised when attached to other devices via a wired USB connection, so there was no means of comprehensively managing the drive or it's contents - despite Seagate's very sketchy advice claiming to the contrary.
Their after-sales service is non-existent too, so your only real support will come from online forums.
I do not dispute that it is a solidly-made drive, or that others have found it to work well.
From my experience with this product though, a wired external hard drive would be of more use. I soon realised that I had made the wrong decision and that the Seagate NAS and myself were destined for a very brief working relationship.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A grand (Seagate) Central station, 24 May 2013
By 
SpecialOrder937 (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Seagate Central is basically just a NAS (Network-Attached Storage) drive. Amazon's title calls it a "Wireless Hard Drive", which is a bit misleading. There's no wireless capability built-in; it simply connects to your wireless router. Seagate seems keen to avoid the term "NAS", possibly because some people don't know what the acronym stands for, nor what it is. The Seagate Central might best be described as a smaller, simpler, single-drive version of a typical NAS device, and as such it succeeds quite well.

Physically, the Seagate Central is as bland-looking as your average hard drive. There are only three ports on the rear of the device: power, Ethernet and USB. These ports are built into a recess - a design decision that's as irksome as it is pointless. The Ethernet port is the Gigabit type, which is great, but the USB port is USB 2.0, which rankles with me. Why should an up-to-date device like this one, whose primary purpose in life is the transferral of data, be sporting an older, poorer data transferral standard? This is even more unforgivable considering that USB 3.0 is backwards compatible with USB 2.0. In operation, the device makes about as much noise as an ordinary desktop hard drive, and it's much quieter than many NAS devices I've used.

Set-up is pretty straightforward: just connect the device to your router using the supplied Ethernet cable. If a direct connection to your router isn't practical, you could connect the device to your router via Powerline adapters or a wireless bridge. Using one of these connection methods might allow you to place the device near your TV - an appropriate location for the drive if you intend to load it with movies. On a Mac, the device appears in the Finder's sidebar. To administer it, you just use the Internet shortcut provided by Seagate, which calls up a browser-based interface. This interface is nice and simple, and doesn't befuddle you with options you'll probably never use.

Once set up, the Seagate Central stores and streams your media files and acts as a backup location. It all works very well, and, as it's a NAS device, you can access your files from anywhere as long as you've got an Internet connection and a remote access account. This is great for use with the Seagate Media app for iOS, which allows you access to the files stored on the drive from your iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

The Seagate Central is a great option for people who want a simple NAS drive for media streaming and/or backups. I just wish Seagate hadn't decided to short-change users with USB 2.0.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A decent NAS drive from Seagate, 23 Jun 2013
By 
Whatchamacallit (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Anyone browsing through the hard drives available on this site will have spotted that this unit is more expensive than many of the `standard' hard drives also being sold - those ones are often referred to as `expansion' drives or `portable hard drives' but to be fair there's a reason that this package is more expensive than them. It isn't just a box that you'll plug in and then drag folders back and forth for extra storage space; it does more than that thanks to additional bits and pieces inside the case which make this a Network-attached Storage (NAS) drive. Thanks to the way a NAS drive works you can access your files faster and in different ways - it acts like a smaller and cheaper version of a computer server, and because this one hooks up to your router it means that it can work wirelessly.

Transfer speeds are pretty good and I've found that it compares very favourably with other devices that I have. It's easy to set up different accounts for each user on the network; my wife and I have our own folders so there's no risk of deleting something that is important to the other by mistake. Media can be streamed to any DNLA enabled devices with access to your network and the free Seagate app is available from Apple's App store, the Google Play store and the Amazon Appstore. It's even possible to use it on some Samsung Blu-ray players and smart televisions. The app means that it's possible to use portable devices to access your Seagate drive remotely and play music, videos or access documents etc. I've recently used it for backing up photographs that I'd taken with my smartphone whilst away from home - I just used the app to do so when I had access to Wi-Fi. This NAS box also comes with Seagate's Central software which can automatically back up your devices.

I like the fact that it's made with a mesh style case to help keep its temperature low since that means it doesn't need an internal fan. I find that there are already too many gadgets with fans running all of the time and the fact that this won't increase the level of background humming is a bonus. The mesh doesn't look bad either, and I like the styling of this package; it looks smart but doesn't draw attention to itself so will easily fit into any room without looking out of place.

To summarise I'd say that the Seagate Central storage device is ideal for anyone who likes to keep things simple but who doesn't want to miss out on anything. There's nothing too complex about it, but it's still possible to do pretty much everything that you'd want with your files. None of the Seagate hard drives I've bought over the years has ever failed on me either, so I expect this one to keep my valued data safe for a long time to come. As a long-time user of Seagate products I was expecting good things from this storage drive, and I'm pleased to say that I haven't been disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for the job, 4 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Seagate STCG2000200 2TB Central Wireless Hard Drive (Personal Computers)
After using it for about a month, this seems a nice and simple network drive solution. It was nice and simple to set up and my parents are no longer worried by messages about failed backups, as their laptops now backup directly to this drive. I've also been able to build up a media collection that they can access on their tablets (when they remember how)!

I've also been able to successfully link my Samsung TV to the device using the proprietary app, and connect to the drive from outside the house through the Android version. Both have been fine, although I don't expect to use either much, and these weren't features I bought it for. Streaming across wifi though is in general very smooth.

Other reviews seem to focus on limitations about space management or some very technical or obscure issues with some of the features, but for what I wanted to do with it, it's been perfect. As a network storage drive for backing up and sharing photos and music, it's faultless so far.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Strong on promise, weak on transfer performance, VERY SLOW avoid!, 21 Aug 2014
Although I was anticipating a great product based on many other reviews and prior Seagate solutions that I have bought myself in the past, this proved hugely disappointing. The key reason being the incredibly SLOW and painful data transfer rate. I just cannot believe how slow it is. Worse I am copying from a normal 1 Terabyte USB 2 Seagate drive that to this Seagate central solution. It is transferring at a rate of between 1.3 to 2MB/s - what is wrong here Seagate?!?!? I am using latest Firmware, both drives are connected via USB cable that came with original Seagate drive.

I gave it two stars instead of 1 because despite the slow transfer speed the actual drive is easy to use and link to various laptops and mobile devices.

Truly truly disappointing... I will be re-packing and returning. DO not by this product if you already have MANY gig of existing data to back-up to it.

Come on Seagate, fit a USB 3 port to it to allow us to get large volumes to transfer in hours not days, and at least allow it to connect to a laptop directly!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! Love this piece of tech!, 29 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Seagate STCG2000200 2TB Central Wireless Hard Drive (Personal Computers)
Bought this as the predecessor external hard drive was running out of steam with all the usage and music I had on. Linked this up to the whole house so everyone can stream their own music (with their personal accounts) and view all the photo's with the shared folder. This is a top quality Wireless hard drive and I'd recommend it to anyone. Very impressed with the remote access anywhere in the world (as long as you have wireless connection or 3-4G
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overall, it does a job but you won't feel like you've hit the big time with this one., 28 July 2014
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This review is from: Seagate STCG2000200 2TB Central Wireless Hard Drive (Personal Computers)
Not as decent as I first thought. The drive is quite sluggish. Seems to have trouble streaming a small enough movie file (450MB, 1 hr duration). You basically need to copy things down first. The remote login works but the in-built player is a bit of a joke. Also, trying to partition it seems a bit of a challenge. Overall, it does a job but you won't feel like you've hit the big time with this one.
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