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4.7 out of 5 stars
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 2 November 2016
I have to admit that I haven't been much of a Seagate fan for a number of years as I have had so many of their drives fail on me. Because of the past high failure rates we standardized on WD drives in all of our production machines. But, like with everything else it's always good to revisit things again after a period of time.

The Seagate Backup Plus Hub 4TB is a nice looking item and I wanted to see if it performed as well as it looks. I was intrigued by the front mounted USB ports, will they work like a hub or just provide power for charging other devices? How warm will it run and how much noise will there be?

Setting up the drive was simple enough, remove the power adapter, USB 3 cable, and drive from the box, power the drive up (no switches here) and connect the USB cable at both ends. The only indicator on the drive is the Seagate icon, it lights up when the drive has a connection to a computer indicting its active. Windows 10 immediately recognized the drive and added it. I tried it on Windows Server 2012 R2, Server 2008 R2, Windows 7 laptop, a Windows 10 tablet and in each case there were no connection issues. The drive was identified and added in less than 30 seconds. Ok maybe Seagate deserves more attention.

I checked to see how the drive was formatted and to my surprise its NTFS. Ok I'm now starting to warm up to the thing.

Running the startup program located on the drive launches a browser that takes you to a page where you register and download the Dashboard Application. I appreciate that you need to download the program rather than getting a CD with the unit as it's a simple fact that software by the time it gets to you on a CD is four versions behind already which means you need to download the updated version anyway. The program may take you a little while to download depending on your internet connection, its 140MB. Installation was simple with no glitches or hitches.

Once installed the software allows you to set up your PC data backup plan. You can choose to back up everything or only select the folders you want, very much like Windows B/U. While here it will also allow you to back up any other EXTERNAL drives connected to your machine. Once you've set that you can select from various options for how frequent you'd like the backups to happen. Now you can select between local backup to the drive or the cloud service options, Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. Local back up choices are Snapshot, Monthly, Weekly, Daily, Hourly, or Continuous which is my choice as I get a little paranoid about losing data as this is used mainly on my business laptop. You can at any time edit the set up later if needed or cancel an ongoing backup.

I won't rely on this as a sole back up option and will continue to use Acronis to clone my OS drive but for everything else it so far seems like a viable option. Keep in mind that this is a rather amateurish piece of software and it seems Seagate through it in just so that it could be advertised as coming with backup software, it's not something that any kind of SOHO will want to rely on.

While automatic backups are happening other transfers are of course slowed down and I found that the first backup process which is a major one also lagged my machine on a couple of occasions bringing it to a halt twice meaning I had to wait for it to catch up before being able to resume something like browsing or opening up a Windows Explorer window. Transfer rates are excellent and at definitely USB 3 speeds, please view the image below of the Windows transfer dialogue box.

While my laptop was backing up I installed the Android app. Again installation was simple and there are a few questions during install asking what files it should have access to. I like that it never responded that unless I gave it unbridled access it wouldn't work, it simply set itself up to back up only those files I wanted it to have access to. Again, if you so desire there are options here to have it back up to cloud services when on the road.

The app connected with the Dashboard running on the laptop without any tinkering, nice maybe I should buy shares in Seagate. And... Here's where I ran into a glitch. After setting up the app similarly to the laptop application I waited for an hour as it indicated a backup was in progress but the indicator showed 0% and never changed. Two hours later still at 0%. Looking at the backup directory on the drive it showed only the laptop, no other backups logged. Here I noticed something that annoys me. Rather than placing all folders for this machine under on folder it created multiple folders that need to be traversed of your looking for a particular file. I'm sure it has the Seagate engineers have a reason for this but at the user level this is a bugger to deal with when looking for certain files.

After running for several hours at a time backing up various machines the drive got warm but never to the point where I was worried I should have a fan on it.

I did find it made a low level fast grunting kind of noise periodically that reminds me of when wiper arms are swinging back and forth but this occurred even during transfers of large gigabit sized files not small files that would normally be associated with such arm swinging.

The front mounted USB ports are there only for charging purposes and current available on these ports is sufficient for rapid charging my PRIV which is the biggest power hog we have in the house. There is no connectivity back to the PC through the drive from other devices attached to the ports. This is ok as its getting to the point where there are never enough USB charging ports but it would have been very nice to have the ports act as actual connected USB access points.

Fit and finish of the drive is nice. It has clean lines and is oriented so that it sits on your desk on its long edge.

When searching for documents on the drive seek times were very good. I'm still warming up to this thing but I'm going to shave half a point because the Android app doesn't work and the backup software is really not worth running. So 4 1/2 stars for the STEL4000100 Seagate Backup Plus Hub 4TB External Hard Drive.
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on 10 January 2017
Massive massive storage and for a really decent price, this was plug and play out of the box. I like the fact that it stands up stably on it's side - it takes up less space than my old flat 500GB drive of a similar size. It chunters a lot when it does a back-up, but that doesn't last for long and I actually don't care what it sounds like, I'm more interested it how it performs and what it provides. I charge my phone overnight from one of the front usb charging ports, which saves me trailing a cord off the desk to an inaccessible point.

The case is piano gloss black, has a nice curve to the front and both sides are made from perforated metal to allow ventilation regardless of which side you stand it up on. It's an attractive case and I like it.

It's taken all the data from my laptop and old external drives and I still have ~6TB left. I'm hoping it lasts for many years like my older drives have.
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VINE VOICEon 17 September 2016
Size: 4 TB|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This HDD connected without difficulty to my Windows 7 PC. Simply connect the mains adapter to the HDD, then link the HDD to the PC with the supplied USB cable and you're away. The interface is super-speed USB 3.0, but is also backwards compatible with the older USB standards if your computer is not that new.

Protip: when you first boot up the drive, there is a link in the root folder that takes you to the Seagate website where you are prompted to register the product, so make a note of the drive's serial number before you tuck it away somewhere inaccessible!

The socket on the HDD is the USB 3.0 micro-B type.
When the disk is in use, the illuminated logo on the front of the housing pulses gently.
The casing is made of a shiny black plastic that collects fingerprints like a CSI technician.

There are two USB sockets on the front of the casing, but there is no indication that these are USB 3.0 other than in the blurb on the product's Amazon web page. There's nothing in the documentation supplied with the HDD and the plastic tabs inside the sockets are black, rather than the blue normally used for USB 3.0. Now, that could be an aesthetic decision to match the all-black casing, but I can't help wondering if they are, in fact, USB 2.0 only.

One other bonus with this device is the inclusion of a 2-year subscription to Microsoft's OneDrive cloud storage, with 200GB of space. Setting this up is a bit of a faff as you have to upload a document and then create another using Office Online before it will register the upgrade.

If maximum storage is your primary requirement, there is a similarly-priced 5TB Seagate external HDD available, but without the extra USB ports and it doesn't offer the OneDrive subscription (at time of writing).
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Size: 4 TB|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Having experienced several hard drive failures in my various PCs over the years, I have learned to use my PC hard drive solely for storage of the operating system and software and store all of my data files on external hard drives which can be moved between and used on different PCs and laptops. It is a method which has worked well, enables me to buy PCs with smaller hard drives, ie 1TB or 2TB and I then use multiple 4TB external drives for data storage including an image of my PC hard drive which can be restored onto a new internal drive.

This Seagate drive has a good build quality, very low running noise from its internal fan, becomes slightly warm in use and has good read/write speeds via USB-3 (connection cable included) and is also backwards compatible with USB-2. It is usable straight from the box with no need to install any software or format the drive which is exactly what I was looking for on a hard drive so, once I’d set up my new working directories for my files I could set to work immediately. Via USB-3 data transfer is fast and I was able to edit HD video files, a demanding task, direct from the drive and edit/play them without any stuttering, a task which would not be possible via USB-2 which would cause stuttering at best and, more likely, freezing due to the slower reading speeds. Similarly data transfer is fast making backups quick and easy, whether using a proprietary program such as Acronis True Image, Easeus Todo or a straight ‘copy and paste’ which is handy when the drive is moved between several computers and the files can be readily accessed by any other Windows computer.

A feature I particularly like is the incorporated ‘hub’, ie two USB-2 ports on the front of the drive which can be used for charging phones, tablets or connecting some peripherals such as a mouse. My laptop has only three USB ports so once two are in use with external drives and the third has a card reader plugged in, I don’t have a spare for a mouse – or didn’t until now.

The Seagate drive was identified immediately on my PC running Windows 7 and on my laptop running Windows 10 and connected via USB3.

For those looking for a backup software suite, Seagate have included downloadable ‘Dashboard’ which can be used to perform simple backup jobs such as backing up files, backing up mobile content, sharing files via social media and restoring earlier backed up files. It works well as a simple backup utility but it does not allow a disc image to be taken (disappointingly).

For anyone looking for a high capacity external drive then this is definitely one to consider and if you’re a little short of USB ports, eg if using with a laptop, then the USB port hub on the front is a most useful bonus. I have always found Seagate drives to be reliable: this is my fifth so far and even following 10 years of intensive 24/7 use, I have never had one fail on me so it is a brand I would always recommend for reliability.
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on 16 October 2016
Purchased for backing up my Mac and my other external hard drives, have only been using for a few days but have been impressed with the transfer speed between my other drives.

Having the two usb 3.0 connections on the front has been great for the backing up of all my hd films / files.

So far the drive has been pretty quiet and has dealt brilliantly with all I have thrown at it.

Will update the review in six months.

But at the moment I highly recommend this product.
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on 10 December 2016
Both the power lead and the USB lead are way too short - the power lead can barely reach the table top from the floor. Also 8TB seems to only be 7.27 which is a far cry from the stated figure. Haven't bothered with the software which I believe only relates to automated backups etc, but the documentation included in the box is very vague and basic and doesn't even cover what the front usb ports are capable of. I bought this as the cheapest "big" storage I could find and as such it will meet my needs but it is not all I expected. VERY quiet though which is a plus but over all quite disappointment and could have been 5stars with such little extra effort.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 13 September 2016
Size: 4 TB|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was really pleased to get a chance to review this 4tb Seagate drive – not least because it enables me to pull all my data into one place – rather than scattered around a number of HDs that grown in size from 250gb upto my NAS which has two x 1 tb (which seemed huge at the time). Of course I do have a lot of stuff backed up in the cloud, but I suspect that before too long I am going to be charged for that, so a 4tb drive is great!

In appearance the only thing that marks this out is the couple of usb ports on the front. Not sure what I think about that. Don’t get me wrong the usb’s are welcome – and they mean that you actually gain a port when you plug in the Seagate. I was just thinking they might have been better on the back because you won’t want to be plugging and unplugging a lot as you risk knocking the HD. That might just be me – I tend you use SSD now for portable and robust storage, having lost a full 500gb drive when it got knocked. That said this is not a bad looking drive overall.

In action it is fast. It has a claimed 190mbs speed. I didn’t get close to that, but I did have it moving lots of mp3 files from attached usb stick at over 41mbs, so no complaints on that front. I was using this on a windows laptop so I haven’t yet tried the mac function – but I am sure it will work. Similarly I haven’t signed up for the dashboard backup software and free (for 2 years) cloud storage, since I already have what I need.

I have heard that there have been some issues when this is connected via usb2 – not with the Seagate itself, but devices that are connected via its usb ports. I tried that out and it worked ok for me.

That’s about it really. I may get around to trying out the apps, but to be honest this does it for me as a simple large storage device, from a reputable manufacturer, which is unlikely to fail. The extra usbs are a great idea and should swing quite a lot of business their way. I am very pleased with it and you will be too.
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VINE VOICEon 15 September 2016
Size: 4 TB|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
From Seagate comes this attractively designed 4Tb USB 3.0 external hard drive with the unusual feature of having 2 USB 3.0 ports built into it.
Finished in gloss black and measuring 11.8cm x 19.8cm x 4.1cm the drive is designed to stand on its edge, 4 rubber feet being fitted to cushion the unit. The case has a sloping edge on the left hand side and an indicator light is incorporated into the top of this sloping edge which when lit shows the Seagate logo.
Towards the bottom of the flat edge are the 2 USB 3.0 expansion ports which will allow any device to connect and charge providing the charging current does not exceed 1.2amps, so worth checking first.
Power is provided via means of the ubiquitous plug-top power supply and a USB 3.0 connecting cable is provided.
Connecting up and powering up opened the drive's window and clicking on the 'Start_Here_Win' logo took me to the Seagate website where I quickly registered the product. Also while on the site you are given the opportunity to download backup apps for a variety of situations. I don't intend to use these so didn't bother with them.
Copying a quick selection of files to try the drive out saw it transferring data at about 136Mb/sec which while not reaching the quoted figure of 180Mb/sec is still fairly quick.
As always Seagate seems to provide very good value for money and I am extremely pleased with this offering, I will be using it to back up a lot of my music files so it's time to make a cup of coffee and let it get on with it.
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VINE VOICEon 19 October 2016
Size: 4 TB|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This 'HUB' is a small device and not overly heavy. If you wanted to transport it around with a laptop, you could fairly easily. It isn't a designed in a way that has a 'wow' factor but I like it. It is discreet but not imposing. The unit has two USB 3.0 sockets on the front meaning you can hook up other devices even another hard drive.

The Seagate is an excellent desktop device. I have used it with a desktop and a laptop. One is a windows based system, the other a mac. It works great. For years I have wished for a drive that I could use with either operating system. But now it is possible. You can format it to be used for a mac entirely if you want.

Saving or accessing a file on the drive is a very fast process. I am impressed with this element of the drive. It really is impressive. All in all this is a small desktop or even portable drive (ok, there are smaller drives out there). It is quick, has a large capacity and comes with x 2 USB 3.0 sockets on the front of the unit too. This is a good drive and with its multi-use abilities (Mac and PC), quick and has a large capacity. I'd recommend it.
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Size: 4 TB|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I’ve been very happy with Seagate drives before and this one’s no different. A whopping 4 terrabytes in a standard-sized case. Despite the unusual sloped edge and the ventilation on the sides that makes me want to watch old episodes of “Blockbusters”, which are highlighted by the product photos, it’s actually quite ordinary-looking once you’ve installed it. The plastic is possibly just a little bit glossy-looking for my tastes, but that’s a very minor thing.

Turning this device into a USB hub is a brilliant idea- a simple one, but a great one. For devices like laptops or older PC’s where USB sockets might be in short supply, it’s great that this drive, instead of taking up one of your ports, actually increases the number of available ports by one. Full marks to Seagate for one of those ideas that it’s revolutionary, but is a definite help. In a way it’s only a shame that they didn’t decide to make it a 4-port hub instead!

It’s important to note though that there’s no “smart transfer” stuff going on here as far as USB data transfer is concerned- this is essentially just a “dumb” 2-port USB hub in the same box as the hard drive, and your PC has to manage it all. This means that if you want to copy something from a separate device onto this one, then to avoid bottlenecking, it’s quicker to use a different (equal speed) USB port on your PC, rather than plugging the other device into one of the ports on the front of this- because if you do the latter, all the data has to go through the PC anyway so you’re bottlenecking the data transfer between the PC and the Seagate. If speed’s not an issue though, then of course that’s not a problem.

The “intelligent” bit described on the box seems to be to do with the smart charging of devices that take different amp values- which is very neat, but fairly standard in a lot of USB chargers nowadays so I wouldn’t rave about it.

I’m using my drive on Windows and as the product says, it’s NTFS formatted out of the box- Windows reports 3.63TB usable, which seems pretty standard for what people call “4 terrabytes” nowadays.

So this is not a game-changing or revolutionary device, it’s another hard drive in a box, but it’s executed well- I’ve never had a problem with a Seagate drive to date- and the addition of the simple 2-port USB hub is a really good idea that everybody else should be copying.
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