Seagate GoFlex Is Really a Pogoplug in Disguise
New and Improved
Plug computing seems to be a popular theme at the moment and for good reasons. The devices themselves are relatively cheap, and they provide a basic capability that everyone needs: access to files from multiple devices. Not only that, they now have the ability to stream your media to virtually anywhere and any device including your Android, Apple or Blackberry phones. That's not bad for a device that will set you back less than a hundred bucks.
Seagate's first Pogoplug offering was the FreeAgent DockStar. It provides a dock for a single FreeAgent Go hard drive along with three additional USB drives. You can pick one of these up right now from Amazon for $79 plus shipping. It's also a prime candidate for some Pogoplug hacking, so if that's what you're looking for, look no more. The key to making these devices work for you is to take a little time to understand the web management interface and what the different options are for.
New and Improved
It's pretty much an unwritten law in the world of electronics that every good product gets updated and the bad ones just go away. That must mean the Pogoplug-powered storage device is a good idea because Seagate has a new and improved version in the GoFlex Net. While the FreeAgent DockStar connected to the single hard disk using USB 2.0, the GoFlex Net has two drive slots and uses super-fast SATA. The downside is a single USB 2.0 connector, but you can always connect that to a USB hub. Ethernet speed is the same as before at 1 GB.
The GoFlex Portable drives have also been upgraded from the FreeAgent Go series to add USB 3.0 connectivity. What's really cool about these drives is the removable USB 3.0 adapter revealing the SATA drive connectors (see Figure 1). You have to take this off to dock the drive with the GoFlex Net (see Figure 2). The USB 3.0 adapter will, in fact, allow you to connect ANY SATA hard drive to a USB 3.0 port. Too bad the GoFlex Net only supports USB 2.0 for external drives. You can also install client software for your Linux box just as you would for the regular Pogoplug (see our review of the Pogoplug Pro).