I have used number of of hard drives. But this is the first time I will use a 4TB hard drive. Moreover, this review will be done for two hard drives simultaneously. The Seagate Backup Plus Slim and Fast have been designed and developed with backup in mind. But there are several other purposes where these hard drives can be used. The cost of the 1TB model is ₹6,000 (~$98.62) and the cost of 4TB model is ₹25,000 (~$411.11). The cost may refrain few from buying the product but you need to go through the review before you avoid the hard drive.
The 4TB model has a plastic build. It is quite heavy. An LED indicator is located on the top surface of the hard drive. The hard drive comes with a USB 3.0 port. The 1TB slim hard drive has a slightly better build. It has a shiny matte finish top surface with an LED indicator. It also comes with a USB 3.0 port
The 1TB model comes with a normal USB 3.0 cable but because the 4TB model requires additional power, the 4TB model comes with a USB 3.0 cable which has a power cable attached to it.
The Blackmagic Disk Speed Test gave write speeds of 244MB/sec and Read speeds of 229MB/sec for the 4TB model whereas for the 1TB model the write speeds were near 109MB/sec and Read speeds were near 111MB/sec. The real world test on Mac OS X gave write speeds of 111MB/sec for the 4TB hard drive and 103MB/s for the 1TB hard drive.
On Windows, CrystalDiskMark gave Read and Write speeds around 246MB/sec for 4TB hard drive and 116MB/sec for 1TB hard drive. Real world tests were extraordinary on Windows. The write speeds of 4TB hard drive were close to 240MB/sec and the write speeds of 1TB hard drive were close to 110MB/sec.
Both the hard drives are quite expensive. But with the increase in cost, there is an improvement in the productivity too. The 1TB model will improve the productivity by ~28% which accounts to a speed bump of 30MB/sec. The 4TB model will improve the productivity by ~140% which accounts to a speed bumb of around 140MB/sec – 160MB/sec. But the important factor here is the cost. You need to consider the increase in cost and decide whether buying the hard drive will be a viable option or not.
The most exasperating part is that the power cable is way too long in comparison to the USB 3.0 cable. This brings in a small problem. Each time you connect the 4TB hard drive, you cannot extend it to long distances. The long power cable has been provided only for PC, which have USB ports far away. But why not provide both the cables of equal length?
The performance of the hard drive was brilliant on Windows but on Mac OS X, it was pathetic. So for Mac users, the hard drive does not live up to the expectations.
Both the hard drives can be used to backup the contents of your PC using a software named Seagate Dashboard. Seagate Dashboard, enables users to perform automatic backup. But for automatic backup, the hard drive has to be connected to the PC continuously at all times. This is quite a bit of hassle. If you are smart enough and can perform some tweaks, then you can use the hard drives as an Apple Time Machine. But the issue is, it will support only a Mac. However, the benefit is that it will support wireless backing up.
The 4TB model cannot be used for streaming purposes. This is because the capacity of the 4TB model will make it incompatible with most of the devices, you cannect it to. Moreover, it requires additional power. This can crash most of the devices. For e.g. consider a router to which you connect the 4TB hard drive. Eventually, the router will crash. However the 1TB model can be considered to be used for streaming purposes. I am focussing on wireless streaming because these hard drives have good read speeds. Good read speeds means that these hard drives can push more content to multiple users simultaneously. Consider 5 people accessing different content from the 1TB hard drive. The 1TB hard drive will be able to manage the delivery of data in a more efficient manner than its competitors.
What about the 4TB model? Should I even buy it? Yes, buy it if you have the money. Consider all the SSD’s, available for the same cost. Many SSD will surpass the 4TB drive in terms of data transfer rates and many will fail too. But more importantly, none of the SSD will be able to provide capacity as large as the 4TB hard drive. So you will get a 4TB storage and an awesome write speed of 240MB/sec. This is awesome. But if the drive gets corrupted, then you are going to lose your entire data.