Seagate FreeAgent Pro: auto sync / back-up on the move

freeagent-pro.jpgPortable hard drives. I love 'em. They're just such a movable feast of data goodness!

Seagate has their new FreeAgent range on the market, which is framed as an asset for folks 'on the go'. You can find cheaper per GB storage elsewhere, but these drives bring together a pretty slim form factor and footprint, as well as some nifty sync and back-up software that 99% of you will intend to use but never get around to using, before you regret not setting it up when you have a major system meltdown.

You know who you are... don't learn the hard way!If the brand is about bouncing between locations, perhaps the Desktop edition should be moved elsewhere, or have its features adjusted. It might have the same sexy black (maybe they call this 'charcoal'?) and orange lighting finish, but it seems the odd man out in a list of drives that is notable for building in back-up and sync tools.

The Go and Pro models have some smart (Windows-only (UPDATE: And Jake points out this is x32 compatible only, not x64)) software on board to sync to different locations, which is pretty handy if you bounce between home and office a lot. This incorporates some versioning and back-up, so you can restore if need be. The sync options can also send out to online destinations, which is really good for automating off-site backup and/or sharing media files online.

The Go models run over USB power, making them extra smart on that front, while the Pro range needs some wall juice.

Seagate offer a six month trial of their online storage service too, which moves to subscription fees after that time. For 500MB. Considering the high quality free services out there, for much more space, this isn't the best feature in town.

Automated back-up is a MUST, as anyone who has learned the hard way will tell you. I'm a member of that club (circa 1998, thankfully when I was young enough to not really lose seriously important stuff) and, like ex-smokers, it's a club that can be pretty zealous in their quest to convince others to change their ways before it is too late!

If you're on Windows, and you do give yourself dramas with file versions on different systems, this is a pretty good solution - just don't buy it with the intention of setting it up and then never go through the process. You can easily get cheaper external drives elsewhere, so if you go for a FreeAgent, use the features and add some reassurance to your otherwise stressed out life.

You'll find the FreeAgent Pro from around $250 for the 320GB edition and the FreeAgent Go from around $140 for 80GB.

Product Page [Seagate - who only has a token local site]