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Seagate has finally figured out how to squeeze extra dollars out of commodity external hard drives with its new FreeAgent GoFlex, a new external storage solution with a variety of optional interfaces and adapters.
However, unlike most vendors’ external hard drives, which include a USB 2.0 cable and possibly a FireWire or eSATA port, the GoFlex requires customers to specify from a variety of interfaces including USB 2.0, USB 3.0, FireWire 800, or eSATA.
Customers can also order USB 3.0 or combination USB-FireWire adapters in place of the cables. Also available are optional add-ons for adding an automatic backup function, as well as for connecting the drive as a TV HD media player, a device for sharing data over a network, and a docking station for desktop backups.
Contrast that to the competing My Passport product line from Western Digital, which offers customers five Windows and three Mac models with varying capacities. All the My Passport external drives include a USB 2.0 interface except for one model which comes with FireWire 800 and USB 2.0. Customers make their choice based on the features desired.
When ordering a FreeAgent GoFlex, however, customers first look at the capacity size, and then order the desired interface and options.
They can choose from three basic models, including a basic small form factor drive for easy portability, a Pro version of that drive with backup software and encryption, and a higher-capacity version with automatic backup and encryption, all in one of several capacity points.