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Seagate Launches 3TB External Drive as File Needs Rise

Seagate Launches 3TB External Drive as File Needs Rise
By Mark Long

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The FreeAgent GoFlex Desk from Seagate is the world's first external hard drive to top two terabytes of storage capacity. At 3TB and $249.99, Seagate's FreeAgent GoFlex Desk is designed for home and office applications. Demand for storage capacity is rising, and the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Desk allows remote storage with GoFlexNet.

Seagate has rolled out the world's first external hard drive to exceed two terabytes of storage capacity. Featuring 3TB, the FreeAgent GoFlex Desk introduced Tuesday will enable users to store up to 120 high-definition movies, 1,500 computer games, countless hours of music tracks, or thousands of digital photos, the company said.

Priced at $249.99, Seagate's latest digital storage device for home and office applications delivers the highest-capacity solution available today, said Seagate Executive Vice President Dave Mosley.

"Seagate has a tradition of designing products that break into new storage frontiers to meet customer requirements," Mosley said. "Consumer capacity demands are quickly outpacing the needs of business as people continue to collect high-definition videos, photos and music."

Connecting and Sharing Content

The 3TB drive is the latest addition to the GoFlex product line that Seagate introduced early last month. All GoFlex drives include an NTFS driver for the Mac that allows it to read and write to a GoFlex drive formatted for a PC, noted Seagate Product Marketing Manager Greg Falgiano.

"With just a one-time install of the driver on your Mac computer, you can seamlessly go between your Mac and your PC without any headaches along the way," Falgiano wrote in a blog.

Featuring a sleek black, 3.5-inch design that can be seated either vertically or horizontally, the GoFlex Desk ships pre-loaded with encryption software for protecting the security and privacy of the user's files. To increase the device's data-transfer speeds by up to 10 times the standard USB 2.0 interface, users can purchase an optional USB 3.0 adapter for $39.99 or a FireWire 800 adapter for $49.99.

Users can pair Seagate's GoFlex drives with an optional TV HD media player that enables home-entertainment systems to directly access, play and display movies, photos, music and other digital content. Even better, the broader GoFlex storage system even allows access to storage from an iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry and other mobile devices.

Rising Home Storage Needs

Seagate now offers GoFlexNet -- a media-sharing device that works in tandem with hard drives in the GoFlex family to serve up storage on the network as well as from remote locations, noted Seagate spokesperson Nathan Papadopulos.

"Accessing the content is done by way of an application that gives you a clear view into all the contents of your GoFlex drive," Papadopulos said. "This is the perfect work-around for an interface that doesn't support directly attached external storage."

Parks Associates recently forecast that demand for higher capacity, easy-to-use storage solutions would continue to rise as consumers witness a ninefold increase in their digital-media storage needs to nearly 900GB by year-end 2014. "As the definition quality of digital cameras increases, playback devices such as digital photo frames and MP3 players proliferate, and the use of the Internet for downloading music and video continues to grow, more files accumulate in the home," said Parks Vice President Kurt Scherf.

To help storage-device makers address this steep growth projection in a cost-effective manner, the industry is migrating to a new advanced format under which hard-drive sector sizes will grow from 512 bytes to 4096 bytes, or 4K. Though the change will increase drive-format efficiency and enable more robust error correction, drives using 4K sectors will still need to communicate to computers with legacy 512-byte sector logic. Seagate says it has developed SmartAlign technology for making the transition to 4K easy and worry-free for users.

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