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Seagate GoFlex Satellite review

A wireless external hard drive for tablets and smartphones

Seagate GoFlex Satellite
A flawed attempt at a new external hard storage solution


  • Wirelessly boosts capacity by 500GB
  • USB 3.0-compatible
  • Good user interface


  • Uses Wi-Fi to connect
  • By default isn't password protected
  • Expensive

At first glance, the Seagate GoFlex Satellite appears to be a standard GoFlex external hard drive, although there are hints that not all is what it seems. For a start, this is a far larger and bulkier product than Seagate's ultra-thin GoFlex Slim drive.

The 'Satellite' part of the name is another hint that this drive is something different, since even though it comes with a USB 3.0 connection, its main function is to provide tablets and smartphones with additional, wireless, storage.

If you're frustrated by your iPad's 16GB of space, then the Seagate GoFlex Satellite is designed to boost the capacity to 500GB.

This is great in theory, but when tested, getting the drive to work flawlessly with iPads and iTunes was a complicated process, involving having to authorise accounts, download apps and plug and unplug the drive. Most of this lengthy process is actually down to Apple and its finicky digital rights management (DRM) controls, so we can't really blame Seagate.

Setting the drive up with non-Apple tablets or mobile phone handsets is a far simpler affair.

The Seagate GoFlex Satellite uses standard Wi-Fi to connect to your devices. Once turned on, you set your device to connect to its broadcasted network, named GoFlex Satellite 690.

This is where our first concern came in - if you're connected via Wi-Fi to the Seagate GoFlex Satellite hard drive and streaming media, then you're not able to connect to another network to browse the internet. This might not be a problem when watching movies full screen - or if you have a 3G connection as well, but if you rely on Wi-Fi internet you're not going to be able to browse and listen to music at the same time, for example.

The drive has around five hour's battery life, which isn't bad.


What the Seagate GoFlex Satellite tries to achieve is admirable, but due to technological constraints it doesn't quite reach those lofty goals.