Seagate Business Storage 1-Bay NAS review - Simple to set up and use

Free of bells and whistles, the Seagate Business Storage 1-Bay NAS is simple to set-up and use for basic file transfer and backup. Some of the drive’s more complex features will require IT savvy to access, due to a lack of hand-holding.

A discreet and reliable networked attached storage device, the Seagate 1-Bay NAS gives good performance for its price.

Straight out of the box, it’s clear that function comes first for the Seagate Business Storage 1-Bay NAS. The enclosure is a simple black plastic box, pleasingly robust but industrially styled. By that, we mean designed for purpose rather than faux industrial appearance.

Read more: Best NAS for Mac

There are grills at the top, sides and back to vent heat during operation. Judging by the warm air that wafts from these slots they do seem to be required. That’s most probably down to the compact build of the device. At just 172mm high and 60mm wide, it’s one of the smallest single bay NAS drives we’ve seen. See more Storage and hard drive reviews.

There are two USB 3.0 extension ports, one at the back and one at the front, in addition to a Gigabit Ethernet port. A “One Touch” transfer button enables you to initiate backups and file transfers between your Seagate NAS and an external drive.

The unit we tested came equipped with a 3TB Seagate drive - there are variations shipping with 2TB and 4TB respectively. Otherwise, the configuration is identical for each unit in the range; 256MB of DRAM and a dual core CPU running at 700Mhz - a Cavium processor built around the ARM9 architecture.

This isn’t a stellar set of specs, but reasonable at the price point. And performance statistics aren’t bad at all. We recorded sequential read rates of around 41 MB/s and write rates of just over 45MB/s - fast enough for domestic media use and back-up.

Installation was fairly straightforward, but reliant on a bundled DVD. Though Seagate is not alone in this practice it seems increasingly anachronistic. The DVD contains a program that detects your NAS on the local network. There’s also Seagate’s BlackArmor Backup software for Windows users. The NAS is Time Machine compatible for OS X.

The lack of frills and fuss continues through to the built in drive management tool, which is accessed through your web browser. It’s really just an admin panel that enables you to configure the drive’s features. You won’t find a customer friendly package of apps, but you do get FTP and Web server support, DNLA for media streaming and file sharing.

Web access also allows you to add files and to interact with the NAS remotely with a password that you set-up at installation. Seagate produce compatible mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, enabling you to upload or download photos, videos and other files while you’re away from your drive. Though a fairly standard feature in contemporary NAS, the lack of bells and whistles works in Seagate’s favour here.

OUR VERDICT

The Seagate Business Storage 1-Bay NAS impresses on several levels. The back-to-basics styling and build yields a solid, functional device that will appeal to users with little room for bulky enclosures or the need for frills like media centre software and office compatibility.

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