Hey folks, Valkor here. The folks have become the Val-caves newest savior and I'm sure a lot of out there will appreciate the power behind this next gadget I'm about to review. If you're like me, you hate to clog your main hard drive with photos, videos, and music, especially at a time when external drives are inexpensive. So what if you could leave all your music behind and access it, remotely with ease, wherever you are on the planet? Last round with Seagate, I reviewed the FreeAgent Go, plus the FreeAgent dock. Well this time we add the FreeAgent DockStar, which answers the "remote access" question and it's just Prime.
The FreeAgent DockStar looks similar to the FreeAgent Dock, but the DockStar, which is a network dock, has more ports, including an Ethernet port which you can plug into a router or cable/DSL/FIOS modem, plus you have three (3) USB ports to plug additional external drives to the device i.e. external Hard drives, USB flash drives, etc. For testing I used the FreeAgent Go 640 GB that I already have, which also fits inside the dock, so that was an obvious choice.
Once everything was plugged in and set up, we then set up remote access through a website given with the instructions, which was quite simple. And in a few minutes I was accessing my HDD remotely. The website interface takes a minute or two to get used; I thought there wasn't an option to create folders, but sure enough it's there. Plus you can upload your data into whatever you have already or what you've created; again, a painless process. But the true test came when accessing the data. Music can be streamed and listened to, while photos can be previewed before downloading. Movies and documents however must be downloaded before you can access them. And of course you can store other files that need be accessed from that folder. So if you have stuff on your main HDD, that would be suitable for an external, then this is the way to go.
Finally you can share your data with others, by inviting them and choosing what they can or cannot access remotely, which can be entire folders or certain files. This could be good for my TOV peoples or other friends and associates who may need a file, a pic, whatever that I can't send through email either because of file size restrictions or simply because this would be the better method to get this data to them.
Ok let's get into the heart of the matter.
I'm won over by the idea of remote access. It's something I've always wanted to try, but a bit skittish as I thought it may be too difficult. But with the FreeAgent DockStar, it's quick and painless, and very, VERY easy to set up with no drivers to install and no plugs every which way (unless you're using multiple drives). Plus the streaming of music and other small files download seamlessly, especially the music. If I'm away, I can listen to my favorite tunes without hogging up my main drive. Plus the size of the dock is quite small, so it takes up little space, or I can store it discreetly. Great job!
Transcoding of video takes awhile and doesn't stream like music. At least not right away.
I gotta say remote access is the thing for me and Seagate has helped make it so with the FreeAgent DockStar; I free up precious hard drive space, I can back-up and access all my important files no matter where I am, plus it's so damn easy to set up. Out of TOV 5 stars, I give the FreeAgent DockStar 4 stars and it's been Valkor tested and TOV Approved!