Portable storage with a twist But to install their own
applications to the device,
users will need to purchase
a $40 add-on from Seagate
REVIEW: SEAGATE DRIVE ALLOWS USERS TO STORE APPS ON BOARD called Argo. Using Argo, we
could run the installation
B Ty Jim Rapoza plugged into a host system, tote along a PC or install program of any application
ypically, an external which may be a problem anything on the Windows and install it into Ceedo on
hard drive wouldn’t when you’re plugging into a hosts that Free Agent Go the FreeAgent Go, making it
qualify as an emerg- host machine where unoc- enlists. accessible from other coming technology, nor cupied USB ports are at a However, getting to this puters that we plugged into.
would adding the premium. point wasn’t as easy as we This worked, andtheappli-capability to move files and When we plugged in the first anticipated. When we cations ran well under Ceedo,
personal settings from that unit, we were greeted but it is time-consuming and
external drive to other com- with a dialog in which a bit tedious if you want to
puters transform the device Windows’ standard put a lot of applications on
into something new enough auto-run options ap- the drive.
to merit that designation. peared alongside a All these core Windows
However, Seagate Tech- couple of unique addi- and application access fea-nology’s FreeAgent Go tions, the topmost of tures of the FreeAgent Go
drive adds a new twist that which was an option are available only on Win-intrigued us enough to give t o r un Ceedo, t h e dows XP or newer systems.
it a test drive. This twist was FreeAgent Go’s inte- However, when plugged
the ability to have a porta- grated Windows-like into a Macintosh or Linux
ble USB external drive that software. On launch- system, the FreeAgent Go
would not only hold and does work as a plain external
transfer settings and files USB drive.
but also perform these func- Along with the FreeAgent
tions with one’s commonly Go, we tested the FreeAgent
used applications. The 160GB FreeAgent Pro, which is the successor
Even better, it’s possible Go drive we tested, to the discontinued Maxtor
to plug the FreeAgent Go at left, costs $118. One-Touch external drive
into any Windows system product line—Maxtor was
and have immediate access ing, Ceedo brings up its own first heard of this device, acquired by Seagate.
to the files and applications Windows Start menu from the idea that came to mind The $275 Free Agent
stored within the device which we could access files was that it would use some Pro unit we tested had a
without installing or leav- on the system and, more form of disk-based virtual whopping 750GB of stor-ing anything on the host important, launch applica- machine technology. We age, and we could config-system. tions that are installed solely were intrigued by the idea ure it to use fireware, USB
For this review, we tested on the Ceedo drive. of creating a full VM of or eSATA (external Serial
a 160GB FreeAgent Go unit We tested the FreeAgent our machine, putting it on ATA). Two separate plates
priced at $118. The drive is Go on a Windows host the drive and then running screw into the bottom of
small and slim and takes machine running with that VM from any machine the unit to provide ports
little more space than many a limited-rights user—a without having to install VM for either fireware or USB
smart phones. However, security best practice that software. and eSATA.
despite its size, we would nevertheless bedevils many B u t F r e e A g e n t G o T h e F r e e A g e n t P r o
have liked to see the unit applications—andthe prod- doesn’t work that way. To includes a set of utilities
include a carrying case, uct functioned without a add our own applications (which are also available for
especially since the Free- problem. to the device, we first had the FreeAgent Go) that help
Agent Go uses a unique W h e n t h i s p r o d u c t to install them. Many small automate backups and inte-two-USB-port cable that we works properly, it can be and open-source applica- grate nicely with Windows’
would hate to lose. an extremely handy device tions are freely available to system restore features. ´
That two-USB-port setup to have around—users can install into Ceedo on the
is one of the product’s first bring all their important FreeAgent Go, including the Chief Technology Analyst Jim
small gotchas. Both USB applications and data on Firefoxbrowseror Thunder- Rapoza can be reached at
connections need to be the road without having to bird mail client. firstname.lastname@example.org.