Seagate this week has continued to introduce special-purpose storage devices tailored for select applications: the company is launching its Duet external hard drive that automatically downloads and uploads content from (and to) Amazon Drive to enable instant and offline access to data stored in the cloud. The HDD will be useful for those,who store up to 1 TB of data in the cloud but prefer to have local copies as well.

The Seagate Duet is a re-badged Backup Plus Portable Drive with 1 TB capacity and special software that syncs it with the Amazon Drive service. The drive uses a USB 3.0 interface to connect to computers (running Windows or macOS) and has 5400 RPM spindle speed and two platters featuring PMR technology. The HDD needs to be plugged into a PC with internet access in order to connect to the Internet to upload or download data. Users who would like to use the drive like a normal external HDD will have to reformat it (it is doubtful that there will be a lot of such people as the drive costs considerably more than the regular external 1 TB HDDs without cloud-syncing technology).

During the initial setup, the Duet drive logins to a customer’s Amazon account and then automatically syncs photos, videos, files, documents, movies and music. After a file is added to the Duet drive, it will be uploaded to the cloud and then available from almost everywhere using any device, including smartphones and tablets that have special apps installed. Alternatively, every file uploaded from a mobile device to Amazon's Drive eventually ends up on the Seagate Duet drive when the device is synchronized.

The Seagate Duet drive will be available exclusively from Amazon in the U.S. for $99.99, which is considerably more expensive than the actual retail price of Seagate’s Backup Plus Portable 1 TB model ($55 - $60). For new U.S. Amazon Drive customers the Duet will come with one free year of Amazon Drive Unlimited Storage (a $59.99 value), which makes the external storage device somewhat more attractive. Meanwhile, existing Amazon Drive customers will essentially pay $40 - $45 for cloud-syncing software. The HDD is covered by a two-year limited warranty from Seagate.

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Source: Seagate

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  • sorten - Friday, December 2, 2016 - link

    What a pointless product. This is exactly how cloud storage from Microsoft, Google, Amazon et al already works.
  • ddriver - Friday, December 2, 2016 - link

    With this product you don't even have to install spyware, it comes in the firmware!
  • tuxRoller - Sunday, December 4, 2016 - link

    Google drive has to spy on me?
    Oh, I'd LOVE to see this citation.
  • Michael Bay - Sunday, December 4, 2016 - link

    Google is the public arm of NSA at this point, wake up.
  • BrokenCrayons - Monday, December 5, 2016 - link

    It's actually articulated in the EULA. Of course some of the specifics are hidden behind the so-called benefit of plain language rather than being spelled out in more descriptive legal terms. Unlike other people, I highly doubt there's a deep connection between any single government and Alphabet/Google's data collection. The information you create, store, or send using Google-branded products and services are mined and activley associated with you so the company can offer effectively targeted advertisements at you. Knowing you, where you go, who you associate with, and what you think about very well is an absolute necessity for the survival of the company. Records are probably only turned over to various governments by request during investigations rather than wholesale provided without specific need.
  • BrokenCrayons - Friday, December 2, 2016 - link

    I don't see the advantage if it can't sync independently of a PC. Maybe my situation is unusual, but when my computer is turned on, I'm typically doing something with it and I'd prefer not to have a sync action going on in the background.
  • CharonPDX - Friday, December 2, 2016 - link

    Agreed, it should be able to do its syncing independently. That would make it great for a not-always-connected laptop. High-speed backup from laptop to this drive, then let this drive sync to the cloud when you're not at it.
  • cfenton - Friday, December 2, 2016 - link

    Just to clarify, it comes with unlimited storage for a year, but do you get 1TB forever (or for the life of the drive)? If not, how is this different from any other drive that comes with free cloud storage for a set period of time?
  • iwod - Friday, December 2, 2016 - link

    I would love to get an similar thing for iCloud
  • name99 - Saturday, December 3, 2016 - link

    Why? iCloud Drive, like Dropbox, OneDrive, etc, automatically propagates (ie downloads) changes to the various other devices as they occur on one device.

    I'm not denying maybe you have some strange situation for which a product like this makes sense; I'm just curious what that situation IS.

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