Storage is one of the most important elements in today’s digital life. From important documents to vital emails, music, photos and videos, we keep hoarding data – and with it the need for storage expansion rises. Sharing this stored data is also an important aspect at home and office and this calls for a centralised storage medium such as a file server or a network attached storage (NAS). There are NAS devices available in the market from QNAP, Iomega, Buffalo, WD, Synology and a few others. Usually, NAS devices available from the known manufacturers provide many (definitely useful and robust) features. Seagate has launched a very simple NAS, the Central, which begs to differ. Let’s check some of the features and functions it sports.
Rugged chassis, matte-finish exterior.
The Seagate Central is a simple network attached storage drive aimed to centralise all your media content and shared by multiple devices at home or office. It is basically a regular storage drive with a desktop hard drive plugged inside and connected to the local network with an Ethernet cable. The internal storage cannot be changed or upgraded by the user. The Central comes in three variants—2TB, 3TB and 4TB, of which we received the 4TB one. The drive measures 8.5 inches in width and stands 1.7 inches tall with a weight of 980 g. It is powered using an external power adapter.
Good looks, metal mesh on the top for cooling the internal drive
The Seagate Central is designed with care. It has a good looking case, which is around twice the size of a regular 3.5-inch internal desktop hard drive or just about the size of a standard school lunch box. The chassis has a rugged build with no soft plastic or weak areas. The top is enclosed with a fine metal mesh, like those in a speaker grille, to allow the internal hard drive to be cooled efficiently. The product has absolutely no buttons or switches except for a single status LED on the top. The rear panel sports the two interfaces for connectivity and a power jack. The two interfaces are a USB 2.0 port for connecting external storage and expanding or backing up and a Gigabit Ethernet port for connecting it to your local network switch or a wireless router.
Rear panel only sports a Gigabit Ethernet port and a USB 2.0 interface
The Seagate Central has very limited and bare minimum features if compared to a fully blown NAS. Where a regular NAS features services such as web server, SMTP server, SAMBA, Email, Download, BT, and a lot more, the Central has just file sharing and DLNA services built in. The media streaming service can be switched off, but you cannot choose the folders that you want to stream or the ones you want to keep private.
4TB non user replaceable internal storage, external power adapter provided
Deploying the Central is a simple 2-minute process on the hardware front. Simply unpack, connect the power adapter, plug in the Ethernet cable to the device and a router and switch it on. On the software front, you would have to set it up using the web interface. Simply hunt for the Seagate storage on the network (Windows network usually lists it automatically) and you can right-click on the drive and head on to the web interface from there.
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