Top critical review
WD or Seagate - after sales support equally indifferent. Go by price.
Reviewed in India on 25 January 2017
I had used a WD My Passport Essential 1 TB for 5 years before it slowed down and became unreliable. During its useful years, it was permanently connected to my PC and gave exceptionally good service.
As it became unreliable, about a year ago, I bought a Seagate Backup Plus Slim 1 TB. I bought this device given the equally high reputation of Seagate and the elegance of the product.
The Seagate device is supposed to be able to back up "continuously" but it does so if, and only if, you start the Seagate "Dashboard" software each time you start up the PC. Also, the very first time you back up, you can see your folders identically as they are in the PC but files added subsequent to this first backup show up only as additions. Also, the last files you have added on to your PC show up in the Seagate backup drive only after you have restarted your PC. In other words, you do not see an identical image of your original folders as you would see in your PC post the first backup in this Seagate product.
The WD Backup drive however will show your folders identically as your PC even after your first back up. This is so if you were to use the WD Smartware software. Therefore the WD offered an ‘all-in-one- place’ kind of back up that’s a mirror image of your folders in your PC. If you wished, you could then load these folders on to any other device like your laptop using the WD Backup drive like an external HDD. In view of these advantages I bought a WD My Passport Ultra of 1 TB in replacement of my WD My Passport Essential which had become unreliable and slowed my PC unimaginably.
However, the new WD My Passport Ultra of 1TB would not let my PC boot despite its BIOS having the correct settings of booting viz the CDRom/DVD drive being first priority and the HDD drive of the PC second.
However, if I were to start my PC and then connect the WD My Passport Ultra after Windows came on, the device would function normally.
My attempts to get help from WD were in vain because they said that something was wrong with my PC’s mother board! They would also not take my PC on remote to address the issue as they used to in the past, as they seemed to have downscaled their operations in India.
[The situation is the same for Seagate too, who no longer take your PC on remote to resolve issues as they used to about a year ago].
Now, the interesting thing is that this very same new WD My Passport Ultra of 1 TB works perfectly with my laptop, with the laptop booting even with the WD device connected! I have Windows 10 OS in the laptop and Windows Vista in my PC. The problem remains unresolved to this day after many months and I use the new WD device by disconnecting it from the PC before startup and then connecting after Windows come on.
I must also add that the advantage of seeing your backed up folders exactly as they are in your PC may not apply if you were to use the new WD Backup software as opposed to the WD Smartware software they supplied earlier. Now, WD does not support WD Smartware and in fact they ask you to use their new software only. When you do this, you cannot any longer see the backed up folders identically as in your PC!
There is therefore little to choose now between Seagate and WD and indeed the former scores over the latter at least for me with an old Windows Vista PC since I have no problem starting up my PC with the Seagate Backup Plus Slim 1TB connected.
If you have a Windows 10 OS on your device, you could choose Seagate or WD as their after sales support is equally indifferent. Indeed, you would not do worse by going on price at the time you are seeking an automatic back up drive.