|At a glance|
|Product||Seagate Personal Cloud (STCR4000101) [Website]|
|Summary||Marvell Armada based single drive "personal cloud" NAS focused on media storage and playback from anywhere on any device|
|Pros||• DLNA server|
• Very good backup and sync apps
• Easy remote access setup
|Cons||• Nothing glaring|
Typical Price: $240 Buy From Amazon
Update 5/4/15 - Added Link to performance retest.
Seagate's Personal Cloud replaces the Seagate Central I reviewed a few years ago. As noted in the review, the Central was aimed squarely at folks who don't know, or even want to know, what a "NAS" is.
Spin forward two years and we now have Seagate's Personal Cloud. The PC is once again intended for non-tech folks who just want a simple way to centrally store and or back up all the digital stuff we have sitting on our phones, tablets and other mobile devices. This time, however, Seagate is taking a slightly different tack and has risked increasing features, most notably providing easy remote access to the PC.
Seagate Personal Cloud
The Personal Cloud comes in one and two bay configurations. The single bay is available in 3 TB, 4 TB and 5 TB capacities, with the two bay coming in 6 TB and 8 TB flavors. Seagate sent the 5 TB STCR5000101 single-bay model for review, which runs around $250. If you're pressed for budget or need less capacity, the 3 TB model is only around $170. There are no diskless models. The two-bay version comes configured in RAID 1. But Seagate supports combining both drives into an unprotected RAID 0 volume.
The Personal Cloud is powered by a Marvell ARMADA 370 SoC running at 1.2 GHz, backed by 512 MB of RAM. The single Gigabit Ethernet port is formed by a Marvell Alaska 88E1518 Gigabit Transceiver. The table below summarizes the key components with a comparison to the Seagate Central it replaces.
|Seagate Personal Cloud||Seagate Central|
|CPU||Marvell ARMADA 370 88F6707 A1 SoC @ 1.2 GHz||700 MHz Cavium Econa CNS3420-700BG ARM SoC|
|RAM||512 MB Samsung K4B4G1646D||256 MB|
|Flash||1 MB Macronix MX25L8006E|
|Ethernet||Marvell Alaska 88E1518 Gigabit Transceiver|
|HDD||Seagate Desktop HDD 5 TB (ST5000DM000)||Seagate Pipeline 2 TB (ST2000VM003)|
|USB 3.0||Asmedia ASM1042A dual-port USB 3.0 PCIe host controller|
The photo below shows the top side of the Personal Cloud board. You can see the two USB ports (USB 3.0 on the top left), Ethernet and Power. Apologies that this shot isn't more interesting; most devices are mounted on the other side of the board, which we didn't remove from the chassis plate.
Seagate Personal Cloud board
Here's a shot of the view that greets you when you remove the black plastic outer shell. That appears to be conductive tape joining the hard drive case to the board's RF shield.
Seagate Personal Cloud drive
Noise from the Seagate Personal Cloud was rated as Very Low; you really had to listen for it in a quiet home office environment. Power consumption for the external "brick" power supply was 11 W when in use. The drive did not power down at the programmed time, so no spindown consumption was measured.
Inside the box you get the Personal Cloud, a wall wart power adapter, Ethernet cable and QuickStart Guide. The NAS is very unassuming, with one LED light almost unnoticable on top, a subtle "Seagate" on front, a USB 3.0 port on the side, and power, Ethernet and a USB 2.0 port on back. Nothing screams out "I'm a NAS" like we might be used to with other products. This is clearly an appliance designed to fit quietly into a home media center cabinet and draw no attention to it.
Setting up the Personal Cloud was easy. Unbox the Personal Cloud, plug in the medium-sized wall wart power adapter, plug in the Ethernet cable and follow the enclosed printed QuickStart Guide.
My Windows setup entailed navigating to "Network" within My Computer and clicking on PersonalCloud. This opened a setup wizard that you see below. To be honest, I got sort of confused reading the QuickStart Guide, because I didn't expect setup to be so simple
Seagate Personal Cloud setup wizard
As with the Seagate Central setup, the wizard checks for latest firmware and installs it if needed. Although Tim had previously used the PC to run Performance tests, he reset it to factory default before sending it to me. So it once again installed the latest firmware. Once the firmware update was complete, the setup wizard asked for the owner information shown below, sends you an email to confirm and finishes setup. Easy peasy.