Seagate Backup Plus Portable 5TB

Seagate Backup Plus Portable
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The new Seagate Backup Plus Portable comes in 4 or 5TB – it is part of a larger range of Seagate Backup external hard disks and SSDs.

The Seagate Backup Plus Portable has the highest capacity of any external SATA 6/USB-3.0, 2.5-inch hard disk yet. The 4 and 5TB models come with a black, silver, light blue, gold or red textured polished aluminium finish.

Seagate Backup Plus Portable  range

Its Seagate’s way of ensuring you get maximum bang for buck.

Review: Seagate Backup Plus Portable


  • Size: 115.3 x 80 x 20.9mm x 265g
  • Capacity: 4 or 5TB (smaller capacities come in slim format)
  • 5TB Drive: 2.5-inch ST5000LM000, 128MB cache, 5400 RPM
  • 46cm USB Micro-B 10 pin (incorporates micro-USB and power) to USB-A 3.0 (can use a USB-C adaptor)
  • Windows and macOS (exFAT or reformat to NTFS etc.)
  • Added value:
    • 1-year Mylio basic photo editing and management (subscription after)
    • 2-month Adobe Creative Cloud photography
    • SeaTools backup, file management/synchronisation, encryption and diagnostics
    • 2-year Rescue Data Recovers Service Plan
  • Price: approx $299 but savvy shoppers will find it online for much less
  • Website here

First impressions

Seagate Backup Plus Portable red

Well built, nice Red, textured aluminium cover plate over a plastic chassis and that’s it.


We tested this on a Lenovo 219 Yoga C930 (our reference device) USB-A 3.0 port and ran the same tests and USB-C 3.1 port.

The SATA 6 interface maxes out at 6Gbps (750MBps) and the USB-C interface at 5Gbps (635MBps). But the reality is that no external hard disk can come close to these limits as the interface needs to support both read and write at the same time.

In our Crystal DiskMark test, it achieves 141.9/129.6MBps sequential read/write, which is pretty much the same as other major brands achieve.

Seagate Backup Plus Portable CDM

Where the antiquated USB interface and 5400RPM hard disk speed shows is in random read and writes of larger files. It slows right down – but again, that is the same, if not better than competitors.

Predictably the USB 2.0 480MBps transfer speeds were abysmal (as they are on any brand) getting just over 30MBps sequential read/write.

We used a USB-C to USB-A adaptor and tried it on a USB-C 3.1 gen 1 (5Mbps), but the results did not make sense – they were slower again, probably due to the adaptor. You could get a USB-C 3.0 cable to micro-B you should get the same speeds as USB-A 3.0.

Seagate Backup Plus Portable USB

Note: Video recording/streaming and still photo editing use

No USB-C 3.0 hard disk device can achieve sequential read/writes over 150MBps.

USB-C 3.0 SSD can achieve read/write of up to 500Mbps.

4K video recording requires about 11Gbps (1375MBps) – this drive is not for that.

4K Netflix style compressed streaming requires about 25Mbps (or 3.125MBps). This drive can stream defragmented 4K video. But the nature of hard disks is that data laid down randomly and you need it sequentially. Yes, you can defrag the disk (a lengthy process).

For any disk intensive use look at Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C connected SSD.

GadgetGuy’s take: Seagate Backup Plus is low-cost backup at speeds as good as you will get

At 5 cents per GB, it is a low-cost way of storage and backup. It is a shame that this hard disk technology has reached the limits of speed.

The added value of the bundled software will be in the eyes of the beholder. The added value of the Seagate Rescue goes without saying.

We recently reviewed the excellent, nay almost perfect, Seagate Fast SSD USB-C storage and it blows external hard disks out of the water speed-wise but at around $650 (33 cents per GB and a maximum of 2TB it’s just not economical to spend the equivalent of $750 for 5TB!

Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
As good performance as you can get from a SATA 6/USB-3.0 interface, 5400 RPM external drive
Seagate value added software
If file transfer rates are important consider external SSD