Seagate FreeAgent DockStar

The DockStar aims to make sharing data over your network or via the internet an easy, straightforward task

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Seagate FreeAgent DockStar Seagate's DockStar is intended to make sharing data easier. (ITP Images)
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By  Jason Saundalkar Published  January 26, 2010

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Seagate's DockStar aims to make it easy to access data on your USB drive via your network or the internet. Does it cut the mustard?

Once up and running, the Dockstar functions smoothly. We were able to hook up
our USB drive to the device and access its contents across our local network as well as remotely via the Internet. That said transfer performance over the Internet is dependent on the speed of your connection, so if you're on a dial-up line, large transfers will take excessive amounts of time.

The only issue with the DockStar is that its setup process isn't quite bullet proof. Setting up the device requires the use of the Internet, which in itself could be an issue for some users who might just want to use the device on a local network or even on a PC that lacks web access.

Beyond this the device is supposed to automatically configure itself for use
but on our office network, the Seagate wasn't able to initialise because our
firewall automatically blocks UDP packets. To get the device working we had
to configure our router to open the ports the DockStar needed to function. This
is not something novices will easily accomplish and, more strangely, Seagate's
troubleshooting instructions can only be found online rather than in the box along
with the DockStar.

Verdict: While the DockStar works as claimed, its setup process can become complicated if its auto-setup fails.

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