Seagate Says: OneTouch 4 Offers More Than Gigabytes

By Lauren Simonds
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Seagate, owners of Maxtor brand external storage drives, recently released the next generation of the OneTouch family. And while previous iterations offered vast capacities and simplified data backup capabilities, Seagate says this round of drives does more to protect your data.

Maxtor OneTouch 4 Plus
Seagate offers new software features with the Maxtor OneTouch 4 Plus.

The new clan, dubbed Maxtor OneTouch 4, consists of three USB 2.0 models, the consumer-level OneTouch 4 and the OneTouch 4 Plus (both built with 3.5-inch drives) and the OneTouch 4 Mini, a portable version built around a 2.5-inch hard drive.

But according to John van Bronkhorst, Seagate's executive director of product line marketing, these drives offer more than big capacity.

"It's the software features that set these drives apart," van Bronkhorst said. "OneTouch 4 is more than just gigabytes in a box. We've done something different by offering a full data-protection solution."

In addition to software that backs up data either by setting a scheduled time or by pushing a button, the OneTouch 4 Plus and OneTouch 4 Mini drives also include three new software features.

The first is Maxtor Safety Drill, a program for PCs running XP or Vista. It lets you restore your computer's hard drive in the event that it crashes. Bronkhorst said it's the company's version of a bare metal restore. The software will format, partition and restore all of your data, including the operating system, applications, personal content, settings and even the icons on the desktop.

The second software feature is Maxtor Encryption. The software creates a password-protected folder on the OneTouch drive (Bronkhorst said you can place a shortcut to the folder on your desktop). You encrypt files by dragging and dropping them into the folder. To access them, you open the folder, type in the password and drag the files you want out of the folder.

In addition to the encryption, the Plus and Mini drives also offer Maxtor DrivePass (which used to be called DriveLock). Bronkhorst said this adds another layer of password protection to the entire hard drive.

The third piece of software lets you synchronize files between two computers – your notebook and your office desktop, for example, so the data on both computers is always current. "It's a peer-to-peer connection," said Bronkhorst, "and the software can differentiate the files on the two systems, so there's no commingling."

Maxtor OneTouch 4 Mini
Seagate's Maxtor OneTouch 4 Mini – The same features in a portable package.

You access the software and set up automated backup scheduling, file restoration, synchronization, security, drive and power management through the Maxtor OneTouch Manger interface. All of the software is specific to and developed by Seagate – it's not made by a third-party.

With the exception of Maxtor Safety Restore, all of the software is both PC and Mac compatible. Bronkhorst said this is the first time they've been able to offer software versions for both platforms versions at a product launch.

Capacities, Features and Pricing

OneTouch 4
Capacity: 250-, 500- and 750GB available now
Features: Folder-level data backup
Price: $99.99, $169.99 and $269.99 respectively

OneTouch 4 Plus
Capacity: 250-, 500- and 750GB available now, Coming in October: 1TB
Features: File-level data back up, SafetyDrill, Encryption, Synchronization
Price: $129.99, $199.99, $289.99 and $359.99 respectively

OneTouch 4 Mini
Capacity: 80-, 120- and 160GB available now.
Features: File-level data back up, SafetyDrill, Encryption, Synchronization
Price: $99.99, $119.99 and $149.99 respectively

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com

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This article was originally published on September 13, 2007
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