Synology, QNAP, Asustor, Netgear and WD. They're some of the main players in the NAS market. We haven't yet had the opportunity of testing a NAS device from Seagate, a company responsible for about half of the world's hard disks. Granted, the French NAS manufacturer LaCie is part of Seagate these days, but for the first time we will test a NAS from Seagate itself. The Seagate Central is not the first NAS they made, but it's the first one we're taking a closer look at.
The Seagate Central 3TB is a relatively basic entry-level NAS. The box is obviously designed for store shelves, and makes it clear the product is mean for sharing files without getting into a bunch of IT jargon. Seagate wants to appeal to end-users who are new to the concept of NAS devices.
The design is original for a NAS. Some of our editors even thought it was a compact (wireless) speaker. It is facing upward, but the metal mesh-like material does reaffirm that association. It's about the size of an old alarm clock radio, and doesn't have many buttons or connectors. On the back there's the connector for the external power supply, the network port and a USB port. Installing it is a piece of cake, thanks to the very clear manual.
After following the instructions in the manual, it does get a little more complicated. You're directed to a website, after which you're supposed to look for the software on the NAS. If you don't find it there, you can download it. It would make more sense to download it directly, in the interest of keeping things simple. After the NAS has been found by your computer, a few installation steps finish the process.