Credit to PiHole & Don't buy a Personal Cloud

Yes, I should have stuck to the maxim that if something looks to good to be true it probably is!

I bought a brand new Seagate Personal Cloud just after xmas for a reasonable price on a well known auction site.

I also bought a Neo Pi Nano and set it up with Pi-Hole.

One device has worked flawlessly the other less so! Needless to say the DietPi supported one has been amazing from first boot.

The Personal Cloud on the other hand I can see making a set of spurious DNS requests every couple of minutes, it repeatedly polls:

Now obviously all the dotcoms are big boys and if they don’t mind being ddos’d by Seagate that’s fine but I’m concerned for and anyway I’d rather that my network infrastructure wasn’t used in this way.

It took fully three days to work my way through the ‘firewall’ that is Seagate’s ‘support’ pages and get a reference number so I could share with them the information that their product appears to be compromised and to try and find a solution.

Instead, their support channel has suggested that I’ve got my numbers wrong and it’s only polling 480 times a day (they got their sums wrong, at a three minute frequency that’s right for one site but it’s not really the point). This, according to them ‘isn’t significant bandwidth’ of course whether it is or not isn’t the point!

Finally they go on to say that there’s nothing they can do about it.

Were it not for DP and Pi-Hole I many never have spotted this issue!

So, for all DP users this is just a friendly note to say that if you think that a Seagate Personal Cloud looks like a well priced straightforward home NAS solution please think again and shop about a bit more as it seems to be a potentially poor device with even worse support and service (Unlike DP who may be able to sell Seagate some consultancy on how to do it right!)

Great write up!

Note to self:
Do not buy Seagate :wink:

I’d gone quiet on this as Seagate contacted me and asked me to supply further information on 27-01-17 so I got back to them promptly with everything they asked for and left them to get on with it.

At the end of last week I’d heard nothing so sent an email asking what was going on, no response.

So here I am, logged in to my Pi-Hole server and for today we’re currently up to 802 requests for each of the 5 sites listed above (all blocked at source, but who knows how many devices are out there doing this) and there’s not a peep from Seagate, who appear not to be concerned in any way that their devices may be compromised (or that they have a dissatisfied customer, perhaps worse?)

So, if I didn’t make myself clear enough before. Please think twice before buying a Seagate Personal Cloud (or any Seagate device for that matter) their support is piss poor and their devices may well be compromised. In fact, don’t think twice, just don’t buy one.

Just had a 2TB Segate expansion USB 3 external HD fail - a few years (maybe 4) old but only used weekly for backup. The Seagate utils didn’t even recognise it as a Seagate drive. I thought I’d extract the drive from the case and reuse the case - not so - it is impossible to open without breaking it. Second such failure in the last year. The first was replaced under warranty but I cost 50% of the purchase price to return the faulty drive to Singapore. They are cheap but false economy it seems.

On the other hand the desktop drives in my experience are different - I have 4 x 3 TB in a QNAP NAS running 17/24 and good for around three years now.


I finally nagged a response out of Seagate ‘support’, rather than deal with my issue they’ve taken the fact that I provided them with additional information, from my Pi-hole server, to try and help them better troubleshoot the issue and have tried to twist it (through apparently ‘misunderstanding’ what they’re looking at) to say that it’s not them (it is).

So, for instance, because I’ve used pi-hole to block the domains being called by the Personal Cloud, those domains therefore turn up in the control panel as ‘Top Advertisers’ (because the personal cloud spams them every 3 or so minutes) Seagate’s response is ‘these aren’t being called by the personal cloud they are advertisers’ GRRR, they are deemed advertisers because I’ve blocked them - they are all being called by the cloud IP!

One of the other shots I supplied (unprompted) shows the IP of the Personal Cloud and the domains being hit, because it happens not to include one of them (even though it’s in the ‘Top Advertisers’ list with the same number of hits as the others) they’ve come back saying ‘nerr, it’s not in that list’ (implication - you’re lying mr customer).

Anyway, because I thought I’d get support (and have waited a month) I’ve now missed the chance of getting a refund from the reseller so I’ve asked Seagate if they’ll provide me with one, let’s see how that goes.


We’ve moved from the sublime to the ridiculous now.

Apparently it’s ok that the Seagate Personal Cloud spams every 3 minutes or so because:

“ALL of our Firmware, for all devices is based on a GNU-GPL License and has to follow the license requirements. So the contact between the and Seagate is a very extensive.”



Still doesnt explain MS or the rest…

In other words, one of the following applies to Seagate:

  • We dont know what the open source code is doing, or why its generating these connections. And, we are unwilling to hire someone to correct it (we like free stuff!).
  • We modified the code slightly, then use the excuse of “its open source” so we can obtain “usage data?” and send it to our trading partners.

Yeah it’s brilliantly funny (and slightly tragic for me as I’ve forked out for this device!) I’d have thought it was the latter but for the inclusion of so ockhams razor suggests the former.

That said though, there’s been some positive movement from them. After I pointed out to them that their device, along with the record of inaction to do anything about it, could be in contravention of the Computer Misuse Act they’ve now said they’ll pass the case on to their developers (which says to me that my previous submission of logs (at their request) etc was futile) to see if they can verify/fix the bug. To their credit they’ve offered to send me a USB drive for my ‘efforts’ let’s just hope it’s not riddled with crap software (I’ve got a live distro lined up so I can format it clean when it arrives!)

Anyway, what a tale of two cultures. Two months of bad tempered emails and being quibbled on the veracity of my reporting vs direct access to a friendly and competent developer who will either help with better reporting, trouble shooting or acknowledge a bug and fix it. And whatdya know one charges money and the other takes donations! Hats off to you Fourdee and long live DietPi!

Winner! :smiley:. Good to hear they are acknowledging the issue, time spent and bad experience you’ve had with this device.

Anyway, what a tale of two cultures. Two months of bad tempered emails and being quibbled on the veracity of my reporting vs direct access to a friendly and competent developer who will either help with better reporting, trouble shooting or acknowledge a bug and fix it. And whatdya know one charges money and the other takes donations! Hats off to you Fourdee and long live DietPi!

Yep, free forever, but a donation now and then help keeps the boat flowing :slight_smile:
Thanks Roth.

I’ve created my first post on this forum to help out the OP regarding this issue. I’ve dealt with this for some time and finally got frustrated enough to tinker with the Personal Cloud’s file system. Essentially, we will prevent the DNS queries to these five sites by redirecting them on the Personal Cloud instead of using the pi-hole.

Seagate Personal Cloud runs a form of ARM Unix architecture. Which means it has it’s own hosts file which we can edit to redirect the repeated DNS queries to the 5 addresses you listed - I got the same ones too! First and foremost, we need to connect to the Personal Cloud via SSH. If you don’t have this enabled in your settings on the Personal Cloud, please do so. After you connect via SSH, follow the commands below:

1: Edit hosts file by typing the following command (without quotes) “sudo vi /etc/hosts” and hit enter
2. Enter your user password to the Personal cloud and hit enter
3. Edit the file to include the following lines (you may want to read up on how to edit text files in vi to figure out how to insert or replace text): localhost localhost.localdomain
192.168.. PersonalCloud *your own local IP address of the Personal Cloud

  1. Type “:wq” (without quotes) and then hit enter to save and exit vi and get back to the command line
  2. Lock the file so no changes can be made to the file by typing “sudo chattr +i /etc/hosts” and hit enter. (If you have to modify the file, you can reverse this by typing “sudo chattr -i /etc/hosts” instead).
  3. Type “exit” and hit enter to end the SSH session
  4. Reboot the Seagate Personal Cloud via it’s own interface
  5. Enjoy the lack of repeated DNS queries to the above sites!

Hope the above information is helpful.

Nice writeup…creating a “blocklist” with /etc/hosts
I prefer nano…but vi or vim is just as good

Oh and but a cool walkaround for bad sites (TONS OF EM)