I picked up a few Seagate Backup Plus 1TB portable drives (not using their software but I thought I might like the form factor over their Expansion line).
These are for backups. My business data is "mission critical." I can't risk issues because the cable I used is too long.
They came with 18-inch USB 3.0 cables. I want to pick up a few extra cables but Seagate doesn't offer them. I emailed their tech support and they replied with the following:
"The cable that is included is only about 18 inches long that is recommend length to use with the drive and has been tested by Seagate. However I know the USB cable can be short when trying to connect the drive to the back of the computer. Generally a 3ft USB cable will work just fine and you will not experience any issues with connectivity between the drive and the computer. If you do then we would recommend using the USB cable that was included with the drive."
When I asked where to get an 18-inch cable they sent this link and said they can't endorse it, which is understandable since it's not theirs (it seems this takes up to three weeks to arrive):
So, now I'm still not at all clear on whether I'm taking risks using the 3-foot, which is obviously more convenient but is not at all necessary for me to be using and which I won't use if it introduces even the smallest risk of issues.