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Conclusion

Cloud Backup: Hitachi’s Life Studio Mobile Plus, Tested
By , Achim Roos

Pros:

• good idea and interesting concept, especially the cloud connection and the USB thumb drive
• eco-friendly and efficient packaging
• premium materials and good construction quality
• good product design
• everything essential is included in the package
• easy software installation
• settings are easy to understand
• visually attractive management interface
• 3 GB free online storage space

Cons:

• short USB cables
• few configuration options
• no options for file filtering (more specifically, what to backup)
• not possible to hide sub-directories
• need to register two different online accounts
• minimalistic Web interface
• limited search functions or too many search results
• no user-defined hierarchical file organization
• Windows user directory backed up by default, including temp folder and browser cache
• the 3D wall is stylish but impractical
• form over function throughout

Final Evaluation

In order to properly evaluate the LifeStudio, we must draw a clear line between average home users and the power user with technical knowledge. This product is most likely best classified as a lifestyle product for casual, personal users. The absence of a number of file selection options makes it inappropriate for semi-professional or professional use.

While the backup result is rather good out of the box, the lack of data selection settings could be a deal breaker. The backup solution automatically includes the Windows Default User directory for backup. We spent over two hours uploading more than 5000 files to the cloud, and none of them contained important documents or media files! It was just the browser cache and temporary files.

The concept behind LifeStudio is great. So are many aspects of the product. But it is severely limited by the beautiful, yet inefficient, software interface and a poorly-implemented Web interface.

Recommendation

The Hitachi LifeStudio Mobile Plus is guaranteed to find its audience. People with modern lifestyles who want to handle a manageable number of images and secure their data from disasters are offered just the right product. The hardware is fast enough and convenient, and the software does its job well once set up.

The services are temptingly easy to work with because of their simplified features. However, anyone looking for an effective and more powerful backup solution for daily work needs to keep looking, because this product lacks a few important backup features and criteria.

We conclude this review with mixed feelings. We hope that this article provides a few useful suggestions to Hitachi. The hardware is perfectly fine. Only the software is holding it back for anyone who considers herself or himself more knowledgeable than a mainstream consumer.

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  • 0 Hide
    Randomacts , December 31, 2010 6:16 AM
    So its a do not buy..

    Not surprised.
  • 0 Hide
    WyomingKnott , December 31, 2010 12:21 PM
    Quote:
    Hitachi’s Life Studio Mobile Plus is a brave attempt at solving that dilemma, but it only really appeals to mainstream users.

    Mainstream users being the majority of the market, this has the potential to be quite successful. "Only appealing to mainstream users" is not much of a handicap.
  • 0 Hide
    nforce4max , December 31, 2010 12:23 PM
    No thanks, not every one has a dedicated 100mb per second or faster connection and it would be very slow moving my rather large collection of data (3TB worth) and I much rather have the privacy of having my data on hand and no one not knowing what it is.

  • 0 Hide
    bustapr , December 31, 2010 3:20 PM
    Ever since I watched the movie Summer Wars Ive been afraid of the cloud...
  • 0 Hide
    dogman_1234 , December 31, 2010 4:43 PM
    Cloud computing is dangerous. Sure, many things people have said about other inventis being dangrous that turn out pretty good, the cloud is no exeption. I prefer an external HDD, thank You very much.
  • 0 Hide
    wildwell , December 31, 2010 6:52 PM
    This thing sounds like it is already outdated... not enough storage space, too slow an interface, etc. I know this product is not aimed at Tom's members, but even my mother (a retiring baby boomer) has accumulated more data than would be practical for this system.

    Does anybody here back-up large quantities of data to the cloud? I've been thinking of encrypting a handful of folders and opening an account with Mozy or BackBlaze as a supplemental off-site backup. I need to backup about 3TB of total storage.

    My concerns are mostly with the geophysical security of these companies. Do they have multiple locations? How secure are these places physically from robbery, fire, etc. What about the financial stability of these companies? Their employee access to the data, etc?

    Any thoughts?
  • 0 Hide
    dogman_1234 , December 31, 2010 6:59 PM
    @wildwell:

    No. Thar is the issue with the cloud. No one knows the security of the serves. If a malware attack is comensed on the server with your info, they can't disconnect form the internet like you can. If an attack occures, you may lose your data...which beats the purpose. I would get several external HDD. It would be ALOT cheaper than losing your data to a company who doesn't relly care about service exept cash.
  • 0 Hide
    gmgj , January 1, 2011 1:03 PM
    I see myself storing encrypted docs in the cloud in the near future. I don't see myself storing all my music video and pictures in the cloud. Its around 500 gig. I need a small fire safe for my usb drive. Large fire safes are HEAVY and unless you spend > $300, you get a cheesy lock that is hard to open and prone to breaking
  • 0 Hide
    dogman_1234 , January 1, 2011 5:19 PM
    dONT dend sensitive documents to the cloud. Someone could steal them and break in to them. This whole cloud thing is a joke.
  • 0 Hide
    dertechie , January 2, 2011 1:30 AM
    dogman_1234dONT dend sensitive documents to the cloud. Someone could steal them and break in to them. This whole cloud thing is a joke.


    That's why you encrypt the things properly first. Good luck decrypting AES-256 without the key.
  • 0 Hide
    dEAne , January 2, 2011 6:45 AM
    "The absence of a number of file selection options makes it inappropriate for semi-professional or professional use." Yes this is very important even to personal users, for me Hitachi should (hope they read) review this product.
  • 0 Hide
    Computer_Lots , January 3, 2011 5:56 PM
    Did anybody else notice that the screenshots were not in English?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 24, 2012 3:19 PM
    @dogman_1234: You don't have to worry about someone breaking in to your files because My PC backup uses government issued types of storage for their customers files. I have been using them to backup my mac for years and have had nothing but good things to say about them.

    I use cloud storage to back up the 250gigabytes of my macbook pro for like $5 a month at MyPC Backup. Don't waste your money and time trying to figure out external hard drives. Check them out Here