Access, Support and Security
As stated earlier, Hitachi states multiple times on their website that all internet browsers are capable of interfacing with your cloud storage. This is a bold claim. Although I did not have the opportunity to test this on all browsers, I can confirm that access through IE 8, IE9, Firefox and the iPhone App (iPhone 4) worked well. Hitachi offers free Iphone and Ipad apps if you purchase annual backup support.
Hitachi says Backup will not work with Linux. It is not clear if this is applicable to the software program itself or if there are issues accessing the cloud.
Navigating to www.hitachibackup.com will allow you to log into your cloud storage. Viewing files and folders is a simple process. There are recently used folders that appear on your home screen. From here you can open the folders and search for specific files. You can also browse by file type using quick access links under the search bar. This provides access to all common files like your music and pictures in an auto search function.
Locally, backup access works the same way. Just open up the Hitachi Backup software, choose the restore function, click on the files or folders you need and click the restore button at the bottom of the page. As with all other aspects of Hitachi Backup, this process is simple, intuitive and should not pose any problem for most users.
For those of us that are concerned with security, Hitachi Backup provides adequate protection for what it does. As this is not an enterprise solution, don’t expect to find enterprise level security options.
Your backups are not password protected or encrypted with a security certificate. Although this area may be lacking when compared to other cloud solutions, the security that is implemented should be more than sufficient for personal or small business use.
The company’s website does not go into much detail about their level of security, but does provide the following information
“Hitachi Backup utilizes different encryption systems in every phase. Data is encrypted by the program and divided into different parts, making it unreconstructible by intercepting any single part. Data is then sent by an encrypted SSL channel to the Hitachi Backup servers. This type of communication is the same used by online banks and credit card payment systems. The files are not subsequently reconstructed, but rather the different parts of the files are archived on a RAID system.”
Hitachi also mentions that backups can be used with proxy servers that support connectivity to HTTPS port 443. If you are looking to use FTP in conjunction with this solution, you may be out of luck. At present there is no support for FTP integration.
Support comes in a few forms. There is an online FAQ section that is well done. Many of the average issues you may encounter can be researched there. Along with the documentation, there are four YouTube videos that outline the installation, backup and restore processes.
If you’re looking to talk to a live person or send a support request via email, you will need to refer to the product support information listed under the contact us link on the website. The addition of an easy support interface within the program would have been a nice touch.
If you’re looking for an easy to use, no frills backup solution, Hitachi Backup fits the bill. Even without the advanced features that other cloud solutions offer, I was impressed by the innovative layout and ease of use this software offers. That coupled with accessibility via multiple platforms allows for a truly mobile way for users to access their data.
If you are concerned about security, though, you may want to look elsewhere. Even with all of the innovative approaches, the bottom line is this; there is no form of personal encryption and all files are backed up in their original format. This can be a potential security risk. Business owners may want to consider this fact before purchasing the support plan.
It all comes down to what you are looking for. If you are seeking simplicity and adequate protection for non-critical data, Hitachi Backup is an optimal solution. If you are looking for security and minimal risk for business or personal data, this is probably not the best solution to go with.
For what is does, Hitachi Backup is a refreshing take on a sometimes convoluted and tricky backup landscape. In this case, less really does seem to offer more.