Hello again, it’s Alex here, husband to zooarchaeologis and blogger over at Daddacool. Wifey presented me with a hard drive and the instruction “have a play with this and let me know what you think.”
Hitachi are one of an increasingly small number of companies that actually manufacture hard disk drives. Some of them go straight into computers, and some of them like the Touro Mobile Pro go into external enclosures so we can use them on the move, to either transfer data between computers or back up stuff we’re scared of losing. Along with most people, we’re keen photographers and have loads of digital pictures built up over the last ten years.
We currently back these up in two ways, to external hard drive and on to the internet, using Googles Picasa photo service. The external hard drive wasn’t very expensive and Google charge us about £20 a year for 80gigs of online storage. The only caveat with this is you’re limited to what you can back up- photos on picasa, documents on Google Docs, you get the idea.
So when Hitachi offered us a Hitachi Touro Mobile Pro and 3gigs of Hitachi Backup, we were keen to road test the package. Sometimes an integrated solution is better than a piecemeal solution, so we were really interested in what was on offer.
The Hitachi Touro Mobile Pro is a USB powered hard drive, so there’s no bulky power supply to lug around. On the downside, it does have a proprietary USB cable, so if you lose it, you’re in trouble. It does support the swanky new high speed USB3, but since all parents are invariably impoverished, I don’t know anyone who has a USB3 compatible computer. Worry ye not, it is backwards compatible with normal computers though.
The drive has a 500gig storage capacity which whilst not enormous in the context of the 2TB drives you can buy, which is 4 times the size, is plenty enough for backing up important stuff.
When you plug the drive in, you get access to the online backup software and you can install this on as many darn computers as you want, getting each one to synchronise different folders, automagically if you set it to sync on change of files or just do it manually. It’s a bit like dropbox but has higher capacity. In fact if you want to pay $49 a year, the 3gig you get for free is upgraded to a whopping 250gig. This is excellent value for money, however you look at it, just bear in mind you’ll probably need to leave your computer on for about a week to upload 250gig.
All in all, the Hitachi Touro Mobile Pro and Hitachi Backup software are a great combination, and with the hard drive coming in at about £50, it’s pretty good value for money too.