iStorage datAshur Personal 2 USB Drive Review
iStorage offer a number of keypad secure, digital personal storage solutions, including memory sticks, hard drives & SSD’s. Prices look a little high but storage sizes look good, of upto 10TB, plus they even offer a solid state flash drive! Anyway, they sent over one of their datAshur Personal 2 USB drives (32gb), for us to check out.
- USB 3.0 Flash Drive – Read/Write Speeds – 139/43 MBps
- Capacities up to 64GB
- FIPS PUB 197 certified
- Bootable drive
- AES-XTS 256- bit hardware encryption – no software required
- OS & Platform independent
- Laser etching text or logo available
Getting straight to the point, this is a USB drive with an inbuilt keypad, with ‘military grade’ XTS-AES 256 bit encryption. I get the impression you’d need to be some top level hacker to break this code, or at least I hope you need to! The drive has a rechargeable battery, which powers the keypad and allows you to enter a 7 to 15 digit code, before inserting it into your PC. First time using it or after a long time, you will need to insert the drive into your PC to charge it, then take it out, enter the code and re-insert to gain access to your files.
The drive works straight out the box, no need for any form of installation, just the initial pin set up. Instructions are provided but in essence, you need to input the default pin code which is 11223344, which will activate the drive, and then you can change the pin code to whatever you want. I was able to set my pin code first time, it was very easy to do and the indicator lights really helped the process. The instructions do not tell you how to set up an admin & users or reset the drive, you need to scan a QR code to get these instructions.
The drive can be set up for admin & users, which could be useful if the drive was being shared around a number of people. But what if you forget your code? Then you have a problem! Unless you have an admin account and lose the user pin, your stuck. If a user enters their code incorrectly 10 times, the drive will lock out that user, and if an admin does it, it will lock out the drive all together, for good! However, the drive can be factory reset, allowing you to re use the drive and set it up from scratch. It does mean though, that any data on the drive will be lost for good.
What if I was to attempt to by pass the keypad, break into the case somehow to get just the raw USB drive? Well firstly, the drive is hardware protected, so software protection doesn’t really play a part in this so it shouldn’t be hack-able via your PC/software. As it is hardware protected, if you attempt to break open the casing and retrieve just the raw USB stick, you will not be able to use it, as it will still require the pin code. I have zero hacking skills, so I’m not even going to attempt trying to break the code!
Aside from the security features, it’s just a regular USB drive. Usual size, black, with a cover over the top and a hole at the bottom so you can fix it to a ring chain or similar. The 32gb version we received, offered 28.8gb of usable space.
If you have sensitive information that you need secure, then this is a must for you and far safer than storing anything in the ‘cloud’ with just a password. Prices start from £39, £59 for the 32gb model we received, which is 4x the price of a standard drive, so you are paying alot more for the secure features.
For further info on this drive or any of the others they have, visit the official iStorage website.