updated 09:50 pm EDT, Wed October 27, 2010
Portable drives offer keypad, "self-destruct"
User who need to store large amounts of protected data have a further option starting today, as Apricorn adds a 750-gigabyte external USB/eSATA laptop drive with built-in 128- or 256-bit AES encryption to its Aegis Padlock lineup. As seen in our previous review of the 640GB size, the drives use a variable time circuit, encrypted PINs and keys and even offer a brute-force self-destruct feature if it senses it is being systematically attacked.
By incorporating the encryption into the drive's hardware, the drive is equally effective on any OS, and access to the drive is protected by a user's unique PIN which requires no software install (the number pad is also part of the hardware). The keypad needed to unlock the drive each time its mounted is wear-resistant and supports up to 10 passwords from six to 16 characters in length. The drive is ideal for keeping encrypted data separate from day-to-day files and although aimed at government and military users is simple enough to be employed by anyone who needs to safeguard certain information. It also includes shock-dampening protection to reduce potential damage from drops.
The 750GB Aegis Padlock drive is available for $150 (128-bit AES encryption) or $170 (256-bit AES encryption), includes a three-year limited warranty, and meets military-grade FIPS PUB 197 Validated Encryption standards. Other drive capacities are available starting at $90.