iStorage IS-FL-DA3-256-8 Datashur Pro
There are plenty of storage solutions on the market that promise to secure your content using good old physical PIN numbers and the Datashur Pro (£68.42 from Amazon, which is about $89, AU$116) is one of them. The difference here is that the numeric keypad is on the drive which eradicates the threat of traditional keyloggers.
This USB 3.0 drive is IP57-rated which means that it is dust protected and can be immersed in up to 1m of water. That is as long as it’s housed in its rugged extruded aluminium sleeve. You can laser etch text or a logo on the device for an additional fee, with capacities ranging from 8GB to 64GB.
The drive has a rechargeable battery that allows the user to enter a PIN (between 7 and 15 digits long, and you have 10 seconds to do that) before connecting the drive to a USB port; the battery obviously gets charged when you plug it into said port.
The data transferred to the USB drive is encrypted in real-time thanks to the built-in XTS-AES 256-bit hardware encryption – which doesn’t slow down your system – and adheres to MIL-STD-810F, FIPS 140-2 Level3, CESG CPA/NLNCSA and FIPS PUB 197 standards.
You don’t require any additional drivers, and the drive itself is compatible with almost all operating systems under the sun – that includes Linux, Chrome and exotic affairs running on thin clients and embedded systems (e.g. Citrix).
The list goes on, though: smartphones, tablets, printers, scanners, CCTV cameras, basically any device with a USB or USB OTG port. Bear in mind that if the host device is compromised, then your data and your drive won’t be secure.
Just remember that while this is a secure device, you should still have backups because if you forget your PIN, the stick will delete the encryption key after 10 failed attempts.
All the drives come with a three-year warranty although the very nature of the product means that aftersales service might be tricky. If your drive failed with data on it, do you take the risk and send it back or just dump it?
Perhaps the only reservation we have, other than the price, has to do with the design: the length of this device – about 78mm – means that it’s more likely that you could damage your laptop USB port if there’s an unfortunate knock on the stick.
As for performance, it reached 126Mbps in read and 43Mbps in write speeds respectively on CrystalDiskMark benchmark, roughly in line with what iStorage suggested.