As lots of people, whether professionals or home users, feel the need for superior protection for their sensitive data, encrypted drives have become a real necessity nowadays. The fear of someone hacking your computer and leaking important data is quite pervasive and it doesn’t really matter what type of data needs to be protected but with how much care the sensitive information is handled. By getting yourself an encrypted drive, the problem of data integrity can be solved. You could also be interested in our articles about the best stick pc and the best hard drive docking stations.
Encrypted drives aren’t like ordinary ones as they offer strong levels of security such as password protection and fingerprint scanners to access your information. They are made with portability in mind, and you can take them with you and have the peace of mind that no one can access your device without the correct password or biometric validation. It’s very important to be careful when you set the password because if you forget it, usually these devices are designed to erase all the data if it detects too many incorrect password entries.
If getting a highly capable encrypted flash or hard drive is your goal, then you need to evaluate some characteristics to be absolutely confident in your buying decision. The things you have to be aware of are:
1. Drive capacity
If you have a lot of data that needs to be stored securely, then an encrypted hard drive is the way to go. Some models on the market offer a few terabytes of space to accommodate users in need of larger capacities. USB flash drives are not as expensive and are more portable but come with less space for storing sensitive information.
2. Data transfer rate
This figure is relevant if you need to transfer considerable volumes of data and don’t want to waste too much time. To ensure that you get a solid data transfer rate, look for USB 3.0 flash drives and 7200 RPM or more and a large cache size if you want to get an encrypted hard drive.
Different encrypted drives offer different levels of protection. It also depends on personal preference if you would rather get prompted to enter a password or just scan a fingerprint when you access the stored information. The AES data encryption algorithm is also worth mentioning because it comes with different standards, ECB (Electronic Code Book), CBC (Cipher Block Chaining), and XTS. ECB is the most basic, CBC is more advanced while XTS is one of the best algorithms in terms of security.
Now that you have a good idea about what features to look for, this article will present the encrypted drives that are most recommended for their outstanding qualities and the excellent value for their cost.
Best Encrypted Flash Drive
Bringing security right to your fingertips with ease, the Apricorn Aegis Secure Key USB encrypted flash drive can give a lot of peace of mind if you need to safely store your private data. It boasts a FIPS 140-2 validation, military-grade AES XTS encryption, independent user and admin PINs among many others. The price is one of the highlights as it’s extremely competitive and there are also multiple capacities available.
Securing your precious data is the primary purpose of any encrypted drive and the Secure Key doesn’t disappoint. It comes with 256-bit AES XTS hardware encryption and it has been tested and validated by FIPS for ensuring that it meets the highest standard for computer information security.
The onboard alphanumeric keypad is used for unlocking the drive with a 7-15 digit PIN. It prevents hardware and software key logging attempts to steal your entered password through the host system. The security system on this unit is powered by a rechargeable battery to enter the password before you connect the device through the USB port.
This encrypted drive uses a software free design and is designed to be ready to go straight out of the box. It’s fully compatible with all operating systems like Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. What’s great about the Aegis Secure Key is how it can be configured with Independent User and Admin PINs which means the drive is ideal for corporate and government deployment.
The drive reset feature is in place for clearing both User and Admin PINs as it destroys the stored information and generates a brand new random encryption key. In this way, the flash drive can be reused and this process can be repeated as many times as necessary.
Encased in a durable aluminum housing and being IP68 certified, you can protect your data anywhere you go. The protection against physical damage is just an extra layer of protection and it’s nice to have it for any encrypted flash drive. The Apricorn Aegis Secure Key is an amazing drive in all regards and is definitely the top pick if you want a high-quality USB encrypted flash drive.
- FIPS 140-2 Level 3 Validated
- Capacities of 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 and 128 GB
- PIN activated 7-15 digits with Alphanumeric Keypad
- Military grade AES 256-bit XTS hardware encryption
- Durable aluminum housing
- IP68 dust and water resistant
The Kingston Data Traveler Locker+ G3 represents an ideal solution to protect your data without difficulties when it comes to accessing it. This is an encrypted USB drive featuring automatic cloud backup and reliable hardware encryption for maximizing security. It’s also designed with a durable metal casing with solid resistance to extreme temperatures for added peace of mind. Your data is kept safe by setting up a password without requiring special installations.
The security features are already integrated into the flash drive so you can easily start using it. The cloud backup ability is completely optional but it’s recommended to have a backup accessible from anywhere. When it comes to storage space, the encrypted drive offers multiple options to choose from. It’s available in sizes ranging from 8 GB to 128 GB to match different data storage needs. The unit is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems.
Best Encrypted External Hard Drive
Apricorn is one of the leaders on the market for secure data storage and they have lots of valuable encrypted drives. They also manufacture quality protected hard drives like the Aegis Padlock A25-3PL256 which offers lots of great features for the money.
Because Apricorn understands that security is the most important aspect of any device like this, it equipped this model with XTS hardware encryption which is considered the strongest algorithm available. This unit can encrypt all data on-the-fly and utilizes FIPS PUB 197 validated encryption algorithm.
No setup or operation is required to efficiently run it, as it has the ability to run well on any platform making it ideal for corporate deployments. With the Aegis Configurator you can create custom profiles and at the same time you can set up more compatible devices very quickly.
Authentication is done using the onboard keypad which eliminates software hacking and key-logging attack vectors. The buttons are coated with urethane to make them more resistant to wear. The internal components of the drives also get a special treatment to protect the data. They are completely enveloped by a tough epoxy compound which makes it so you can’t gain physical access to the drive without permanently damaging the electronics inside.
There are many features packed in this encrypted drive including a drive reset feature and data recovery PINs. The number of brute force PIN entries is programmable and a self-destruct feature requires a total reset to redeploy the drive if it’s activated. When in lock override mode, the drive will stay unlocked through USB port re-enumeration like when it passes through a virtual machine or during reboot.
Taking everything that’s been said about the Apricorn Aegis Padlock A25-3PL256, the verdict is generally highly positive. There are good capacities to choose from, with a maximum of 2 TB, plenty of space to store sensitive data. At this price point, it’s difficult to find a similar device that encrypts your data more securely and has so many performant features. Definitely an ideal choice for any corporate environment or for anyone who wishes to keep important information extremely secure.
- FIPS PUB 197 Validated Encryption Algorithm
- USB 3.0 Connection
- Software Free Design
- Tough Epoxy Coating
- Compact Design
- Capacities: 500 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB
Best Encrypted Thumb Drive
If you’re looking for a sturdy flash drive with dependable encryption, check out the iStorage datAshur PRO. Your data gets automatically encrypted when the drive is no longer connected. Reaching your digital assets requires a simple authentication through a numerical PIN code. Everything can be set up without the need for software downloads or specific operating systems. As long as the device has a USB port, your data can be quickly accessed.
For some extra peace of mind, this encrypted flash drive obtained important governmental certifications. It’s also compliant with all the essential data regulations. The device stands out when it comes to construction quality. It’s a fairly small and portable flash drive at a first impression but upon closer inspection, you will notice its rugged features. It’s highly resistant to moisture and dust. Sensitive data can be safeguarded with the help of its advanced brute force hack protection.
With a simple yet effective fingerprint authentication and 256-bit AES encryption, the Lexar Jumpdrive F35 is highly recommended if you’re concerned about protecting sensitive data. The tool has a built-in fingerprint scanner that works very fast, similar to the one on a smartphone. It can recognize a maximum of 10 fingerprints that can be set up. The supplied software is easy to use on any computer without the need for drivers.
Lexar offers this encrypted flash drive in a generous range of sizes from a small 32 GB version to a 256 GB model suitable for more demanding space needs. The ability to add extra fingerprint IDs can come in handy when you wish to collaborate on a project and authorize only certain people to see the stored information. While biometric protection is highly reliable, the device includes AES-256 encryption as an additional layer of security.
Encrypted using advanced AES256-XTS security, the iodd Mini could be an excellent choice if you need to protect data on an SSD drive. This small and practical encrypted drive makes use of various optimizations for flexible applications. It can be used as a bootable drive for Windows, Mac, or Linux. The drive has a special feature in that sense as it accepts a maximum of four virtual drives at the same time.
Thanks to its military-grade encryption technology, this is a powerful tool in the hands of anyone concerned about data protection. Without the necessary password, attackers can’t gain access to the stored files on the SSD. It’s virtually immune to brute force hacking but keep in mind that losing the password will also mean permanently losing all your data. This is a seriously secure drive that doesn’t have any backdoor program. For that reason, it’s highly recommended for the money.
There are lots of encrypted USB drives on the market that offer reasonable security. However, few can match the value for the cost of the Corsair Padlock 3. This high-performance model is an ideal solution to ensure that confidential data won’t be accessed by unauthorized persons. The use of reliable 256-bit AES hardware encryption is proof of that. Your files are carefully protected using a PIN password.
The drive is equipped with a simple pad interface for introducing your password when it’s time to decrypt the data. When it comes to storage space, the 64GB provided should be more than enough for most documents and sensitive files. Thanks to its rugged rubber housing, the USB drive can handle harsh weather conditions and can resist shocks. It’s suitable as a portable drive with capable security features.
Anyone looking for a portable encrypted hard drive needs to take into account the capabilities of the iStorage diskAshur2. This unit takes security very seriously as evidenced by its multiple features installed for safeguarding valuable data. With the help of AES-XTS 256-bit encryption that requires no software, the hard drive can make you confident that all your sensitive information stays protected.
The hard drive is available in multiple sizes from 500GB to 5TB. It’s built with an epoxy-coated keypad that won’t show wear patterns that may serve as important clues for unauthorized persons to guess the password. Thanks to the Autolock feature, the hard drive enters its protection mode by itself (according to your programmed timing settings) when unplugged from the power source or disconnected from the host computer. There’s also a self-destruct feature that allows you to delete all data with a special PIN.