Media & Resources
- Digital Reviews
External hard drives are a dime a dozen. That's not exactly true of course but we certainly are not lacking for choice. I've got half a dozen of them scattered around my workplace or in my desk drawers but none is as safe as this latest product from Apricorn: a 3TB USB 3.0 unit with keypad encryption. And that's not all so let's have a good look at the Aegis Padlock DT.
Apricorn has brought out a slew of encrypted hard drives with keypads over the years. We have reviewed a few as well as many other external drive solutions from Poway, California, where they are based. We never failed to be impressed with what Apricorn has sent us and many of their products have garnered our Editor's Choice Award.
So, expectations are high. The build quality is outstanding: the unit feels very solid, a tad heavy, and no visible screws on the enclosure. That's a good thing because this is supposed to be a very secure device. Most notable is the keypad with above that a small LED panel. There are ventilation openings at the front and the back has a switch for the 12 V power pack and the USB 3.0 port. The keypad is decidedly bigger than the one on the USB flash drive we reviewed not so long ago but the procedure for entering your own unique pin is very similar.
When you first hook up the drive (there is really no installation process as the drive works straight out of the box with any Windows machine-for Mac units it needs a reformat) you can put in the default pin but the whole point of course is to assign your own key to the device. If you need to share your data up to 5 personal pin numbers can be assigned.
Encryption is again to military standards and you have a choice between AES 128 and 256 bit encryption. The difference? In price only 10 bucks for the stronger type. If you're not in the military or have supersensitive projects you're working on, the 128 bit will do just fine.
Or if you are mathematically inclined our score of would be a 9/10.
Poway, CA – February 2, 2012 – Apricorn, a leading designer and manufacturer of data security products for business, has expanded their award winning Aegis Secure Drives to the desktop environment with the announcement of a new, powerful desktop edition, the Aegis Padlock DT. Sporting a spacious capacity of up to 3 TB with a Super Speed USB 3.0 interface, the Aegis Padlock DT not only provides immense storage and lightning fast access speeds, but also protects its data with seamless AES-XTS hardware encryption and secure PIN access. With its software free design, simple setup and starting price of $229, the Aegis Padlock DT provides a complete data storage solution that is affordable, secure and effortless to deploy in a demanding office environment.
- Electronic Design
This is essentially a USB stick with a combo lock on it. The stick contains a 0-9 keypad arranged in two rows of five, plus a key with a key icon on it and three LED indicators. An aluminum enclosure that is dust and water resistant covers the stick when you carry it around.
Using the device is simple and, once activated, works as fast as a typical USB stick. To activate the stick you press the key icon, enter a 7-15 digit pin and then connect it to your PC or other device. The device comes up just like any other USB device, installing its drivers the first time you use it. Once connected, all data moved to the drive is encrypted in real-time with 256-bit AES CBC (cipher-block chained) hardware encryption. After you’re finished copying or moving your files to the device, you just pull it out of the PC and off you go, knowing that no one can access those files except you, thus protecting your data if the drive is lost or stolen.
Like its previous products in this category, Apricorn goes the whole nine yards in trying to protect your data from getting into the wrong hands. Besides encryption, there’s protection against brute force attacks, keystroke logging, and physical tampering of the device. For example, internal drive components are protected by a super tough epoxy compound that is virtually impossible to remove without causing permanent damage to the electronics. This prevents a potential hacker from accessing the encryption circuitry and launching a variety of potential attacks.
I tried the Aegis Secure Key on a couple of Windows PCs, but it also works with other OSs including the Apple Mac, Linux, Android and Symbian. So, not only can you use the device with PCs, but also with tablets and mobile devices that contain USB ports. Pricing starts at $95 for the 8 GB model and $125 for the 16 GB model.
What a nifty, brilliant device! That's my first reaction when I opened up the nonretail packaging that Apricorn sent it in. On the outside it is rather nondescript but when you pull the cover off it looks like a mini Fort Knox with three LEDs, 10 buttons for inputting your pin number and a slightly larger button with a key symbol on it. Is this the most secure USB key? Well, let's put in the default pin to get started and let's find out.
When you need to transport highly sensitive data, sending it in email or over the Internet may not be such a great idea. Transporting a physical drive holding the encrypted data significantly reduces points of possible exposure. Even so, a determined hacker could attack the decryption software, possibly compromising the data. The fully self-contained Aegis Secure Key ($65 direct) uses an onboard PIN pad rather than relying on software. That $65 price gets you a 4GB unit; 8GB and 16GB devices can be had for $95 and $125 respectively.
Since no software is needed, you can use the drive with any USB-capable device, regardless of the operating system. Windows, Mac OS, Linux—even a proprietary device with a proprietary operating system would be fine as long as it supports USB.
In many ways Aegis Secure Key resembles LOK-IT Secure Flash Drive ($76.25 direct, 4 stars). That's only natural, as both license some basic technology from the same source. Both work with any USB-capable operating system, both use an onboard PIN pad for access, both destroy the stored data after ten bad guesses, and so on. However, there are some significant differences.
NEW from Apricorn: Aegis NetDock Mac Edition
3 in 1 USB Hub, DVD Burner and 1TB Hard Drive
Give Desktop Functionality to MacBook Air
Poway, CA – December 15, 2011 – Apricorn, the leader in personal storage, today announced the Mac Edition of their Aegis NetDock ($229 for 1TB model), an ultra-compact 3 in 1 USB Docking Station, combining a 4-port USB Hub, dual layer DVD burner and 1TB hard drive in a footprint smaller than a stapler. An ideal accessory to Apple’s MacBook Air, the Aegis NetDock instantly adds desktop functionality with a single USB connection.
Apricorn's upgrade kit lets you use SATA 3.0 hard drives and SSDs in an older PC.
If you're contemplating the cost of a new Windows-based computer to catch up with SATA 3.0 hard drives, you might be able to get away with just a $49 investment rather than a complete PC overhaul. Apricorn's Velocity Solo upgrade kit gives you access to SATA 3.0 hard drives and SSDs -- all you need is an x1 PCIe 2.0 slot -- and a SATA 3.0 drive, of course.
Poway, CA – December 7, 2011 – Apricorn, a leading manufacturer of data security products for government, healthcare and business, today announced the addition of the Aegis Secure Key - a USB Encrypted Flash Drive - to its secure drive offering. Built around an alphanumeric keypad for secure PIN access and featuring real-time military grade AES CBC 256-bit hardware encryption, Apricorn’s latest product offering provides powerful data security that is simple to use. Ideal for travel with its water and dust resistant aluminum casing, tamper resistant circuitry, slim design and attractive $65 price point (for 4 GB model), the Aegis Secure Key provides a compelling feature set for anyone looking to secure their data.
Hard Drive Shortage – Due to the severe flooding
in Thailand, the hard drive industry is in turmoil.
Both availability and price of hard drives are
- Store Owner
Poway, CA – October 25, 2011 – Apricorn is reacting to this disaster as quickly as possible. However, as a result of this disaster pricing is subject to change daily and we are unable to commit to pricing on any scheduled orders. We will accept scheduled orders, which will help to secure your allocation of drives, and if the price is changed prior to shipment we will contact you to confirm the new price, or provide you the option of canceling your order.
We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience.
- Michael Cohn
Tornadoes, floods, wildfires and other disasters in different parts of the country this year have brought the importance of disaster protection and backup to mind for accountants and their clients.
One company that specializes in secure backup protection is Apricorn, whose line of password-encrypted portable hard drives is designed to keep sensitive data protected from not only natural disasters, but also prying eyes.