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iStorage datAshur Secure Flash Drive – keep your data safe via a PIN and 256-bit encryption [Review]

datashur

It’s all very well having instant access to your data wherever you go, but one big problem is making sure it’s safe from prying eyes. If you carry around flash drives with important information stored on them, then it’s always a worry that you’re going to lose it in a taxi or have it drop out of your pocket. But there is a way to carry your stuff around securely.

The iStorage datAshur Secure Flash Drive is a conventional type flash drive with a twist. It comes with a full blown data encryption and PIN security system on board, which makes sure that even if someone gets hold of your drive, they won’t be able to access the information stored on it. Unless it’s the CIA of course.

datashur-1-2

First impressions
The datAshur (strange name!) comes in a cool blister pack, which will take you at least 3 days and many broken implements to open. Good to see they take security so seriously even from the get go. It’s around the size of a large conventional flash drive, but with a very obvious keypad embedded on the front. And it has a nice solid protective case to slide over the top. See our video below for an overview of how it works in action.

In use
The drive comes with a decent enough user guide, which is a good thing because you need to pay attention to ensure you use the thing properly. There’s a particular order in which you have to enter and/or set up your PIN code, in order to access the data properly. But once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty cool how effortless it is to keep your data secure. Just add the data from your computer, take the drive out and it automatically locks. When you want to access it, enter the PIN number and within 30 seconds insert the drive into the computer and it’s available for free access. That’s it.

datashur-1

All the encryption is done on the fly with no user intervention needed, which is cool. Just set and forget, which is how this sort of tool should be. The only thing is the keypad can be kind of fiddly to use, which is made even trickier when you have one eye on the blinking LED lights counting down till the thing locks up on you again. But again, it’s a relatively small thing and with some practice we’re sure it gets easier.

datashur-2

Conclusion
This is a product which has a specific job to do and it does it well. The bonus is that the thing is actually built like a battleship, so you’re also going to be quite comfortable with dropping it, or doing other nasty accidental damage, because it looks like it will take a lot of punishment. It’s not cheap, but then again security is never a cheap commodity, so we’re not surprised.

Price: $135.90 / £80.00 for the 16 GB version.

Key Features
Military grade Full-disk AES 256-bit CBC Hardware Encryption
Works with any USB/USB On-The-Go devices
Drive reset destroys data and recovers use of drive
Compatibility with any OS – Windows, MAC, Linux
Guaranteed with 3 year warranty

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


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