There’s nothing worse than turning up at work one day and realizing you’ve lost your flash drive, well actually there is and it’s realizing you’ve lost a flash drive full of confidential data. Oops! The boss won’t be happy and neither will any clients whose confidential data is now in the wrong hands. Luckily iStorage has thought about this and by thinking about it has managed to design an as secure as can be storage solution, in the form of a pass code protected 256-bit encrypted USB flash drive.
The iStorage Datashur Pro USB flash drive takes away the need for any software backed encryption, by utilizing a 10 button keypad built right into the USB stick itself, this keypad is used to enter your PIN, which in turn allows you access to the content onboard, when connected to a PC, Mac or mobile device. Other security measures include military grade XTS-AES 256-bit hardware encryption, direct authentication, SHA 256-bit hashing and brute force protection. To top all that off, the physical body of the USB drive is dust and water-resistant with an IP rating of IP57.
There are two PIN types with the iStorage Datashur Pro USB flash drive. The first is the user PIN, which is just a normal pin for the user of the drive. The second is an Admin PIN, which is incredibly useful in corporate settings as it allows an admin access to the drive should the user forget their PIN or no longer works for the company.
With such an impressive set of protection features, one would think that gaining access to it as the owner would be like trying to access fort Knox. Luckily it isn’t that hard to use. The first thing to do once you receive it is to give it a quick charge, so you can then get on with setting up the access PIN. Once charged setting up the pin is rather simple thanks to the included instructions. I must also point out that you can have iStorage preset a pin for you as part of their customization options, of which I will go into more detail shortly.
Once your PIN is set up you are good to go. To gain access to the drive you simply enter your pin and then plug it into any available USB port on your computer or device. If you don’t enter the PIN, beforehand, you will be denied access. Once all is said and done, you just transfer and view your files as you would on any other drive.
If you forget your PIN completely or somebody tries to reset the drive in hope of resetting the PIN, the data on board will be completely erased, before allowing the drive to be used again, so if you do lose it, you don’t have to worry about much at all, apart from the cost of replacing your drive, which is a lot cheaper than the possibility of any fine up to £500,000.
Since a PIN is required to use the drive and said PIN is entered from the hardware itself, a separate power source is required. That power source comes in the form of a built-in rechargeable battery. The battery is simply charged when the USB drive is connected to a USB port. This brings me to my one concern, which is, what happens after a good few years when the battery finally gives in?
The iStorage Datashur Pro USB flash drive offers read speeds of up to 116MBps and write speeds of up to 43MBps. It by far isn’t the fastest USB drive on the market, but the thing to remember here is that this wasn’t made for speedy transfers from everyday usage, it was made for security and has been designed with corporate security needs in mind. You could still use it at home as a storage device for your photos and precious memories of course.
I mentioned earlier in the review, that iStorage offer a customization option with the Datashure Pro. There are four different customizations that iStorage offer with this drive. The first is the option to have your business name or an employee’s name laser etched on to removable outer sleeve, the next option is to have the Datashure branding removed and replaced with something that represents your company such as colors or the logo, the next is pre-programmed pins which allows you to have PINs set up at the point of ordering and the last option is the ability to have software pre-installed on the drive. The option to remove the branding altogether does require a minimum order quantity and all customizations are subject to extra charges.
On a side note to the customization choice, the drive I have has had my name etched onto the removable sleeve and I have to say it looks pretty good. While it may seem strange to want your name on a drive, it makes perfect sense, particularly for say corporations with multiple employees.
Price wise, the iStorage Datashur Pro USB flash drive starts off at £49 for the 4GB model and goes all the way to £129 for the 64GB model. This price doesn’t include any customizations. While £49 may seem steep for only 4GB, you have to remember that this isn’t any ordinary flash drive, this is a secured to the max flash drive that puts security above all else.
Overall the iStorage Datashur Pro USB flash drive is the perfect answer to the needs of any company properly abiding by data protection laws. With so much protection going on, both physically and virtually it really is going to be one extremely tough nut to crack.
- As secure as Area 51
- Customization options
- Easy to use
- IP57 rating
- Not entirely sure what happens when the battery goes after a good few years