IStorage DiskAshur DT² Desktop Hard Drive Review

When it comes to keeping data safe, there’s no doubt that iStorage know a thing or two. Having recently reviewed their DiskAshur² portable hard drive and their DatAshur Pro flash drive, I have witnessed first hand just how seriously they take security. Today I am back with their slightly less portable option, known as the DiskAshur DT² desktop hard drive. What I mean by ‘slightly less portable’ is that unlike the two previous products I have reviewed, this one requires its own power source and is bigger and heavier in comparison.

Much like its smaller family members, the iStorage DiskAshur DT² desktop hard drive features an alphanumeric keypad that is used to key in a security PIN that is required before the drive can be accessed. As an extra layer of security, this keypad is coated with a water-resistant epoxy coating that prevents any visible signs of wear on the keys, which in turn means it won’t be possible to figure out what keys may be a part of the PIN. Located above the keypad is a set of Red, Blue and Green LED lights, that are used for status information.

The main body of the drive consists of a black and dark grey metal shell, while the front and rear plates are silver. The front plate is home to a shiny silver iStorage badge, while the rear plate is home to a USB3.0 in port, a DC12V plug connector, the main power switch and desk lock slot for securing the drive to a desk if required.

With dimensions of 185.5 x 112 x 43.5 mm (H x W x D) and a weight of 1.115kg the iStorage DiskAshur DT² desktop hard drive is big enough to be noticed and heavy enough to dent a wooden floor. While portability isn’t a key aspect of this drive, it can certainly be carried around in a big enough bag if required, but in all honesty, it’s probably better off living at the office, next to the PC.

A PIN can be anything between 7 to 15 digits long, which means there are plenty of PIN codes you could create to ensure the safety of your and most importantly your client’s data should the drive fall into the wrong hands. There are two different types of PIN you can set up. One is an Admin PIN, which can be used by the administrator to gain access to the drive should a user leave your company and the other is the user PIN.

As well as the physical keypad for PIN input, the DiskAshur DT² is also packed with other neat security features such as real-time military grade AES 256-bit XTS full-disk hardware encryption, an onboard EAL4+ ready on-board secure microprocessor and FIPS PUB 197 validated encryption algorithm.

One of the most interesting security features is the ‘self-destruct’ mode, which also featured on the DiskAshur². This gives you a total of 15 attempts in three groups of five to get the PIN right. After the first five incorrect attempts, you will have to restart the drive by powering it on and off to get a second lot of attempts. If the second lot of attempts is failed then you will have to power the device on and off while using the shift key to be granted your third and final attempt. If this attempt is failed, then the ‘self-destruct’ feature will kick in, which in turn wipes the PIN and all of the data on board, essentially resetting the drive.

There’s also an option to set up a dedicated ‘ self-destruct’ PIN, which is just strange. It’s essentially a PIN you can create, which when entered and verified, completely wipes the drive. I can’t think of many situations, where one might have to randomly do this, but there must be some reason, it has been included as a feature.

iStorage offers the DiskAshur DT² in a choice of 8 capacity options, ensuring you get a drive with enough space to suit your needs. The capacities available are 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, 4TB, 6TB, 8TB, 10TB and 12TB. The price is dependant on the capacity of the drive you purchase. A 1TB drive will set you back £179, while a 12TB drive will cost you a whopping £699, which isn’t cheap. Like I have said in previous reviews though, the price is worth it for any company with a genuine interest in keeping their client’s data safe and uncompromised, especially when compared with the penalties and fines they would end up with if a data breach did occur.

The read/write times offered by the iStorage DiskAshur DT² desktop hard drive are actually quite impressive. The read speed is listed as 225MBps while the write speed is listed as 223MBps. These speeds make transferring and opening files a quick and painless task. Transferring a single video file over just over 1GB in size took roughly about 20 seconds while transferring about five at once took less than a minute while opening the single video and buffering it took about 30 seconds in total.

Overall the iStorage DiskAshur DT² desktop hard drive is yet again more proof that iStorage knows how to produce a secure business-friendly hard drive that will give even the smartest of crooks a very hard time. Packed with so much security and a self-destruct feature, it’s certainly worth the price compared to what would happen should a data breach occur if the drive is ever lost or stolen. Although it can be moved and carried around, the only downside to it is that it’s not exactly portable and does require a separate power source.


  • Very secure
  • Variety of capacities available
  • Fast read/write speeds


  • Not truly portable