Five Super-Secure External Hard Drives
By Bob Rankin
External hard drives and USB flash drives are convenient, portable ways to back up and transport data. But because they’re portable, they’re obviously vulnerable to loss or theft, so it’s important to protect your data with encryption, passwords, and other security measures. Here are some external drives that help keep your data secure…
Encryption and Physical Security for Portable Drives
When you’re travelling with an external hard drive or USB flash drive, there’s always the possibility you could lose it. You bag could be stolen or mis-directed. You might accidentally leave your keys (with flash drive attached) at the diner or the coffee shop. So it’s important, especially if you’re carrying sensitive or confidential data, that you protect your external drive. Bulit-in hardware encryption is nice, but here are five external drives that use physical security options that go above and beyond.
The LaCie Rugged Safe includes both password and biometric finger-scan security features. Up to ten users can store their passwords and fingerprint scans directly in the drive. Each user can be assigned a customized level of access to the drive, from full administrator privileges to read-only access. There is no need to remember a password; once a fingerprint is registered, a simple swipe of that fingertip authenticates the user. (Hopefully, this cuts down a LOT on the “I forgot my password” calls to the help desk.)
The Rugged Safe is protected against damage by a sturdy aluminum case rimmed with rubber, and internal rubber shock absorbers. Equipped with FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 connectors, the Rugged Safe is compatible with Mac or PC computers. A 250 GB SSD (solid state) version is available ($529), while magnetic versions range from 500 GB ($149) to 1 TB ($249).
About Bob Rankin
Bob Rankin is a translator for the technology impaired -- a writer and computer programmer who enjoys exploring the Internet and explaining technology in plain English. His work has appeared in Computer World, NY Newsday, and other publications. Bob is also publisher of Internet TOURBUS, author of several computer books, and creator of the Lowfat Linux tutorial.