A neat little drive. The square and industrial design is a matter of taste and certainly contrasts with other brands. Personally I like it. Of course, for a portable drive the real value is in it’s usability, and that’s where the diskG* shines! I used to have small, cheap 1TB drives from Samsung and Toshiba and I loved them – silent, no fuss and really small. But a burglary at home, where laptops and all external data backups disappeared, drove home the need for encryption. Although I don’t store anything that I wouldn’t share with my friends, I did have quite a lot of documents on those drives though which would potentially make things really easy for an identity thief – Identity theft being a problem not exactly unheard of these days! And with each person currently having to manage up to a 150 user ID-password combinations, where do you keep track of all of them…? Split between paper-based and electronic locations …Someone putting his mind to finding sensitive information and taking the time to browse through the folders on my drives and the laptops could also have found enough hints and information to greatly simplify his attempts at breaking into some of my user accounts, in particular in combination with all the paperwork that was stolen at the same time. Now, it might just be paranoia and possibly the thieves were just after the hardware to sell on. But you never know who then buys the drives and for what purpose. Since then, I have bought a series of portable drives with hardware encryption, to be more at ease next time they get stolen. The diskG* beats them all by lengths in terms of usability. It’s actually smaller than most of the other drives with encryption, it comes with an integrated USB cable and the keypad is great. It’s a simple plug&play drive, exactly like any unencrypted portable drive should be. The only difference is that you’ll have to type in a password on the keypad before the drive is automatically mounted. None of the other encrypted drives I’ve tried keeps that simple plug&play use: Although they state they have hardware encryption, those drives mostly mount a normal partition + a virtual CD drive with an encryption software. You first need to wait for both drives to be accessible and then launch the encryption software (which, in some cases, also needs to be configured at first use), wait until it loads and then enter your password. The virtual drive stays there and cannot be removed. The encryption software requiring low-level system access, there have also been a few clashes with my antivirus software (resulting in corrupted files). Fiddly ..and sometimes very lengthy until you finally have access to your data. Not so with the diskG*. It’s a simple and fast operation and there is barely a delay, compared to non-encrypted plug&play drives. Transfer rates are comparable to unencrypted USB 2 drives, although probably very slightly slower for smaller copy jobs. Speed tends to even out over bigger jobs of tens of Gbs. Security wise, I have to rely on expert opinions. But from what I’ve read, it seems the diskG* is also safer than most other drives. Although the same encryption standard is used by most manufacturers, its architecture makes it more tamper-proof in case someone extracts the drive from the casing and also because it doesn’t install software on your PC, a potential entry point for hackers. A very happy customer. Despite the fact that the diskG* is more expensive than the other models, I have since bought a second unit. If I had to ask for one improvement, it would be the addition of a USB 3 port for faster transfer.
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