DataPort SecureDock

Author: Sven Rafferty
March 22nd, 2010
DataPort-SecureDock_DS.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Ratings

Overall:

Ease of Use:

Features:

Speed:

Durability:

Price:

Pros

  • Simplifies data encryption to stupid-easy!
  • Great value in price
  • Encrypts entire drive including OS
  • Easy to use USB dongle to unlock

Cons

  • Noisy fan
  • Must be powered up and unlocked prior to PC boot
  • Lose your key, lose your data

The Bottom Line
Data needs to be protected and protection should be easy. Thankfully the DataPort SecureDock is quite frankly, stupid easy! If you can turn on a key, insert and remove a USB dongle, then you can protect yourself from identity theft, unauthorized access, as well as having a secure off-site backup. Told ya, stupid easy.

Recommended
Yes (Strong)

Full Review

Security is an important thing and many in todays world really do not realize just how easy data can be stolen from a hard drive undetected by the owner. It’s not just a matter of grabbing a hard drive physically but rather just starting one up and copying the information off the computer to a USB flash drive. Accountants, lawyers, and doctors, to name a few, need to protect their data but lack of simplicity is usually the number one reason for this not happening. May I introduce to you the DataPort SecureDock?


The DataPort SecureDock we tested was loaded with 500GB of storage and came with a USB cable along with an eSATA one. We elected to use the USB set-up since this is what most will have. Setup is a bit tricky to get the drive to be seen by Windows XP as we found that having the SecureDock powered up and unlocked with the supplied mini-USB-like key before turning on the PC was the best way for Windows to see the encrypted drive. When the drive is unlocked, you will not need to unlock it until you’ve power cycled it. As for the data, the drive looks just like any other drive within My Computer in Windows which, really, is the beauty of this drive. Unlock, power up, use. That’s it. Simple enough, anyone really can use this. We tested the supplied back-up software which worked well to copy all selected data to the SecureDock. At the end of the day, we would power down the external drive and yank it out of the dock for off-site storage and that was it. Returning it to the bay, powering it up, and unlocking it for its next use was a peace of cake every time.

What makes this drive so easy is how it works. The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 128 encryption takes place on the hardware and not on the computer. The entire hard drive, boot sector, data, tem, virtual memory and even swap files are all encrypted. If the drive is ever compromised physically and removed from the bay, it’s useless without the Encryption Key (that mini-USB flash drive looking thing). The data on the drive is just pure junk. CRU ships three such keys with each unit just in case you lose one…or two. Programming new keys can be done with an optional AES Key Programmer.

If you desire ultimate security, you can make the SecureDock your primary boot up drive (eSATA would be the recommended connection for that) which encrypts everything down to the operating system itself. Power it down at the end of the day and your data is safe. Get two drives and have a safe back-up to take off-site. Since the SecureDock is a hardware protection system, you can install your own hard drive if you desire to select your specified density and know that the drive is secured.

We used the drive daily for back-ups and had no problems removing it or re-inserting the drive back into the bay. The only complaint we had was the inability for the drive to be recognized by Windows XP prior to turning on the computer and it’s noisy fan. Other than that, this is a bullet-proof way to encrypt your data. Now be forewarned, this is a single drive and like any hard drive, it can suffer hardware failure so be sure to back up your data to another SecureDock for redundancy.

Price: $356.54 – $709 (0GB to 2TB)

Platform: PC/Mac

Website: Product Information


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