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Best secure drives 2022: top USB drives to protect your data

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These secure drives will ensure that your files are kept safe and sound. These USB sticks or external drives offer additional protection. They are protected by either hardware encryption or software, which makes it impossible to access the data stored on them in case of loss or theft.

This is especially important if you are using external hard disks (opens new tab), or Flash drives to store and transport private data, particularly if it concerns employees or clients.

 

The best secure drives will be essential if you store this type of data. They offer far more security and protection than standard USB storage.

These are the best external storage options for anyone looking for secure files. Check out our top picks.

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1. Kingston Ironkey D300S

Premium security at a very high price

Specifications

Storage: 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB

Interface USB 3.1

 

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There are many reasons to buy

+Very solid design+Waterproof

Avoidable reasons

-Shockingly high prices

Kingston announced the D300S, an updated version to the D300 launched in 2016. The suffix S stands for Serialized. The D300S appears to be a regular USB drive but has a stronger design. It’s the price, however, that makes this drive stand out. According to Kingston, there is a reason the D300S costs so much. Custom hardware is used for encryption (FIPS 140-2 Level 3, 256-bit) as well as decryption. This eliminates any vulnerabilities that could be caused by host system processes. The epoxy material used to seal the chip and all the other hardware is tamper-proof. It hardened once it dried. It is also waterproof to 120cm and can withstand drops and knocks.

2. diskAshur Pro 500GB

A PIN-protected method to ensure your data remains secure

Specifications

Storage: Maximum 5TB

Interface 3.0

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There are many reasons to buy

+High levels of security+Powerful encryption protection+Hard-wearing design, but light and portable+Works across multiple operating systems

Avoidable reasons

High price tag – Some availability issues

The diskAshur Pro external hard drive is one of the most secure on the market. The diskAshur Pro’s key selling point is its physical keypad. It will only allow access to data within the drive if you enter a PIN number. The diskAshur PRO comes with XTS-AES 256 bit real-time full-disk hardware encryption and EDGE technology for even greater security.

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3. Aegis Secure Key 3NX secure drive

Secure encryption at a lower price

Specifications

Storage: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB

Interface 3.0

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There are many reasons to buy

+Very affordable+Military-grade protection+Extensive warranty

Avoidable reasons

Small sizes could make it easier to lose.

The 3NX is a great option if you have sensitive data that needs to be carried around. The 3NX is affordable at just $59 for the 2GB/4GB and $189 for 128GB models. This makes it a popular choice for data protection. You get military-grade, enterprise-level features such as FIPS 140-2 Level 3, real-time hardware-based encryption and a platform-agnostic setup. An onboard battery powers the onboard keypad with a 10-digit encryption keypad.

4. Aegis Secure Key 3Z

Super-tough USB storage for all your important stuff

Specifications

Storage: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB

Interface USB 3.1

 

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There are many reasons to buy

+Super secure+Hardwearing design+Simple setup and use

Avoidable reasons

High price tag

Aegis Secure Key 3Z is ruggedly constructed to protect data for those who frequently work outdoors. It also features an IP58 rubber exterior that protects against water and dust. It also has a physical keypad to keep your data secure and safe. Although it is expensive, it is well worth the money.

5. Apricorn Aegis Secure Key USB 3.0 Flash Drive 480GB

This is a great alternative to other security solutions available on the market

Specifications

Storage: Maximum 1TB

Interface 3.0

+Massive capacity+Exceptional value (for a secure drive).

Avoidable reasons

-Initial installations can be complicated-Big so be cautious with USB ports

The Apricorn Aegis Secure Key includes a fully 10-key alphanumeric keyboard with two function keys and three status lights. The device then fits into an epoxy-potted, rugged aluminum enclosure that is dust- and waterproof. It weighs 46g and measures 93mm in length. It also has hardware encryption (256 bit AES), which makes it completely independent of the host client. There are no keyloggers or BadUSB vulnerabilities. NIST, the US-based National Institute of Standards and Technology has awarded the Aegis Secure Key a FIPS 140-2 Level 3 accreditation. This means that this drive is among the most secure you can purchase.

6. Kingston Ironkey D300

Secure drive that offers affordable peace of mind.

Specifications

Storage: 8GB

Interface 3.0

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There are many reasons to buy

+Durable+Comes With AES256 Encryption

Avoidable reasons

-Low cost per GB. Can’t be taken out of the box.

The Kingston Ironkey D300 (8GB) has software security. It can be confusing and a little complicated at first. Although it will appear on your computer as a CD drive with 14.4MB of capacity, once you have configured it (which includes setting a password), you’ll have a secure drive. It is waterproof up to 4ft and dustproof, and weighs 51g. But, what is more important is the protection that the device provides. The device is FIPS 140-2 Level 3, with hardware encryption of 256 bits AES. The device has a hardware cryptographic module that encrypts and decrypts data on the drive. This makes it immune to the BadUSB exploit.

(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)

7. DataLocker D4FE Encrypted Drive0

Super-secure USB drive with touchscreen for passwrods

Specifications

Storage: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 7.6TB, 15.3TB

Interface: USB 3.2 Gen 1.

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There are many reasons to buy

+OS agnostic+FIPS140-2 Level 3

Avoidable reasons

-Touchscreen has a small screen – Slow SSD transfer speeds

The DataLocker DL4FE USB drive is portable and highly secure. It is ideal for anyone who needs to transfer data to systems, but not have to install any software.

Password access can be done via a small touch panel. Long and complex passwords are possible to be created on this FIPS 140-2 Level 3-Device certified drive.

If the password is not correctly entered, the drive will be locked indefinitely. After a set number of attempts, it can also be intentionally made inaccessible with a secret code called ‘SilentKill.

This can provide a secure solution that can protect you from physical intrusion. It can contain up to 64 characters of numbers and letters.

The entry screen is too small for adults-sized fingers and the SSD drive costs are excessive for smaller capacities.

View the complete review: DataLocker DL4FE. (opens in a new tab

(Image credit: Kingston Technology

8. Privacy 80 Kingston IronKey Vault

 

Specifications

Storage: 480GB, 960GB, 1920GB

Interface: USB 3.2 Gen 1.

 

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There are many reasons to buy

+Easy-to-use+OS agnostic+Strong Security Options

Avoidable reasons

Poor SSD-Password gotchas transfer speeds-Expensive

Secure encrypted storage devices used to require software to be installed in order to input the decryption keys. However, the Kingston IronKey Vault privacy 80 eliminates that requirement with an integrated touch screen.

The VP80ES is available in 480GB, 960GB, and 1920GB capacities. It’s FIPS 197 certified and a Common Criteria EAL5+ secure microprocessor. It was designed by Kingston to withstand various attacks including BadUSB or physical intrusion. If too many passwords have been entered incorrectly, the drive will wipe the contents.

Although the storage component is an SSD and can read and write at 250MB/s using a USB 3.2Gen 1 connection, it cannot reach writing speeds of more than 250MB/s. It comes with a soft carrying pouch, two USB-A and USB -C cables.

Although it is expensive in storage terms, the VP80ES offers a solid effort to provide an accessible, portable, and secure repository.

 

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