Fri, 26 Jun 2009 Data Locker Pro review
Secure your data with the cross-platform Data Locker Pro drive
- Manufacturer: Amacom
- Pros: Cross platform, LCD touchscreen for easy input
- Cons: Expensive, forget your password and you could lose your data
- Price: £228 (160GB), £258 (320GB), £316 (500GB)
- Star rating:
With more and more people using external drives to store their files the security of your data is a major concern. That’s where something like the Data Locker Pro comes in.
Two versions of the Amacom Data Locker are available offering 128-bit encryption or the even more secure 256-bit encryption.
It looks much like any other external drive – USB 2.0 interface, sturdy rectangular casing – except for its touch-sensitive LCD display. When you plug the drive into your Mac you’ll see a numeric keypad appear on the display – this also acts as a status screen to give you a visual indication of what’s happening. Use the numeric keypad to enter the passcode that lets the drive mount in an operating system.
Get the pin wrong three times and the drive powers down. Three more tries and the same thing occurs with a warning that your data is about to be destroyed. Three more mistakes and you have a brand new,
wiped, unformatted hard drive. (If you’re the forgetful type, Origin intends to allow users to upload a passkey to a secure server.) Even if a particularly determined data thief pilfers your drive and pries it open in the hopes of retrieving its juicy secrets, the data will be unreadable.
You can use the LCD screen to change the Amacom Data Locker Pro’s passcode, dismount the drive, toggle the encryption on or off, or wipe the drive clean. One annoyance, however, is the loud beeping it emits when you press the screen (which can’t be turned off).
Another bonus with the Amacom Data Locker Pro is that it works with different operating systems. Finding a password protected drive that you can use on several computers with different operating systems isn’t easy, because you need a way to enter a password through something other than Mac OS X or Windows software.
Though the drive is Mac-compatible without any additional drivers, it only supports FAT32 or NTFS – so, for Macs, read FAT32. That means that you can’t use it to store files if you want to keep their metadata intact. Still, if your concern for your data security trumps all other worries, the Data Locker Pro might be what you’re looking for.