"Small, secure, stylish. 4.5 stars because no Firewire"4.5 starson by k_lister
Pros: Exceptionally easy to use and very secure. Beautiful, simple design as well as doing the job it is designed to do. Transport data securely whilst you are on the move.
Cons: Nothing that I would call a real "Con". I suppose a Firewire connection would have been a useful addition for large transfers, however USB2 does the job well enough. Not a low cost product but you get what you pay for.
Summary: The Black Armor drive does exactly what it says on the box. It is an excellent high-end encrypted portable hard drive. The previous review slates the product because of its encryption capabilities for what he calls ?abnormal activities?. That?s like complaining about a Porsche car because it accelerates too quickly. If you class carrying confidential customer data and financial information as ?abnormal? then perhaps you are probably not the sort of person that even knows what an encrypted drive is for. However, if you are a businessman that wants a very secure, very stylish and discrete drive to keep your client?s and indeed your own business data secure whilst you are on the road, this is an excellent product.
I?m not entirely sure how robust the drive is but I can say I have caught my foot on my laptop cable and sent my laptop and the drive crashing to a hard wood floor. The laptop was fine being a Toughbook but more impressively the drive was fine too. I have forgotten to disconnect it more than once and just pulled it out of the USB port and it has been very forgiving with no problems at all evident.
160GB isn?t exactly huge and you can but much larger drives and then of course encrypt the drive in software for a lot less money. You can even get some reasonable free software. However, 160GB is more than enough to carry the entire contents of my laptop but if, god forbid, I do lose or have my laptop bag stolen, at least I won?t have to worry about compromising my data. Having to buy a new laptop is a pain, having to explain to clients that you have compromised their business by not taking proper care of their information would be a whole different problem.
I?ve used all sorts of encryption software and they are NEVER as straight forward and as easy to use as they say. You either have to faff around for hours installing them and waiting for them to encrypt your drive, or they have pain in the butt user interfaces when you come to access the data, or in many cases, both. The Black Armor uses government grade hardware encryption certified by NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) to be the best commercially available data security for portable storage. If you are serious about protecting your data, what else do you need to know? Exactly how important do you think it will be that you bought a 500GB hard drive for half the cost if you have to visit a client and explain that you?ve lost a drive and their data is on it?
When it comes to simplicity of use, the Black Armor is as easy as it gets. The drive comes with the management software on it. You simply enter the code into the software from the side of your drive, generate a password, and that?s it. When you need to access the drive, you just enter the password and you are in. When you disconnect the drive, it?s locked. How much more simple could it be? You don?t even have to remember to lock it. When you disconnect it from your laptop, it?s locked.
The news is riddled with horror stories of agencies and businesses that have lost critical, confidential, data and had it found and accessed by a member of the public. There simply is NO excuse. Anyone can be unlucky enough to lose something or have it stolen. But only a complete idiot didn?t take steps to ensure that it is a simple financial loss and not something far, far worse. I can only say to them that it?s time they grew up and took proper care of their information. Ladies and gentlemen, there can be no excuse. Lock it or lose it. And before anyone asks, no I don?t work for Maxtor, Seagate or any other company involved in mobile or portable data. I am simply a consultant that takes my responsibilities seriously.