This external hard drive, just announced by Apricorn, is a sure contender for the product with the longest title. Because I should have also mentioned that FIPS is really FIPS 140 – 2 Level 2 Validation....
I hear you thinking: yeah, whatever that means!
So let me explain it in layman's terms. This is easily the most secure, the toughest, and the largest capacity drive (up to 6 TB!) you can buy for a fairly reasonable amount of money in 2014.
Let's see what is inside this Fort Knox of HDDs.
Bad move: by opening it up you would immediately destroy the drive's contents!
Fortunately, we have been reviewing quite a few of the Apricorn line of secure hard drives and they all come with what they call Brute Force Defence Mechanisms, which involves a crypto – erase.
Just getting access to the drive, as you can see from the photos, means using a keypad and inputting your unique 7 to 16 digit PIN.
Then there is cryptography.
Here is where that FIPS 140 – 2 Level 2 Validation comes in. This is the current standard required by the US government for protection of sensitive data. Will it ever be safe from the NSA? Probably not but they might have to torture you to reveal your PIN....
There are a few more security related features in the Padlock DT but I shan't reveal all. Let's just say it is very hacker-hostile without the legitimate user having to go through many hoops and loops.
Obviously this is a drive aimed at government and military and certainly also business enterprises who want to keep confidential data away from prying eyes.
But let's not stop at the big end of town: no business wants to lose their data or worse, to see their data fall in wrong hands so that they can be harmed as a business or person.
We have had a small NAS system stolen which did not have the protection that this Padlock DT has.
I know now which system I would rather entrust all my critical data to.
What about if your data contains thousands of records of your customers, clients or patients?
So the market for a secure system like this is pretty wide and open.
We have reviewed the previous Padlock DT model (sans FIPS) and you will find a lot of our other thoughts and experiences in that article.
Let me highlight just one more great feature of this model. Up to 5 users can have access to this drive whilst having the security of their own PIN. The whole drive, including all the data (!) can be reset by the admin so that it can be used in a different environment again.
While we said the price was fairly reasonable for this level of security, we're still talking about USD259 for a 2 TB model. Our 4 TB unit is priced at 409 and if you really want to add top capacity to top-level security and top price, you will go for the 6 TB model at $869.
Highly recommended at any capacity!