Best Encrypted Drives

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 29, 2017
Do you obtain some sensitive information and want to protect it from leakage? Start using an encrypted drive - a device that will store your information and will never be hacked. We've shortlisted 5 best encrypted drives on a market for you. So pick one and remember: "Better be safe than sorry"! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
CAPACITY
TYPE
DATA TRANSFER RATE
Weight
PROTECTION
 
PROS
The encryption chip and circuitry are sealed with the tough epoxy compound to avoid physical attacks. Aluminum housing whisks away heat during the operation. Capability to enroll up to 5 users' PINs.
CONS
The device requires connection to the mains via a power adapter.
OUR VERDICT
The combination of high-capacity and a big data transfer rate makes this encrypted drive the best option for both corporative and home use.
detailed parameters
CAPACITY
8TB, 6TB, 4TB, 3TB, 2TB, 1TB
TYPE
USB 3.0 External Hard Drive
DATA TRANSFER RATE
~170 Mb/s (read speed), ~170 Mb/s (write speed)
Weight
33.6 oz.
PROTECTION
256-bit AES-XTS Hardware encryption, Protected from physical attacks by tough epoxy compound, Auto-lock feature, Lock slot for additional security, Capability to configure the drive with 5 user PINs
PROS
The integrated USB cable is always at hand and you don't need to carry a separate one. Wear-resistant keypad hides key usage not to give a hacker a tip of commonly used buttons.
CONS
A low spindle rotation speed and a small cache size significantly reduce the data transfer rate.
OUR VERDICT
This portable hard drive is suitable for secure storage of large amounts of data and is perfect for those who always need a drive at hand.
detailed parameters
CAPACITY
2TB, 1TB, 500GB
TYPE
USB 3.0 External Hard Drive
DATA TRANSFER RATE
~160 Mb/s (read speed), ~145 Mb/s (write speed)
Weight
6.2 oz.
PROTECTION
256-bit AES-XTS Hardware encryption, Protected from physical attacks by tough epoxy compound, Auto-lock feature
PROS
SuperSpeed technology increases the data transfer rate. Waterproof at a depth of 1.2 m. Comes with the pre-installed ESET anti-virus.
CONS
Requires software installation on a PC.
OUR VERDICT
This lightweight and portable device shows a great reading speed. Hence, you can work with your data right from the drive without downloading it to your PC.
detailed parameters
CAPACITY
64GB, 32GB, 16GB, 8GB, 4GB
TYPE
USB 3.0 Flash Drive
DATA TRANSFER RATE
~165 Mb/s (read speed), ~22 Mb/s (write speed)
Weight
0.3 oz.
PROTECTION
256-bit AES-XTS Hardware encryption, Data deletion after 10 incorrect password entries, Drive features the installed ESET antivirus for anti-malware protection
PROS
This drive is certified to meet the (FIPS) 140-2 Level 3 specification. Equipped with 3 LED buttons that show the current status of the device.
CONS
The buttons are quite small.
OUR VERDICT
Quite handy and small flash drive (fits into your pocket) with the highest protection level from both physical and cyber-attacks.
detailed parameters
CAPACITY
32GB, 16GB, 8GB, 4GB
TYPE
USB 2.0 Flash Drive
DATA TRANSFER RATE
~27 Mb/s (read speed), ~24 Mb/s (write speed)
Weight
0.9 oz.
PROTECTION
256-bit AES-CBS Hardware encryption, Data deletion after 10 incorrect password entries, Dust and water resistant housing
PROS
This flash drive features Plug-N-Play technology that ensures fast detection of a device on your PC. Shockproof rubber housing.
CONS
This flash drive supports USB 2.0 interface that reduces write/read speed.
OUR VERDICT
Regardless of a mediocre read / write speed, this flash drive perfectly secures your data and protects the device from dust and water ingress.
detailed parameters
CAPACITY
32GB, 16GB, 8GB
TYPE
USB 2.0 Flash Drive
DATA TRANSFER RATE
~ 13 Mb/s (read speed), ~ 9.6 Mb/s (write speed)
Weight
0.3 oz.
PROTECTION
256-bit AES Hardware encryption, Capability to create 2 passwords (Admin and User), Shockproof and water-resistant housing

What is an Encrypted Drive?

We live in the world of cutting-edge computer technologies and lots of users might be able to hack your computer and spill the beans. For this reason, people do not feel protected against sensitive data leak and try to store their content on external drives. For every person, sensitive information may mean different data, ranging from photos or films they store on a drive to some top secret papers that should be hidden from public view. Fortunately, the problem of information integrity may be solved by purchasing an encrypted drive. This unit is not just an ordinary HDD device where you can store your content. The encrypted drives are the units with high-grade security and they protect your sensitive data using special encryption methods. Moreover, some manufacturers include password protection or provide added security by embedding a fingerprint scanner to gain access to information on your device. You can always carry a drive with you as such devices are lightweight and portable. Thus, if you've lost an encrypted drive or it has been stolen, you can be sure that no one will access your device without entering the right PIN. However, we do recommend you to not forget your password as most models will delete all the information after a certain number of incorrect password entries.

But if you don't require such an advanced data protection level and need a device that will provide you with additional disk space, you can read our review on external hard drives.

...Read more ...Read less

What Features to Compare

The most important feature you need to consider when purchasing an encrypted drive is its Type and Capacity. The capacity of an encrypted drive is a feature that tells you how much data you can store on a device. The volume of data storage ranges from several gigabytes to several terabytes hence, you may choose the drive with the capacity that will satisfy your needs. The next parameter to take into consideration is the type of an encrypted drive. There are 2 major types available on the market: a hard drive and a flash drive. A hard drive is a heavyish device about the size of a palm that comprises several spinning platters and a roving head. The head is meant to read the data that have been magnetically imprinted on the platters. On the other hand, a flash drive is a fairly small device about the size of a thumb. Flash drives refer to solid-state memory chips and have no moving parts, thus, they are known to last longer. But the main difference between these 2 types is that hard drives offer a lot more storage space than flash drives, however, they are more expensive.

Next thing you should consider is the Data Transfer Rate of an external drive. This figure determines how fast the data can be transferred from/to a USB drive. This parameter is quite important for those who work with large volumes of data and want to gain time. The transfer rate primarily depends on what type of USB interface is used: it can be either USB 2.0 or USB 3.0.

  • USB 2.0 - the maximum data transfer rate reaches 480 Mbit/s. To increase the rate, the devices with USB 2.0 may feature external eSATA interface. Hence, eSATA is capable of increasing the data transfer rate up to 3.0 Gbit/s
  • USB 3.0 - provides a data transfer rate up to 5.0 Gbit/s. This interface becomes more and more popular these days. USB 3.0 is compatible with USB 2.0 interface if your computer doesn't provide a built-in high-speed port.

As regards a hard drive, the data transfer rate also depends on several parameters:

  • Spindle rotation speed - modern hard disk drives have a spindle rotation speed of 5400 RPM or 7200 RPM. But there are also devices boasting the speed of up to 15000 RPM. So, the higher the speed is, the faster a hard drive reads and writes data.
  • Cache size - usually ranges between 8 Mb and 64 Mb. Cache - is reserved memory that stores data a computer most commonly requests for. The larger the cache size is, the faster a hard drive accesses memory.

Another feature people pay attention to is the Size and Design of an encrypted drive. These parameters determine the physical shape and portability (weight, dimensions) of a device. It should be mentioned that the external encrypted hard drives are either portable or desktop. A portable one works directly off the USB port and can be easily moved around. While a desktop encrypted drive requires a connection to the mains (via a power adapter) and is perfect for home use. The size or the form factor of a hard drive is measured in inches. Generally, the form factor of the hard drive disks varies from 2.5 inches to 3.5 inches (the size of a magnetic disc inside the casing). So, the smaller the form factor is, the more lightweight the hard drive is. However, flash drives are significantly smaller than hard drives, so you can carry them wherever you go.

Also, you surely need to pay attention to such feature as Protection of a drive. The devices have 2 main ways of gaining an access to data on a drive. So, some producers enable password protection - a user enters a password on a drive's housing or using a client software. Others include a fingerprint scanner on a device. As regards the data encryption, it is hardware-based and conforms to the Advanced Encryption Standard (FIPS PUB 197). AES is available in many encryption packages and the only publicly accessible cipher approved by the National Security Agency. So, AES is an international data encryption algorithm with different key and block sizes. Where each block has the size of 128 bits and three different key lengths: 128, 192 and 256 bits. AES offers 3 main encryption algorithms:

  • ECB (Electronic Code Book) - the simplest encryption mode. It doesn't hide data patterns well and it doesn't provide serious message confidentiality.
  • CBC (Cipher Block Chaining) - the common encryption mode used in many various applications. It eliminates protection weaknesses the ECB mode concedes.
  • XTS - one of the strongest encryption algorithms. Provides greater data protection over the other block cipher modes, such as CBC and ECB.

The encrypted drives may also have additional protection features against external factors such as dust-proof-and-moisture-proof, shock-resistance, anti-tamper security, antitheft protection.

...Read more ...Read less

Apricorn Aegis Padlock

Capacity and Type

This desktop encrypted drive offers several capacity options, starting from 1TB to 8TB. Hence, you can choose the one with the capacity that will satisfy your needs. As regards this peculiar model, it offers 4TB. Such a high capacity surely outweighs your laptop's storage space. It's a fantastic device for storing your collection of films in Full HD resolution. So, if you need to have all your data at hand - pick one of high-capacity Apricorn encrypted hard drives.
Review of Apricorn Aegis Padlock Encryption USB 3 Hard Drive

Data Transfer Rate

Apricorn ADT-3PL256-4000 hard drive has a spindle rotation speed of 7200 RPM and the cache memory of 8MB. It's enough to provide the minimum response time of 12 ms. This device supports USB 3.0 interface and the producer claims that the read/write speed reaches 170 Mb/s. Hence, you can copy files rather quickly and thus, gain your precious time. But you should always remember that the transfer speed will be significantly lower when accessed via USB 2.0 interface.
Apricorn Aegis Padlock Encryption USB 3 Hard Drive in the use

Size and Design

Apricorn ADT-3PL256-4000 is a desktop model. The unit is powered from the mains via an adapter that is supplied in a package. So, this hard drive is designed not for daily carrying but for using the device as an additional storage aside from your computer. The dimensions of this encrypted hard drive are as follows: 4.5 x 7.2 x 1.5 inches and the weight is 33.6 oz. Surely, you'd not find carrying this rather heavy item around very convenient. But if that's not the main reason for purchase, you'll love it to bits. Made of aluminum, it pretty well whisks away the heat during intense use.
Detailed review of Apricorn Aegis Padlock Encryption USB 3 Hard Drive

Protection

This drive offers not only the strongest encryption algorithm 256-bit AES-XTS but is also highly protected from physical attacks by a tough epoxy compound. This feature makes it impossible to remove the chip and the circuitry of the drive without causing damage. Additionally, Apricorn ADT-3PL256-4000 is engineered with a wear-resistant keypad that hides the key usage (in order to not give a hacker any chance to find out the commonly used buttons). This encrypted drive allows programming up to 5 users passwords plus an administrator password. For additional security, it is preferable to use the auto-lock feature after some predetermined time. Thus, even if you are away from your working place, your data remain in total safety. The features listed above are still not enough to properly secure your information? In this case, you can use a lock slot to fix the drive to your desk.
Apricorn Aegis Padlock Encryption USB 3 Hard Drive application

VIDEO
Apricorn Aegis Padlock Fortress Unboxing
Apricorn Aegis Padlock
Apricorn Aegis Padlock
 

Apricorn Aegis Padlock

Capacity and Type

The portable encrypted hard drive is offered in several capacity options: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB. Such a choice allows you to use this drive as an expansion memory for your laptop or PC. This model is a perfect choice for those who need to carry the drive around. The reason is that Apricorn A25-3PL256-1000 is powered via USB interface and doesn't require any additional cables. Hence, you can connect your encrypted hard drive to any PC wherever you are.
Review of Apricorn Aegis Padlock Encrypted Portable External Hard Drive

Data Transfer Rate

Apricorn A25-3PL256-1000 features great write (145 MB/sec) / read (160 MB/sec) speed and it boasts USB 3.0 support. But, just like other ordinary hard drives, this one shows the spindle rotation speed of 5400RPM and the cache memory of 8 Mb. It is quite enough for a convenient use of the drive. Additionally, Apricorn A25-3PL256-1000 is suitable for connection to your TV. Now you can watch movies right from the drive and be sure that a video will be reproduced without lags.
Apricorn Aegis Padlock Encrypted Portable External Hard Drive in the use

Size and Design

Regardless of the capacity, the drive has small dimensions of 4.5 x 0.8 x 3.2 inches and weighs only 8 oz. Such parameters make this device quite portable and perfect for people who travel a lot. What is important, the integrated USB cable solves the problem of losing a cable and ensures that the cable is always at hand. The drive is protected from drops owing to the shock mounting system. And finally, the wear-resistant keypad will never prompt a hacker the commonly used buttons.
Detailed review of Apricorn Aegis Padlock Encrypted Portable External Hard Drive

Protection

The 256-bit AES-XTS encryption algorithm efficiently secures your data on the drive. In case a thief tries to directly hook up to your disc, all the chips in the drive are sealed with epoxy coating to avoid any physical attack. Apricorn A25-3PL256-1000 features an auto-lock feature, so you can preset the time of the automatic shut-off. This very drive is perfect for corporate use as it allows enrolling of up to 5 unique user passwords and 1 admin password.
Apricorn Aegis Padlock Encrypted Portable External Hard Drive application

VIDEO
Aegis Padlock 3.0 Apricorn Hard Drive Review:
Apricorn Aegis Padlock
Apricorn Aegis Padlock
 

Kingston Digital Traveler AES Encrypted

Capacity and Type

Kingston Digital DTVP30 is an encrypted flash drive available in the following storage spaces: 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB. The model has the capacity of 8 GB and that is enough to store your private information, documents, photos, and online wallets' logins. But, if you are fond of videos and movies - you'd better pick a flash drive with at least 64 GB of storage memory or opt for an HDD. Kingston Digital DTVP30 can be easily connected to your TV as it hooks up directly to a USB port of a TV and doesn't require any cables.
Review of Kingston Digital Traveler AES Encrypted 3.0 USB Flash Drive

Data Transfer Rate

This encrypted flash drive supports USB 3.0 interface and features the SuperSpeed technology, allowing a faster data transfer. Therefore, this drive has high read and write speed rates, 165 MB/s and 22 MB/s respectively. Owing to such a speed, the files are opened within seconds and videos are reproduced without delays. However, you should be aware that these write/read speeds are achieved only if the flash drive is plugged in the USB 3.0 port. In case your laptop, PC or TV has only USB 2.0 interface, the read/write speed decreases quite considerably.
Kingston Digital Traveler AES Encrypted 3.0 USB Flash Drive in the use

Size and Design

Kingston Digital DTVP30 weighs only 0.3 oz. and has really small dimensions: 3.2 x 0.5 x 1 inches. It is obvious that this device is a fantastic choice since it is portable and it even fits a pocket of your trousers. For its small size, this flash drive lacks a keypad, but it's not a great deal, to be honest. If you're after security, it will still do the job. We should also mention that this secure flash drive is sealed in an aluminum casing and is waterproof at a depth of 1.2 m. Additionally, Kingston flash drive has a special lacing hole on the body that allows wearing it around your neck.
Detailed review of Kingston Digital Traveler AES Encrypted 3.0 USB Flash Drive

Protection

This small and portable drive uses one of the strongest encryption algorithms - 256-bit AES-XTS - to protect your sensitive information. For additional security, there is an ESET antivirus (it's pre-installed on the drive). This feature allows you to fearlessly connect your flash drive to any PC and be sure that no malware is capable of attacking your device. To set a password for gaining access to your data, you have to setup the device on your PC and perform the initialization of the encrypted drive. We recommend you to write your password down. In case you forget it, the encrypted drive will delete all the information after 10 incorrect password entries.
Kingston Digital Traveler AES Encrypted 3.0 USB Flash Drive application

VIDEO
Kingston DataTraveler Vault Privacy
Kingston Digital Traveler AES Encrypted
Kingston Digital Traveler AES Encrypted
 

Apricorn Aegis Secure Key

Capacity and Type

Aegis Secure Key flash drive offers a storage capacity of 8Gb. Here you can store your photos, music, documents and some software. Just imagine, this encrypted drive fits for more than 2000 photos or 2 films in HDRip quality. Other Aegis Secure Key versions include 4GB, 16GB, and 32GB. Thus, even the most demanding buyers can find the right model for their needs and tasks. But remember, the higher the capacity is, the higher the price is.
Review of Apricorn Aegis Secure Key Encrypted Flash Drive

Data Transfer Rate

Regardless the fact the Aegis Secure Key flash drive supports USB 2.0, it shows quite high both read and write speeds, 27 Mb/s and 24 Mb/s respectively. Hence, it will take you only several minutes to fill the device's memory. If compared to Corsair Flash Padlock 2, Aegis offers twice as high speed and can easily compete with the other devices on our shortlist. What is more important, you can buy this great encrypted drive at quite an affordable price.
Apricorn Aegis Secure Key Encrypted Flash Drive in the use

Size and Design

An aluminum casing protects Aegis flash drive from damages and makes it perfect for travelers. On the other hand, it weighs 0.9 oz. and, thus, is heavier than an ordinary flash drive. But it should be mentioned that the size of this device is following: 3.1'' x 0.4'' x 0.8'' inches, so it can easily fit a pocket of your jacket. There is an onboard alphanumeric keypad on the housing with 10 wear-resistant buttons for gaining access to data. For your convenience, Aegis flash drive has 3 LED buttons that show the current status of the device.
Detailed review of Apricorn Aegis Secure Key Encrypted Flash Drive

Protection

Apricorn ASK-256-8GB uses the 256-bit AES-CBC encryption algorithm and has the FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certificate. Additionally, this encrypted drive is also certified for Water and Dust Resistance with the IP57 certification. This means if you ever immerse the device in the water at a depth no more than 1 m, the drive will not get out of order. As all the Apricorn drives, this model is sealed with the tough epoxy compound to avoid physical attacks. To provide additional security, the flash drive offers the auto-lock feature once it is unplugged. And finally, after entering 10 invalid PINs, the drive destroys all the stored data, so make sure not to forget your own password!
Apricorn Aegis Secure Key Encrypted Flash Drive application

VIDEO
Aegis Secure Key 3.0 instructional video 1: ESTABLISHING THE ADMIN PIN
Apricorn Aegis Secure Key
Apricorn Aegis Secure Key
 

Corsair Padlock2

Capacity and Type

If you choose Corsair Flash Padlock 2 encrypted flash drive, you can select one of the several available models that differ in the capacity they provide. There are 3 following options: 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB. So, you can pick the most appropriate model according to your needs. This model (we have tested the one having the capacity of 32GB) can contain all your sensitive data such as photos, documents, and music. But it is not enough to store the collection of movies.
Review of Corsair Padlock2 USB 2.0 Flash Drive

Data Transfer Rate

Corsair CMFPLA cannot boast the highest write/read speed in comparison with the other drives in our review. In fact, the data transfer rate is quite low and the index of reading is 13 Mb/s and writing is only 9.6 Mb/s. However, this encrypted flash drive is meant to protect your data and not to amaze you with its high data transfer rate. So, it is up to you to decide what is of high priority for you in an encrypted drive that you choose.
Corsair Padlock2 USB 2.0 Flash Drive in the use

Size and Design

Corsair CMFPLA has a durable rubber housing that protects the device from moisture, dust, and dirt ingress. Additionally, the flash drive is shockproof and scratch-resistant. What is important, it weighs only 0.3 oz. and the size of the drive is 5.5 x 3.9 x 0.6 inches. Hence, you can easily take the drive with you wherever you go. Corsair Flash Padlock 2 is designed with a keypad for unlocking the drive and 3 LED indicators that show you the current condition of the device.
Detailed review of Corsair Padlock2 USB 2.0 Flash Drive

Protection

This encrypted drive allows you to enroll 1 user PIN and 1 administrator PIN, where a PIN can be 4-10 digits long. The 256-bit AES encryption algorithm used in this flash drive will properly secure your data. In addition, the drive is protected against hack attacks and locks up for 2 minutes after 5 incorrect PIN entries. But, Corsair doesn't feature disk formatting after a certain number of incorrect password entries. You should be aware that if you forget your password, you will lose all your data. Corsair CMFPLA requires complete hardware reset to set a new PIN, so be aware.
Corsair Padlock2 USB 2.0 Flash Drive application

VIDEO
Corsair Padlock 2 8GB 256-bit Encrypted Pen Drive Quick Look
Corsair Padlock2
Corsair Padlock2
 

Infographics

Comparison of Encrypted Drives
Other reviews