Super back up protection from iStorage

I’ve been using a backup external drive for about 6 months from iStorage and have found it to be the best possible solution for local backups. While I was initially put off by its price of about $300 for 500GB, two to three times the cost of other drives, there’s good reason I can recommend this if security is important to you.

The drive is designed to keep secure what you back up, unlike other drives that can be easily accessed, even easier than the computer you’re backing up. So consider this product to be giving you both backup storage as well as a safe with a digital lock to protect your drive. Until that reasoning became clear it was hard to write a review recommending such a costly drive. But taken in context with the purpose of the drive in the first place, protection, it’s worthwhile considering. Remember, price is not the only criteria, especially when it comes to secure and safe backups.

The key to the product is its built-in numerical keypad that you need to use every time you dock the drive to the computer. That’s the first and most obvious level of protection. LED lights on the drive give you feedback of whether the drive is locked or unlocked. Secondly, the HDD offers AES 256-bit hardware encryption so the data is protected if it could ever be accessed.

The drive is similar in size to most external hard drives, and is nicely finished in soft touch matte black paint. They keyboard is well designed and works flawlessly.  It also has a convenient built-in USB-A cable that’s cleverly self contained so you never need to search for a cable. Of course, with the new MacBook Pros I needed to search for a USB-A to USB-C adapter.

I tried it with Macs and Windows computers and it was easily recognized and didn’t require any software, just reformatting on the Mac. I have had issues with other drives from Seagate and other companies where the drive is not recognized on my Mac, but not with this drive.

Beyond the protection using the numerical access, the drive is tamper proof with it’s internal components being inaccessible, potted in epoxy, even of the case is destroyed. It’s also dust and water resistantant.  The product comes with a semi-hard case and very clear instructions and is available in a variety of sizes and colors. Yes, you can find drives for less, but nothing that offers the level of protection this drive offers. Considering the task you’re asking it perform, it may just be the best value out there.


by Phil Baker