Conventional flash drives are not one of the safest devices to carry sensitive data. Unless the files inside are password-protected, basically anyone with a laptop or a smartphone with OTG will be able to access the data inside. Password-protected flash drives help to prevent just that. These devices let you protect the data inside with a key or a password. And as you may have expected, unless the receiver has the key, they won't be able to access the data inside.
Password-protected flash drives are of two types. One type has a digital key, while others have a physical keypad to enter the PIN or password.
Quite naturally, these flash drives are a tad expensive than their conventional counterparts.
So if you do not want your sensitive data to fall into the wrong hands, here are some of our top recommendations for password-protected flash drives that you can buy. But check these out first,
The Sandisk Cruzer Glide CZ60 looks like just any other flash drives out there. However, do not let the simple design fool you, for the CZ60 boasts 128-bit AES encryption. Apart from the 64GB physical storage, it also lets you back up around 2GB of files to the cloud.
Just like you assumed, the CZ60 lets you password protect your files and documents. The speed is also not bad either. You will get around read/write speeds of around 21.61MB/s and 7.96MB/s on average.
It's affordable and costs a lot less than its counterparts.
Kingston is a known name in the world of flash drives and thumb drives. The Kingston DTLPG3 data traveler uses a software-based password or PIN. The encryption software is inside the flash drive, and it auto-installs if you are using it on a new PC. That said, when it detects a wrong password more than 10 times, the device auto locks.
This USB 3.0 flash drive is shaped like a conventional drive. It's slim and is easy to use on your laptop directly without blocking the adjacent ports. The only issue is that it's a little heavy.
Additionally, it lets you back up the drive data to the cloud for easy access. It works as advertised and has decent read/write speed. On paper, it supports read speeds up to 135MB/s and write speeds up to 40MB/s.
The Innoplus Secure Flash Drive is a tad different from the flash drives above. It features a keypad on the body. And it's through this keypad that you enter the password to lock/unlock the flash drive. This one also uses AES-XTS encryption to encrypt the files inside.
Setting the password is a straightforward affair. All you need to do is press the password reset button for 5 seconds to set a new password. This flash drive has a built-in mechanism that prohibits you from entering passwords that can be cracked easily, such as 000 or 1234.
That said, it performs its job well. The flash drive automatically locks when you pull it out from your laptop. It charges while it's plugged in, thus removing the hassle of charging it separately.
Unlike the one above, the Innoplus secure flash drive can't be unlocked with software. Plus, the size is a little on the larger aide, which means if the USB ports are close to each other on your laptop, you won't be able to use the adjacent ports.
Another flash drive with physical keys is the iStorage datAshur Pro 2. This one is almost in the same price bracket and features a similar make and build. The highlight of this flash drive is its solid build, which shields the body from external harm. While the data inside is protected via AES-XTS 256-bit encryption.
Perhaps what sets this flash drive apart from its peers is that several people can use it. The admin simply needs to create user codes for the user base. Unlike the one above, the PIN here is 7 digits, with none repeating in the code. The only challenge you might face is to key in all the digits on such a small keypad.
That said, the combination of the AES encryption and the solid build ensures that the flash drive and the data inside it, stays safe. It has an IP68 waterproof rating, so you are safe on that front as well.
The read/write speeds are not bad either. While you do not get super fast speed, you can expect read/write speed around 130MB/s and 115MB/s on a USB 3.1 port.
This flash drive is quite popular on Amazon and has received praises from its user base for its durability and value-to-price proposition.
The Apricorn Aegis Secure Key is one of the expensive flash drives out there with password protection. It costs almost twice that of the datAshur Pro 2, but it has solid features like a USB 3.0 port, AES 256 bit encryption, and a physical keypad.
It requires you to use a 7-16 digit PIN. But the good news is that the keys are set a little apart, which makes it easy to press the keys. However, when it comes to flash drives with physical keys, it makes sense to buy a USB cable so that it's easy to enter the PINs when connected to the PC.
It transfers data to and fro at a decent speed. However, it doesn't transfer at USB 3.0 speeds.
The Apricorn Aegis Secure Key is a popular product out there. It has seen more than 200 user reviews on Amazon, with people appreciating its easy-to-use nature.
However, it warms up when used for an extensive period. On the upside, it's available in many capacities.
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Lock and Key
Data is a double-edged sword, and when it falls into the wrong hands, it can surely cause havoc. This is true, especially if you are dealing with sensitive data of your firm or company.
Apart from the encryption involved in the process, you should also check for the product's durability.
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