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Published on February 9th, 2012 | by Greg


DataLocker: Great Data Security (At A Price)

One of the best parts about the con­stant­ly falling price of mem­o­ry has been an in­creas­ing ubiq­ui­ty. Any­one can pick up a few gi­ga­bytes of portable stor­age on the cheap, and eas­i­ly grab those mu­sic files or movies or doc­u­ments or pho­tographs to eas­i­ly share them across com­put­ers. All it takes is a thumb drive, or a portable hard drive, and you can have copies of your stuff ready at hand.

Un­less you lose it, or it’s stolen. In which case, un­less you’ve been us­ing some se­ri­ous tools, you might as well con­sid­er your da­ta com­pro­mised. If it’s just your va­ca­tion pho­tos, that’s prob­a­bly not a big deal. But if it’s sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion from your com­pa­ny- pre­sen­ta­tions or re­ports, for ex­am­ple- then the prob­lem is po­ten­tial­ly much larg­er. And that’s where Dat­aLock­er comes in, of­fer­ing so­lu­tions both op­ti­cal and mag­net­ic, in the form of theDL3 500GB portable hard drive and their Se­cure­Disk writable CD me­dia.

The CDs them­selves seem pret­ty nor­mal- un­til you pop in the disk and take a look at the soft­ware in­clud­ed for burn­ing. Of­fer­ing AES 256 bit en­cryp­tion, you sim­ply choose a pass­word, and can se­lect whether to close the disk and fi­nal­ize the burn or leave any re­main­ing room open. No ad­di­tion­al soft­ware is re­quired, and no in­stal­la­tion need­ed, as ev­ery­thing is in­clud­ed on­board. One down­side, though, is that the discs on­ly work on PCs; Macs are un­sup­port­ed at this time (Lin­ux al­so ap­pears to be un­sup­port­ed). As long as you don’t write the pass­word on the disk it­self, you can pass it to any col­league or friend and rest at ease know­ing that the disks are well-nigh un­break­able. The idea is sound, and the price isn’t too bad- $3 for a CD, a bit more for a DVD, and us­ing the sys­tem is su­per-sim­ple.

But if 5GB isn’t enough stor­age for you, Dat­aLock­er al­so of­fers rugged, portable, sexy hard drives in ei­ther 500GB or 1TB ca­pac­i­ties. And they sup­port USB 3.0 as well, mak­ing them quite fast. Self-en­crypt­ing, there again isn’t any soft­ware or drivers need­ed to use the DL3, and we loved the way the alu­minum body looked and felt. This is a drive that def­i­nite­ly stands out, with a very nifty, fu­tur­is­tic LCD touch­screen built in­to the drive it­self. You’ll need to in­put your pass­code to un­lock the da­ta, and there are quite a few fea­tures that set it above oth­er com­peti­tors. For in­stance, you can have the da­ta “self-de­struct” if there are too many in­cor­rect at­tempts. You can have the key­pad re-or­der the lay­out ran­dom­ly to avoid fin­ger­print lift­ing. They’ve thought of most ev­ery­thing- the on­ly oth­er fea­ture we might’ve liked to see is the abil­i­ty to ‘trace’ where it is plugged in if an in­ter­net con­nec­tion is avail­able, of­fer­ing some sort of re­mote func­tion­al­i­ty.

This isn’t a sol­id state drive (though they do of­fer some), and it isn’t the best op­tion for those who sim­ply need some in­ex­pen­sive stor­age. In­stead, this is a se­ri­ous op­tion for those con­cerned with se­cu­ri­ty, whether for gov­ern­ment, fi­nan­cial, or med­i­cal ap­pli­ca­tions- or for those who sim­ply want pry­ing eyes kept firm­ly away from their da­ta. At $379 list price for the 500GB mod­el, it’s pricey, but you’re pay­ing a rea­son­able pre­mi­um for a touch­screen on your hard drive, even with­out the oth­er fea­tures. It’s solid­ly built, looks good, though did run a bit warm- we’re def­i­nite­ly us­ing the DL3 the next time we have sen­si­tive files to trans­port.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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