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Kingston’s DataTraveler 2000: A Secure USB 3.0 Thumb Drive

Data security has been in the news lately, as encryption makes headlines and front-page news stories. And while your Apple iPhone might not be secure if the FBI really wants to get in, it’s still important to find ways to protect yourself from the far-more-common prying eyes of co-workers and issues of theft.

After all, whether you are working on a novel or simply have financial documents that you want to keep safe, you must store them in a way that won’t lead to leaks or loss.

The Kingston DataTraveler 2000 is a USB 3.0 thumb drive that features a small keypad. To access it, you have to type in a passcode- and if you don’t, everything is AES 256-bit hardware encrypted and cannot be retrieved or viewed.

That way, encryption is done on the drive itself, not on the host computer, which leaves no trace of the PIN. It is compatible with Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, and even other systems like Chrome OS and Android, it doesn’t require software or drivers either. Available in a few different capacities, we tried the 32GB version.

How does it work? Well, it’s pretty simple- as long as it’s unlocked, it functions basically like a normal thumb drive. It ships with a default code, which you’ll use the first time- press the little key button, enter the PIN, and then press the PIN again to unlock it.

To set your own, press the key twice, enter your key, another double-tap, and enter your code a second time for confirmation, then a final double-tap again. Now let’s say that you lose your DataTraveler on the subway or in a taxi- when someone else tries to put in a wrong key ten times in a row, all of the data ‘self-destructs’ and is immediately erased and the drive formatted. You’ll have to format it again to use it- we tested it out and you couldn’t even tell that the data had been silently erased.

Of course, this drive is physically a little larger than some on the market to fit the keypad. But we liked the body and build, and it’s backed by a three-year warranty.

We’ve always had positive experiences with Kingston gear in the past, from RAM to SSDs, and this flash drive is no exception. It helps that transfer speeds are impressive too, upwards of 150 MB/s reads and 90 MB/s write. The DataTraveler comes with a removable key ring attached and a protective sleeve that slides over the keypad to keep it from being damaged in your pocket. In short: your data should be safe and secure in several ways, and closer than the cloud.

Check price on Amazon >> Kingston DataTraveler 2000 – DT2000/128GB USB 3.1 Gen 1 (USB 3.0) encrypted Flash Drive with an alphanumeric keypad.

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