Review: iStorage diskAshur² Portable Encrypted Hard Drive

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During post-production, it’s absolutely essential to work with a media storage solution that is dependable, efficient, and secure. That’s why we were excited to review the new diskAshur² from iStorage, a portable encrypted hard drive that fulfills all three of these requirements. Portable hard drives are becoming increasingly reliable and faster across the board, but the promise to keep your data truly safe and secure is what truly sets the diskAshur line ahead of the pack.

Portability & Durability

The diskAshur² is an ultra-secure, portable bus-powered USB 3.1 hard drive with PIN authentication. We tested out the 2TB HDD version, but 500GB – 5TB HDD and 128GB – 4TB SSD options are also available. The drive features a slim, compact design to maximize portability, with the 2TB HDD version measuring a sleek 124 mm x 84 mm x 19 mm (W, D, H) and weighing in at only about 216 grams.

The drive is water and dust resistant with an IP56 certification, and all components are protected by a super-tough layer of epoxy resin. A durable protective carrying case is included, along with the added protection of a two-year warranty. We were impressed by the drive’s streamlined, sturdy design and its ultra-portability. The design really stands out from the crowd, thanks to its sleek keypad surface and attractive color options: Phantom Black, Ocean Blue, Fiery Red, and Racing Green. We were delighted to brighten up our workspace with the Fiery Red flavor.

Versatility & Efficiency

The diskAshur² features a software-free setup and operation and is truly platform and device independent. It’s compatible with all operating systems including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, Chrome, and more. As promised, it works with any device with a USB port! We even hooked it up to a PlayStation 4 console to test out video game data storage, and it worked beautifully.

The drive features superfast USB 3.1 data transfer speeds, reading at a maximum of 124 MBps and writing at a maximum of 140 MBps. We were also happy to see that the device is backward compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.1 ports. The drive operates at an RPM of 5400 and has a buffer size of 8MB.

Security & Encryption

The diskAshur² features an easy-to-use keypad design that enables users to securely access the drive with a custom 7-15 digit PIN. As an added security measure, the keypad is coated in wear-resistant epoxy to prevent a potential hacker from identifying commonly-used keys. The drive is actually covered in its entirety by a layer of super-tough epoxy resin. This tamper-proof coating is virtually impossible to remove without causing permanent damage to the drive’s components. The drive can be set to automatically lock after a pre-determined amount of inactivity, and all data is always encrypted with the device is at rest.

The diskAshur², which is compliant with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) data protection and privacy law, offers advanced portable data security via a real-time military grade AES-XTS 256-bit hardware encryption engine. A dedicated hardware-based secure microprocessor offers built-in physical protection mechanisms to protect the drive from external tampering and other security threats. The device features EDGETM (Enhanced Dual Generating Encryption) Technology and a dedicated on-board Common Criteria EAL4+ ready secure microprocessor to enhance security through true random number generation and built-in cryptography.

In the event of an automated attack or any external tampering, the diskAshur² will enter a deadlock frozen state, rendering the attack entirely useless and completely protecting your assets. The system is intelligently programmed to protect itself against any form of brute force invasion and will even enter a special protocol to delete its data in the event of a coordinated attack. This sounds like an intimidating feature at first, but it can only be triggered by a real attack, and in that case, it would be better to wipe the data than for it to fall into the wrong hands. The drive can also be pre-programmed with a unique ‘self destruct’ PIN which will instantly delete the encryption key and PINs along with all data before creating a new encryption key.

Verdict

The diskAshur² is very easy to set up, is durable and efficient, and provides an outstanding level of security. The £289.00 / $385 USD price point (for the 2TB HDD version) is very reasonable for the high levels of encryption and data protection that this storage solution provides. We recommend the diskAshur² HDD to post-production professionals who are seeking optimal security for their assets.

Learn more about iStorage and the diskAshur product line: https://istorage-uk.com

 

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