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Fingerprint-reading Flash drives

Time to invest in some biometric data storage?

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RiTech BioSlimDisk

RiTech isn’t a company that I was familiar with before writing this group test, but its BioSlimDisk is a very impressive product. You might think that this is too bold a statement to put in the first line of a review, but it's by far the easiest to use of the three devices I tested. Even more so if you use computers with different operating systems, as it's completely platform independent.

BioSlimDisk

It’s actually a rather strange experience using the BioSlimDisk, as it doesn’t come with any kind of software, but it is still very easy to use. It comes with a set of step-by-step instructions in a small pamphlet that tells you how to set it up for the first time. You have to set five unique fingerprints, just in case you have a cut or something which would prevent it from recognising that finger.

There are three LEDs on the BioSlimDisk. The one closest to the finger print sensor flashes once the drive has been inserted into a USB slot to indicate that you need to unlock the drive. The middle LED will either light up green or red, depending on whether the fingerprint was recognised. The third and final LED indicates if the drive has been reset to its default settings with no fingerprints recorded.

To reset the BioSlimDisk, you simply flick a small switch on the side of the USB key and enter one of the enrolled fingerprints. Enrolling is even easier: plug the drive into your computer, put five fingers on the fingerprint scanner in succession and, as long as all five are accepted, you’re ready to go.

The design of the BioSlimDisk isn’t what you’d call sexy, nor is it exactly slim or small. Read and write speeds are very good, so absolutely no complaints there. To be honest, the only complaint I have is the poor construction of the lanyard hoop, but that’s really it. You don’t get a lot of accessories with the BioSlimDisk, just a lanyard and a USB extension cable.

Verdict

The RiTech BioSlimDisk is without a doubt the best implementation on test. It’s easy to use, doesn’t need any software and it works on any platform that accepts USB Mass Storage devices. There’s the small matter of the cost, though. The 512MB version comes in at a very hefty £150, making it the most expensive of the products on test.

85%

More info The BioSlimDisk product page

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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