Feeds
65%
BlockMaster SafeStick

BlockMaster SafeStick hardware-encrypted USB drive

Tough enough?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Reducing security risks from open source software

To test the SafeStick, we copied across a 2GB file then duplicated it on the drive itself. We also used the open source utility TrueCrypt to create a 256-bit AES encrypted file space on a 16GB PNY Attaché USB Flash drive. We then performed the same copy and duplication operations. Both devices were hooked up directly to a MacBook Air's USB 2.0 port.

We repeated the tests this time using a folder containing 100 10MB files - 1GB in total.

2GB File Transfer

BlockMaster SafeStick

Time in Seconds (s)
Shorter bars are better

In each case, the SafeDisk proved much quicker than the combination of TrueCrypt and low-cost Flash drive. But then the latter is a lot cheaper. You pays your money, as they say.

100x 10MB File Transfer

BlockMaster SafeStick

Time in Seconds (s)
Shorter bars are better

And you do pay a lot of money for the SafeStick. A decent 16GB USB drive will set you back around £35 - or a lot less if you opt for a generic product, though it may be slow and contain poor-quality Flash chips - but we saw the 16GB Safestick advertised by a variety of online retailers for between £130 and £208. That's a hefty markup for a security chip.

Opt for the 32GB version and you're looking at shelling out £250-416, depending on who you buy it from. Shop around. At the other end of the scale, the 1GB SafeStick costs £35-44.

SafeStick also has the benefit of better physical protection, though that's likely to be more of a concern to BlockMaster's big-business customers - how many partners are going to saw into a Flash drive to see if their other half is stashing pr0n on it?

Verdict

The SafeStick has all the right credentials to satisfy folk obsessed with security and file-transfer performance. Data copies quickly, and it's locked down tightly, physically as well as digitally. But you can make your own version using free software for a fraction of the price, and with no appreciable reduction in data security. ®

More USB Storage Reviews...


Clickfree Traveler SSD

Freecom ToughDrive Sport

Samsung S1 Mini

Freecom USBCard

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

65%
BlockMaster SafeStick

BlockMaster SafeStick hardware-encrypted USB drive

No question, SafeStick is a smart, highly secure USB file store. But it's way more expensive than DIY alternatives.
Price: £35 (1GB) £40 (2GB) £55 (4GB) £80 (8GB) £130 (16GB) £250 (32GB) RRP

More from The Register

next story
Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax
Without representation, too. Time for a Boston (Lincs) Macbook Party?
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.