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81 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jury is still out on this one... will update later
Just a note for people coming into this review late; I recommend that you slow format this drive the first time. Don't use it from the factory or do a quick format from Mac or PC.

Nov 13 2012 - Purchased one last weekend, got it, changed the password (which was easy) and mounted it from my Mac. Threw some files on, used it several more times the next day,...
Published on November 13, 2012 by DH

versus
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK for personal use
I am an IT admin and we were considering to phase out the ironkey with this device. We use a lot of Apricorn padlock SSD and really like the padlock drive. After playing with the device for some time, we decided to postpone the deployment of Aegis key.

Pro:
*) Build-in battery. Very useful if you need to share the device - you can enter the key code in...
Published 12 months ago by C. Huang


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81 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jury is still out on this one... will update later, November 13, 2012
By 
DH (Tampa, FL) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Apricorn Aegis Secure Key FIPS Validated 16 GB USB 2.0 256-bit AES-CBC Encrypted Flash Drive ASK-256-16GB (Black) (Personal Computers)
Just a note for people coming into this review late; I recommend that you slow format this drive the first time. Don't use it from the factory or do a quick format from Mac or PC.

Nov 13 2012 - Purchased one last weekend, got it, changed the password (which was easy) and mounted it from my Mac. Threw some files on, used it several more times the next day, mounted it from my Android tablet, was able to access the files. Took a plane flight that night, it got x-rayed, then on Monday my Mac, PC and Android all said unrecognizable partition. I had done a quick-format ExFAT partition from the Mac originally. So this time I did a FAT32 partition and slow format from a Windows 2008 server. I've since put files back on it and have been able to use it from all the same devices again, no problems.

So, what went wrong, no idea, but I'll have to give it some time before I'd feel confident having the only copy of important files on the device. I'll keep using my PGP-encrypted desktop drive as the primary copy.

I'll come back and update this review after some time passes as it's only been a few days. If the device proves reliable after time and a few more runs through an airport x-ray then I'll increase the rating.

Dec 11, 2012 - no issues yet, no plane flights yet either but I do have two coming up so it will get some x-ray zapping soon enough and we'll see what happens.

Jan 2013 - have flown about three round trips so it's been scanned six more times, no issues to report. No explanation for what caused that initial failure; will post a long term update later on and adjust up to five starts if nothing goes wrong in the future AND the password change I plan to make in five or six months goes successfully.

March 2013 - still no new issues to report; bumping up the stars. :-) I just bought one of their encrypted 1TB hard drives too.

Dec 2013 - still working flawlessly. I'm buying another one for a friend who noticed it and asked about it. Updating to five stars, but my recommendation of doing an initial slow format still stands. I'm going to edit the first part of the review to reflect this too.
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great tool to secure information!, January 24, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Apricorn Aegis Secure Key FIPS Validated 16 GB USB 2.0 256-bit AES-CBC Encrypted Flash Drive ASK-256-16GB (Black) (Personal Computers)
I work for a federal district court and our judges were always looking for methods to carry sensitive data without having to deal with encryption software solutions.

We tried IronKey but they didn't want software running every time they tried to access the drive. I suggested the Aegis SecureKey. I received the drive, plugged it in, followed the instructions, and was able to access it on my PC, Mac, and Linux boxes with no problem.

I ran it through several tests: filling it up, dropping it in a glass of water, stepping on it, plugging and unplugging it at random, and it came through without a flaw!

Now we have a series of these deployed and the judges love it! They can set their own PINs and, since I set up the Admin pin, they can be assured that if they ever forget their PIN I can reset it by them simply dropping off the drive in my office.

We are ordering more of these for other agencies so if you need a portable solution for your data this is it!
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is even better than my IRONKEY!, September 13, 2012
By 
defilm "defilm" (New York, United States) - See all my reviews
The great think about this is you don't ave to install any software and it works with any operating system.
I unlock the key and the user writes the data I need to the USB stick. I lock it.
Later on when I get to the office, I plug it in to my MacbookPro and unlock it and download the data.
Simple, I format it FAT so Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux can write to it. Larger files? Not problem. I format it NTFS, WIN7 writes, and Mac OS X
or Linux can read NTFS, just not write it. Perfect. For PC to PC it is a no-brainer as you don't even have to think about any of that. When working between the 3 different operating systems, I find FAT to be so painless.

As for encryption, I like this better than my IRONKEY. The IRONKEY will actually BURN out the chip by heating it if you attempt to access it 10 times. The Apricorn Aegis will also destroy the contents of memory, but rather than burning the chip out so you have to buy another, it just wipes the drive in a Mil-Spec manner so the data is not retrievable. Far better idea IMPO. As another user noted, it is epoxy filled, so there is no physical tampering. As for another user saying the keys are too small, they are small, but it is not a big deal. I have big hands. I can press the keys and there is a definite tactile click response when pressing the key so you know you pressed it or didn't. Also there is room between the buttons, so the size of the buttons is not an issue. I also like that they have the letters on the numeric keys as well, so you can use a combination name/number sequence.

The other benefit to a "no software needed" device like this, which even the IRONKEY suffers from, is you enter your code on the device NOT a keyboard. Entering on a keyboard allows for interception by the very common and trivial "key capture" malware out there.

Lastly, sometimes it is just the details. So many USB devices have a string loop to put through the USB so you don't lose it if you are lucky, or it is plastic which is worse. The Aegis has a nice 1" diameter metal braided ring, and a small cylindrical grip at the top so you don't have to pull the USB device out by the wire as the case is a nice snug fit. (You can see it in the photo). It just shows that it was well thought out.

Operationally, it has been flawless. I have no con's.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good with one drawback, January 12, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Apricorn Aegis Secure Key FIPS Validated 16 GB USB 2.0 256-bit AES-CBC Encrypted Flash Drive ASK-256-16GB (Black) (Personal Computers)
I am a fan of encryption, and self-encrypting thumbdrives are something that I find useful for keeping secure backups. The fact that the competitors to this drive have 'shared' number keys (0/1 on the same key, 2/3 on the same key, etc) makes me want to use my old drives less due to the reduced number of combinations possible, and thus security. The drive is very nice, and I would recommend it, though there are a couple of cons.

Pros:
-Drive is easy to use and secure including expoy-filled interior.
-Drive 'sheath' is aluminum for added ruggedness and rubber ring around where it seals makes it water resistant.
-Cable for attaching to keys or whatever is metal with rubber insulation, seems very sturdy.

Cons:
-Buttons are very small, but I don't want to use fingernails because the keys are rubber and I feel like I'd damage them.
-It seems to dislike even the slightest power interruptions. If I connect it before starting an OS, during the boot of Windows or Linux when it detects USB devices, it will disconnect it due to the brief interruption in USB connectivity. I will have to reach down and enter the PIN again.

Note: This is not a scenario that it is advertised to work in or anything, but I was able to do this on my previous pin-pad-having USB drive without issues... I installed Linux on the drive so that it was bootable, but when I try to boot Linux, it disconnects it during the phase where it detects USB devices. It continues booting if I reach down and re-unlock the drive, but it's a pain.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK for personal use, December 10, 2013
This review is from: Apricorn Aegis Secure Key FIPS Validated 16 GB USB 2.0 256-bit AES-CBC Encrypted Flash Drive ASK-256-16GB (Black) (Personal Computers)
I am an IT admin and we were considering to phase out the ironkey with this device. We use a lot of Apricorn padlock SSD and really like the padlock drive. After playing with the device for some time, we decided to postpone the deployment of Aegis key.

Pro:
*) Build-in battery. Very useful if you need to share the device - you can enter the key code in your own secure way before hand it to another person.
*) No software needed to unlock/lock the device - great to use it with an USB equipped instrument that doesn't have a general computer interface.
*) Small, well build.

Con:
*) There is debouncing issue on the keypad electronic design. Basically if you enter the same number consecutively and somewhat fast, it might register as single key entry or double entry. The result is somewhat unpredictable. One way to get around it is don't repeat the number. Example: 11234567 is bad but 12134567 is OK. Another way is slow down the key in speed to half a second interval or longer per entry. It is annoying since most users are used to fast double click speed.
*) the user manual on ADMIN reset user pin is unclear. The correct procedure is "8. Unlocking the Aegis Secure Key in Admin mode" then lock the device by either plugin-unplug or wait 30+ seconds till it re-locks itself. At this point, the user key is wiped. Now you can proceed to "9. Creating a User PIN after accessing Key with Admin code". The device has to be locked before you can perform step 9. You cannot do it while the device is in Admin unlocked mode.
*) Technical support is not helpful. We called in and tried to discuss about the issues but the person over the phone did not even bother to let us finish. He insisted we should watch the five videos on their website. And if we still couldn't get it to work, the device must be defected and we should ship it in for repair. All five units we have, including one 4GB, two 16GB, and two 32GB, are defected? I don't think so.
*) not an USB 3.0 device.
*) I think the design of the device can be shorter by using ironkey style lanyard, and get rid of the lock/unlock symbols - color coded LEDs in single row should be good enough.

All in all, the Aegis key is good for personal use but not quite fool-proof yet for our corporate environment. Hopefully the next revision will fix the issues and support USB 3.0 speed.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding product, April 11, 2012
By 
A. Le (Kingwood, TX. United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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I was a bit worry about ordering this because it had one reviewer who gave it 1 star. I received it today and it was very simple to set up. Read the quick start guide first and you will have no problem. I would highly recommend this product. I changed the pass codes several times and had no problem unlocking it. Then I plugged it on 2 different laptops one is Windows 7 and one is Windows Vista. It worked just fine on both. If you want a hassle free and software free system this is the way to go. It's like programming an electronic combination lock on a safe. It's that easy and it is military grade encrypted. Very cool. I'm going to be buying their larger external hard drive now too. I don't trust backing up on the cloud just yet. Thanks.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Really wanted to like this product..., March 26, 2013
By 
Patrick Gaul (Sacramento, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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My goal in purchasing the Aegis Secure Key was to have a rock-solid, dependable and secure USB flash drive that would work in any computer, every time; that I could rely on to transfer important data, and most especially, be the home for my portable Password Safe database. Unfortunately, this product falls far short of that goal.

The construction of the device is quite sturdy, but management of the code is fussy, and far more trouble than I had anticipated. You do get the hang of it after awhile, but it has been an annoyance. That's not the problem however... Although I cannot dismiss the possibility that my unit is defective, it does have a mind of its own. Even with very careful entry of the code, and repeated examination of the tedious instructions and blinking lights, it sometimes works... sometimes not! The issue is that after the code is entered and the device is connected to a USB port (following the instructions to the letter!), the main blue light continues to blink, and the device does not connect. Sometimes it would work on one computer, not another, one port, not another, or even work/not work on the same port on different occasions. If it always didn't work, you'd know for sure that there was a problem, but when it only works once in a while, it drives you nuts!

One good thing I can say is the customer service from Apricorn was very responsive. When I asked them what the continuously blinking blue light meant (which, by-the-way was never mentioned in their manual or FAQ) they told me (at first) that this meant that the USB port was not supplying enough electricity for the device to function (whoa... that's a problem), and recommended that I use a different port or one with a power boost. That alone was a deal breaker for me. This theory seemed to work initially, but later proved to not be the case, as the device would sometimes work on un-powered ports, and not on powered ones (and in a later message from support, they changed their answer to rule that option out).

I'm surprised that I put up with this product as long as I did (to the point where Amazon will now only give me a partial refund) and even though Apricorn has offered to replace the unit, I'm done playing roulette as to whether I will be able to get to my Password safe when I need it, or not... even if my device is defective, it makes me doubt the integrity of the design. Too much drama for me! I'll keeping looking for a different solution.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Device: Works great on every platform I have, April 26, 2012
By 
QK Shopper (Denver, CO USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Apricorn Aegis Secure Key FIPS Validated 16 GB USB 2.0 256-bit AES-CBC Encrypted Flash Drive ASK-256-16GB (Black) (Personal Computers)
This device works marvelously.

Pros:

- Works on all platforms. I have used this now on five different computers, which includes 2 Windows 7 machines, 2 Windows XP machines, and one MacBook pro. All of the computers read it (once I've input my passcode) and I can work with all my files on it, saving them back to it, copying files to and from, whatever I want to do just like any regular thumb drive.

- I have tried and used three other secure systems for thumbdrives. They have all eventually failed in one way or another, or are cumbersome. The one I had liked best, just stopped working with Macs once Lion came out. The way this product (Apricorn Aegis) works, it should not have this problem. Most devices like this depend on a specific software program on the device to run correctly, or else you will not be seeing your files on whatever platform. This device, because of the hardware based encryption, works just like any regular old thumb drive once you've put in your passcode. There is no software on it driving the interface with the computer, so it will not (likely) become unusable with the next iteration of Mac OS or Windows OS, not matter what they do.

- The drive seems pretty fast to me. Not a big issue for me, but it's obviously moving files pretty well.

- Once you reset it to you own passcode, (took me a couple of tries to get that part right)it just works and works flawlessly and easily. Simple to use.

- I worried it might be really heavy, like Ironkey brand devices. Those weigh a lot, as they seem to take seriously the word "Iron" in how they built them. I want lighter cause I keep this with me back and forth, to and from office, and when I travel. It's not small but it's not heavy and it's not overly large (but it is longer than many thumb drives)

Cons

- I have not found one yet. If I do, I'll update.

This does what it's advertised to do and provides what I think is a more secure way to keep and move secure files than most of what's out there that relies more on software for the interface with the computer. While I initially thought I would not like the actual number keys and pressing in my passcode rather than typing it in, I love it this way. It's also massively more secure this way because you cannot stick this in a computer and have passcode cracking software go to town trying to find a combo that opens it. It won't open in the first place if you won't externally first enter your passcode. And what hacker wants to sit around for a long time, trying to guess your code, by entering each guess one at a time, using the little number keys? They would not do it.

I highly recommend this if your goal is carrying files around securely with as little hassle between platforms as possible.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware ! I lost all my data !, January 27, 2014
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I had a very bad experience with this product. After three monts of use, one morning I plugged it into my PC, as usual, and it just didn't work. It was dead. Both the product manual and Apricorn website didn't offer any help. I called Apricorn technical service, but they just told me that the Aegis was dead and my data could not be recovered. My advice: don't save your data on this device only.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great drive other than for the priss poor read/write speed., January 27, 2014
By 
A coworker of mine gave me one of thse a 16gb version close to 2 years ago been working fine since. great little usb drive to store sensitive info. as it is encrypted on the device itself and have a "self destruct" feature where if you enter the password wrong 10 times it would wipe all the data off.

Pro:
- secure
- OS independant
- don't need to install any encryption software the computer to use it.
- well built and sturdy
- works like a charm
- password is entered on the actual drive to prevent key logger malware.

Con:
- kinda expensive for the price per gb. but I guess that is the price to pay for the security features
- SLOOOOOW. i/o speed.
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