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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2010
== Update Dec. 3, 2010 ==
After updating the firmware to 2.0.7.0 (released in Oct. 2010), it looks like the software issues a & b that I listed below are improved or fixed.

With that said, I still give it 4 stars, but it's more like 4.5.
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I wanted a drive to store sensitive information as well as function as an "everything I need to use on any computer" drive. I've known of the IronKey drives for a few years and I finally decided that it would be worth the money to get one. I've had this drive for about 5 months now and have used it heavily.

Pros:

- Fast performance for an encrypted drive. Noticeably faster than an a secured Cruzer mini/micro.

- Very useful security features. It has it's own version of Firefox with Tor proxy built-in. The Identity Management application is an all-around handy utility. It can store passwords as well as auto-fill on websites. If you have multiple accounts for the same website, you even get a drop-down to select the one that you want. Forgot your password? You can temporarily view it in clear text. The on-screen keyboard can come in handy if you are on a public computer or elsewhere where you might be concerned about keystroke loggers.

- Quality construction. The best durability I've seen without getting incredibly large. Metal casing. Epoxy-filled to make it solid (and harder to hardware-hack). The cap is rubberized to prevent water from seeping into the tip.

Cons:

- A few software quirks that are unpleasant.
a) While the drive as a whole is fast, its version of Firefox, which is one of the features that I use the most, takes upwards of 30 seconds to load.
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EDIT: There is marked improvement in Firefox startup time. It now takes around 10 seconds for the initial load.
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b) I also have issues with the proxy settings. There is a proxy setting under the network settings tab in the IronKey menu. This will configure your Firefox proxy as well. I switch between proxy'd and direct internet access quite frequently. There are two problems here. First, the "Use System Settings" option doesn't work. Second, unlike the proxy settings in standard Firefox or IE, when you disable the proxy, it doesn't save the hostname/port. So, every time I enable the proxy after disabling it and locking the drive, I have to add those settings back. I found a workaround for Firefox. More on that in a bit.
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EDIT: I no longer have to hack around with the proxy settings. While it still clears out the proxy hostname when disabled, I am now able to use the "Use System Settings" option and it uses the same settings as Windows' Internet Options -> Lan Settings menu. Below, I mention using FoxyProxy. When using the built-in proxy configuration, do NOT use FoxyProxy. It will override your other proxy settings when using Firefox.
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c) Another issue is locking/unlocking flakiness. I've used this drive on both Windows 7 (x64) and Windows XP. I tend to use it with XP, and when I do, locking and unlocking the drive occasionally just doesn't work. When unlocking, it will sometimes go off into space, with IronKey.exe using processor real estate, but getting nowhere. Locking is about as stable as the Windows "Safely remove drive" feature-- it will tell you that it can't be locked because something is in use, but you've closed all files/apps/explorer windows tied to the drive, so short of going through your process list to determine what might be holding it "in use," you either just unplug the drive or shut down your computer.

- Questionable customer service. I opened a support ticket for the proxy setting issue. They first emailed me back to tell me that it sounded like a known issue involving x64-based systems and it had already been fixed. I verified that I was already running the latest firmware and I was still having the problem. A few days later, they responded and said they had just released a new firmware version and to install it. They closed the ticket. I updated the firmware. Problem not fixed. Oh well. I installed the FoxyProxy add-on so I now use that to toggle the proxy in Firefox.

- Expensive. A relative term, I know, but to think that this drive was almost as much as my netbook...hmm. I can say that I've gotten good use out of the drive and am confident that the data it holds is secure and won't be lost due to failure. It means that I have high hopes that it last me for years and the company sticks around so they can continue to make updates.

- No place to put the cap when the drive is in use. It would be nice to have it connected to the lanyard or store on the end like a pen cap.

- [I'm being nit-picky here] The "included lanyard" is a keychain lanyard, not a neck lanyard. It's covered with braided fabric which frays very quickly from the rough edges of the lanyard holes on the drive.

Bottom line:

The cons that I listed are, in my opinion, more annoyances than unresolvable problems. I would recommend IronKeys to anyone just for the security features. If the encrypted space is not needed, a smaller-capacity model will work just fine. If you do need the encrypted space and you can get past the sticker shock, then I would recommend this drive. If you don't need the performance but still need the space, get the D200 model instead. It's twice the capacity for roughly the same price, just lower throughput.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2010
We bought the Ironkey S200 2G version, but thought this review might help all Ironkey buyers.

Obviously this device is not inexpensive, but if you want added security then this is the best. The key is very easy to use; because the key will self-destruct after only 10 failed attempts a password of moderate strength is all that is required. The on-board Identity Manager is a very good App, but did not transfer all of my passwords from Roboform, which I highly recommend. I installed Roboform2Go. Roboform2Go is resident on the key, it produces random passwords and has its own encryption, giving 2 layers of encryption for passwords and safenotes, another great feature. Would have given the Ironkey 5 stars if the included Identity Manager worked better.

The on-board version of Firefox is not only more secure, but with a password manager everything needed to more safely do business on the web is always available. All of this still leaves plenty of room to store sensitive financial and personal identity documents and information. And all of this is unavailable as soon as the key is locked and removed from the computer.

Finally a portable and secure password keeper, document vault, and browser.

BTW, also recommend adding the BetterPrivacy add-on to help keep the key clean. BetterPrivacy removes LSO's (Local Shared Objects); LSO's are very similar to cookies, but are not removed by Firefox.

From Wikipedia:

"LSOs can be used by web sites to collect information on how people navigate those web sites even if people believe they've restricted the data collection.[4] More than half of the internet's top websites use LSOs to track users and store information about them.[5] There is relatively little public awareness of LSOs, and they can usually not be deleted by the cookie privacy controls in a web browser.[5] This may lead a web user to believe a computer is cleared of tracking objects, when it is not.[5]"

Update:

First, Ironkey support is great! After backing up my Ironkey, I attempted to update the device; this caused an irreparable error. Called support, after looking for info in forums, and they requested a copy of my receipt, sent them a copy, an RMA was approved in a couple of days, and a replacement arrived a few days after that, all very quick and painless. They even followed up to ensure everything was OK. They assured me that their engineers had resolved the issue and there would be no problem with future updates.

The new device was initiated and the encrypted backup was restored without a problem to the new Ironkey. Within a few weeks another update became available, after backing up again, I went ahead with the new update, and, much to my relief, the update went smoothly!

Many thanks to Ironkey, Ironkey support, and their engineers. This is a great product and the company understands that in the end, support is how a customer base is retained and expanded!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2010
This is my second Ironkey...I loved the first one so much, I decided to upgrade to the 16GB S200 model. My original one was 4GB and the S100 model.

It has true hardware encryption to keep your data secure. Even if someone tries to open the case, they will not be able to gain access to your data.

The secure sites feature is very cool and the password management will automatically fill in your username and passwords on any websites you tell it to. All of that info is also encrpyted on the drive.

It's expensive, but as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. It really is the best thumbdrive out there. The fit and finish are extremely classy and looks much finer than the original S100 version I have.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2010
I actually purchased the D200 which stop working and was sent the S200 as a replacement from IronKey. Their customer service was pretty good. I needed the drive for a trip overseas and they rushed the replacement to me. Regarding the drive the S200 it is pretty fast and much faster than the D200 and encryption works on both Windows and Macs. It is somewhat expensive, but there aren't many encrypted drives which works on both Macs and Windows.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2011
The IronKey thumb drive is a great device. If you want a thumb drive that is indestructible, fast and secure, IronKey is it! I use cheap plastic thumb drives for general use but for my important and confidential files, you cannot beat IronKey. When it comes to speed of transferring data, IronKey appears to preform almost twice as fast as the cheap thumb drives. My only complaint is I wish IronKey had a 32 gig version.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2012
I have now had two of these fail. Both times I lost files that were corrupted by the key in its failure. Yes you may be able to get a replacement, but that won't compensate you for time and potentially lost data. An extremely expensive product that in my experience has a short life expectancy. If you must use it, back it up regularly!!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2010
Easy to use, well constructed. It is about the size of a pack of gum and has a rubber lined cap for the USB connector. Only draw back is that I can see the cap getting lost.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2009
Great personal security. Somewhat pricey but worth it if you need it. Solid construction. Advice on updating is somewhat confusing. Go to the forum before you update or do anything other than install.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2011
If you are looking for a very secure, extremely reliable dongle then this is it. If you are looking at the IK then you probably already know about it's high security features. It has a wonderful user interface and the support is second to none. I have 6 of these and would love more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2010
The speed of this drive is very good and its on par to the OCZ Turbo it replaces. Considering the data is encrypted, I'm pretty impressed.

So far so good. Everything works as advertised
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