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on January 17, 2009
This is a neat concept for a data storage chest. Basically, you plug a USB cable from your computer into the chest, and on the inside, you plug another USB cable from the chest to your USB storage device. What this means is you get fire and water protection, while still being able to use the USB storage device.

I use this with a small Western Digital USB drive. One nice thing is that this USB drive requires a "two to one" USB cable for additional power -- and the data storage chest comes with one of these! Very nice touch. I backup my data onto this drive every night, and now it's nice knowing that the data is waterproof and fireproof, too.

You can also store CD's and DVD's in this unit. It comes with 10 sleeves to hold 20 discs, and you can buy more at Sentry Safe's web site.

Why not five stars, then? I have two minor cons:

1) I wish the inside was just a little more spacious, even if it meant increasing the overall size of the chest. We're using this to store documents as well -- particularly passports, etc. -- and more space for this would have been nice.

2) My only true concern is that by nature of a fireproof safe, the interior of the device is thermally insulated from the outside (there's no other way to ensure that the interior will be OK for 24 hours at 1550 F, of course). However, non-solid state storage devices, like hard drives, inherently generate *some* heat. As such, there's no ventilation for the drive. Every so often I leave the lid open for a while to exhaust this extra heat. I wouldn't use this chest for a drive that's used constantly (my hard drive "spins down" after a certain level of inactivity). I'm guessing the use of this chest will reduce the life time of a drive, but drives are cheap, and I'd rather have the protection this chest offers.

Overall, an ingenuous solution! One other thing I would mention is that we had a "regular" sentry fire safe in our old house, and one issue we had in our humid environment was mold growing on our passports! Therefore, I recommend that you purchase desiccants (silica gel, like those little sugar-like packets that come with most electronic devices these days), and throw some in the chest. These are easily found on ebay, among other places, for a nominal cost.
99 comments46 of 48 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 5, 2009
See above comment by Blake Nylund. I am the father-in-law Blake is referring to in his comment. After returning the second safe to Amazon, I decided to write a letter to the President of SentrySafe and report the difficulty I had experienced with this safe. Shortly thereafter I was contacted by a customer service representative who told me that he was looking into my complaint. The bottom line is that about a week later SentrySafe sent me a replacement safe -- however they included an AC to USB Power Adapter with the safe. While the safe was getting suffient power from my computer to activate a flash drive, it was not getting enough power for activate my 2.5" Cirago Portable External Storage Drive. The solution -- rather than plug both Y-Cable USB connectors into my computer to power the safe as directed in the SentrySafe instructions, I took one of the USB cable connectors (the one marked Auxillary) and plugged it into AC Power Adapter which was plugged into an external power bar. With this arrangement I was able to get adequate power to the 2.5" External Storage Drive. Later I had a follow up call from the customer service representative who wanted to make sure that all was OK.

SentrySafe did a good job in standing behind their product and coming up with a solution to my problem -- plus they did not charge me for the replacement safe and would not accept payment when I asked them for a bill.
0Comment30 of 30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 21, 2009
Great Concept, Great Price but SentrySafe seems to have a quality issue

I saw this safe in a gadget catalog paired with a USB drive. What a great concept. Amazon is the best so I purchased one here for my father-in-law along with a USB drive for Christmas. He bought me the same setup. Mine worked great but his did not. There seems to be a problem with the feed through USB port on the safe. He sent his back and Amazon sent a replacement. The replacement had the same issue. We even swapped this one out with my fully working setup part by part to ensure there was not some other issue. The issue is the feed through USB did not work. The USB drive would work when plugged directly into the computer just fine (or my safe). When the drive was plugged into the safe it showed some signs of life but would not connect to the computer.

Amazon was great and when the second one did not work sent my father-in-law a gift certificate.

My SentrySafe is still working well and if not for the 2 returned safes for my father-in-law I give this product a 5 out of 5. Once SentrySafe fixes their quality issue I recommend this product strongly.
0Comment28 of 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 2, 2010
FINAL UPDATE:

My first safe I received was defective... the lid did not close tightly. Sentry sent me a replacement that was not defective and the lid closes securely and tightly. MAKE SURE YOUR SAFE'S LID CLOSES TIGHTLY!! Mine could be opened about an 1/8 inch, which doesn't sound like much. This would've prevented it from providing effective potection in the event of a fire and then subsequent water damage.

I can say that Sentry has good customer service (once you get through to a live person). After a small amount of trouble shooting on the phone they decided my safe is defective and they sent a replacement once I sent in the serial # from the bottom of the safe, the USB cable, and keys.

ORIGINAL REVIEW:

I've been eagerly awaiting the arrival of my new safe and was very disappointed with what I received. I attempted to call customer service but was simply disconnected after a recorded message so I'm now relying on email. I believe the email I sent to Sentry's customer service explains my issues...

To Whom It May Concern,

I received a damaged safe in a factory sealed box. The lid on the safe does not latch tightly; it can be opened about 1/8". The primary cause seems to be movement of the lock mechanism (the left side of the lock is not securely fastened to the body of the safe), but the loose hinge also allows movement. I did a test using a teaspoon of water and found that the lid's movement does prevent the safe from being water proof (I was careful not to expose any of the electronic areas to moisture). Another issue I have with the product was the presence of mold on the inside of the safe... what an environmental safety hazard!! The safe also has scratches on the outside surface, none of the scratches are severe, but this is a brand new product straight from the box. Please contact me so we can discuss replacement.

Sincerely,

*****************

Issues with my new safe:
1. Defective lock/ hinge construction
2. Mold in safe and on instruction manual
3. Scratches
4. Unable to talk to live customer service

I will hopefully be following up on my experience in a few days.
33 comments7 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 17, 2011
I received this product couple of months ago and it was rusty from inside. I called the company I purchased the product from which made me jump through hopes as they could not read my emails until I called them and made the exchange by phone!

I sent away my unit and was waiting for a replacement to find out that they just credited me back money without sending a replacement! So my only impression of their product is rusty keys onside the unit and poor customer care.
22 comments4 of 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 16, 2010
It's big! It's bigger than I expected. Did I say it was big? Had a hard time finding a place to put it. Hopefully, I will never know how good it is, because you won't know until your house burns down. I run VMware fusion on my Mac desktop. I created a Virtual Machine with all my office software in it, accounts receivables, accountants parables, etc. I keep the virtual machine image on a small 500G hard drive in this unit. Therefore, all my records should be safe in case of a fire. I wish I could have two drives in this unit unit for my time machine too.
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on November 7, 2009
I ordered this product to set up an ongoing backup of my computer that could withstand a fire or flood disaster. The product provides a place for a working portable USB hard disk inside a fireproof/waterproof container. On the outside is a USB connector and a provided double USB cable that connects to any USB 2.0 computer to provide data and power to the drive inside the container.

Setup was a breeze and it works exactly as it's supposed to. I hope I never have to find out just how water/fireproof it really is. meanwhile, my TimeMachine backups are functioning on an hourly basis to a protected hard disk.

I highly recommend the product.
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on February 26, 2014
After one year of use (right after the warranty is up of course) the usb connection and/or electronics inside this stopped working.

For no apparent reason the drive I always leave in this now does not work regularly. The light now flickers intermittently (like a loose connection, not a regular flash) and it will only manage to work about 1 out of10 times. If I wiggle the cable it sometimes works then disconnects shortly after.

The electronics are not repairable/replaceable (molded into the case) and sentrysafe had no clue how to help me. This is clearly a fringe product for them and they are not familiar with how it works. They said that the last year it was made was 2009 so to them this is an old product. Their customer support mostly deals with people who lost their key etc. They said that electronics like the usb port in this are not their problem and transferred me to Seagate. I was transferred to seagate's main line and they had no clue what I was asking about, even after I gave the sentry model number. No ding on seagate, but clearly hung out to dry by sentry safe. I won't be buying another one of their products.
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on April 15, 2010
Like other reviewers, I had issues using drives with this pass-through USB port that work fine when plugged directly into a computer. There appears to be a voltage or current drop in the USB pass-through that keeps some bus-powered drives from working. Luckily, the optional power cord that came with my drive enclosure (StarTech InfoSafe SAT2520U2ER) has such small wires (reminds me of headphone wires), that I can close the lid over the external power cord. So now I have an always-on, RAID-1 mirrored, fireproof, and probably still waterproof (despite the thin power cord I'm having to close the lid over) file cabinet for my most important digital information. And there's still room for my passport and about a terabyte of DL BD-RE discs. In a small San Francisco apartment, this beats the heck out of having to store this important information on paper in a file cabinet that would fill a closet and not even be fireproof and waterproof.
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on December 21, 2009
I've had my SentrySafe for about a year now and while I can't vouch for if it holds up as advertised in a fire and hopefull won't ever be able to, the data transfer features work fine. There's enough storage space inside for several portable USB powered drives like the WD Passports. WD Passports or anything of a similar size are perfect for the compartment of this data safe. You might be able to squeeze in something 1/2 to 1" longer depending on how many other things you plan on storing inside, but remember to account for for some space needed for cable clearance. Mine holds several WD Passports, but only one can be plugged in at a time. It'd be great if they could provide additional USB ports so you could keep a small array of portable drives all lined up.
0Comment1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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