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Disasters? -- Meh...
on July 20, 2011
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The first thing you notice about the SoloPRO is that it's big and heavy. The SoloPRO encases a 1, 1.5 or 2TB SATA drive inside of 15lbs of ceramic and steel that is 5" wide, 7.1" high and 11" long. That enclosure gives you storage that is crush resistant, able to survive temperatures of up to 1550 degrees for 30 minutes, and waterproof for 72 hours at 10 feet under.
ioSafe sent us the eSATA version of the SoloPRO which starts with a relatively Spartan exterior. Aside from some blue LEDs and strategically placed vents in the steel case, the unit is all business. The back of the SoloPRO has a small cooling fan above a single panel that houses the 12 volt power plug, a USB 2.0 connector, the power switch and an eSATA port.
Using the unit is as simple as plugging in power and connecting it to your computer via eSATA or USB. Our tests showed that the USB port topped out at 27.59MB/s while eSATA was able to hit 63.12 MB/s, more than twice the performance of the previous Solo. These numbers say two things: First, you're definitely going to want to use eSATA or USB 3.0 as your link. Second, the SoloPRO is now fast enough to use as a primary work drive.
Performance is nice, but the SoloPRO is first and foremost built to be a disaster proof. In this respect, the SoloPRO uses the same technologies pioneered by the Solo, starting with the outer shell. The two interlocking pieces resist crushing, puncture, slashing and shearing damage to the internal components.
Inside the shell you'll find ioSafe's proprietary DataCast endothermic protection: a porous ceramic that traps water within an emulsion that ablates during high temperature events. Physics 101 tells us that as long as there is still water in the ceramic, the hard drive within stays below 200 degrees and will remain a hard drive, instead of a charred lump of molten metal and glass.
Carved into the DataCast are flow channels that allow air to circulate through the unit during normal operation, keeping the drive and supporting electronics cool. In a fire these flow channels are kept clear of smoke and fire by the steam venting from the ablating ceramic. It's an ingenious system that has no moving parts that fail or get stuck.
The last line of protection is the HydroSafe vapor barrier. ioSafe vacuum seals the hard drive in an airtight/watertight bag that allows it to survive moisture, high-pressure steam, smoke and immersion while also allowing the drive to be cooled by air coming through the flow channels.
All of these technological innovations have allowed ioSafe to create a product that survives the unthinkable. They've dunked it in a pool, cooked it in a burn box, blasted it with a fire hose, dropped it from 20 feet and run over it with a tractor. However, the real testament to the design is that it has defeated disasters in the wild. Solos have survived car fires, data center floods and the like. In each case, the drive was pulled from the enclosure, plugged into a dock, data transferred, and disaster averted because the Solo lived up to its promise.
ioSafe backs up their confidence in the SoloPRO with a $2500 guarantee per SoloPRO. If for any reason your drive cannot be read (including disaster, accidental deletion or drive failure) ioSafe recover your data, or else pay up to $2500 to a 3rd party professional data recovery service to do so. In other words, ioSafe will get your data back regardless of whether you've lost it to disaster, user error or mechanical gremlins. When you buy an ioSafe SoloPRO, you're not just buying a storage device, you're buying peace of mind.