3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Very good - IF it's really secure,
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This review is from: Corsair 16 GB Padlock 2 USB 2.0 Flash Drive CMFPLA16GB (Personal Computers)
I had to decide between this flash drive and Apricorn Aegis 16 GB USB 2.0 Military Grade 256-bit AES CBC Hardware Encrypted Secure Key Flash Drive (ASK-256-16GB). I decided to try the Corsair first, because it's a lot less expensive. But even after a lot of searching on the Internet, I'm still not entirely sure this product is secure.
Assuming that the currently available version of the Padlock 2 has addressed all of the problems mentioned in other reviews here, there are still discussions about how the security can be disabled by electrically modifying the circuitry (which is accessible if you break it open). The Apricorn Aegis is entirely encapsulated in an epoxy compound, and it would be a lot harder to access the circuitry without destroying the device (although, frankly, I can tell you that it's possible, although that may still not allow disabling the security, depending on how the device was designed).
The short story is that if you've got secrets affecting national security, you're simply not going to put them on one of these devices. At least not on the Corsair, and probably not on the Apricorn, either. But is it good enough for keeping sensitive personal stuff like account numbers and passwords? I just don't know. I hope so, but a safer solution would be software like TrueCrypt (which is free) on any vanilla USB flash drive. I haven't done that, because I use my flash drive, formatted HFS+, on both Windows (via MacDrive) and Mac, and I haven't yet tried to use TrueCrypt with MacDrive (although it supposedly works). It's possible to use TrueCrypt with exFAT partitions which are portable without MacDrive, but it gets a bit inconvenient compared to a hardware solution like the Corsair and Apricorn devices. I wanted a security solution that's portable, easy to use and completely invisible to the OS, and only the Corsair and Apricorn provide that.
The Corsair has been doing a good job for me for the past few months, so I'll continue to use it. But I might eventually get the Apricorn, but not for the reason you'd think (better security): I actually don't like the funky Corsair package, I prefer the sleek Apricorn! Talk about a silly reason to choose a security product :-).
I recently stumbled upon a very elegant platform-independent hardware encryption solution that looks like it might've been a better choice than either the Corsair or Apricorn products: it's called CipherUSB by Addonics, a Chinese company that makes a variety of very useful storage-related products. Amazon currently carries a number of Addonics products, but the CipherUSB isn't available, yet (you can probably get it from other vendors).
The device is a very clever idea: it sits between your computer and any USB storage device, and transparently encrypts/decrypts information. The main complaint that I've seen is that it can't do in-place encryption: if you have data on your device, you first have to copy it off to something else, then reformat your USB device with the CipherUSB, then copy your data back to it. This makes sense, given the way the CipherUSB works, but it could be inconvenient in some situations.
Another possible complaint might be that you may not want such a long USB appliance sticking out of your computer - you might want to add a short USB extension to avoid problems of breakage. This doesn't leave you with a very compact package, like the Corsair and Apricorn, but considering that you'll probably want to use this with a larger device (like an external hard drive), it's not a big problem.
In any case, it's a clever solution, and I hope that Amazon will carry it soon.