Specifications, Availability and Pricing
My favorite feature of the Vantec NexStar Vault is the fact that no drivers are required. Just plug the unit in and go to work with your personal data. At that point if you wish to access the encrypted Vault data just type in your six digits pass code into the built-in numeric keyboard right on the drive and the drive unlocks the data. Your Vault partition then becomes available and it is displayed like a new hard drive.
The NexStar Vault uses 2.5 inch, 7mm tall form factor hard drives just like what is found in notebooks. There are many options available to use with the unit, but most people will use a drive just sitting around the house. However, you can purchase any number of 2.5 inch drives for very low cost.
The only real issue with the NexStar Vault is also one of its strong points. The secure drive carrier uses USB 2.0 technology, but does not have an eSATA option. However, eSATA hasn't caught on as strongly as we would like to have seen, but USB is everywhere.
Speaking of prices, Newegg lists the Vantec NexStar Vault for 44.99 USD. You can also find low cost 500 GB drives on Newegg for less than 90 Dollars, making the total cost for a 500GB system with 250GB public and 250GB private storage less than 150 Dollars shipped to your door. The 45 Dollar cost of the NexStar Vault is in line with many of the other high quality portable drive solutions that don't have a private feature.
Let's have a look at the NexStar Vault itself now.