Specifications, Pricing and Availability
Before we get into how robust the SoloPRO is, let's first talk about the options since that is where you need to start in the purchasing process. The first thing you'll want to think about is the interface. The Solo is available in USB 2.0 and is a very nice system if you can handle transfer speeds that top out at around 35MB/s. The SoloPRO that we're looking at today has two interface options; USB 2.0 / eSATA and USB 3.0. We prefer the USB 3.0 SoloPRO since USB 3.0 has a solid future and everything from this point out will have it. Technically, eSATA does have one advantage over USB 3.0 and that is native command queuing, but the always working hot swap and future proofing still have us leaning toward USB 3.0.
After you've selected your USB 3.0 SoloPRO, it is time to start thinking about capacity. Your options range from 1TB and go all the way to 3TB with ioSafe hitting every stop gap in between. On the configuration page you can choose from several options. The first option is the interface which we covered above. Then you have the capacity size which is a personal decision based on your needs. Then we have the protection.
ioSafe has three levels of protection and they vary on warranty and data recovery service length. The DRS is where the real value comes in. Even though we've personally seen the Solo burn in a fire and be submerged in a pool, things can still go wrong. The DRS is for those 'things'. Things like an extremely high temperature or prolonged submersion are two examples. The standard SoloPRO comes with a 1 year DRS and 3 year warranty on the drive, electronics, interface and such. The 49.99 upgrade increases the DRS to 3 years and the 99.99 Dollar upgrade brings both the DRS and the warranty up to 5 years.
You are buying this product to protect your valuable data for the long haul, so I'd opt for the 99.99 extension since data recovery on your own tab can cost thousands. Spending an extra hundred Dollars does increase the overall cost, but the SoloPRO is quite a bargain to begin with. The base unit with a 1TB drive can be purchased for as low as 249.99, so we're not talking about enterprise class money, just enterprise class protection.