Today we take a look at a relatively new product from the folks over at Corsair and no, for once, it's not a high-end speedy memory kit, but an interesting take on the old pen drive.
If you are in the market for a pen drive, there is probably literally one million to pick from on the market these days. But if you are looking for one a little different or one with some solid data security for people out there that are paranoid about their precious or sensitive data... read on.
In February of this year, Corsair launched its Padlock 2 8GB pen drive, with part number CMFPLA8GB if you are trying to track it down. It looks very similar to previous pen drives produced by the American memory company in past years, except for something very important. It comes with hardware encryption from the folks over at ClevX. This technology provides the Padlock 2 with 256-bit AES hardware based encryption capacities for consumers who take their portable storage seriously. While 256-bit is not unhackable, it might as well be for the time it will take to break it and access the data.
As far as encryption setup goes, you might want to watch the video we produced above. If you are not a video person, we'll explain it. The setup and use of the Padlock 2 is very easy and straight forward. The small quick start guide that comes in the package does a great job quickly explaining the process without having to read through a big manual. In fact, there are only six steps required to create a PIN for the pen drive.
Step one is pressing and holding down the key button for three seconds and then entering in your four to 10 digit code. Once you've entered it, you press and release the key button. Now you will need to confirm your PIN by entering it on the keypad again and then pressing and releasing the key button once again. If you got that right, the green LED (the one on the right above the key button) will flash indicating that the PIN has been accepted. Pretty straight forward, huh?
Locking the pen drive is even easier. Once you've finished using the Padlock 2 and you remove it from the USB port on your computer, the drive will automatically lock, instantly. After entering your PIN (just push the key button, then your PIN and then the key button again), you have 20 seconds to insert the Padlock 2 into your computer before it locks itself.
So, now you're wondering, what the heck happens if you forget the PIN? Well, in a word or two, big headaches. It would be rather pointless having a reset PIN function for a secured pen drive of this kind and still retaining the data. So, that's exactly it. If you need to reset the PIN, you can still use the drive, but all the data on the Padlock 2 will be wiped. Suffice to say, you should add a PIN that you can remember.
As far as performance goes, we ran some read tests under HD Tune Pro and you can see the screenshot we took from the app above. Performance is not groundbreaking or anything particularly special, but that's not the idea of the Padlock 2. Having said that, though, the performance numbers are good enough for general use. Let loose the USB 3.0 version guys with some quicker flash memory inside and that will be fun!
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