In the last year, we have seen only one other Apricorn product when we reviewed the Configurator and Secure Key 3z. This time around we opted for another flash based solution but in a larger form factor, the Fortress 128GB SSD.
The Aegis Fortress is designed as an ultra-resilient FIPS 140-2 Level 2 validated storage solution. This solution features an onboard keypad to protect against keylogging attacks with added hardware based 256bit AES encryption. This solution has undergone IP certification and has come away IP56 certified for dust and water intrusion with interior electronics protected by the epoxy coating. It is bus-powered via a standard USB port and features a built-in USB 3.0 cable.
The Aegis Fortress is compatible with all Operating Systems, including Windows, Mac, and Linux. MSRP of the 128GB SSD solution comes in at $189.99 with a three-year warranty.
Packaging shares the same box design as the Configurator and Secure 3z flash drive from April. We have a sticker with a full description of the device including capacity.
Internally, the drive is protected in a carry bag placed in dense foam.
The scope of delivery includes the Aegis Fortress, USB extension cable and carry bag.
The front of the drive features an alphanumeric pad like cell phones of the past. To unlock the device, you press the lock button followed by your password and the lock button once again.
The back side carries a sticker with regulatory information along with the model number.
The built-in USB cable is of the 3.0 variety.
Useable capacity of the 128GB Aegis Fortress comes in at 119GB and uses the NTFS filesystem from the factory.
Sliding into our first benchmark, we look at the ATTO results. Here we see a peak of 199 MB/s at 512K but on average 185 MB/s, write and 155 MB/s read.
Running through CDM, we see similar results with the Aegis coming in at 149 MB/s read and 184 MB/s write QD1 and 151 MB/s read, and 164 MB/s write QD32.
The Aegis Fortress is one of the more unique portable SSD solutions I have seen in recent memory. The build quality seems to be quite good although I don't particularly care for the plastic enclosure in this case. To me, it seems with such a security-focused solution the enclosure should be a bit more durable and in the case of the Fortress it only took a couple smacks on the ground and I had the internal drive out.
Performance is OK, but I would expect slightly higher from a flash based solution even with the overhead of drive encryption. In my testing we did hit marketing performance of 180 MB/s in both ATTO and CDM and pushing data back and forth 180MB/s is fine when moving batches of data to and from the drive. For large file transfers, I feel this solution could use a bit more performance but I'm unsure how much that would affect the cost.
Setup of the drive is amazingly simple with just a few steps before you are all set but there is the option to use the Configurator software and hub if wanted. Overall, the Fortress is a midrange solution for those wanting to move sensitive data on the go and as a bonus, Apricorn does offer this solution all the way up to 8TB!
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Maximus IX Hero (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i7 7700K (buy from Amazon) / (Read our Review)
- Memory: G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 (buy from Amazon)
- Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Hybrid (buy from Amazon)
- OS Storage: Intel 730 480GB SSD (buy from Amazon) / (Read our Review)
- Secondary Storage: MyDigitalSSD BP5 512GB SSD (buy from Amazon)
- Case: EVGA DG-86 (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 750 P2 (buy from Amazon)
- Networking: ASUS PCE-AC88 AC3100 (buy from Amazon)
- Networking: ASUS ROG 10G Express
- Networking: ASUS Thunderbolt EX3 (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 (buy from Amazon)
The Bottom Line: Apricon had a great solution in the Aegis Fortress, a secure solid state solution for those needing the utmost in security while traveling.
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