iStorage is the company that helped develop the secure Kingston DT2000 USB stick. They have a portfolio filled with different secure storage solutions, portable memory sticks with 2.5-inch HDD / SSD. All these capabilities and security certifications are very advanced and are intended for users who want to keep their data away from “prying eyes”. There is a 3.5 inch HDD model secured with a capacity up to 8TB. I received an iStorage diskAshur Pro HDD for testing with a capacity of 500 Gb. The HDD comes with an alphanumeric physical keyboard that is wear resistant, with a NIST FIPS 140-2 Level 2 security certification and a XTS-AES 256-bit hardware encryption module.
DiskAshur Pro HDD key specifications:
- Safety Certification: NIST FIPS 140-2 Level 2;
- FIPS PUB 197 encryption algorithm;
- XTS-AES 256-bit hardware encryption
- Hardware encryption: 100%;
- Compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, Chrome
- Protective mechanism against “Brute Force Hack” attacks;
- Self-destruction function;
- Lockdown function;
- Variable time circuit;
- General reset code;
- Accepts 5 PINs – 1 admin and 4 users;
- PIN length between 7-16 characters;
- Connection interface: USB 3.0;
- Power from USB port;
- Internal HDD with a rotation speed of 5400 rpm and 8 MB cache;
- Available in capacities of 500GB – 1000GB – 1500GB and 2000GB;
- Strong case and keyboard, resistant to water and dust;
- Weight: ~ 200 grams;
- Dimensions: 120 mm x 84.5 mm x 19 mm.
The product comes in a box with two resistant seals to ensure that we are dealing with a new product;
On the back of the box we have key product specifications;
iStorage diskAshur Pro HDD comes with a case and a USB 3.0 cable;
HDD has an integrated USB 3.0 cable;
The HDD case is made of Epoxy (resin). It’s really resistant, which makes extremely difficult to access the hdd from inside.
So breaking the case would only cause damage to the data and the electronic circuits inside.
On the back it has a label alongside four rubber feet;
The size of IStorage diskAshur Pro HDD vs the size of Western Digital Elements;
It is a compact and small device, given the security it provides;
iStorage diskAshur Pro HDD and Kingston DataTraveler 2000.
We deal with a hardware with a 2.5 inch HDD and a capacity of 500GB, a rotation speed of 5400 rpm and 8MB buffer. The interface is a USB 3.0 type.
Here you can see the configuration on which the tests speed were conducted:
- CPU: 3.5 GHz Intel at i7 4770K;
- Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth Z87;
- GPU: Nvidia GTX 770;
- RAM: Corsair 32 GB DDR3 at1600 MHz;
- SSD: 240GB Kingston Hyper X Savage;
- Operating System: Windows 7 SP1 64 Bit.
I obtained these speeds using CrystalDiskMark 5 to transfer 1 Gb randomly generated data.
Here you can see the results of the reading and writing speed tests in ATTO Disk Benchmark.
HDD provides a speed of reading and writing starting with 32KB with almost identical values between the two; a solid and consistent performance.
The transfer of 12 Gb data was made in ~ 3 minutes and 30 seconds with an average speed of ~ 55 Mb/s.
When it comes to the transfer of a medium/large file, hdd has an imperceptible speed fluctuation compared to other hdd drives.
In the chapter performance we include the protection from “Brute Force” attacks, a system that operates in three steps. The first step limits the access until you enter the correct PIN, the second step is the automatic shutdown after 5-6 flawed attempts and requires a disconnection and a connection to reintroduce the pin. If after this procedure a few more authentications made are wrong, HDD will suppose is attacked and it will lock itself. It will destroy the encryption key and the data in the same time. It will take a total reset/formatting in order for the device to be reused.
iStorage diskAshure PRO HDD can be set to have a self-destruction PIN, that once it is introduced will destroy the data, the encryption key and the current PINs. Another integrated technology against attacks is “Variable Timing Circuit” which protects HDD against attacks aimed at studying “patterns” of functioning.
The access to this HDD can belong to a maximum of five people, one admin and four users, each of them using a different PIN code. This makes it a flexible product that can be used in both personal and business environments. The security on the HDD, at least from the point of view of a normal user, it’s above expectations. It is good to keep the data in a safe place and always have back-up. Even with this HDD, the data security is not an excuse for the lack of back-up. I recommend this product to all users who want their data in a safe place when they are traveling or even at home.
The price of the tested product is 209 pounds on the manufacturer’s website, and it’s available for purchase HERE.
- Easy to use;
- Compatibility with a variety of operating systems;
- Capable hardware encryption;
- Resistance to dust and liquids;
- Protections against attacks;
- Can be accessed by 5 users;
- Lightweight and portable;
- Decent and consistent performance;
- Integrated cable;
- Good quality/price ratio.
- The lack of a rigid case for transport.