Thursday, October 27, 2011

Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ Review by Kirk Spencer

Are you in need of a secure usb flash drive? Kingston makes the DataTraveler Locker+ which is serious about security. The drive uses a 256-bit hardware-based AES encryption! It is supported on Windows and on Mac OS, but unfortunately Kingston did not include any support for Linux users. If you are a Linux user, go get a different drive. The hardware-based encryption makes it impossible for Linux users to access the drive. It's features and specs include:
Superior password protection — user sets a password to prevent
unauthorized access; drive reformats after 10 invalid attempts
Hardware encryption — the best in personal security to keep your data
Swivel design — metal swivel design so there’s no cap to lose
Easy to use — step-by-step password setup process. No admin rights or
application installation required
Guaranteed — five-year warranty with 24/7 customer support
Customizable — Co-Logo program available2
Capacities* — 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB
Dimensions — 2.58" x 0.71" x 0.41" (65.76mm x 17.98mm x 10.7mm)
Operating Temperature — 32° to 140°F (0° to 60°C)
Storage Temperature — -4° to 185°F (-20° to 85°C)
Simple — just plug into a USB port
Guaranteed — five-year warranty
Minimum System Requirements —
USB 2.0 compliant and 1.1 compatible Two (2) free consecutive drive
letters required for use3Compatibility
Operating System
Windows® 71

Windows Vista®1 (SP1, SP2)

Windows XP (SP3)

Mac OS (10.5.x - 10.6.x)
Setting everything up is a very simple process. The drive includes a separate partition which contains all the software to decrypt the main partition. When you plug in the drive it has an auto run file which will launch the setup software. The setup wizard will guide you through the process. A password is required which must meet a set of minimum requirements: 6 to 16 characters long, at least three of the following: upper case letters, lower case letters, digits and special characters. Once everything has been setup, you will see an additional drive letter in your file explorer window which can be used the same as any ordinary flash drive. Keep in mind that this is a super secure drive. Kingston wasn't messing around when they built this thing. If anyone attempts to access the drive 10 consecutive times with an invalid password, the main partition will be formatted making it virtually impossible for any kind of brute force software to hack it.
The drive has a nice bright blue led indicator. It comes in a swivel protector which drive is attached to and there is a key chain attachment which can be connected to the drive if you're looking for a convenient way to carry it around. Overall the build quality is nice and if taken care of you shouldn't have any problems. If you're a little rough with your flash drives then you might have issues with the swivel protector, but I honestly doubt it.
We ran the drive through some performance tests to see how it holds up. If you compare these results with other usb flash drives you might notice that this one is slower. One thing to keep in mind is that the drive is encrypted which will affect performance. As the security increases, performance will almost always decrease.
All things considered, the drive does exactly what it's marketed for and it does it extremely well. The flash drive is super secure with plenty of storage space and despite the security it will perform fast enough for most users. With a solid build quality this drive should keep your files safe for years to come. We're giving the Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ 16 GB drive our Highly Recommended award for it's superior level of hardware based security and exceptional build quality.