USB Secure Flash Drive Product Review

Kingston DataTraveler Vault Privacy

Overview
Our immediate impression of this product is that it is bulky and substantial. Unlike some memory sticks this one is unlikely to be lost, it really feels quite robust. The casing certainly is strong with a firm fitting cap, however, its bulkiness intrudes on other plug-in devices.
All data on this product is stored in the secure area.

Installation
Installation was easy - simply plug the stick in to a USB port and following the prompts. There is a slight time lapse the first time the device is loaded (but no worse than any other product). Re-loading was much faster.

Password Strength
The password strength of this device is at the top end of good practice. It requires a password of between 6 and 16 characters, including characters, numerals and special characters, and it will not allow a weak password to be used.

Encryption space
The device tested was 2GB, including the embedded software and user manual. There is no unsecure partition so all of the available storage (1.87GB) is secure.

Files
Add, Remove, Delete

The embedded software and other functions on the device appear as one drive, while the secure area appears as another drive. Access is only achieved after entering the correct password.
Adding, removing and deleting files is easy using Windows Explorer, with all the functionality you would expect.

Edit
Double clicking on a file in the secure area opens it and allows you to edit in situ. The updated file saves normally.

Access
Access to files in the secure partition is only achieved after entering the correct password.
If you choose to close the application window or remove the memory stick from the USB port, you will have to log in via the application again to view it.

Security
This product gives the illusion of security.
Despite deleting the test file in Explorer, it was fully recoverable and fully intact. We were also able to recover files that had been opened in the secure area and deleted, even after the password had been changed. Obviously this is poor. Anyone borrowing this device could potentially access sensitive data thought to be removed from the stick.
The final test was to format the secure drive and try to recover files. Thankfully, it was not possible to do this.

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Tags reviewVerbatimsecurity policiesIntegral Secure 360USB Secure Flash DriveUSB memory sticksIntegral Crypto DualSafe StickKingston Data Traveler Vault Privacysecure portable devicesSandisk Cruizer

More about Advanced Encryption StandardAES EnvironmentalIPSKingstonSandiskVerbatim

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