Those looking for a secure, reliable way to store important files on a portable device such as a USB key will know that it’s worth paying a bit extra for peace of mind in this area. Kingston would be many people’s choice for this reason, and with a long and distinguished history in the memory and storage business it’s no surprise to see the company pushing boundaries once more.
The DataTraveler 200 range is available at up to a whopping 128GB and although this will set you back over £300, it’s pretty amazing to see such high capacities in such a small device.
We’ve grown used to solid, reassuring construction with Kingston’s higher-end storage but were a little disappointed by the DataTraveler 200. While quite stylish, a plastic enclosure beneath the rubberised finish doesn’t exactly scream quality and there’s a nasty rattle that you wouldn’t expect to hear with such a premium product. A slide mechanism keeps the USB plug hidden when not in use but we think this design pales in comparison to that of the impressive DataTraveler HyperX.
Despite our disappointment in this area, Kingston does a nice job of covering security, all of which is managed by the preinstalled PasswordTraveler application. When fired up for the first time you’re given the option to create a ‘Privacy Zone’ for a portion of the drive, selectable using a slider control for flexibility. A password will then be required with optional hint question and the drive is formatted to set up this private, encrypted partition.
To access this zone, the PasswordTraveler application needs to be run again and upon successful password entry all new files copied to the drive will be highlighted with a green box to indicate that they are protected. A shortcut is available to log out from this mode, at which point the drive reverts to a public state, hiding any files that were stored in the secure area.
To change the size of the private zone the drive must be formatted again, and following 250 unsuccessful password attempts it is automatically formatted for security.
This is a slightly different approach to that seen by other security software provided with USB flash drives, but we quite liked the straightforward operation of the software and there are obvious advantages in being able to partition off a specific part of a drive for secure storage, particularly at these high capacities.
Though the price is a lot to pay for the convenience of portable storage at this size, it’s hardly unexpected considering the early stage at which this sort of capacity has become available. A 64GB model is available for a more wallet-friendly £121, and £69 for 32GB may be the most likely compromise for most.
Despite some issues with design that we doubt would end up being a long-term problem, Kingston does a nice job of handling security here and if you’re dealing with large files, this is by far the most convenient way of carrying them around.
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