Kingston DataTraveler Secure-Privacy Edition Review

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If you work for the FBI or have some ultra secret files, the Kingston DataTraveler Secure Privacy Edition USB flash drive, might just be perfect for you. It is an enterprise-grade USB Flash drive with 256-bit hardware-based, on-the-fly encryption. The stored data is 100 percent secure, with no public area to expose files. It might even be good for college students in need of a very secure flash drive to hold their personal information like tax returns, bills or school stuff.

The DataTraveler Secure Privacy Edition (DTSP) is secure, waterproof and fast. Well I will be the judge of that. It offers unique protection to safeguard critical data even if the drive is lost or stolen. Kingston has set strong password rules and lock-down control to protect against attacks.

These advanced security features make DTSP flash drive ideal for corporations and service organizations that require employees to transport large digital files consisting of confidential documents. The DTSP can help companies avoid the financial and legal consequences of lost or stolen data.


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Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 3.06" x 0.9" x 0.47" (77.9 mm x 22 mm x 12.05 mm)
  • Capacities: 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 8GB
  • Compatibility: designed to USB 2.0 specifications
  • Operating temperatures: 32º F to 140º F (0º C to 60º C)
  • Storage temperatures: -4º F to 185º F (-20º C to 85º C)
  • Minimum System Requirements: Pentium III processor, USB 2.0 compliant and 1.1 compatible, Two free consecutive drive letters required for installation

 

Compatibility table:

 

Operating System File Transfer Password Protection/
Data Encryption
Windows Vista Yes Yes
Windows 2000 (SP3 and above), Windows XP (SP1 and above) Yes Yes

 

Build and Design

The DataTraveler Secure Privacy Edition flash drive comes in a titanium color and has a rugged feel. To maintain it’s rugged design Kingston made the DTSP with a titanium-coated stainless steel casing. It has a rubberized feel, which gives it a good grip.

It also is waterproof, so if you get caught in the rain, no worries. Kingston claims it can be submerged in water, so I dropped it in the sink while doing dishes and amazingly it was fine. Not a scratch on the drive and it functioned just as before. This USB flash drive is ready for war.


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The lid pops off with ease and can connect to the other end of the drive, this way you don’t lose it. I like this design better then the slide-stick type USB drives. It makes the DTSP feel more secure. The DTSP is backed by a five-year warranty and Kingston’s reliable service and support.

In Use

The DTSP drive is very easy to use. No admin rights or application installation is required, you just plug the drive in and go. When you insert the DTSP into a USB port Windows loads two drives: the main storage drive and a "CD Drive" that contains the password authentication application.

The first time you use the DataTraveler Secure Privacy drive you are prompted to provide some identifying information (such as your name and contact info) and then it will ask you to provide a password and a "hint" in case you ever forget.

The DTSP has complex password protection by requiring passwords with at least three minimum characteristics (upper case, lower case, numbers, and/or special characters) to prevent unauthorized access. The drive locks down and reformats after 10 unsuccessful intrusion attempts … making it impossible to recover the data.

Once you type in the correct password the DTSP operates exactly like a regular flash drive, but with the added security of 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption working in the background.

Performance

The speed of file transfers is the one area where the DTSP fails to exceed expectations. Since the built-in encryption co-processor protects 100 percent of stored data while files are being dragged and dropped to and from the drive, the DTSP isn’t as fast as some of the latest USB drives available.

Kingston claims the DTSP is "fast" with "data transfer rates of up to 24 MB/sec. read and up to 10 MB/sec. write." When we ran our own tests on the DTSP we found its real world performance to match these figures. Quite impressive!

 

 

The screenshots above are from our standard storage drive benchmarks (HDTune and Atto). As you can see in the image, read speeds exceeded 20MB per second and write speeds always stayed below 15MB per second. You start to understand the sacrifice of on-the-fly encryption when you compare these numbers to non-encrypted flash drives that often reach write speeds of more than 20MB/sec and read speeds of more than 30MB/sec. Overall though, the DTSP met the standards that Kingston promised.

Conclusion

The DataTraveler Secure Privacy Edition performs at the top of its class, and is offered in capacities up to 8GB to give users plenty of room to store critical business data. The 2GB model I reviewed could hold plenty of data, way more then enough for my needs. I don’t think $115 is too pricey considering the security it offers.

Regardless of whether you need to secure your company’s important financial documents or protect your private personal information, the DTSP provides extreme security and ruggedness in one easy-to-use package. The only minor issue with the DTSP is the on-the-fly encryption, which makes data transfers a little slower than expected. It still performs quite fast though and is very secure.

Pros

  • On-the-fly encryption
  • Great password protection
  • Data lockdown feature
  • Solid design, rugged and waterproof

Cons

  • On-the-fly encryption makes this drive slower than others


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