Having just returned to work after a year's absence, I found that during the intervening months my employer, a Local Authority, at the Government's behest, had introduced stringent rules and regulations concerning computer security. This is understandable given the number of documents and laptops that Government agencies seem to leave lying around on trains these days!
As a consequence, those of us who need to transfer data between machines were all issued with Kingston DataTraveler Vault 2GB flash drives.
The Kingston DataTraveler Vault is assembled in the USA and comes with a five year warranty. The casing is a durable aluminium which gives added environmental protection to your data and it certainly feels much sturdier than any of my other flash drives. The DataTraveler Vault has hardware-based, 256-bit AES encryption and the stored data is 100 percent secured to guard sensitive information in case the drive is lost or stolen and Kingston claim this will protect the most sensitive information. It's reputed to be the most secure flash drive available for Windows based systems.
The flash drive allows you to separate your files into public and private zones; the private zone being password protected.
The first time you put this flashdrive into the USB port, a pop up window appears on the screen asking you to define your privacy zone in terms of percentage of the available space. This privacy zone requires a password to be selected and once you click OK, the parameters are set. Once set, these parameters cannot be changed unless the drive is completely reformatted, in which case any data stored on the flash drive will be lost.
Several of my colleagues have encountered problems here because they initially didn't allocate a large enough percentage to the secure, password protected privacy zone. Because there is no way to reallocate the secure space without losing all the data, they had to go through various convolutions of transferring data onto their PCs, wiping the flash drive and then reallocate a larger privacy zone before transferring the data back onto the newly formatted flash drive. I therefore took the easy option and allocated the entire 100% as a secure space.
Other colleagues have also had problems because they forgot their password. There is no way back from that problem!
As mine was issued by my employer, I didn't actually pay for it but these can be bought from Amazon for £37.98 or for £29.98 from other sellers via Amazon.
To my, not very technical, mind this flash drive is very expensive, even compared with other secure flash drives, and for most people it really isn't worth the money unless you're dealing with highly security sensitive data. However, if you're a James Bond type and do require encryption and password protection for your data, then this is a very effective piece of hardware.
Product Type: USB key
Storage Capacity: 2 GB
Speed Rating: 24 MB/s (read) 10 MB/s (write)
Interface Type: Hi-Speed USB
OS Required: Microsoft Windows XP SP1, Microsoft Windows 2000 SP3, Microsoft Windows 2000 SP4, Microsoft Windows XP SP2, Microsoft Windows Vista
Software Included: Drivers & Utilities