How far would you go to protect your sensitive files and data? This is a question that has a different answer depending on who you ask. For some, security simply isn’t a crucial part of their everyday life; they’ve only got a few photos or documents and they don’t see how anyone could possibly take advantage of them. Others will tell you security is paramount and that the sensitive data they constantly carry with them causes them infinite worry.
The truth, however, is that security should be a much more prominent concern for all of us than it currently is. In 2019 alone, there have been a worrying number of data breaches and security leaks. You’d be forgiven for thinking that storing data on the cloud simply isn’t secure, and there are many people who still prefer to keep their files on a physical USB key that they can see, hold, and know is safe at all times. We’re very sympathetic to that viewpoint.
That’s where the Datashur Pro 2 comes in. This little USB storage key from iStorage packs a whopping 128GB punch, but that’s not the major selling point here. iStorage’s mission is primarily one of security and safe data transfer, and naturally, the Datashur Pro 2 is no exception. Like many of this auspicious company’s products, the Datashur Pro 2 places a massive emphasis on keeping your sensitive data safe and away from prying eyes. Does it succeed?
Let’s take a look at things from a surface perspective first. The iStorage Datashur Pro 2 looks like a cross between a standard USB key and a TV remote. It’s got a satisfyingly small and compact form factor; you won’t have any trouble pocketing this one or carrying it on a ring of keys, and in fact it has a small keychain attachment near its base for this purpose. On its face are a series of simple, easy-to-use number keys which constitute the bulk of its security.
Naturally, that security is the biggest selling point of the Datashur Pro 2. If you’re interested in the drive’s security tech specs, you can check them out here, but suffice to say it’s FIPS 140-2 Level 3 compliant. FIPS 140-2 Level 3 adds identity check and physical tampering requirements; a company can’t claim their product is compliant with this protocol if their product doesn’t meet these exacting and rigorous security standards. It’s clear iStorage is serious about its security.
This is a seriously hard-wearing USB drive. During our tests, we tried to physically damage or tamper with it as much as possible to prove the anti-tampering measures work, and we were very pleasantly surprised. The epoxy resin this drive is coated with makes it virtually impossible to damage; despite several rigorous tests, we never managed to break into it. Signs of tampering are also very clear on the surface, so if someone’s damaged your drive, you’ll know it.
So, how does the Datashur Pro 2 keep your files safe? Well, when you first fire the drive up, you’ll need to set up a PIN. You can allocate different user and admin PINs, which is perfect for corporate or business use; it’s safe to hand this drive off to staff knowing you can override their access if they fail to log in or forget the password. This being an iStorage product, there are an embarrassing amount of options when it comes to setting and recovering PINs.
If you forget your PIN, you can set up a one-time User Recovery PIN. There’s also an option to set a Read-Only Admin Mode, meaning you can make it so nobody can alter the data while the device is in admin mode. Brute Force Hack Defence adds an extra layer of security against anyone trying to brute-force their way into the Datashur Pro 2. Make no mistake: this is a heavy-duty product intended for those who are serious about their security.
That does mean that the Datashur Pro 2 might be a little hard to get into if you’re only in the market for light security and you’re not interested in the kind of military-grade protection this device provides. This is a product with a very specific niche; if you frequently carry around extremely sensitive data that could be worth a lot in the wrong hands, you need this yesterday, but if you’re simply trying to keep company correspondence away from prying eyes then it might be overkill.
With that said, the Datashur Pro 2 is surprisingly accessible for a device of this type. You don’t actually need any software to use it; it’ll work on any OS whatsoever, so whether you’re running an ancient version of Windows or an ultra-modern Linux distro, you’ll find something to like here. The Datashur Pro 2 is also simply an excellent USB drive in and of itself. The USB 3.0 protocol means lightning-fast data transfer, and although the drive is a touch slower than others (probably due to the encryption process), it still competes.
In the final analysis, the Datashur Pro 2 is an easy sell to anyone who needs to carry around protected files. There’s nothing more comforting than the peace of mind you get from knowing you’re physically carrying your files with you; although cloud security is improving in leaps and bounds (in no small part thanks to iStorage), there’s no substitute for a physical drive in your pocket, and the Datashur Pro 2 is that drive. Dabblers need not apply, but serious security heads have found their solution.