What are the most essential qualities you look for in an external storage drive? The answer to that question will dictate whether or not the SecureDrive BT is for you. If you favour security and protection of your sensitive files over everything else, then there is absolutely no doubt that you should buy this drive yesterday. If you’re only looking to store a few photographs and don’t need the additional security protocols, this is a slightly harder sell. It’s rare that a product knows its audience so well and is willing to cater to them almost exclusively.
Let’s back up a little. SecureDrive is a storage and security-focused product created by Los Angeles-based data security company SECUREDATA. Along with SecureUSB, SecureDrive comprises one half of SECUREDATA’s flagship high-security storage device range. Rather impressively, the SecureDrive BT’s size begins at 1TB and only gets bigger, with the largest capacity device offering a staggering 8TB of storage. Make no mistake: these are not products for the casual consumer. Rather, these are industry-grade drives designed to appeal to those with massive volumes of high-sensitivity data to store.
So, having established that the BT has a very specific audience in mind, one question becomes apparent: is this the right product for that audience? It’s very, very difficult to imagine why you wouldn’t want to grab one of these if you’re a security-conscious professional with a lot of data to store. Granted, it’s a highly specific niche, but if you do count yourself as part of that niche then there are few other options as appealing or convenient as the SecureDrive BT. Most people probably won’t need to venture above 1TB, so that’s the drive we’ve opted to review.
The first thing that’s striking about the SecureDrive BT is its form factor. Many drives of this caliber opt for a hefty, inconvenient build quality that detracts from their usefulness. Not so with the BT. This is a small, slim device that will fit neatly in your hand; it’s not much bigger than a smartphone with a reasonably-sized case. This means you can comfortably carry your BT in your pocket or in a backpack or suitcase. It’s impressive that SECUREDATA has packed so much functionality into a device so small, but that’s just one of the BT’s many talents.
If you’re a security nut, you’ll be pleased to know that despite packing such a slimline form, the SecureDrive BT offers FIPS 140-2 Level 3 protection for your files. This is a US government cryptography standard that has very stringent requirements; the drive must be able to detect and respond appropriately to signs of physical tampering or stress, as well as attempts to crack its software. Many drives of this nature only reach FIPS 140-2 Level 2. That’s more than enough for the average user, but as we’ve established, the SecureDrive BT isn’t aiming for the average user.
That FIPS protection is matched by AES 256-bit XTS military-grade encryption. It’s clear that SECUREDATA has gone the whole nine yards when it comes to securing your files; this kind of protection often isn’t found on drives this small or with this much storage. To put it simply, if you’re not a software buff or you’re not particularly au fait with computers, the BT is probably the most secure solution on the market right now for storing and encrypting your files. It’s very hard to imagine a hacker managing to gain access to this drive.
There’s an extra subscription service that you can add to the drive should you wish to. Remote Management allows you to, as you may have guessed, manage the files on your SecureDrive BT remotely. From anywhere in the world, you can enable time fencing and geofencing, perform a password reset, and view and change the files on your drive (provided you supply the correct key, of course). This is great news if you’re a manager who wants to send their staff away with the drive but doesn’t want to grant access to the staff member carrying it. It’s an extra expense, but it’s worth it.
Perhaps the BT’s star feature is this: you can remotely wipe the drive if you suspect it’s been tampered with. This doesn’t require a Remote Management subscription and you can do it from anywhere in the world. SECUREDATA’s watchword here is safety; the company clearly wants you to feel like your files are safe, no matter what might happen to them or how they might end up being mishandled. Whether you’re a government security professional or an IT manager for a large company, this is the drive for you if you’ve got files to protect.
That’s not to say the drive is beyond you if you’re not a big IT person. The SecureDrive BT can be used with any operating system and is compatible with both mobile devices and desktop software. No matter what your computer is running, you’ll be able to take advantage of the BT’s features. It’s also extremely user-friendly; there aren’t any complex software programs to learn and there’s no complicated coding to deal with. It’s just you, your files, and a drive that’s dedicated to keeping them safe no matter what happens.
In the end, it’s not hard to recommend the SecureDrive BT. As we said earlier, you’ll have to be the right kind of customer to appreciate everything it can do; the price tag might be a little high for you if you’re just looking to take your novel with you to the coffee shop. This is a heavy-duty product intended for heavy-duty users, and if you’re one of them, there’s no better option on the market. The SecureDrive BT’s slim form factor, incredible security protocols, and convenient remote wiping mechanism make it an easy sell if your priority is safety.