iStorage has done a brisk business in acknowledging the inherent security threats that come with us putting so many of our important and sensitive personal files onto small and easy to lose USB flash drives. Along with AES 256-bit encryption, iStorage devices include a numeric pad for typing in a pin, for even greater security. The iStorage DiskGenie devices were certainly secure, but rather unwieldy.

With the iStorage datAshur USB drive, however, physical security is packed into a nicely compact device not much bigger than a lot of other USB flash drives.

Before accessing the drive you need to press the key symbol, enter the default PIN number then press the key symbol again. You then have 30 seconds to plug it into a USB port. Without unlocking the iStorage datAshur first, our test PC simply threw up a 'driver not installed' error and prevented us from seeing the data stored on it.

With the correct PIN entered, the drive behaved like normal - but with a few differences. Speed, for example, was quite a bit slower than other drives, with read speeds averaging around 12MB/s. Read and write speeds together are even worse, averaging a paltry 5.1MB/s.

On the packaging it says USB 2.0/3.0, which might lead you to think that this is a USB 3.0 device. But the transfer rates prove otherwise, and iStorage confirmed to us that the drive is USB 2.0, and that the slow transfer speeds were down to the advanced hardware encryption included in the iStorage datAshur.

Verdict

The encryption and extra layer of physical security, along with its splash-proof casing, makes the iStorage datAshur a great device for protecting your files - but the slow speeds are a real let down.