Our photos are some of the most valuable things we can store on our hard drives. Sure, the processor and components inside the PC cost more, and the peripherals we attach to the PC would be more valuable to potential thieves, but the digital photos we've taken during important events in our lives can never be replaced.
As its name implies, the SanDisk Memory Vault is a USB drive designed to store your precious photos and protect them. It does this in a number of ways.
First, it has a solid and rugged case to protect it from damage. It has also been tested to support data retention for up to 100 years. There are also stickers supplied that enable you to label the SanDisk Memory Vault. The idea here is that the SanDisk Memory Vault will be passed down from generation to generation, much like family photo albums are.
It's a great idea in principle, though with 8GB or 16GB (we tested the 8GB version) storage space you're not going to get a whole lifetime's worth of photos on there. There are larger rugged external hard drives around, such as the Lacie Rugged 500GB and the ioSafe Rugged Portable Hard Drive, which could protect your photos just as well (if not better) than the SanDisk Memory Vault and contain a lot more of your photos.
Another problem is that the SanDisk Memory Vault is only USB 2.0, so the drive reported rather slow - compared to USB 3.0 drives - speeds of 7.21MB/s write and 18.80MB/s read. So if you're transferring lots of digital photos then it's going to take you quite a while.