I’ve tried a number of different USB memory sticks in the past, but none like this. As well as being robust – a metal case surrounds it – it also includes double hardware encryption. If security of your data is important then this is the kind of device you’d be looking at.
The Locker+ comes in pretty normal plastic packaging. No instructions are included – just the USB 2.0 stick and a loop that will attach the stick to, for example, a key ring. The stick itself is white plastic covered in a brushed metal outer layer. The cap slides off but there’s no way of keeping it with the main stick itself, so this may be easily lost. On one side is a blue disk activity light.
It measures 58 x 18.6 x 9.75mm and is available in capacities of 4, 8, 16 and 32GB.
Although metal encased this is not the type that’s designed to be waterproof and bomb proof! In fact a short drop on the floor and the USB cap flew off. None-the-less, in general use it’s robust, with a cold, solid feel and, dare I say it, looking quite sexy for a USB stick!
However, it’s main selling point is the encryption. When you initially connect it (Windows or Mac – both work seamlessly together so it’s easy to share content between the two systems) it will appear as an 8Mb optical drive. Run the included software and it will prompt you to create a password. Once done a second drive will appear – an empty, standard USB drives that includes all the remaining memory (I have the 16Gb model). This second drive will only appear in future when the password has been successfully entered. The drive contents are encrypted using an-board chip.
Having the encryption as hardware means that transfer speeds do not appear to have been affected. Reads were consistent with most “normal” USB sticks and writes were quicker that most. Large files were read at 17 Mbps and written at 13 Mbps. Small files were read at 4.8 Mbps and written at 0.12 Mbps.[review]With an RRP of £19.99, but easily available for £14.99, this is around twice the price of a “normal” USB stick of the same capacity. However, if security of your data is important then I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this.
My only gripe is with the ease of which the cap comes off and the fact that it’s not tethered in any way. However, this is only a minor concern for what is an otherwise excellent product.[/review]