Over the years, we have compiled several SSD reviews that might not be the norm to most; secure SSDs. We aren’t speaking of software contained portable SSDs that enable one to activate that devices hardware encryption, but rather, those that don’t rely on software, those that cannot be broken into and even if someone could, those that are filled solid with epoxy that would destroy any of the components within if someone attempted access. Physical brute force. Government level encryption.
When we examine this type of security, there are really two types that are incorporated into a secure network or PC system. The first entails external storage that must be recognized by the system itself and the second is what we see most, devices that lock and unlock as a vault would and, once opened, allow complete access to that vault, or logical drive. The latter is the most common of the two which makes complete sense at the consumer level but one always has to keep in mind that once it is open, there is no security on that data. For example, if you plug ANY of this type of secure drive into a PC that has been hacked and where the intruder has access, the information on your secure drive is completely vulnerable while it is plugged in and accessible. They can simply copy it. This is probably the most important aspect of secure drives today that all should be aware of.
For the past few weeks, we have been testing the Apricorn Aegis NVX 1TB Secure SSD. It has been in and out of secure systems and laptops in addition to our speed testing that one might see today. I wanted a valid hands-on and not just a quick review as most might conduct. As the NVX simply becomes an open logical drive when unlocked, it is compatible with just about any system to include Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, Symbian and Chrome systems.
This SSD comes with a molded case, the NVX itself, a Type-C to Type-C extension cable, a Type-C to Type-A extension cable for those not equipped with Type-C in their system, as well as a Quick Start Guide product brochure and warranty papers. A detailed User Manual can be found on the secure drive that allows one to explore the NVX’s full feature set. The Aegis NVX comes with a 3-year limited warranty. It is built to the FIPS-140-2 standard (not yet accredited), IP68 certified with water resistance to 1.5 m, is sand and dust resistant and has a shock and vibration rating of 1500G.
The Aegis NVX 1TB Secure SSD is available in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities and is a software free 256-Bit encrypted USB 3.2 Gen 2 Secure SSD which is the first of its kind. It will achieve 10Gbps speeds over 1000MB/s whereas similar design competitors are still around 5Gbps 370MB/s or lower. This SSD is over 3-times as fast as its competitors and contains a bus-powered USB cable that plugs into ones system and also tucks away into the side of the unit when not in use.
The Aegis NVX measures 4.7″ x 2.6″ x .59″ and weighs 15.5oz. It is constructed of a single block of milled aircraft grade 6061 aluminum which forms its clamshell casing and is secured with 4 tamper resistant / evident uni-directional breakaway security fasteners which are driven and cemented in place with hardened epoxy. Its keypad is of a polymer-coated membrane style which has claimed wear resistance to prevent recognition of the drives most commonly used keys. If you forget your password, Apricorn couldn’t break into your drive to retrieve what you have lost. This is as secure as it gets.
The Aegis NVX is not software driven and one can initially set up the device in a few keystrokes. After that, all that is required is to plug it in, enter the minimum 7-number password and hit the green unlock button bottom right. Checking Amazon, we see pricing set at $292 (500GB), $539 (1TB) and $661 for the 2TB version which even we think might just be a bit high. Check Amazon for pricing updates.
Let’s get to some performance specs on the next page…