Summary

Our Score

7/10

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Kingston has been a major force in PC memory for as long as I can remember, and the chances are if you’ve been using PCs for a while, at least one of them will have had Kingston modules nestling inside. But when it comes to USB memory keys it’s a little harder for a company to differentiate itself, even one with a reputation as solid as Kingston’s. But in a world of generic USB keys, Kingston has managed to come up with something a bit different.

The DataTraveler Secure takes the security part of its brief very seriously indeed. In fact I’d say that Kingston’s latest USB key is probably the safest place to store your data when you’re on the move. And with 4GB of storage space at your disposal, you could potentially keep all of your sensitive data in your pocket, rather than leaving it on your hard drive. But what is it that makes this USB key so secure?



On the most basic level, this USB key will keep your data safe because it’s very, very robust. The DataTraveler Secure is constructed from stainless steel and coated with titanium – the result is a device that has a reassuringly solid weight to it (24g). The casing can definitely withstand a few knocks and no amount of dropping, throwing or kicking produced so much as a scratch on the titanium surface. However, the cap isn’t held on securely enough, and if you do drop the device you can expect the cap to shoot off in some random direction. Also, although the metal casing is tough as nails, the plastic edging isn’t, so if you’re in the habit of throwing the DataTraveler Secure around, expect the plastic sections to get chipped and marked.

You also don’t have to worry about dropping the DataTraveler Secure into a puddle or even the bath, since it’s waterproof. That said, the lid definitely isn’t waterproof, so although Kingston can guarantee that your data will be safe if you drop the device in water, you should make sure that it’s completely dry before you plug it into your PC. Although the DataTraveler Secure conforms to the IEC 60529 IPX8 standard that ensures water resistance in up to four feet of water, you shouldn’t assume that all is lost if a standard USB key gets wet. I accidentally put my SwissBit USB key in the washing machine and after letting it dry for a while it worked perfectly, with all my data still intact – I’m still using it today in fact, almost a year later!



But the tough metal case and the waterproof nature are only part of the reason why your data will be secure on this, particular USB key. There’s also some clever stuff going on inside. Like many other USB keys, you can allocate an area of the device to be password protected, thus enabling you to store data that no one else will be able to access. The application provided to partition and format the DataTraveler Secure is very simple and intuitive, so pretty much anyone will be able to carve up the storage space without any trouble.

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