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Lexar JumpDrive Secure II Plus 4GB review

Andy Vandervell

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Reviewed:

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Lexar JumpDrive Secure II Plus 4GB
  • Lexar JumpDrive Secure II Plus 4GB
  • Lexar JumpDrive Secure II Plus 4GB
  • Lexar JumpDrive Secure II Plus 4GB
  • Lexar JumpDrive Secure II Plus 4GB
  • Lexar JumpDrive Secure II Plus 4GB
  • Lexar JumpDrive Secure II Plus 4GB
  • Lexar JumpDrive Secure II Plus 4GB
  • Lexar JumpDrive Secure II Plus 4GB

Summary

Our Score:

6

For the most part USB memory keys are much of a muchness. Occasionally you'll find one that's unusually fast, such as the Corsair Voyager GT, or one with an in-built card reader such as the Kingston DataTraveller Reader, but for the most part there's little that sets one apart from another.

Still, the companies involved in this market manfully continue to try and differentiate their products and Lexar has done just that with its JumpDrive Secure II Plus. Although it looks like any other USB drive, it has one rather smart feature that sets it apart: a capacity meter. It seems like such a simple idea, and god knows plenty of people have probably dreamed of such a feature, yet it's not something that's seen too often.

In theory it's an eminently useful little feature, allowing you to know roughly how much space is available on the drive without actually plugging it into a computer. The meter uses a percentage scale, with ten increments of 10 per cent each.

It must be noted, however, that this isn't quite the perfect solution. Ideally this could be split into 1GB major increments, with 500MB minor increments. This sort of arrangement would be more intuitive, as the percentage method requires you to have a basic grasp how the reading shown relates to the amount of storage remaining.

Moreover, the Corsair Flash Readout boasts similar functionality but with none of the ambiguity of the Lexar. As the name suggests, it has an LCD readout showing the exact amount of space left on the drive. Compared to this, the Lexar's percentage meter seems rather primitive.

Other than the capacity meter the JumpDrive Secure II Plus is completely unremarkable. The casing is finished in dull black plastic, and that plastic is hardly of the highest quality either. It feels rather cheap and nasty, and certainly couldn’t take much in the way of punishment were one to drop it, or accidently tread on it. It also has a removable cap, which as ever, is only likely to be lost.

As you can tell, aside from the capacity meter the design is pretty ordinary and doesn't really match that of SanDisk or Corsair – or any number of other USB keys for that matter.

mhunterdts

March 31, 2010, 11:45 pm

DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT ! ! !





I was looking to secure my files on my old USB memory stick. So I got this product. Now all my data is lost! Here's why:





The Lexar security suite creates an encrypted zone (they call a vault). The vault can be up to 4GB and it is given the name "vault.lxv". Once you create this vault, the Lexar suite mounts it as a drive in windows (the memory stick is drive E, and the secure vault is drive F). You can then add all the files you want to the vault (drive F). Regardless of the size/number of files in the vault, it is always a 4GB file (or however large you specify). All is fine up to this point.





Because windows itself only sees a single file "vault.lxv" and not all the individual files inside, should this file get corrupted (say by your 4 year old yanking out the jump drive while you are using it) it can (and did) get corrupted. Now ALL your data that was inside the vault is garbage! And CAN NOT be recovered.


This can happen to any USB stick, but since you are usually only working with a few files at a time, only those few files get corrupted. But with the vault there is only ONE file, and any improper removal of the stick will (and does) corrupt the vault. Now all your secure data is instantly TRASH!


I called Lexar and they commented this can happen if the USB stick is improperly removed. They suggested a data recovery service (at $1 per MB, that 4GB vault is going to cost me $4,000 to recover)!!!





So I would DEFINITELY NOT recommend this product. It is too easy for the vault to get corrupted. I had a Cruzer Pro 1GB secure USB drive and never had this problem. So I'm not sure how that device is different. And yes, all my data is totally lost forever! Thanks Lexar!

Geoff Richards

April 1, 2010, 2:26 am

Sorry to hear about your nightmare. Your feedback is certainly food for thought for everyone.





I would also just add that "important data" should never only exist in one place. If one needs to use a USB stick for transport, make sure you save to a local HDD then *copy* to the stick to move it to another computer, and copy it to that PC.





If you create new documents straight onto a stick, and carry it around, you leave yourself vulnerable not only to data corruption (as above) but theft and / or loss.

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