iStorage diskAshur 3.0 review

A portable hard drive with built in cable and 256-bit encryption makes this device ideal for storing confidential information. Even if file transfer speeds are a tad on the slow side...

Price
£159

iStorage has a reputation for providing secure, rugged portable hard drives, and the diskAshur 3.0 aims to add high-speed to this combination as it provides USB 3 connectivity.

As with other iStorage drives, the main feature is the alphanumeric keypad which is the primary method of data protection.

The first thing you have to do is enter a PIN number between six and 16 digits long. Once this is done, you simply need to connect the device to a USB port, enter the PIN and press the unlock button. When the green LED is on, you're good to go. There's no need for an external power supply, the device is plug-and-play like a Flash drive.

iStorage diskAshur 3.0 - Connection

The iStorage diskAshur 3.0 comes with an inbuilt cable, allowing you to connect to devices quickly

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For businesses who have a dedicated IT department, the Administrator Feature will come in handy. This lets the admin set up an account and allows five additional user PINs to be created. This means the device can be shared between small teams for collaboration.

Admins have control to reset the device at any time, allowing it to be redeployed when necessary.

With data security the main focus, iStorage offers 128-bit and 256-bit hardware encryption.

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For enterprises and public sector organisations, such as hospitals or police forces, who need to secure highly classified data, the 256-bit algorithm is the way to go. This sends text and data through 14 transformation rounds, compared to 10 rounds for the 128-bit.

The high-level of protection means that if a device is ever lost or stolen, the data is unlikely to be compromised. Lock down mode will be triggered after six failed PIN attempts. This destroys the encryption key, renders data inaccessible and leaves users with no choice but to reset the device.

Performance

Despite the USB 3 connectivity, speed is an area where the iStorage 2.5in hard drive struggles to match the security. In our large file read and write tests, the device clocked a speed of 67.3MB/s and 66.8MB/s, respectively. Although consistent, it's nowhere near as quick as its bigger brother, the iStorage diskAshur DT. This read files at a snappy 320MB/s and wrote large files at 140.9MB/s.

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The drive was also slower in the small file test. It read files at maximum of 35.3MB/s and wrote them at a pedestrian 21.2MB/s. We expected more from the USB 3 connectivity, but this wasn't too far off the test scores for the diskAshur DT. This wrote 38.6MB/s, and read them at a marginally worse 36.7MB/s.

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