The Most Secure (Encrypted) USB Flash Drives in 2017
REVIEWS

The Most Secure (Encrypted) USB Flash Drives in 2017

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*The data in this table may update every week because the changes for each device’s features and prices are tracked regularly. Last Update was on December 19, 2017




Price
Price
~$348
Price
~$160
Price
~$180
Price
~$135
Price
~$177
Maximum Storage
Maximum Storage
64GB
Maximum Storage
128GB
Maximum Storage
32GB
Maximum Storage
32GB
Maximum Storage
120GB
Security
Total Score
Total Score
Total Score
Total Score
Total Score
Encryption Encryption

AES-256
Encryption

AES-256
Encryption

AES-256
Encryption

AES-256
Encryption

AES-256
Fingerprint ID
Fingerprint ID
Fingerprint ID
Fingerprint ID
Fingerprint ID
Fingerprint ID
FIPS Certified
FIPS Certified
FIPS Certified
FIPS Certified
FIPS Certified
FIPS Certified

Why Do You Need a Secure Flash Drive?




Flash drives have significantly changed the way we transfer data and with the appearing of flash drives, created specifically for security, we no longer require resources that depend on power to run. Not only this, but this has also made it possible to carry the information we need in it’s most secure form available in our pockets. But nowadays a flash drive is not just about encryption and has gone beyond that when it comes to cyber-security. The new drives continue to have more and more security features and make it possible to store more files now than ever before.

But then again does one really need a flash drive that is secure? While the answer may be no, we have to ask ourselves how many times we have lost files due to the breakdown of your PC and do we really want to store data using cloud solutions that get breached on a daily basis and information is leaked. Yes, there are different methods to use to safely store your important files and protect them from malware, but secure flash drives are the only method that can transfer large ammount of data and enable you to work with it from any computer, without you risking to damage the data. And this method is also extremely good when we look at this from the malware perspective, since most ransomware viruses aim to encrypt flash drives as well. But since most secure flash drives do have encryption of their own, the ransomware may not succeed in doing so, simply because the files are of different format (encrypted one). So here are the 10 best secure lash drives that are rugged and can not only protect you with security features, but can also withstand the test of time.


Imation Defender F200 Biometric Flash Drive Review

This flash drive does not look like a key or any other slick looking object, it rather appears like a simple flash drive. But this is only at first glance. In reality, the Imation Defender F200 biometric features a classic spy movie style James Bond finger swap. And it’s security is not only all show and no go – the device has been certified as a Level 3 of the FIPS 140-2 government security levels – something that is not easy or cheap to obtain. The main reason for this drive being on the top of our list however is how well Imation have managed to confugre it to quickly unlock it’s unbreakable AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption that has 256-bit strenght. And if fingerprint is not enough for your security, you can further increase the security by setting two fingers swipe procedure and if that is not enough you can combine that with a password to make the flash drive even more unbreakable. And not only this, but you can also use two different fingers for separate validation as well, in case you happen to lose a finger or something – quite clever, for some particular users.

While the flash drive is on a very advanced level when we discuss encryption and secururity, it does have several drawbacks, the main of which is it’s price. And while the 64 GB model costs the insane $649 we would recommend going for the 32 GB version if you do not need so much space. And while the software is very easy to configure the fingerpint, the passwords and even reset the drive to set new ones, the drive can also be managed remotely via a server version of it’s software, named ACCESS. It also features McAfee’s ePolicy Orchestrator which is basically the basis for the Departament of Defence’s HBSS (Host Based Security System). The main weakness however of the Defender F200 is the speed of uploading a file on it, which is less than the average when you transfer multiple files that add up to several gigabytes.

What We Like
Extremely secure system with ACCESS software.
Latest Level 3 security guidelines. (140-2 certification).
Fingerprint ID in combination with password.
Strong encryption.
What’s Missing
The price could be lower.
The product can offer more memory for it’s price.
A bit slow performance during file transfer.

Kanguru Defender 2000 Review

This is the first flash drive that you can literally throw at someone to cause them pain – literally. The device is so heavy that that you can use it for self-defense. While having a pleasant metallic body, the device uses a 256-bit AES encryption and it is not only waterproof but if someone else uses it besides you, it can eject itself. In addition to this, when ti comes to security, the device is also FIPS 140-2 Level 2 validated and currently being evaluated to upgrade to Level 3, same as the Imation Defender. In addition to this, the security software is also created to be user friendly and to launch via a CD emulator partition, which makes it extremely well protected against ransomware. What is best about the Defender 2000 is that it also supports Linux OS which is very convenient, since most drives support Windows and OS X.

There are few drawbacks to the Defender 2000 as well, though. One of them is that the device while performing decently during file tranfer speed tests, still uses USB 2.0 interface, and this could be upped to 3.0, although it is not necessary at any cost, because the device actually is the fastest among all of the flash drives here, since it even outperforms some USB 3.0 devices. And while it does not have a fingerprint scanner, it is far more affordable than the Imation Defender F200 and is as secure as the device is.

What We Like
Level 2 validated for FIPS 140-2 certificate for security.
Supports Linux OS, Windows and Mac OS X.
What’s Missing
Lack of fingerpint scanner.

CMS Products CE-Secure Vault FIPS Review

The latest CMS device, called CE-Secure Vault offers relatively good USB 2.0 performance and a sturdy AES-256 encryption on it’s hardware with added easy to use manageability. The software behind the drive is called BlockMaster’s SafeConsole management software and it allows to connect the device to a remote network, allowing businesses to remotely manage multiple flash drives, making it perfect for organizations, such as scientific research facilities, universities, companies and many other types of organizations. But this synchronized connectivity comes at a price – approxmimately 70$ for the 32 GB version.

Like other products of it’s type, the CE-Secure Vault also uses a CD-emulation method to view it’s files, making them impossible to be encrypted or corrupted by malware, since the drive they are ran from is a virtual one, so the malware may be set to scramble a virtual drive type of file, but it only scambles a newly created drive, while the actual files on the USB stick remain safe. In adidtion to this, the secure vault also has a virutal screen on which to enter your password using your mouse, so that you evade a keylogger, if installed on your device.

What We Like
Cheap for the same AES-256 security.
Runs on a virtually emulated CD.
Has a virtual keyboard to enter passcode, to avoid keylogger attacks.
What’s Missing
Could go for a fingerprint scanner feature.

Kingston DataTraveler 4000 Managed Review

This is probably the fastest flash drive in this list, reaching speeds up to 34 megabytes per second with it’s USB 2.0 standard when it transfers files above 8 GB. In addition to this, the Kingston DataTraveler lives up to the company’s reputaion by having a rugged design that has a 256-bit AES encryption and a CD-emulator pertition with a security software client. This has earned the drive a FIPS 140-2 certification which is a pefect addition to it being water and tamperproof. In addition to this, the Kingston devices also have a so-called SafeConsole, which provides auditing of the devices being used, making it possible to see all the activity of a managed Kingston flash drive – pretty clever, if you are running a company and deal with sensitive data.

But these are not the main strenghts of the flash drive, since it’s best part is that while it does not cost a ton of money to support and use them, they can also be managed remotely, making them perect for organizations and businesses who need to keep track of important data.

What We Like
The flash drive works very well in a network.
Has strong encryption and easy to use security client.
Wateproof and tamperproof.
What’s Missing
Lacks fingerprint scanning feature.
Could use a variant that is more than 32 GB.

Apricorn Aegis Secure Key Review

Being the first flash drive containing a secure PIN code to log in and be FIP Level 3 certified, the Apricorn Aegis Secure Key is a bit longer than your average USB drive size. However, it is still easy to carry and use the numbers to log in. The keypad is also very convenieng as it has lightning indicators that tell whether the device is locked or unlocked. The deivce also has quite the decent prices for it’s sizes, featuring the $125 piece tag (average) for it’s 16 GB model. In adidtion to this, the device is also rather simple to use. All you have to do to activate it after plugging it to the computer is to press the unlock key and then type your PIN code, but bear in mind that until this action can be done it takes around half a minute time.

In addition to this, the keypad also makes it possible for this device to be excluded from any type of security software, unlike the other competitors in this list who have such. This is a big benefit since you can use this device on absolutely any type of operating systems, even live booted ones and you can even use it on other devices, like smartphones, although you will need to have an adapter cable. And when we add the fact that the device is also secure using the AES-256 bit algorithms and is Level 3 FIPS certified, this makes it one of our favorite secure flash drives out there. The only drawbacks where the company can improve is that they can fit more than 16 GB in and they can speed it up significantly, since it’s transfer speed is lower than the average.

What We Like
Usable across all devices due to the lack of software.
Keypad makes it extremely convenient and universal plus easy to use.
Small size, despite keypad.
Light indicators for unlock.
What’s Missing
Largest drive is 16GB in size.
Lacks biometric security (anyone can login, provided the code).

Lower than average file transfer speeds.

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Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav has been covering the latest malware, software and newest tech developments at SensorsTechForum for 3 years now. He started out as a network administrator. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management and then Network Administration, he found his passion within cybersecrurity and is a strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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