Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

Apricorn Aegis Padlock SSD: a Secure, Hardware-encrypted, Solid-State Drive that Fits in a Pocket

Do you have information that you want to keep private? It might be something you want to hide from business competitors, your boss, your spouse, your children, or from a girlfriend or boyfriend. For small amounts of information up to 200 gigabytes or so, an encrypted flash drive is probably the most convenient method of storing secrets. You can purchase pre-encrypted flash drives or else encrypt any normal flash drive by using any of a number of encryption products.

But how do you encrypt a lot of information, such as one to perhaps twelve terabytes of data?

I suppose you could purchase a bunch of flash drives, encrypt each one, then break up your data into smaller pieces and store each piece in a separate flash drive. That would be effective but awkward. Instead, you might prefer to purchase an Apricorn Aegis Padlock external disk drive.

The Apricorn Aegis Padlock drives are solid-state drives. In other words, they are very fast, much faster than the normal external hard drives that have spinning platters inside the device. The Padlock drives are available on Amazon and elsewhere with up to twelve terabytes of storage space for prices ranging from $189 for a one terabyte drive to $859 for a twelve terabyte drive.

Those prices may seem high when compared to the slower external disk drives that have spinning platters but are reasonable when compared to prices for other high-speed solid-state drives.

These external disk drives will work with Windows, Linux, Macintosh, Android, or Chromebooks.

The Apricorn Aegis Padlock drives utilize the military grade FIPS PUB 197 Validated Encryption Algorithm. You won’t find anything more secure than that for less than a few thousand dollars. Each Padlock drive uses a super fast USB 3.0 connection with data transfer speeds up to 10 times faster than USB 2.0 external disk drives. (It is also backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.1 ports so you can still use it on older computers.) Each drive is also sealed from physical attacks by a tough epoxy coating. Nobody will ever get into the internals of these drives with a screwdriver or even with a sledgehammer.

The part that I like best is that each Apricorn Aegis Padlock drive also has a built-in physical keypad used for entering a security PIN code. Even if a hacker someplace else in the world does manage to connect through the Internet and hack into your computer, he or she won’t be able to connect to a Padlock drive and enter the PIN number. That’s because the PIN number can only be entered by someone’s fingers typing it directly into the keypad built into the drive. Now that’s security!

Of course, your friends, co-workers, and others also cannot access your Apricorn Aegis Padlock drive unless you tell them the secret PIN code.

You obviously can purchase external disk drives, even solid-state disk drives, elsewhere and then encrypt them yourself by using any of a number of encryption products. But those won’t have the built-in physical keypad used for entering a security PIN code. Using encryption AND a built-in physical keypad offers “belt-and-suspenders” security.

All in all, this appears to be one of the best ways of keeping your private information securely locked up. You can learn more on the Apricorn web site at The Apricorn Aegis Padlock drives can be purchased directly from the same web site as well as from Amazon and other computer retailers.

Categories: Hardware

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