The 8 Best Encrypted Drives

Updated December 10, 2017

8 Best Encrypted Drives
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 44 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. You don't have to work for the Feds to want to keep all your sensitive information out of the hands of unwelcome virtual intruders. These encrypted drives connect conveniently to your computer via USB ports and are designed to keep any form of data safe. And, yes, some of them are even secure enough to have been approved for use by the U.S. government. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best encrypted drive on Amazon.

8. Farsler 64GB High-speed

Utilizing biometric fingerprint recognition, the Farsler 64GB High-speed provides security with that personal touch. It comes with public and hidden sectors, with the hidden ones accessible only to the keeper of the correct digit.
  • high-speed user identification
  • push-out design protects connection
  • usable capacity less than 64 gb
Brand Farsler
Model DM PD061
Weight 0.6 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Integral 32GB Crypto

The Integral 32GB Crypto boasts military-grade standards and will interface in 24 languages. It features AES 256-bit encryption and functions without software installation, leaving no footprint. Its triple-layer design makes it durable and waterproof.
  • pc and mac compatible
  • erases data after 6 failed attempts
  • unprotected files can't be saved
Brand Integral
Weight 0.6 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

6. StarTech USB 3.0

The StarTech USB 3.0 is a hard drive enclosure that converts a 2.5-inch SATA hard or solid state drive into a 256-bit, AES-encrypted external drive. This system requires no software installation and employs a touchpad for access.
  • supports up to a terabyte
  • comes with usb cable and case
  • usb connector weak
Brand StarTech
Model S2510BU33PW
Weight 9.1 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. Kingston Digital Data Traveler

The Kingston Digital Data Traveler provides big security in a convenient little package. It uses USB 3.0 for rapid data transference and offers anti-virus protection to keep out Trojans, spyware, and all the nastiness that can be found on the Web.
  • can be customized to corporate needs
  • read-only mode thwarts malware
  • up to 64 gigabytes of storage
Brand Kingston
Model DTVP30/64GB
Weight 0.3 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. Apricorn Aegis 32 GB

The Apricorn Aegis 32 GB is equipped with a security keypad built right into it. With a Federal Information Processing Standards Level-3 validation, it meets current U.S. government requirements for the storing of sensitive data.
  • dust- and water-resistant housing
  • brute force self-destruct feature
  • keypad is robust
Brand Apricorn
Model ASK-256-32GB
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. Defender Elite30

The Kanguru Defender Elite30 operates using a USB 3.0 connection for lightning-fast data transfers. It is 256-bit hardware-encrypted to protect information from being compromised, and comes with onboard antivirus software installed.
  • tamper-proof design
  • physical write-protect switch
  • windows and mac compatible
Brand Apricorn
Model ASK-256-16GB
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

2. Aegis Padlock DT

The Apricorn Aegis Padlock DT is a desktop option with a whopping 10 terabytes of memory. It requires no software and can run on any platform, making it a powerful and adaptable data security system. It even has a lock slot so you can affix it to your desk.
  • variable timing circuit technology
  • tough epoxy coating
  • 256-bit aes encryption
Brand Apricorn
Model ADT-3PL256F-10TB
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Aegis Padlock Fortress

The Aegis Padlock Fortress by Apricorn is a portable 1-terabyte system that connects via USB 3.0 ports. As a FIPS Level-2 validated drive, it possesses a rating specification approved by the U.S.A. to secure sensitive material.
  • built-in self-destruct feature
  • integrated usb cable
  • compact design is ideal for travel
Brand Apricorn
Model A25-3PL256-1000F
Weight 15.2 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

More Than Just A Substitute

Imagine, for a moment, that you'd written the next great American novel. Its pages contain the very essence of contemporary humanity, spelled out with such acuteness and alacrity that to call it a guaranteed success would be to miss the point. This book has the potential to change the way we see our world, to make monsters out of angels and sheep out of devils.

You have one editor that you trust at one publishing house across the pond in England. At some point, you need to get him a copy of the book, and he needs to take it to his printers. Somewhere along those lines, though, it could be compromised.

To guard against this, you keep the typewritten pages locked in a safe in your home, but the digital copy needs a shell of security at least this strong. That's where an encrypted drive will keep your materials exclusively in the hands of those whom you trust.

Modern encryption is non-linear. Linear encryption systems worked in their most rudimentary form as systems of substitution: a=b, b=c, c=d, etc. In that particular system, wherein each letter encodes as the next letter in the alphabet, a word like 'cat' becomes encrypted as 'dbu.' Such systems are much easier to hack with today's digital technology.

While that technology has opened up simpler systems to attack, it's also provided us with a means for the incredibly advanced, non-linear encryption that the devices on our list use. It starts with the fact that, in binary code, the letter A is not simply the letter A, but a binary representation of A which reads as 01000001. Even with a linear substitution system, the available combinations of zeroes and ones for the alphabet alone would make cracking a binary-based code significantly more difficult.

Of course, any modern encryption device takes these binary codes and sends them through a significant number of non-linear systems that take additional variables into account, like letter and word position. Even that concept is relatively basic when you get into the nitty-gritty of encryption mathematics.

It Helps To Have A Key

Taking a close look at the encrypted drives on our list, you'll see that a handful of them use a physical interface on the hard disk itself to lock and unlock your drive. That might leave you to wonder how the other disks know who's using them, and the answer to that question ought to help you decide which disk you want to take home.

All of the disks on this list encrypt as you write to them. The process seems invisible, and so it's often referred to as transparent encryption. They write the data onto the disk already encrypted, without a single bite of data stored in its original form. In the reverse order, transparent encryption devices decrypt data as you read from them, provided you have the proper key.

If you feel a greater sense of comfort with a physical unlocking mechanism, rather like the lock on a good home safe, you'll probably want a drive that comes with its own little keypad. Some manufacturers have incorporated such physical mechanisms on their thumb drives, so your options aren't limited to the big boys just because you like punching numbers.

The other drives on this list operate with a simple shadow disk at the front of their operating order. When you plug one of these in, an extraordinarily simple operating system pops up, asking you for the key phrase to unlock the rest of the disk. Be careful with these, however, as some will format the disk after enough failed attempts to log into it.

The only other variable that will guide you toward your decision is size. You ought to have a good idea bout how much data you plan to encrypt in storage. Most of these drives come in a variety of sizes, and our ranking system takes specific sizes into account when evaluating overall value, so after you click on a given link, check out your size options, and choose accordingly.

Keep It Secret, Keep It Safe

Secrets are among the few things that make us uniquely human. Conspiracy and concealment dot the history of human interaction like celestial bodies on a crystal clear desert night. More often than not, the secrets we keep have some merit at their cores.

Sometimes we hide information from those we love for their protection or their emotional comfort. Sometimes we hide truths about ourselves for our own safety in a hostile environment. Whatever our need for personal or professional secrecy, we've long applied our tools and intellect to the obfuscation of sensitive information.

Upon close examination, language itself is a form of cryptography, turning one understanding of our sensory experience (the non-linguistic one) into a specifically coded language. Of course, the purpose of this encryption is to increase understanding and communication, not to decrease it.

Encryption requires a written source text to become something more than a substitute language. It makes sense then that the first encryption we find in history lived in the Old Kingdom of Egypt nearly 4,000 years ago. Ciphers gained complexity as language evolved, and exploded in complexity under the Greek and Arabic mathematicians.

It was Alan Turing, however, who advanced the art of cryptography into the computer age. That revolution continues on today, as governments and standards organizations scramble to gain security in a landscape of brilliant young hackers and a rapidly approaching singularity.

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Last updated on December 10, 2017 by multiple members of the ezvid wiki editorial staff

Our professional staff of writers and researchers have been creating authoritative product recommendations and reviews since 2011. Many of our wikis require expert maintenance, and are authored by individual members of our editorial staff. However, this wiki is currently maintained by multiple members of the ezvid wiki team.

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