Corsair Flash Voyager 32GB Review

Propane - 2008-04-09 16:50:09 in Storage / Hard Drives
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
Reviewed by: Propane   
Reviewed on: May 28, 2008
Price: $159.99


Not that long ago, people were transferring files between computers on small capacity floppy disks. These floppies were then replaced by CDs and DVDs, and now flash storage. Flash storage has been around for a while now and has always been increasing in capacity. Flash drives have many benefits, including speed and size, and open new doors like putting live bootable operating systems and very large files on them. The possibilities are endless with this much space.

The Corsair Flash Voyager 32GB is absolutely huge. Corsair's Flash Voyager series has gained a large following because of how rugged they are, and they come in a large variety of sizes. They are also water resistant so you can do a large range of activities and be assured of your data's safety. With a flash drive this big, you can always have your information with you wherever you go.


Closer Look:

The packaging that the Corsair Flash Voyager comes in is the plastic packaging that everyone hates because its so hard to open. However, the presentation of the product is very nice, with a large indicator of the drive's capacity on the front, and the fact that it uses USB 2.0. On the back of the packaging, several more features are listed.














The drive itself is encased in a plastic covering that has a cap. Flash Voyager is written on the front of the drive and the back, On the front, a small blue LED is near the end to indicate activity. There is also a small ring near the end that you can use to attach the drive to a keychain.



Finally, the drive comes with two accessories. One is a lanyard that can clip on to the drive and the other is a short extension cable so you can connect the drive in areas where there might be a bind on space.




The simplest configuration you can get away with with the 32GB Flash Voyager is simply plugging it in. This will give you every feature a storage device needs, however, if you want things like encryption, you'll need to look to third parties. The Corsair comes with a third party application for encryption called TrueCrypt. The install for TrueCrypt is really easy, but when I went to run it on my Windows Vista Home Premium computer, it crashes, no matter what I do. I did go out and grab the latest version from True Crypt's website and I was able to get it running on Vista. I'll go over a simple configuration for TrueCrypt here so you can get it running quickly, easily, and without much worry.

The first step in getting True Crypt running is to click the New Volume button. Pressing this will pull up a wizard which will guide you though the process. In this example I am going to make a volume container, as it is the simplest to do.

















The next step is to choose between a hidden volume and standard volume. A hidden volume will make the partition or file appear invisible unless you know where it is. If you need a lot of security a hidden volume is the best choice, but for most users, the standard volume will work just fine. It will then ask you to pick a file name and location which can be anything and anywhere.



After that, you will be asked to choose a encryption and hashing algorithm. There are a lot of choices, including AES, twofish, and serpent. For most people the default settings here will be fine, but if you know what your doing, the other algorithms are available. Then you have to pick a file size, which will be how large your encrypted file will be.



Next you will chose a password for your file, and then choose several formatting options. TrueCrypt recommends a password of at least 20 characters, but it is up to you.



After it formats, the file will be created. To access this file, you can use TrueCrypt to mount it as a hard disk on your computer, then you can just move files back and forth like any other drive.






To test the performance of the 32GB Flash Voyager, I will use a program called Flash Memory Toolkit. While this is a shareware application, there is a free demo which will allow me to perform the tests that I need. I will use the low level read test, which will check memory bandwidth on the device, then I will test several test files for the writing portion. While the testing is taking place, I will have the Flash Voyager plugged directly into a rear USB port.

Testing Setup:


Comparison Drives:


Read Speed - Low Level Benchmark:

The first test is the low level read test. This will give us a speed in megabytes per second and an X factor. The result of this was that the average read rate was 21.5Mb/s and the X factor was 146X.











Read and Write - File Benchmark:

The second test is the file write test. This will only give us a speed in Kb/s. For a 1 MB file, the average rate was 958Kb/s, for 2 MB, the rate was 2022Kb/s, for 3MB, the average rate was 3372Kb/s, for 4MB, the rate was 5068Kb/s, and for 5MB, the average rate was 4006Kb/s.
























While these aren't the fastest speeds, they are still respectable for a drive of this size.


I remember, it seems just like the other day that I was amazed with my 32MB flash drive, and how much it could hold, and today I am testing the 32GB Corsair Flash Voyager, which amazed me yet again. While the speeds aren't the best, there does have to be some sacrifice for the massive amount of data that can be stored on the drive. Thumb drives are taken just about everywhere we go. Because of this they are sometimes subjected to less than ideal conditions for an electronic device. With the Flash Voyager line, Corsair has a drive that is water and shock resistant. Valuable assets in today's "go everywhere" world. Coupled with this ruggedness is the ten year warranty that backs up the device, so there are no worries about replacement for probably longer than this drive will be considered large. While there is no Corsair software included with the drive, it still has the third party app, TrueCrypt, that you can install on your computer to encrypt your files. Even though the TrueCrypt version that was included with the Voyager didn't work on my Windows Vista machine, the newest version available on TrueCrypts website solved the issue and ran without any issues. All in all, I was very pleased with the performance and usability of the Corsair Flash Voyager.