Corsair Padlock 2 8GB USB Flash Drive Reviewjlqrb - February 26, 2010
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
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Transferring data from one PC to another has become a part of our daily lives, and for most people, USB Flash Drives are the standard means for getting this done. Flash drives not only have the ability to store large amounts of data, but they can also be easily transported from one location to another, making them extremely convenient when compared to other forms of digital storage. With the convenience of carrying around large amounts of data on a small device though, comes the possibility of losing the drive and it potentially ending up in the wrong hands. If you are like most people, whose flash drive consists of simple documents, photos and some MP3 files, this might not be an issue. However, for those with sensitive work or personal documents stored on the device, it could be a real concern. If you happen to fall into this latter category of needing extra security, the new Corsair Flash Padlock 2 may be a good fit. This drive comes with 256-bit AES encryption, anti-hacking detection, a user-defined PIN and a master PIN that can be used if your user-defined code is forgotten. With the ability to lock the drive, it will definitely keep your stored data secure, but the drive also protects your data from physical harm as well. Similar to other Corsair flash drives, the Padlock 2 comes cased in a shock-proof, durable, rubber housing that will protect it from accidental physical damage.
The Corsair Padlock 2 comes in a clear retail blister package that displays the front portion of the Flash drive. Along with the drive being visible on the front, you also get the name, size and USB type of the drive. On the back side of the packaging there is a short explanation of how this drive can secure your sensitive data, how this this is beneficial to the end-user, and a listing of the accessories.
The drive itself can hold up to 8GB of storage and comes housed in a rubber padding that is very durable and actually makes it feel more comfortable in your hand. When it comes to the size of the drive, even with the 9-digit keypad, it is no larger than other flash drives on the market - around 3" long. On the front of the drive, from top to bottom, you have a Corsair logo, locked/unlocked activity lights, key button, 9-digit keypad, USB activity light, and a small hole to secure it to a key-chain or lanyard. The back side of the drive, unlike the front, is mostly clear - all you find here is Corsair's website address. The accessories that come with the Padlock 2 consist of a blue lanyard that connects to the drive and can be worn around the neck, and a USB extention cable that has a braided metal lining.
By default, the drive is unlocked and there are no security features active until you set a security code for the drive. In order to set the security PIN, you will need to press the key button at the top of the drive and wait for the two activity lights above to start blinking. When you see these lights flashing, you can input a unique security code that is four to ten digits long. After your selection is made, simply press the key button again and the code is now set, securing the drive. The keypad on the drive works very well, with each button pushed being easily recognized. In addition, the spacing between each button greatly reduces the risk of accidentally pushing the wrong number. To enter lock mode, all you need to do is remove the drive from the USB port and it will automatically lock itself. When locked, it has a hardware 256-bit AES encryption, and built-in hacker detection that will lock the drive after five failed password attempts. If, however, the failed log-in attempts are due to a forgotten password, you can use a master code to erase the set password or a 911 option that can erase all user codes, but at the cost of all data on the drive being erased. Whatever state the drive is in will be displayed in the form of a blinking light. When the red light is blinking the drive is locked, when the green light is blinking the drive is unlocked, and when both are blinking you are in a setup mode. These lights on the drive are powered by a internal battery in the casing that is charged each time the drive is in a USB slot.
The Corsair Padlock 2 is built on USB 2.0 technology, which is backwards compatible with UBS 1.1 ports as well. The drive is Plug-n-Play so there is no need to install any software before use, as it will be universally recognized by both Windows and Macintosh based operating systems. To plug the USB head into the port, you must first remove the protective rubber cap that covers the top of the drive and once off, you can either install the drive directly into a USB port or use the included USB extender.
Now that we hopefully have a good idea of what the Corsair Flash Padlock 2 is all about, we can move onto some testing and see what kind of performance this drive can produce.