Sunday, September 16, 2007

IronKey review

I've been playing around with the new Ironkey USB drive this week and it's pretty impressive. Sure we've all played with the software encryption options on normal USB drives and the ability to run apps off the drive is old hat to U3 users but the introduction of hardware based encryption into the sub $100 market is a nice change.
For those of you who haven't the faintest idea what I'm talking about, check out Ironkey's website at It has an AES 256 cipher chip in it and automatically destroys itself after 10 consequetive bad password attempts. Yes, I said destroy - your data will be forever lost. The drive comes preloaded with a locked down version of firefox and you have the option of using their secure network as a proxy and surf the web anonymously.
Of course, it doesn't hurt that it's waterproof and has a solid metal casing that feels pretty sturdy.
Overall it seems like a fairly secure device but if you're not feeling that paranoid, you can always use software based options like Truecrypt (free, easy to use)


El Di Pablo said...

Great article! I personally believe that the only reason to buy the Ironkey is not for encryption, but because of durability. Securitywise, you can do the same thing with Truecrypt for less than $40:

acehosts said...

The iron key rocks on PC's but is not available on Mac's as yet, unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

TrueCrypt is very good, however you must have Admin access to the computer you are plugged into. This doesn't fly in corporate or government environments that "lock down" the PCs. It that case, a hardware-only solution is the only choice.

N said...

Don't buy one of these, or if you do don't change the password back to a previous password - after I did this I couldn't unlock mine, even when using the recover password function and their support. Eventually it self destructed and they won't replace it. Finally why would they use a cap on the end, it falls off all the time.
Don't buy one and when you decide not to - please email stating you didn't buy one because of case number - 00023997

they also just dropped my support requests also, very poor

Steve said...

I've bought 3 of three of these units for myself and members of my family. Small price to pay for security of key data. My ironkey works without a hitch and contrary to the another comment here I've been happy with their support. I haven't seen anything else in the market that comes close to it. btw I use truecrypt for encrypting data that stays on my PC but a key file residing on the ironkey is required to gain access.