Safexs Protector XT Hardware Encrypted USB Flash Drive Review

Reviews, Storage Drives

For the security conscious out there protecting your files is incredibly important. Safexs’ Protector XT USB flash drive boasts AES256 bit hardware encryption and is available in 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB or 64GB options. With a starting price of £45 for the 4GB version we could be on to a winner.

First off, the design of the Protector XT is an incredibly well-designed product. It’s forged from an ultra strong metal alloy, exceeds MIL-STD-810F specification for waterproofing, can operate absolutely fine between 0 – 70 degrees celsius, can be stored anywhere between -25 to 85 degrees celsius and has passed a vibration test at 20G.

The USB cap can be pulled off easily, and also makes a very satisfying clicking noise when attaching it back on to the drive (a small, but very important, feature).

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In terms of branding you’ve got the Safexs logo on one side, and “Protector XT” on the other. The key loop makes, attached, it easy to secure the drive to your keys or a lanyard.

Features

As well as AES 256 bit (in XTS-Mode) 100% hardware encryption, the Safexs Protector XT USB drive has a wide range of features relating to file protection, file backups, and the drive even features malware protection courtesy of the ESET NOD32 antivirus engine.

With regards to file protection, the drive features an auto-destruct feature (for files; not for a James Bond-esque hard drive destroying situation), brute-force protection and a cool automatic computer locking / logging off / shutting down option just in case your drive is left unattended.

Safexs ShareProtect offers a portable and secure file sharing solution on the drive, meaning that encrypted files can easily be shared with friends or work colleagues.

As you may have seen from the images above the Protector XT sports USB 3.0, meaning that data transfer is much faster than traditional USB 2.0 drives.

The Safexs Protector XT has also been developed with cross platform support in mind, and therefore, both the drive and included software, works seamlessly between Windows XP and above, Mac OS X 10.4+ (Sierra supported) and Linux Kernel 2.6+ (Ubuntu 14.04 supported).

Tech Specs

Hardware Encryption

AES256 bit in XTS-mode (512-bit keys split into 2 sets)

Random number generator 256-bit keys

Hashing 256-bit SHA

Available Storage Sizes

4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB & 64GB

Supported Languages

English, French, German, Romanian & Spanish

Measurements & Weight

26 grams (0.91 0z), 55 x 18 x 8mm

Certifications & Validations

USB 3.0, (2.0, 1.1 comp) CE, FCC, RoHs, WEE

Manufactured according to ISO 9001:2000 & ISO 14001:2004

FIPS 197 (AES), NIST SP 800-38F (XTS), NIST SP 800-38A (ECB) Compliant

Installation

Set-up is incredibly simple, with instructional and informative set-up screens available to help you with each step.

First off you’ll select your chosen language, accept the license agreement and create a password of your choice. The validation box will alert you if your chosen password can or cannot be accepted.

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Next up you’ll be greeted with some of the security screens, where you’ll be able to set up the computer protection timeout tool, auto-destruct settings and the password rescue service (where you’re required to register with CTWO Products AB).

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Once you’ve completed these simple steps the Protector XT will set itself up and inform you when the device is ready to use (below).

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Software

Once you’ve setup your device you’ll be prompted to login to the drive using the password you created in step 1. Without entering this password you will not be able to access the drive at all. A handy “Read only” option is also available, which can help keep unwanted virus’ or malware, attached to foreign files, from infecting the device.

login

Much like the setup process, the main software screen is mainly used for expanding on this, with the option to modify any of the options you chose during setup and also the ability to setup the backup and share option. You can click the “My Files” icon at the top to open the storage folder, or since you have now entered your password you can now find the drive within your available devices.

backup-share

Testing

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For testing purposes I’ll be testing the read and write speed of the drive using Xbench.

After a few tests of the drive all results came back roughly the same, with the average write speed being around 29MB/sec and the average read speed being around 100MB/sec.

These results certainly aren’t the best that you can get from other drives on the market, but they’re definitely some decent mid-range speeds.

With our test model being the 4GB version I wasn’t able to test excessively large files, but large files of 100MB transferred in just a few seconds.

Read speed was also good and I did not come across any issues with opening large files directly from the drive.

Verdict

After testing the drive for around 1 month, with regular use, I was very impressed with both the build quality and how easy the device is to use.

All of the features included worked incredibly well, and the backup utility came in very handy when I wanted to transfer files to my Dropbox.

With the 4GB model retailing for £45, and the 32GB option being nearly £160, the Safexs Protector XT is at the more expensive end of the scale. If price is the deciding factor for you and you are willing to sacrifice the included Antivirus feature then the Safexs Protector 3.0 is also available from Safexs for just £26.95 (plus VAT).

It’s also worth noting that Safexs are going to be releasing the Protector Basic, a slightly adjusted version of the Protector XT, available in sizes ranging between 4GB and 128GB, with a starting price of just £20.95 (plus VAT). Definitely worth keeping an eye out for that!

The Safexs Protector XT USB Flash Drive has been an absolute joy to use, and its features more than make up for the high price point.

All in all, if you’re looking for a USB flash drive with awesome hardware encrypted storage then the Safexs Protector XT could just what you’re looking for.