Installation and Testing
Following the instructions highlighted in the Quick Start Guide the first process was to change the Admin PIN number from the default 123445 to a unique number. To do this, the diskGenie needs firstly to be plugged into your system using the USB cable, then by pressing a certain combination of buttons highlighted in the quick start guide, you are then able to change the PIN. This altogether was very simple and took no longer than 30 seconds. To assist you in changing the PIN more easily there’s an in-built LED in the diskGenie which confirms steps in the process by changing colour or by flashing. For multi-user support, the device can store up to 10 different user keys.
The diskGenie uses hardware encryption as its method using the AES 256bit standard. This level of encryption has been approved by the US Government to protect classified information so the diskGenie is about as secure as external hard drives get. Moreover, to avoid brute force attacks, the drive has an inbuilt security facility which will lock the user out after the 50th incorrect attempt. Simply by unplugging and plugging back in the diskGenie will not remove this lock. Instead, you will have to enter a code found in the manual in order to remove this lock. If you do however get the code wrong 100 times, your only way of being able to access the drive again is by resetting it and completely reformatting the drive again.
This shows iStorage have definitely looked at ways of making the driveGenie completely hack proof. Now, let’s conduct some read and write tests and find out whether the encryption affects the performance of the drive…
In order to assess performance we will be using USBDeview to calculate read / write averages. Also for comparison purposes, we have included the results of other secondary storage devices.
As you can see from the results, the encryption facility that the DiskGenie uses has not greatly affected it’s performance. The drive still manages to score over the average 20MB/s write speed and 30MB/s read speed which most USB drives succeed. Although it’s slightly slower than a couple of the other drives we tested, the margin between the iStorage and the other drives in question is so tiny that it’s hardly noticeable.
The cost of the iStorage obviously varies on the capacity you need: 250GB retails for £115, 320GB for £140 and finally 500GB for £171 respectively.