How many flash drives would you say you lose in a year? One? Three? Five? If you answered one or more, how important was the data on the drive?
With personal identification security an ever increasing issue, we should all be taking action to make sure that our information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. USB Flash drives have been making our lives easier as documents like photos, music, documents, etc., are now stored on a small portable device. You could even argue that the USB flash drive has killed off the CD.
The Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G3 (or G3 for short) is a USB 3.0 flash drive that does more than just store your files. Designed to have a 256-bit AES encryption level and holding up to 32GB of storage, professional-consumer grade encryption drives have never been so affordable.
Throughout this review I will be going over the design, protection software, features/specifications, and my overall thoughts. A special thank you to Kingston for providing me with the drive.
Built with a high grade aluminum body the G3 has an exceptional build quality which makes the entire unit feel very solid. Having a front removal cap to protect the USB connector that in turn can be attached to the back for safe keeping adds a great style to the drive.
In figure 1, you can see on the unit a white square which has a small blue LED indicator for current status. Personally I would have liked to see the LED hidden as I feel that it detracts from the overall appearance of the unit. On the end you will find a handy key ring hole, which with its very compact size would work well with anything you attach it to such as a key ring. Unfortunately Kingston does not include a strap with the unit.
The G3 is a very compact flash drive, with dimensions of 60.56mm x 18.6 mm x 9.75 mm which makes carrying it in your pocket, or placing it on a key ring that much easier.
As mentioned earlier, the G3 is more than just a flash drive. The device has a high 256-bit AES encryption level that protects your content should the drive be stolen or lost.
To begin, you must first run the preinstalled DataTraveler software that sets up your flash drive. Here you will be able to enter your language, contact information, and password (which must be 6 to 16 characters long and contain at least three of the following: upper case letters, lower case letters, digits and special characters.) Personally, I would like Kingston to lighten up on the parameters for the password as after 10 attempts of an incorrect guess the flash drive will begin to utilize its intrusion protection and wipe the drive clean. It would also be smart to ban passwords like “password” and “12345”. There is no password recovery; once it’s set, it’s set, so you will be required to enter it each time the drive is plugged in.
One thing to note is that since Kingston is using software for the flash drive, it will only be accessible on Windows and Mac PCs.
Features and Specifications
Being a brand new USB 3.0 flash drive, the unit competes well against other drives, and it’s outstanding how many features Kingston has packed into such a low cost device.
As I mentioned above, the protection software is like no other. Personally this is my first ever secured drive and I enjoyed every second of using it. It’s a feature that I will recommend for people that work with any type of sensitive data or even people who may lose flash drives on a regular basis.
Running at USB 3.0 speeds and a storage size of 32GB, users can achieve speeds up to 135MB/s read and 40MB/s write. It’s outstanding how quickly files can be transferred, and although there are quicker USB 3.0 drives on the market, remember that this drive has to encrypt all of the data written to it as well as unencrypt any data read from it.
To finish up with the features, the unit also comes with a five year warranty and free technical support. You have to love how Kingston stands behind their products.
Finally, here are the unit’s full specifications:
Hardware encryption: the best in personal security to keep your data safe.
Superior password protection: user is required to set a strong password to prevent unauthorized access.
Easy to use: no application installation required.
Versatile: works interchangeably between Mac OS X and Windows systems
Secure: drive locks down and reformats after 10 invalid login attempts.
Stylish: durable metal casing with built-in key loop
Co-Logo Program available: customize DataTraveler Locker+ G3 by adding your logo and/or digital files and instantly increase your organization’s brand recognition. The Customization Program offers unique packaging, custom profiles, color adjustments, content loading and more, all with easy and convenient ordering.
Supports: Windows® 8, Windows® 7, Vista®, XP & Mac OS X
Guaranteed: five-year warranty with free technical support.
Capacities: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB
Speed: USB 3.0 speed: 8GB: 80MB/s read, 10MB/s write
16GB: 135MB/s read, 20MB/s write
32GB–64GB: 135MB/s read, 40MB/s write
USB 2.0 speed: 8GB: 30MB/s read, 10MB/s write
16GB–64GB: 30MB/s read, 20MB/s write
Dimensions: 60.56mm x 18.6 mm x 9.75 mm
Minimum System Requirements: USB 3.0 compliant and 2.0 compatible
Operating Temperature: 32°F to 140°F (0°C to 60°C)
Storage Temperature: -4°F to 185°F (-20°C to 85°C)
My final thoughts
As with my review of the Kingston Datatraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3, my two weeks with the Kingston Datatraveler Locker+ G3 32GB have gone quite well. For only $40 you have excellent build quality, protection to keep all your data safe, a five year warranty, and many different storage sizes.
It’s fairly straightforward in that if you answered yes to any of the questions I asked in the beginning of this review I would recommend you pick up one of these drives. Even if you don’t lose flash drives ask yourself whether or not you transfer personal data and how worried you may be if that data should become lost.
Thieves and hackers are out there so take the time now to get an inexpensive secure flash drive that fits almost everybody’s needs.
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Tagged DataTravler, Flash Drive, G3, hardware, Kingston, Locker+, review, USB.