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11 February 2013

REVIEW: DatAshur Secure USB Flashdrive


So you’re a spy… and you’ve just copied over a top secret government document onto you flash drive. It’s the document that proves that the prime minister is actually a lizard and the Queen is Hitler’s granddaughter. It’s very important that the file doesn’t get into enemy hands – if it did society as we know it would surely crumble.


But, oh crap! You’ve gone and left your bag (containing the flash drive) on the tube! You idiot! But it’s okay, because you decided to store that incriminating document on the DatAshur Secure USB Flashdrive. Phew, calm down. You can sleep soundly because unlike other flash drives, the DatAshur (yes, the capital A is intentional) has a built-in keypad, allowing only the owner to access the precious contents inside, via a passcode.

The version we were sent is the 8GB flash drive, which as the pictures show is a sleek, good looking piece of tech that is sturdily built in brushed aluminium. The keys are indeed small, but nothing anyone who has ever used a qwerty-keyboard smart phone couldn’t master in a few attempts. The drive comes with a solid ring to attach a keychain and a black metal case which slips over the whole thing giving it the look of a very tiny tank.

“Mmm..” is what we collectively said, when first opening the packet (which is just as securely wrapped as the flash drive secures your stuff). We were a bit disappointed that the drive comes with a separate sleeve to keep it safe. These caps and covers always end up missing, either falling off while hanging from your keys or being left in a coffee shop. Still, the drive itself could probably survive for a good while without the metal cover and the small keys seem very firmly attached.

Programming the drive with a secret passcode is a bit tricky, even after reading through the included instructions. It’s all about the sequence of a flashing light on the drive itself and, quite like the old iPod Shuffles, means having to know the difference between a flashing green light and blinking red light. But once the code has been successfully entered the 8 gig drive worked well with pretty impressive transfer rates.

Once you eject from your comp (be it a Mac or a PC) and 30 seconds pass by, the code is automatically forgotten and you must retype your passcode once again to gain access to the content. Basically it means that even if it falls from the USB slot, after half a minute no one will be able to get at your stuff. This is nice, because the Queen wouldn’t be pleased if we all knew about her genetic lineage.

All in all, the DatAshur is a well put together product, if a little expensive for what is basically a fancy 8 gig drive. We don’t like the separate cover or the finicky code programming, but if you are dead certain you absolutely need to keep you digital life private from cheeky tea-leaves, this is the drive for you.

£59 for the 8GB version.

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