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Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sluggish to use and not as secure as promised., 5 Oct. 2013
This review is from: IronKey Personal S250 4GB Hardware Encrypted USB (Personal Computers)
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Though initially impressed (by it's Bond Gadget look and feel--and self destruct mode!), I found this to be fairly bloated, quite misleading (you only get 3.2 GB after the software is installed) and unreliable to use.

To set it up takes time. Beside the usual waiting for your device to find and install drivers, you also have to install the software on top of that (which didn't autorun on my Windows 7 computer--I had to go into Explorer and run the setup program on the drive to get it to install). This takes about 10 minutes (which seems a very long time, considering much bigger programs only take a couple of minutes on my PC). You then have to update the software (another seven-to-ten minutes), unplug it and plug it back in again, wait for it to startup, go through a setup screen, then go to your email, click a link, set up security settings on the Imation website, then go back to the software to finally set up your device.

Okay, I accept it has "Government Level" security on it, which is probably what takes it so long to initially set up, but once this is done and for day to day use, it also takes 30 seconds to a minute (make that two+ minutes if it isn't already plugged in) to display the password entry screen (and unlock it for use). This may not seem too long, but I found it cumbersome quite quickly. This isn't something I'd really recommend for constant backup, but for weekly or monthly saves it shouldn't really be so much of a problem.

Note: I had problems with the secure browser (detailed in the next paragraph), though Surfer has mentioned, in the comments, that you have to switch the secure sessions on (by clicking a button) in Firefox for it to work.

However, after reading the user guide, I decided to give the on board "secure" browser (a special version of Firefox) a run for it's money. This is supposedly so secure that nobody can track your history with it. Once it opened, I went to Google and simply entered "Where am I?" To my surprise, it displayed a Google Map above the search results with an arrow pointing more or less at my house!!!!! :/ After this, I also tried an IP search online (something the user guide recommends you to do, to prove that the browser is safe from detection). This displayed my IP address, broadband provider, host name and home town! Not impressed, for something that claims to be state of the art! Maybe I did something wrong? I don't know: all I did was open the "secure" browser from the software's control panel and search.

As well as the "secure" browser, you also get a (fairly basic) password manager. This would be much better if it stored your passwords locally (and automatically backed them up to your stick when it was unlocked), but as such it only works if your stick is plugged in. Other than that (and the option of backing up/restoring your data and configurations locally) there isn't anything else this device does.

If professional encryption is very important to you, then it will probably be worth the expense and frustration to use cutting edge encryption from a highly trustworthy brand like Imation. However, if you're just buying it for personal use then you'd probably be far better looking for cheaper (or free) encryption alternatives. And I (personally) wouldn't recommend buying it for the secure browser no matter what your use for it!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Aug 2014 17:19:45 BDT
surfer says:
For the secure browsing you need to make sure you have turned the "Secure Sessions" option on, by clicking the logo in the Firefox window!

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Aug 2014 15:20:43 BDT
Thanks for that. I've put a note in the review!
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