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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars

on 5 September 2011
The item arrived, in a shorter time than forecast, and was extremely easy to set up and is very easy to use. As with so many really good ideas, the concept is so simple that one wonders why no one else has come up with it. My only negative comments are that the device is on the large side and that the intgral USB cable is too short to use with most PCs. When used with a laptop it sits alongside and is fine but to use with a PC the cable, which is only about 4" long, will not reach the USB socket with the disk sitting somewhere useful and therefore an extension cable must be used (there is a Y-connector supplied). Also, and I suspect that this is a Windows 7 problem that is nothing to do with the device, getting Windows to disconnect the device is not always as easy as with normal USB storage devices. Sometimes it works but sometimes Windows just refuses, constantly insisting that the device cannot be unloaded as it is still in use. To be absolutley sure that there will be no problems of corruption etc, I tend to leave it connected until I log off or shut down. This is no more than a minor irritation.

All in all, a very useful device that appears to do exactly what it claims at a reasonable price (which will, no doubt, decrease over time).
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on 8 April 2017
all good
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on 20 October 2011
A neat little drive. The square and industrial design is a matter of taste and certainly contrasts with other brands. Personally I like it. Of course, for a portable drive the real value is in it's usability, and that's where the DiskGenie shines!
I used to have small, cheap 1TB drives from Samsung and Toshiba and I loved them - silent, no fuss and really small. But a burglary at home, where laptops and all external data backups disappeared, drove home the need for encryption. Although I don't store anything that I wouldn't share with my friends, I did have quite a lot of documents on those drives though which would potentially make things really easy for an identity thief - Identity theft being a problem not exactly unheard of these days! And with each person currently having to manage up to a 150 user ID-password combinations, where do you keep track of all of them...? Split between paper-based and electronic locations ...Someone putting his mind to finding sensitive information and taking the time to browse through the folders on my drives and the laptops could also have found enough hints and information to greatly simplify his attempts at breaking into some of my user accounts, in particular in combination with all the paperwork that was stolen at the same time. Now, it might just be paranoia and possibly the thieves were just after the hardware to sell on. But you never know who then buys the drives and for what purpose.
Since then, I have bought a series of portable drives with hardware encryption, to be more at ease next time they get stolen.

The DiskGenie beats them all by lengths in terms of usability. It's actually smaller than most of the other drives with enryption, it comes with an integrated USB cable and the keypad is great. It's a simple plug&play drive, exactly like any unencrypted portable drive should be. The only difference is that you'll have to type in a password on the keypad before the drive is automatically mounted. None of the other encrypted drives I've tried keeps that simple Plug&Play use: Although they state they have hardware encryption, those drives mostly mount a normal partition + a virtual CD drive with an encryption software. You first need to wait for both drives to be accessible and then launch the encryption software (which, in some cases, also needs to be configured at first use), wait until it loads and then enter your password. The virtual drive stays there and cannot be removed. The encryption software requiring low-level system access, there have also been a few clashes with my antivirus software (resulting in corrupted files). Fiddly ..and sometimes very lengthy until you finally have access to your data.

Not so with the DiskGenie. It's a simple and fast operation and there is barely a delay, compared to non-encrypted Plug&Play drives. Transfer rates are comparable to unencrypted USB 2 drives, although probably very slightly slower for smaller copy jobs. Speed tends to even out over bigger jobs of tens of Gbs.
Security wise, I have to rely on expert opinions. But from what I've read, it seams the DiskGenie is also safer than most other drives. Although the same encryption standard is used by most manufacturers, its architecture makes it more tamper-proof in case someone extracts the drive from the casing and also because it doesn't install software on your PC, a potential entry point for hackers.

A very happy customer. Despite the fact that the DiskGenie is more expensive than the other models, I have since bought a second unit.

If I had to ask for one improvement, it would be the addition of a USB 3 port for faster transfer.
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on 10 August 2011
It's not often one waxes lyrical about something as mundane as a portable drive but this unit is rather special. Firstly, the build quality seems very high - it can take a drop onto a hard surface of a couple of metres (I found this out the hard way!); the rubberized body makes secure handling easy; and the keypad is positive in use and nicely recessed. And of course, you can now buy these drives in Solid State so they should be even more robust in the event of being dropped. The drive comes with a double USB (Y-split) cable in case using a netbook or similar device, not enough power is available from a single USB port but I've never needed to use the second connector with a PC, laptop or netbook.

Encryption is a breeze - you're not even aware of it happening. My drive connects via USB2 and transfer speeds are more than adequate - I opted for the higher (256bit) level of encryption so I can't comment on whehter the 128bit version delivers a higher transfer rate. Setting up your pass-key takes less than 2 minutes (less than 1 minute unless your a fumbler like me) and then you are ready to encrypt your files and folders. Of course, whatever you do, never foget your pass-key as recovery of data is not possible - your data are even secure against Brute Force Attack. For anyone working in sensitive areas who needs to transport digital documents, these British-designed and manufactured drives are a must. If those chaps from MI5, MI6, the MOD or the National Health Service leave their sensitive files on yet another train, provided they're written onto one of these drives and 256bit encrypted, I for one will sleep well in my bed.

Superb design, top build quality, excellent on-the-fly encryption - and now available in SSD format and larger volumes, it's a winner!
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on 17 March 2011
I bought a 750Gb model from Amazon. I transferred a considerable quantity of precious photos, videos and general data. The manual claimed that the security system was impregnable, so - on the basis that retaining averything on another INSECURE disk drive was illogical - I did not keep a back up.
To my horror - before I had the opportunity to change the default password - the next time I tried to access the drive it rejected the password.
To cut a long story short, the manufacturer collected the drive from my home in Spain and tried for a week to access the disk in London - and then sent it to the USA - where they were again unable to access the disk.
The manufacturer insisted I must have changed the password and forgotten it. Though certain that I had not, I supplied them with every possible combination of the passwords we usually use as a family - to no avail. Children who had been in the house were questioned as to whether they had touched the drive. All denied that they had - and in any case the procedure for changing the password is so complicated that it is unlikely that a child could make a change by accident(and the manual was not available).
The manufacturer eventually admitted defeat and sent me TWO replacement disks - one as a safety backup!!
Both disks have worked flawlessly now for 6 months. By emailing all our friends and extracting photos from CDs we eventually rebuilt about 80% of our photo records - but with a lot of hard work.
Of course we now back everything up on the second drive!
Had it not been for this experience I would have given this product 5 stars without hesitation.
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on 1 July 2017
does a great job,and maybe a lot more I do not watch a lot of satisfaction, but a few days ago a friend recommended I think Amazon's products, I feel very buy used rods in other sites. try it ,you'll like it I can't wait to show my friends and family and encourage them to buy! Have about five sets now. this worked surprisingly well
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on 2 May 2010
This is a 5*+ award - it is just brilliant idea. Lovely rugged rubber around it feels quality. Keypad and access very easy and works perfectly. Absolutly lovely to know that ones backup data is protected. A truly brilliant product. I have struggeled with encryption for years, sotware encryption is a real pain. This keyboard device is just brilliantly simnple yet so secure. A must for those wishing to keep their data safe on a mobile basis.
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on 22 April 2011
From the reviews I've read, it would take months of an expert's time to decrypt this, provided you make your password complex enough. So it does exactly what's needed - and with this capacity my business records are secure enough for me. A good buy and worth splashing out on.
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on 11 January 2016
The biggest problem I find is the hard drive has a very unclear and ambiguous indication (by one multicoloured LED) of which mode the iStorage believes it is in. For example a steady red LED seems to mean different things depending on where you have come from. I programmed what I thought was a new user admin password but had changed the default user password.

The best starting point is press "clear" then unplug the drive. Then plug the drive back in and move to which ever mode you want.

As LCD displays use so little current then it would be reasonable to have a text display. Given the retail price-point the cost of a LCD display would be trivial and provide simple feedback such as "Admin mode" or "Change password" etc. iStorage please consider this when you next upgrade the product.

Windows 10 also has a problem in maintaining power to the disk drive no matter what setting is used in the unit. Thankfully the UK support team guided me through the fix. All very positive and helpful.

As I've only had the unit for a few days I am yet to put all my sensitive files on the unit. The tantalising beauty is the hardware encryption which makes the drive available the instant the 'password' is verified. Software alternatives [e.g. vera crypt] have a long period where the encryption / decryption software drivers load up but the software is free.

One thing I do like at the moment is the integral USB lead, this is in contrast to my USB3 which connects to my WD 2T portable drive that is sensitive to any microscopic movement of connectors.

The iStorage price is very steep / GB especially when you are not clear as to the exact mode you are in or how far through a settings program you are. That loss of peace of mind is why I've so far given 3 stars. My advice is to sort out all of the passwords / kill word and settings you want; come back the next day and see if they are as expected. Only then commit serious files into the care of iStorage.
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on 18 November 2013
I need an encrypted drive for carrying around work files and have used a Seagate hardware encrypted drive for the last 5 years. When that started behaving a little strange I decided to switch it out before it became a real problem. After a lot of reading I opted for two of the iStorage units. A primary and a backup.

The drives are very easy to setup, with clear instructions and took around a minute before I had the drive connected, password changed and could read/write to it. It has a good quality feel to it, nice soft touch and the buttons give good feedback. The attached cable works fine although it does come with a double USB cable for older PCs if your USB port doesn't supply sufficient power for the drive. I've not needed it and it works with the attached cable. The cable folds neatly away when not in use so you will never find yourself without a cable to attach it to your laptop. A problem I did hit a couple of times in the past on my old drive which had a separate cable arrangement.

Data transfer seems fast enough and I've had no errors, despite transferring 8 or 9 GB at a time with multiple transfers running at once. It has a number of decent security features, including a self-wipe if the wrong code is entered too many times. A handy feature that provides peace of mind in case the unthinkable happens and the drive is lost or stolen.

The drive fits neatly in the palm of your hand and would easily slip into a jacket pocket. It also comes with a handy soft case to keep it safe from small knocks and bumps.

All in all I'm very happy with it and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to friends. I was nervous of switching from Seagate but it's worked out very well. Sorry Seagate.
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