Kingston's impressive security software sets
their USB drive apart from the competition. If you'll be carrying
important, highly sensitive personal or company data on the
drive, you'll want to consider the Kingston Elite. Why? USB
flash drives are inherently portable and very small, which
means the odds of forgetting it somewhere or dropping it without
hearing it hit the ground are high. Nobody wants to leave their
company's financials sitting unencrypted on the table of the
local Starbucks, after all.
On the flash drive you'll find applications for
encrypting the Elite, and you can create both public and encrypted
partitions if you like. TravelerSafe + is the Windows-only
application you'll use to create a password and encrypt the
drive. PDF manuals on the drive walk you through the simple
process and state that the application currently won't work
if you have the Elite plugged into a port on a USB 2.0 PCI
card. So use the built-in USB ports on your PC if you wish
to encrypt your data.
What happens if someone tries using brute force
to guess the password? After 25 attempts the software will
lock down the drive and the drive must be reformatted. Kingston
employs 128 bit AES encryption and unlike most other USB flash
drives offering encryption, the Elite's is hardware based.
The drive has a co-processor that handles encryption/description
which means no performance penalty in drive speed and
better security (the AES key isn't stored on the host computer).
You can read Kingston's white paper on the security and data
transfer speeds of this drive at www.kingston.com/digitalmedia/dt_elite_wp.pdf.
In fact, the Elite is Kingston's fastest USB
flash drive, offering a peak read speed of 24 MB/sec and a
peak write speed of 14 MB/sec. Those are very good read
and write times, and the Elite is 2x faster than Kingston's
DataTraveler II product. Since the drive supports USB 2.0,
the USB will never be the bottleneck. But if you have only
USB 1.1 on your computer have no fear, the Elite, like all
USB 2.0 products, is backward compatible with USB 1.1.
We tested the time it took to copy a 220 meg
Windows Media Player movie file to the drive. Using a Windows
XP Pro machine with a USB 2.0 interface, the movie copied in
a blazingly fast 10.8 seconds. The movie played perfectly from
Kingston DataTraveler Elite flash drives are
available in 256 meg, 512 meg, 1 gig and 2 gig capacities.
The security software is pre-installed on the drive and the
unit comes with a protective cap for the USB connector, a key
ring and a lanyard. It has an LED activity light that lets
you know when it's safe to unplug the drive.
Web site: www.kingston.com
Price varies with capacity: Manufacturer's suggested
retail prices range from $50 (256 meg) to $274 (2 gig).