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Seagate Backup Plus Slim External USB 3.0 2TB Hard Drive Review

Kingston 2GB DataTraveler Elite AES-128 Encrypted USB Drive Review

Kingston 2GB DataTraveler Elite AES-128 Encrypted USB Drive Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The flagship DataTraveler Elite embedds a hardware-based 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) co-processor to handle all algorithm processing.
 94% Rating:   
Filed under: Memory Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Kingston Dec 19 2005   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Memory > Kingston DataTraveler Elite

128-bit AES Encryption: Password Please?

To use the 128-bit AES hardware encryption features of the Kingston DataTraveler Elite, the user first needs to hook up the device to a USB port and launch the TravelerSafe+ application to create a private space, assign a password and specify a password hint. The software will partition the DataTraveler Elite drive in two, with as much or as little of the total 2GB space encrypted as the user determines, and then format the entire USB drive for use. It's best to ensure the device is empty before setting up the encryption partition, as the formatting process removes all data in both the public and private partitions.

With the encrypted data partition configured, each time the Kingston DataTraveler Elite is connected to a PC the public data storage space is instantly accessible like any removeable drive would be. The data stored in the private partition remains obscured until the TravelerSafe+ application is launched, the correct password entered, and the device has essentially been confirmed to operate in its 'private zone.'

The way Kingston have configured the software means that either the public or private partitions of the DataTraveler Elite are accessible from any application in the computer, but not both at the same time (nor will the TravelerSafe+ program work if two DataTraveler Elite devices are connected to the same PC). When the owner is logged into the private partition, files stored in the 'public zone' of the USB device are not accessible. To access them, the owner will have to first log out from the private zone.

The way this has been oriented is a little inconvenient if the user stores files he/she needs in both the public and encrypted spaces. However, it makes sense in that once the encrypted area has been logged into, any application on the computer can write or read data from the device as if it were a normal USB drive. Given that there is no data transfer performance penalty when using the 128-bit AES encrypted storage area, one might as well use it.

Experts Tip: Data Access and Copy Limits
On a side note, if a file is in use from either zone, the device will not allow the other zone to be accessed until that file closed. The same goes for logging off of the private zone; if an encrypted file remains open the owner cannot log out. Yanking the DataTraveler Elite out of the USB slot will force the device to log off the privacy zone, but doing so isn't necessarily good practice for maintaining data integrity. We should also note it's possible to copy a file from one zone directly to the other, without first moving it to an intermediary drive (like the PCs hard drive).
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Once accessed, encrypted files in the private zone are indicated by a orange highlight that is unmistakable, so we don't suppose misplacing sensitive files in the unsecured area will be an easy oversight for a hurried or rushed user.

When the user is done working with files stored in the private encrypted zone, two clicks of the special 'Logout Privacy Zone' shortcut icon in the DataTraveler Elite's private drive folder will log off the owner, closing all access to the private zone.

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Contents of Article: Kingston DataTraveler Elite
 Pg 1.  Kingston 2GB DataTraveler Elite AES-128 Encrypted USB Drive Review
 Pg 2.  — 128-bit AES Encryption: Password Please?
 Pg 3.  Second Method: Trusted Computers
 Pg 4.  Testing the Kingston DataTraveler Elite

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