It doesn’t matter if you are talking about photos, videos, company secrets or text messages, some information you are just not comfortable sharing it with others.
One way to keep your data private is to carry it around with you on a hardware-encrypted USB drive. Even if you lose it or if someone steals it, the information on it stays safe.
Picking the best hardware-encrypted USB drives can be tricky. You’d want to balance out security, storage, convenience, and a price tag that won’t set you back too much.
Because of this, we’ve compiled a list of what we think are the best hardware-encrypted USB drives out there. It comprises 7 entries that we think have a perfect balance between the criteria mentioned above.
What are the best hardware-encrypted USB drives?
- 256-bit encryption
- Built-in military keypad lock
- Aluminum shell with FIPS validated
- Compatibility with any OS
- Only 32 GB capacity
Probably the secure of all of the entries on the list, the INNÔPLUS Secure Flash Drive really stays true to its name. It comes armed with a tamper-resistant casing and a cap that protects the USB port from damage.
It comes with a military-grade keypad lock so carrying around sensitive information will be a breeze. Certainly, the 256-bit encryption will make cracking it difficult.
- 116 MB/s read speed
- FIPS 140-2 Level 3, NLNCSA DEP-V & NATO Restricted Level Certified
- Military-grade AES-XTS 256-bit hardware encryption
- USB 3.2 Gen 1
- Only 8 GB of storage
This USB disk comes with solid defense mechanisms and a price tag that is equally solid. According to the manufacturer, the price tag is well worth it, because of how it manages to protect your data.
The iStorage datAshur PRO uses custom hardware for encryption (FIPS 140-2 Level 3 256-bit) and decryption. This gets rid of vulnerabilities associated with any process done on the host system.
- 256bit AES hardware encryption
- Built-in keypad lock
- USB 3.1 Gen 1 for fast data transfer
- Three-year warranty and free technical support
- Expensive for a 32 GB drive
Kingston DataTraveler 2000 is using DataLock Technology licensed from ClevX, LLC and comes with an alphanumeric keypad that locks the drive with a word or number combination.
The auto-locks when the drive is removed from a device and if someone tries to unlock it, after 10 failed attempts it deletes the encryption key. Moreover, the encryption is performed on the drive, not on the host PC, so there will be no trace of the PIN on the system.
- High-security standards
- Powerful hardware and software encryption protection
- Hard-wearing design that is still light and portable
- Compatible with multiple operating systems
- Only comes in 8GB variants
Kingston has already made a name for itself as one of the leading producers of secure drives on the market. On that note, the Kingston Digital AES Encrypted Vault Privacy does nothing more than to reinforce that idea even further.
As far as physical capabilities go, the drive’s casing boasts IP56 water and dust resistance and comes with optional Anti-Virus protection from ESET.
- Incredibly secure
- Rugged design, perfect for the outdoors
- USB 3.1 interface
- Comes in 4GB, 16GB, 32GB versions
- The price tag
The Aegis Secure Key focuses more on being as rugged as possible. The casing is covered in a durable layer of rubber that covers an already solid aluminum casing.
Additionally, the Aegis Secure Key also sports a physical keypad for some extra data protection.
Everyone has a right to their own privacy. That is why having the ability to purchase such a secure and easy-to-use way of storing your data seems like a must.
The items on this list all have a bigger price tag than your typical USB drive. But if truly have things worth keeping a secret, a few extra dollars will go a long way.
Do you know a similar device that deserved a spot on our list? Let us know in the comments section below.
FAQ: Read more about hardware-encrypted flash drives
- What is the best-encrypted flash drive?
It’s hard to say but we have a list of the best hardware-encrypted USB drives.
- What is the best USB flash drive for videos?
All the USB drives can store videos as long as they have enough storage. Here’s our list with the best USB flash drives deals.
- Are encrypted USB drives secure?
There are different levels of encryption. Check out our list with the best USB encryption software to secure your data.Editor's Note: This article was originally published in December 2019 and was revamped and updated in November 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.