capsule review

IronKey Personal S200 Flash Drive Is Rugged and Secure

At a Glance
  • IronKey 1GB S200 USB Flash Drive 1GB

    PCWorld Rating

The IronKey Personal S200 is possibly the slickest combination of software- and hardware-based security in the flash drive market. Though you log on via software, the S200 uses hardware encryption so there's no software running on your PC that can be hacked to intercept data. It's also stylishly rendered in brushed silver metal, rugged, and easy to use.

The Personal S200 uses a small CD-emulation partition to store and auto-run its control panel, which is used to log on and administer the drive. The control panel is portable, so no installation is required and it can run on Windows, the Mac, and Linux. It's nicely laid out, easy to learn and you may add icons to it for any portable apps you load onto the data partition.

You may enter the password via a randomizable onscreen keyboard to foil key-loggers if the situation demands. One flourish I particularly enjoyed was that that actual data partition remains hidden until you've entered the correct password. You may also log on in read-only mode.

IronKey couples the Personal S200 with an online account at my.ironkey.com, which is secured with a password, questions, and a combination image and phrase. There you may back up and retrieve your device password, and any passwords stored in the included Identity Manager password management software that makes it easier to employ complex passwords online. If you log onto the Web portal using anything other than the portable Firefox browser shipped on the IronKey, then you must then enter a code emailed to you after you enter your user name and password. Nice.

If you're not looking for drive with biometrics, such as the Imation Defender F200, or one with a keypad, such as Lok-It, then the IronKey is a stylish and exceptionally well-conceived flash drive security product.

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Pros

    • Portable software
    • Hardware encryption

    Cons

    • Requires software for password entry
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