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Kingston DataTraveler Vault--Privacy Edition Encrypted USB Flash Drive

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At a Glance
  • Kingston Technology 4GB DataTraveler Vault Privacy USB Flash Drive

For our recent look at eight encrypted portable drives, we considered two USB flash models, one of which was Kingston's DataTraveler Vault--Privacy Edition.

The DataTraveler Vault--Privacy Edition ($173 for 4GB) is a good but pricey option for anyone who needs an encrypted drive small enough to wear around the neck. A blue, metallic tube with a cap on one end, it's among the bulkier USB models we've seen. But what's inside is what counts: This drive's embedded encryption engine scrambles data with a 256-bit AES encryption key--a key that's twice as long as what other products offer. The longer key means thieves must take that much more time to try to crack the encryption.

Like Seagate's Maxtor BlackArmor drive (our number one pick among the eight we tested), the DataTraveler opens its utilities in a read-only partition that Windows interprets as a CD-ROM drive. Once you have created your password, the drive mounts the encrypted partition.

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At a Glance
  • Provides the ultimate data protection in a portable flash drive, but at a steep price.


    • Simple setup process
    • Rugged, waterproof aluminum case


    • Some features require Windows
    • Very pricey
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