Chris Drage finally comes across a memory stick that is reassuringly safe – the DataTraveller Locker+ G2

We have seen countless examples of sensitive data going AWOL either due to a misplaced laptop or a forgotten or lost memory stick. Keeping data secure is a headache for most teachers and the penalties are severe.

Teachers have been vulnerable because they are probably among the heaviest users of USB memory sticks. But they should be vulnerable no longer thanks to devices like Kingston’s DataTraveller Locker+ G2.

The DataTraveller Locker+ G2 automatically protects all of data stored on it with both hardware encryption and password protection and it works happily between Mac OS X and Windows XP, Vista and 7 operating systems. Moreover, it is easy to use, with no extra software or partitions needed and in my tests has proven very reliable thanks to it durable, all-metal casing. It doesn’t use fingerprint recognition which I have found problematic with earlier devices that sported it.

This memory stick is stylish and offers a key loop that easily attaches to a briefcase, bag or backpack. Importantly, that loop is on the device and not its lid as is so often the case. However, although encased in metal it is not designed to be waterproof and bomb proof! In fact I gave it the DDT (Drage Drop Test – 70cm) on to a hard floor and the cap did not fly off.

The DataTraveller Locker+ G2 measures 58 x 18.6 x 9.75mm. I tested the 16GB version (£16.99) but it comes in 4GB (8.99), 8GB (£9.98) and 32GB (£33.99) versions. The quote prices are typical of those found online. When you initially connect it Windows or Mac it will initially as an any other external  drive.

Once the on-board software is run it will prompt you to create a password. Once complete, a second, empty ‘drive’ will appear which looks and behaves like a standard USB drive that displays all the remaining memory. This second ‘drive’ will only appear in future when the password has been successfully entered.

The drive contents are encrypted using an-board chip. Having the encryption as hardware means that transfer speeds do not appear to have been affected. I transferred 9.5GB of mixed data from my hard drive to the DataTraveller Locker+ G2 and it took approx.38mins.

To prevent someone from making infinite attempts to guess your password, the drive will permanently block the data partition after 10 consecutive failed login attempts. Once the data partition's been blocked, the only way to use the drive again is by formatting it, which erases your data. Although the new owner can keep using the drive, all original documents will be wiped out and unreadable.

The Kingston DataTraveller Locker+ G2 is more expensive than normal USB memory sticks but if security of data is important to you then you should seriously consider this device and have the peace-of-mind that comes from knowing all your data is safe.

Ratings (out of 5)

Fitness for purpose   4
Ease of use               5
Features                   4
Quality                      5
Value for money       4

Kingston DataTraveller Locker+ G2
Secure memory stick suitable for anyone who needs to keep their data secure. Comes in four versions: 4Gb (8.99), 8GB (£9.98), 16Gb (£16.99) and 32Gb (£33.99).
Available from many online and high street stores.