In 1980, storing gigabytes (GB) of data required refrigerator-sized disk storage devices like the IBM 3380s - at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds! Today, hundreds of GB can be stored on portable external hard drives no bigger than a book at a cost of less than a hundred pounds. For a few hundred pounds, you can store terabytes (thousands of GB). A portable Ďexternalí hard drive like Lenovo's ThinkPad USB Portable Secure Hard Drive reviewed here is essentially the same hardware as inside your laptop computer, except self-contained in its own case. The drive connects directly to a desktop or laptop computer using a USB 2.0 data cable, although some drives from other manufacturers also offer FireWire, eSATA or network ports so you can share a drive among multiple computers or backup data over a network.
Optimised for safeguarding essential data while on-the-go, Lenovoís ThinkPad USB Portable Secure Hard Drive (88x122x22mm, 193g) puts a hardcore security spin on portable data backup. Rather than using simple software-based password protection or the latest biometric (fingerprint) security, the gizmo offers high-level data protection using a built-in keypad. Working just like a cashpoint machine at a bank - but without having to slot in a card - data on the ThinkPad USB Portable Secure Hard Drive can only be accessed when you punch in the correct combination of numbers (between 6 and 24 digits).
Designed to give laptop customers a secure way to protect sensitive data in a lightweight and easy-to-use design, the ThinkPad USB Portable Secure Hard Drive is available in either 160- (£107) or 320GB (£135) versions - both spin at a respectable 5400rpm. At less than an inch thin and approximately the size of a 3x5-inch index card, itís even small enough to fit in a shirt pocket. The drive meets the 128-bit advanced encryption security standard to help ensure information remains secure, and real-time encryption means you donít have to wait for the Ďlag timeí that typically accompanies encrypted drives. The drive features full-disk encryption for up to 10 unique user IDs and one administrator, making it an ideal tool for ThinkPad laptop users on-the-go or collaborating at work. Additionally, the self-powered hard drive eliminates the hassle of keeping up with power cords, and a convenient built-in USB cable makes transferring data simple as it resides in the hard driveís housing when not in use.
Lenovoís ThinkPad USB Portable Secure Hard Drive offers an excellent combination of simple-to-use design and advanced levels of security. Sadly itís only available with a USB 2.0 connection and a maximum capacity of 320GB, but if your priority is protecting your important documents on the move, itís a good choice. Sure you can use software encryption systems such as Windows Vistaís BitLocker, or third-party products such as DESlock on a regular external hard drive that costs half the price, but these generally require a correspondingly high level of configuration and technical know-how. Lenovoís ThinkPad USB Portable Secure Hard Drive on the other hand requires no special IT knowledge, drivers or software to work with either Windows XP or Vista. It comes highly recommended if your pockets are deep, youíre cool with USB 2.0 only, and you donít mind the boring corporate design. 
Have you read these related articles?
Netgear ReadyNAS Pro
Network Attached Storage is designed to separate storage resources from network and application servers in order to simplify storage management and improve the reliability, performance and efficiency of the network, thus increasing ...
Fujitsu HandyDrive IV 500GB
Fujitsuís latest HandyDrive portable hard disk drive is available in capacities of 160GB, 250GB, 320GB, 400GB, and now a 500GB model. The drive looks great and is an ideal solution for storing work files, multimedia applications, ...
Freecom Mobile Drive XXS
Portable hard disk drives are really useful. You can carry your browser favourites, passwords, music, photos, videos and files so whether youíre using a computer at work, school, a business centre, an Internet cafe, or a library, you ...
Iomega eGo Camo Portable Hard Drive
Thereís hardly a shortage of external hard disk drives, thanks largely to the benefits of these peripherals: cheap storage capacity and, at least for the smaller devices, easy portability. External HDDs are great for backing up your ...
Wiebetech Drive eRazer
Before you dispose or replace your computerís hard disk drive (HDD), remember that all the data you saved on it - credit card numbers, business data, e-mail address book/contact list, e-mail conversations, financial data, legal ...
This entry was posted on Jan 28, 09 and is filed under Storage