A secure way to store data easily
In the past 7 years, I’ve learned a lot about cybersecurity. My fiancé has always been very concerned about online safety and he’s taught me a lot about keeping myself safe when I’m on public WiFi networks. He’s also taught me about how to keep my data secured through devices like the Sentry K300 Encrypted Micro SSD from DataLocker.
The Sentry K300 Encrypted Micro SSD is the only platform independent, keypad, micro SSD that incorporates an OLED display for advanced security features. The display supports true alpha-numeric password-based authentication and a full-featured onboard menu system. With the OLED display, users can use the visual menu-driven system to change passwords and enable other security features without the aid of a manual. The Sentry K300 offers affordable military-grade security with 256-bit AES hardware-based encryption in XTS mode. The drive’s crypto chip does not export encryption keys to the host PC. The K300 works with Windows, Linux, Mac, Android phones and tablets, Chromebooks and embedded systems. The drive has its own power supply so it can be used as a bootable device running Windows to Go, Ubuntu Linux, or local operating system.
- Supports true alpha-numeric for strong passwords
- High-speed uSSD SATA III memory
- User and Admin roles
- Read-only mode
- Admin configurable password policy
- Brute Force Hack Defense
- Rapid secure wipe
- Auto-Lock Feature
- Capacity: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
- Cryptographic Processes: FIPS 197 Certified 256-bit AES hardware module XTS mode
- Interface: USB 3.1 Type A – Backward compatible w/ USB 2.0
The Sentry K300 is the size of a large flash drive. It comes packaged in a standard retail bubble pack that is impossible to get into without using a pair of scissors. There is no user manual packaged with the drive, but the back of the packaging gives you the basic operating details. You can download the user manual from DataLocker’s website. Even though you can access the basic functions of the flash drive after reading the back of the package, the manual gives you a little more information. One of the features that is described is a self-destruct mode. Once a password is entering incorrectly 20 times, the drive will be erased to protect the data. Self-destruct is enabled on the device by default. After the 17 and 18 consecutive incorrect password attempts, a message will appear on the display that reads, “Brute Force detected! All data will be deleted.” Even though you don’t have control over this fail-safe feature, admins do have the ability to Zeroize the device. This will wipe all the data and return the device to factory settings. I love that these features exist, but do wish the brute force attack fail safe was activated after only 5 or 10 tries. I think that 20 is too generous when it comes to the number of attempts.
NOTE: According to DataLocker, the Sentry K300 will soon be SafeConsole manageable and the system admin will be able to set the number of failed password attempts.
I have a 13-inch 2016 MacBook Pro which means that the laptop only has USB-C ports. In order to connect to the Sentry K300, I had to use a USB-C hub. I’ve done this before when I’ve tested out USB-style drives and it hasn’t seemed to make a difference as far as speed goes. I do wish that this drive was available as a USB-C connection though because it would mean one less connection that would have to be made between the computer and the device. After I connected the flash drive, I entered the password on the drive and upon tapping ENTER, the hard drive appeared on my computer’s desktop.
The Sentry K300 is reformatted as NTFS so in order for me to have full use of the device, I had to reformat it as a MacOS Extended Journaled. After I did, I copied a file that was 2.36GB in size from my Mac’s hard drive to the Sentry K300. It took 52 seconds to transfer the file, which made the transfer rate 45 MB/s. This is actually a slower transfer rate than USB 2.0, which can transfer at a rate of 60 MB/s. After analyzing this data transfer, I also completed a speed test using Blackmagic Speed Test. It showed a read/write speed of 230/26.1 MB/s, which was also slower than I expected but not as slow as other encrypted drives I’ve tested out. There are several things that can affect read/write times though and according to DataLocker’s Tech Team:
The file system and partitioning of the drive can impose a significant performance penalty in exchange for fault protection. The host computer in which the tests run on can also cause severe performance to the benchmark. Tasks running on the computer, especially ones controlling IO to the system such as malware scanners can create a bottleneck in the CPU. This can be exaggerated with operating system power schedules which function to save battery at the expense of maximum power if enabled.
Overall, the operation of the drive is satisfactory. I think it’s a very nice device for keeping your data secured, but maybe not the fastest option for data transfer on the market. I love its size and its internal power source. I can recommend this device on the basis that it’s a solid data storage tool that will make it possible for users to store data easily and securely.