iStorage diskAshur M2 Hardware Encrypted SSD 2023
The diskAshur M2 Hardware Encrypted SSD is an easy-to-use, secure hard drive. There are different capacities and after completing three different field tests, the data transfer speeds were satisfactory.
- EASE OF USE
Secure Your Sensitive Data Anywhere with diskAshur M2 SSD
As the digital age continues to progress, the need for secure data storage is becoming increasingly important. With the introduction of hardware-encrypted solid state drives (SSD), users now have access to powerful yet secure data storage solutions. Hardware-encrypted SSDs provide an added layer of security and peace of mind that traditional spinning disk hard drives simply can’t match. By encrypting all data written to the drive, hardware-encrypted SSDs help protect your sensitive information from malicious third parties and hackers. The diskAshur M2 Hardware Encrypted SSD is the ideal option for anyone wanting an easy-to-use, secure, portable hard drive.
About diskAshur M2 Hardware Encrypted SSD
The iStorage diskAshur M2 Hardware Encrypted SSD is a high-performance storage solution designed with security in mind. It features robust hardware encryption that keeps your data safe from unauthorized access, ensuring that your sensitive information remains confidential. The diskAshur M2 is compatible with a range of operating systems and interfaces, including USB 3.2 Gen 2 and USB Type-C, making it a versatile choice for professionals who require a portable, encrypted storage solution. Whether you’re a business owner, creative professional, or security-conscious individual, the iStorage diskAshur M2 provides peace of mind that your data is protected at all times.
- Easy to use
- FIPS 140-3 Level 3 compliant
- Rugged, shockproof & crushproof
- IP68 certified Water & Dust resistant
- Ultra-portable and lightweight
- Independent User & Admin PINs
- Ultra-fast transfer speeds
- One-time User recovery PIN
- Common Criteria EAL5+ (Hardware Certified) secure microprocessor
- Read-only (write protect) Dual mode
- OS & Platform independent
- Brute Force protection
- USB Type A + C cables and carry case included
- Drive reset
- Whitelisting on networks
Pricing & Availability
The diskAshur M2 is available for purchase through iStorage-uk.com and third-party retail partners such as Amazon. Available capacities 120GB, 240GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB. The prices start at $142.00. The version I got was the 1TB and its list price is $275.
The diskAshur M2 was well packaged inside an iStorage retail box. The outside of the box has a very nice image of the product along with some highlights about the product’s details (i.e. slim & sleek design, AES-XTS 256-big hardware encryption, etc.). When you open the outer box, you’ll find an inner box, which is designed to protect the contents inside. There is some additional cardboard packaging that helps to cushion the contents. The SSD comes packaged in a travel case (semi-hard shell) which is wrapped in bubble wrap.
In addition to the diskAshur M2, users will find two cables — 1 x USB-C to USB 3.0 and 1 x USB-A to USB 3.0 — Windows disconnect patch information, and the quick start guide. The quick start guide is multilingual and features seven different languages. The SSD has a protective sleeve that is lives inside. There is a silicone gasket around the edge of the SSD that helps provide a tight seal with the sleeve. This also provides water/dust resistance (the device is rated with IP68 certification).
One of the first things I noticed about the SSD was that its main i/o was a USB 3.0 Micro B connector. The specs state that the SSD has USB 3.2 data transfer speeds of up to 370 MB/s read & write speeds.
The first use of the SSD requires the user to set up a pin number. The instructions mention that the pin needs to be 7-15 digits. It cannot be sequential and cannot contain all repeating numbers. Setting the pin and using the pin is an easy process — as long as you follow the guidelines about the pin number. To get started, the user presses and holds the lock button and 1 until the LED indicators turn to green and blue with the green blinking. This puts the SSD into the mode to accept a new pin number.
Once you enter it, press the lock button and then enter it again with the lock button confirming the change. Once the pin is set, you only have to press the lock key once, which should make the green and blue LEDs blink together. When that happens, you enter the pin and press the lock key to accept the entry. The hard drive will then appear as an external drive on your computer.
When you get the SSD unlocked the first time, you will find a couple of files on the hard drive. One is the full user manual for the device and the other is a folder for the Windows Disconnect Patch, which is only needed if you are using a Windows machine. My main computer is a 2020 MacBook Air with an M1 processor so that isn’t something I was worried about.
In order to test the validity of the data transfer speeds, I ran three different tests:
- AJA System Test Lite → This app is designed to provide accurate and detailed evaluations of disk speed/drive performance in reference to video recording and playback activity. I set the perimeters to:
- Resolution → 4090×3112 4K Full
- Test File Size → 16GB
- Codec Type → ProRes
- Blackmagic Speed Test → This tool is used to quickly assess disk performance and how it will perform with various video codecs. The output of this test is a quick read/write speed based on a specific test load size. I used the 5GB Stress Test level and the test result was 220.4 MB/s WRITE, 318.1 MB/s READ.
- Drag-n-Drop Test → For this test, I select a group of files or a folder from my computer to copy over to the selected drive/disk. I used a file that was 3.03GB in size and contained mixed media. The transfer only took 10.84 seconds. That calculates to a transfer rate of 2,242.4 MB/s.
So, even though I didn’t get the exact 370 MB/s data speeds that were advertised, I am still pleased with the results I did get. It’s important to note that the way you connect the SSD to your computer has an effect on the transfer rate. My setup includes a docking station (Kensington SD5600T Hybrid Dock) and I plugged the diskAshur M2 into the USB-C port on the front of the dock. It is possible that I lost some speed due to the various connections I used to connect to the computer.
One of the issues I ran into while running these tests was that the SSD would automatically lock when it sat idle for too long. This is a safety function of the device, but I do wish there was an option to change the duration of the auto lock. The testing process didn’t take too long — only about 10 minutes or so. The SSD did get a bit warmed up, but not hot to the touch.
The iStorage diskAshur M2 Hardware Encrypted SSD is a great investment for anyone looking to add an extra level of security to their data. Its state-of-the-art hardware encryption ensures data stored on the drive remains secure, even if it falls into the wrong hands. It also offers quick setup and intuitive operation with its keypad and LCD display. Furthermore, it is highly durable and shock resistant for added peace of mind.
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