Author: Chris Barry
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Monday, February 22nd, 2010
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/corsair_padlock_2/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.
Just about every one that considers himself an avid computer user probably owns a flash drive, those that don't own one have probably found many occasions where they could have used one. However, a few users, both newer and more experienced, may still be living a life without this precious commodity. To some this is almost a life not worth living. My advice to these few users, is to splurge and pick up a $25 drive. Who knows, they may at one point come into contact with data that needs storing!
So now that you've finally decided to purchase the essential commodity of a flash drive, which one are you going to choose? Do you want something that can store an insane amount of gigabytes, or are you looking for something that will occasionally transfer one or two documents? Another feature to keep in mind is security, and I don't just mean security on the software side. While you probably don't need a drive that can be taken 200m underwater and thrown off a four story building, they're still out there.
If you're looking for a drive more on the software side of security, well, Corsair might have just the thing. Today I'll be taking a look at the Corsair Padlock 2 which, as you've probably guessed, is a flash drive. However, this isn't your normal 8GB flash drive, it was designed entirely to protect your data. How does it do so you ask? Well for starters its housing is an extremely durable "Shock-Proof" rubber. I don't intend to throw the drive around to test its "Shock-Proofness", but it does feel as though the drive can sustain a beating.
The drive also protects your data on the software side of things. Your data will be under the protection of a 256-bit encryption, plus the drive has a user set PIN. For those of you that are wondering, yes, the buttons are actually on the flash drive. Before using it, you'll need to key in your 4 to 10 digit PIN which will unlock the drive. The drive automatically locks when it is removed from your computer. To top it off, the drive is backed by a hefty 10 year warranty.
When you purchase the Corsair Padlock 2, it will arrive in a clam-shell package. The front of this package states that the drive is 8GB, USB 2.0, and the Padlock 2. The back of the package has some information about the drive, but the packaging isn't really what interests us. What we care about is the 8GBs of storage space that rest inside the package. What exactly could 8GB do for you? Well quite a few things actually! If you're into photography you'll be able to store 2,480 six-megapixel photos, or 38 hours of MPEG-4 video. For those of you that speak in iPod, that's 2,000 songs! Some other users may find themselves making the flash drive boot-able, or they may use it to store 'covert' programs. Really, the possibilities are endless... er... up to 8GBs.
Believe it or not, the small clam-shell package is able to contain more then just the Padlock 2. Corsair will also provide you with a few extra goodies, including a quick start guide. For those user that like to keep their information around their neck, you may find yourself using Corsair's included lanyard. Their was one more thing included with the Padlock 2, and I found it to be a bit odd. It's a USB cord, I'm just not sure why you wouldn't plug the Padlock straight into the computer.
The drive itself is completely cased in the rubber housing. The PIN buttons are located on what I'll call the front of the drive. The back of the drive holsters Corsairs web address. In order to plug the Padlock 2 into your computer you'll need to remove the cap, which is located at the top of the drive. The cap is again made with very durable, very thick rubber, which does give the impression that it can take a beating.
There wouldn't be much point to purchasing the Corsair Padlock 2, without using its locking ability. Doing so is actually extremely easy. You simply press the and hold the key button until the red and green lights illuminate. You may then enter in your 4-10 digit key. Again press and hold the Key button until the red and green lights blink in unison. Once this has happened you must re-enter your key and again push the key button. The green LED will then flash signaling a success! If you forget your password, Corsair provided instructions as to how the resetting procedure works, although upon a reset you will lose all your data. When the drive is locked the red LED will blink, and when it is unlocked the green will blink. Because there are lights the drive uses an internal battery which will need to be charged. To do so, simply plug the Padlock 2 into your computer, and let it sit for an hour or so.
Believe it or not, the Corsair Padlock 2 actually does have specifications. One of the most important is its 256-bit AES encryption, which will protect 100% of your files on the Padlock 2 when in locked mode. The drive is plug-n-play, and it is said to be "Shock-Proof". Again I'm not going to toss it out a window to test this, but it does appear to be extremely durable. The drive also comes with a customizable PIN, and hacking protection. This means when someone makes 5 unsuccessful attempts at unlocking your Padlock, they'll then have to wait 2 minutes, before they can try again.
Durability: Corsair Survivor, Corsair Padlock 2 Caps Off: Corsair Survivor, Corsair Padlock 2
As far as compatibility goes, the Corsair Padlock 2 was made to be used with a USB 2.0 setup. However, as long as you've got a USB drive, you'll be able to use the Padlock. If you're a MAC you won't have to worry, as the Padlock 2 is Macintosh compatible as well. And if any users 8GB wonder drive dies, well you've got a nice long 10 year warranty to help you feel secure!
All drives will use their default software, and will contain the same files.
Transfer Speeds: I will measure the time needed to transfer a 100MB, 500MB, and 1000MB file from the drive to my computer
HDTune: HDTune allows the user to benchmark, monitor, and sometimes repair there HDDs. I will be using its built in benchmark tool.
SiSoft Sandra: Sandra will allow the user to benchmark and diagnose just about every piece of hardware in their setup. I will be using Sandra's Portable Drive benchmark.
Flash Memory Toolkit: The Flash Memory Toolkit is a program that will Diagnose, Benchmark, Scan, and Format your removable drives.
In order to test transfer speeds I timed how long it takes to copy a 100MB, 500MB, and 1GB file over to the drive. The 750GB internal drive had the files copied from one folder to another.
The Corsair Padlock 2 performed slightly slower than the Corsair Survivor, but not by a lot. This doesn't turn out to be to bad, especially considering the Padlock 2 is keeping your files super secure.
In order to benchmark the drives read speeds I used HDTune's built in benchmarking tool. The higher speeds are better!
Once again the Padlock 2 performed slightly worse than the Survivor. However, I'm not to worried about this performance difference, mainly because of the Padlocks security abilities.
Sandra offers a wide range of benchmarks, and one of them just happens to be for portable drives. For those of you wondering, yes the 750GB internal drive went through the same benchmark.
We finally see the Padlock performing better than the Corsair Flash Survivor, which was a larger drive.
The Flash Memory Toolkit is a program that will benchmark, Diagnose, Scan, and format your removable media. I used it to find both the Read and Write speeds of the Corsair Padlock 2. Because this program is meant for removable media, the 750GB Internal Drive is not included in the Graphs.
Once again we see the Corsair Survivor slightly outperforming the Corsair Padlock 2.
There is almost no reason to not own a flash drive at this day and age. If you're one of the few who don't own one, the Corsair Padlock 2 is a great place to start. This is true for a few reasons. The first of which is its durability. If you're like me, something sitting in your pocket all day probably won't do to well. In fact I've ended up with a few smashed drives, hence the reason I picked up the Flash Survivor. The Corsair Padlock 2 is encased in an extremely durable rubber housing and, even after a few days with me, hasn't even attained a scratch.
If you're more concerned about losing your drive and having some unknown person find your data, don't be. For one thing, the finder won't be able to use the drive without entering your personal PIN. There is a way to reset the PIN, but doing so will also erase all the data on your drive. I'm sure there is some insane hacker out there that could attain the data on a found Padlock 2, but chances are he/she won't be finding your drive.
The Corsair Padlock 2 is USB 2.0 compatible and uses a hefty 256-bit encryption. Setting a user defined PIN is extremely easy, and unbelievably user friendly. To top that off, the drive is packed with 8GB, which translates to about 2,000 songs or 38 hours of video. I'm obviously extremely pleased with this drive.
Honestly I'd recommend the Corsair Padlock 2 to anyone looking to purchase a flash drive. Sure it scored slightly lower than the Corsair Flash Survivor, but you honestly won't notice a difference between the two drives. If that's not enough, this sucker is backed by a 10 year warranty. Unless you want a cheap quick and dirty drive, I'd advise picking up a Corsair Padlock 2!
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