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March 05, 2012

ioSafe's Disaster Proof drives!


Ever wish you could have a fireproof and waterproof vault for all your precious data files? Well you can, with one of ioSafe's disaster-proof hard drives.

What about the Cloud?
Wait a sec, isn't offsite backup the hippest thing ever? Absolutely. Backing up to the cloud, using a service like iCloud or one of the many backup programs like CrashPlan, is essential, but so is having a safe and secure local backup. They put it perfectly over at the ioSafe website... "Complementing your existing online backup solution with an ioSafe drive gives you the best of both worlds. Online provides offsite redundancy while an ioSafe drive gives you the real-time backup, fast recovery speeds, privacy, and security life demands on a daily basis." In other words, if you ever did have a catastrophic event, what a pain it would be recovering all your gigabytes of data from the cloud. This is where an ioSafe would really save the day.

ioSafe's sexy lightsWe tested the ioSafe SoloPRO external unit. The unit comes nicely packed and includes a USB cable, an eSATA cord, and a small external power supply. The hard drive is snuggled safe and sound inside a sleek black box with sexy curves, one that somewhat reminds me of a short and stout version of the Monolith from 2001, a Space Odyssey, which is a good thing.

Subtle is better!
Now let me just rant a bit about the current state of most computer accessories. Lights on the front of accessories are necessary so that one knows they are working with a quick glance, however, I can't stand it when an accessory has a bright blue LED staring me in the face all day, flashing and blinking in a dance of distraction. This is where I really appreciate the designers at ioSafe. The SoloPRO solves this problem with a cool laser-cut pattern that covers the LEDs and creates a nice depth effect. The light gets the job done; it lets you know the device is working, but with an effect that is soft and subtle and esthetically pleasing to look at.

Here are the main features of the ioSafe SoloPRO. They are similar to most of the drives that ioSafe offers:
-Fireproof! Most of their drives protect data from loss up to 1550°F for 1/2 hour.

-Waterproof! Protects data from loss up to 10ft for 72 hours, fresh or salt water!

-Data Recovery Service: 1, 3, or 5 year plans are available. The ioSafe Data Recovery Service (DRS) provides a one time use, no questions asked data and hardware recovery service. For any loss, no matter the reason.

-USB 3.0 SuperSpeed: Plug and Play up to 5Gb/s With the latest in USB technology, the USB 3.0 "SuperSpeed" SoloPRO gives you plug and play data transfer up to 5Gb/s - almost 20x faster than USB 2.0.

-eSATA/USB 2.0 Data transfer up to 3Gb/s. With data transfer rates up to 3Gb/s, the eSATA/USB2.0 SoloPRO combines internal drive performance and connectivity with the freedom of having external storage. The eSATA interface also provides plug and play connectivity to servers. With added plug and play USB 2.0 connectivity and data transfer up to 480Mbit/s, you can use your ioSafe with virtually any Mac or PC.

-Theft-resistant: With a built in Kensington security slot and anti-theft tab, securing the ioSafe SoloPRO to any surface is fast and simple and keeps your data protected in the event of a break in. Securing the drive also prevents the drive from moving during a disaster.

You can find all the drool-worthy details at ioSafe's website, they do a great job posting up a ton of info and tech specs on all their products.

There are a couple, both of which are a consequence of the extra protection these drives give you. The ioSafe's size is more like that of a UPS than a contemporary desktop hard drive, or in old school terms, about the size of a large loaf of bread. Depending on the size of your desk, it may be more of a desk-under hard drive than a desktop hard drive. (If you do want a smaller package, they do come is sleek and sexy SSD models, but in most cases, you give up fireproof-ness.)

Our unit, the ioSafe SoloPRO, has a fan on the back to keep it cool. This adds a measure of sound to your geekosphere, and depending on how sensitive you are to extra noise, this may bother you. Again, this issue is helped by keeping it under your desk, or by keeping the drive in different area from where you actually work. I keep mine away from my desk, plugged into our AirPort Extreme Base Station, which also makes the ioSafe drive easily available to all the computers at Geek Culture Headquarters. Or even better, pick up one of their new fan-less ioSafe Solo G3, which uses their FloSafe airflow cooling technology, designed for near-silent operation.

There's some amazing videos on YouTube showing the kind of punishment the ioSafe can take. Here's two that are fun, ... from the Saskatoon and Vancouver fire departments. I've embedded my favorite below. Stay and watch to the end, it's really incredible the punishment this unit can take and still keep your data alive


Which to buy?
ioSafe has a multitude of disaster-proof drives to select from. Check out all the drives on their Solutions page to help decide what kind of protection you need, and to see whether or not the drive will work with your operating system. If you are at all sound sensitive, get a fanless model. Perhaps, if you are feeling particularly calamitous, you'll want the ultimate fireproof, waterproof, crushproof ioSafe Solo Pro SSD, ... which is, as they say "As close to "everythingproof" as it gets."

The Final Word
An ioSafe drive is an awesome addition to any home or office, and will give you that extra piece of mind so you can sleep better at night. If you are considering picking up a backup drive, I'd seriously consider going the extra distance and get yourself an ioSafe.

Posted by Snaggy at March 5, 2012 10:28 AM