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Portable Secure Data Transfer 

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Keeping your data safe and secure when transferring it between locations can be a worry. This next product could help.

iStorage diskAshur M2
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Adding to its range of portable protective storage devices, iStorage has developed their DISKASHUR M2 product.  This is a Solid State Drive (SSD) with encryption delivered by FIPS PUB 197 validated AES-XTS 256-bit technology.  iStorage has opted to offer this device with storage capacities of 120/240/500 GB and 1 or 2 TB versions.  This review is based on the 1TB model of the DISKASHUR M2. As usual with other iStorage portable devices, this drive features hardware encryption and a user-designated access PIN as part of its protection.

The DISKASHUR M2 product consists of the portable drive unit with protective sleeve, carry case, Type A and C USB lead and folded Quick Start Guide.  The drive unit, which is predominately matte black in colour, apart from a silver metallic zinc alloy base, has dimensions of 106 x 45 x 12 mm (H x W x D).  Mounted on top of the drive is a USB feature that uses the split port arrangement.  Adding the anodised, aluminium sleeve over the drive unit increases the overall dimensions to 111 x 46 x 12 mm.

With providing what I initially felt was a useful addition to the product's protective features as it protected the various buttons from being accidentally pressed during transport, I came to wonder regarding the value of this feature to the iStorage offering.  Having tested, and used on a regular basis, several portable protective drives from iStorage, I cannot recall a single instance where a problem has arisen due to one of the keypad buttons being accidentally pressed as I was carrying the product in my pocket.  Maybe iStorage has evidence of this happening or perhaps there is another reason for the presence of this sleeve.  With or without the protective sleeve, the DISKASHUR M2 can be transported, along with its USB lead, in the supplied zipped carry case with its wrist or belt loop.

Decorating the front of the main unit is a two-column keypad arrangement headed by three LED lights indicating lock / unlock / admin status.  This keypad provided the user with the product's personal access feature.  Users of other iStorage drive devices will be familiar with the type of personal protection PIN that can be added to such devices.  This protection involves the user creating their own access PIN.

In the case of the DISKASHUR M2 the PIN is created using the polymer coated, wear resistant alphanumeric keypad.  The PIN will need to consist of between 7 and 15 digits in length.  It is created by following the step-by-step instructions provided in the product's Quick Start Guide.  You will then have access to the drive's storage capacity and access the product's User Manual included on the drive.

When it comes to supplying the DISKASHUR M2 with power and a means of transferring data to the unit, you need to use the product's USB facility.  For the product's USB feature, iStorage supplies a rather short lead that a combines a connection for the split port on the device and a Type C connection at the other end.  If your computer does not have a Type C port then you might need to look for another lead or an adapter for the Type C plug.  Perhaps iStorage might consider including an appropriate adapter with the product.

Speed of operation when using the DISKASHUR M2 is straightforward and generally fast.  The process involved tagging the necessary files or folders and sending the content to the DISKASHUR M2  I was able to add 4.7 GB of mixed data to the DISKASHUR M2 in 137 seconds ready for transfer and use elsewhere with this process.

Adding further security comfort to any worries you may have concerning taking content on the road, this device automatically locks the product when it is unplugged from the host computer or when power is switched off for any reason.  The product also features a defence mode whereby a brute force attack, when unauthorised entry is attempted from 10 consecutive attempts, then the PIN code will be deleted thus blocking entry to the data.

If you regularly transfer portable data between different locations the DISKASHUR M2 could be the tool for you.  Prices for the different versions of the products are set at 120 GB - £129, 240 GB - £149, 500 GB - £179, 1TB - £249 and 2TB - £429.

diskAshur M2 - iStorage (UK) (istorage-uk.com)

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OveralliStorage DISKASHUR M2 rated 88 out of 100

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