Review: iStorage datAshur PRO (32GB)

When it comes to storing or backing up data, there are a wide range of options available on the market. However, there are only a few specialized companies that make USB drives with physical security parameters such as using PIN numbers to lock the drive down to prevent unauthorized access to data. iStorage is one of them and for years, the company has been churning out external storage devices with physical security modules embedded onto them.

The company recently sent me a personalised datAshur PRO for test drive. The datAshur PRO is a USB 3.0 flash drive that comes with a physical keypad on top of it. This keypad is used to input a PIN number to physically lock the USB drive down, thus making your data extra-safe from prying eyes.   

The datAshur PRO is available in storage capacities ranging from 4GB to 64GB. We received the 32GB variant for this review. The overall design and build quality of the datAshur PRO is excellent. Clad in a dark metallic blue body, the USB drive is made of rugged aluminium that is rated IP57 for dust and water resistance.

The USB drive also comes with a built-in rechargeable battery, which allows you to enter a 7-15 digit PIN via the on-board keypad before connecting the device to a USB port. All data transferred to the drive is encrypted in real-time with military grade AES-XTS 256-bit hardware encryption. What’s more, the datAshur PRO is also GDPR compliant.

On the keypad, you get two LEDs – one red, which indicates that the USB drive is locked and green that indicates when the USB drive is unlocked. The alphanumeric keypad is used to input the PIN numbers and once the PIN number is entered, you need to press the Key button to lock and unlock the drive. There is also a blue LED that flashes when data is being transferred to and from the device. And there’s a keyring as well, which can be unscrewed to add to your bunch of keys.

The iStorage datAshur PRO works with most operating systems out there and it weighs just 25-gms. On paper, the read speed is 139 MB/s and the write speed is 43 MB/s. During real world tests, we were able to clock 98 MB/s in read speeds and 39 MB/s in write speeds on CrystalDiskMark.

The most important thing to remember after storing your data on the datAshur PRO is the PIN number you used to lock and unlock the device. If you ever forget your PIN, the device will delete the encryption key after 10 failed attempts. The drive also comes with a three-year warranty.

At an asking price of $142 (AED 520 approx.) for a 32GB drive, the iStorage datAshur PRO might seem very expensive. But quality comes at a price and if you want to secure your data with extra fool-proof protection, the iStorage datAshur PRO might be worth all the extra money spent.

Price: AED 520 approx. for a 32GB drive.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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