The Apricorn Aegis Vault is a 160GB USB hard drive with password-protected 128bit encryption.

The Apricorn Aegis comes in two versions - the standard Vault and a biometric model that has a fingerprint reader that lets you bypass creating a password for accessing the drive.

Unfortunately, the biometric version of the Apricorn Aegis is not generally available in the UK (but can be shipped by US stockist Electronica Direct) - a shame as the Upek-licensed fingerprint reader can be used instead of saved passwords too, making it one of the best biometric options around.

So what of the standard Apricorn Aegis Vault? The Vault is a solidly built, slimline 2.5in model packing 160GB of storage space. It works only with Windows environments and its software must be installed before the drive can be mounted - not the norm for USB devices.

The cable used to attach the Apricorn Aegis Vault to a laptop or PC curls conveniently around the drive and clips along one side for storage.

Once set up, we found the Apricorn Aegis Vault's password-based entry system a model of simplicity.

The Apricorn Aegis Vault allows for one administrator login and three separate user IDs. Data is encrypted to a fairly standard 128bits and you can choose whether the whole drive is secured in this way or whether only a partition should be fenced off.

In the latter case, the Apricorn Aegis Vault can also be used for standard file sharing and backups or, for home users, to provide access to music and photos anyone can enjoy, while a separate secure area holds items such as the household accounts.

Apricorn Aegis Vault: Specs

  • 2.5in SATA hard drive
  • 160GB, 5,400rpm disk
  • 128bit AES password encryption
  • 8MB memory buffer
  • 480Mbps data transfer rater
  • 12ms access time
  • USB 2.0
  • Windows XP/Vista
  • 100% USB bus-powered
  • 19x85x120mm
  • 154g
  • 2.5in SATA hard drive
  • 160GB, 5,400rpm disk
  • 128bit AES password encryption
  • 8MB memory buffer
  • 480Mbps data transfer rater
  • 12ms access time
  • USB 2.0
  • Windows XP/Vista
  • 100% USB bus-powered
  • 19x85x120mm
  • 154g

OUR VERDICT

A compact and capable drive, the Apricorn Aegis Vault is a decent choice, but is let down by its limited capacity, price and support only for Windows.

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