Security and high capacity come together in one stick with the Kingston DataTraveler Vault – Privacy Edition 16GB... at a price

Inside this smart but unassuming Kingston DataTraveler Vault - Privacy Edition USB flash memory stick is a hardware encryption chip to keep its files and folders within all locked down. The Kingston DataTraveler Vault - Privacy Edition is available in 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32GB capacities, with the entire contents encrypted on the fly as you copy files to it.

Unlike some such sticks which only work on one computer platform, this Kingston DataTraveler Vault - Privacy Edition can be used on Windows and Macintosh computers.

Insert the Kingston DataTraveler Vault - Privacy Edition stick into a Windows PC, for instance, and Microsoft's justly maligned Autoplay will automatically launch the onboard program, allowing you to enter your password to unlock the stick. On the Mac, you must manually click down a couple of levels to find the required DTVP app.

The first time you insert the Kingston DataTraveler Vault - Privacy Edition drive, you need to set up a password, which ‘must be 6 to 16 characters long and contain at least three of the following: upper case letters, lower case letters, digits and special characters'.

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If you forget your password or enter a wrong phase consecutively ten times, the Kingston DataTraveler Vault - Privacy Edition memory will be reformatted and all files will be lost.

Encryption for the Kingston DTVP is using the secure advanced encryption standard (AES) algorithm, with a 256-bit block cipher, and is compliant with the US trade agreement act (TAA). As far as the US government is concerned, AES-256 is sufficient to protect documents up to the Top Secret level.

Despite the onboard crypto chip, we found the Kingston DataTraveler Vault - Privacy Edition to be a relatively fast flash drive for daily read/write duties, easily as quick as most unsecured drives we test now.

In HDTach, we saw average read speeds of up to 26.0MB/s, and write speeds up to 8.4Mb/s. Maximum burst speed was up to 29.6MB/s.

The Kingston DTVP is light but feels well made, and is even rated as waterproof to IEC 60529 IPX8 standard; that is to 4 feet submersion. One minor criticism is that the cap, which can be clipped back onto the back of the key, has no means to secure it to the stick by a cord, so could become lost in action.

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Kingston DataTraveler Vault – Privacy Edition 16GB: Specs

  • 16GB NAND flash memory drive
  • 256-bit AES hardware encryption
  • USB 2.0 plug
  • aluminium enclosure
  • Mac and Windows compatible
  • 78x22x12mm
  • 15g
  • 16GB NAND flash memory drive
  • 256-bit AES hardware encryption
  • USB 2.0 plug
  • aluminium enclosure
  • Mac and Windows compatible
  • 78x22x12mm
  • 15g

OUR VERDICT

The Kingston DTVP is a smart and secure way to secure your data. With its good transfer rates, cross-platform support and high-grade encryption, only a very high price for the 16GB capacity version stands between it and a unequivocal recommendation.

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