If you're looking for software-less secure flash storage, then the Lok-It USB thumb drive is your product.

The Lok-It drive is secured by entering a PIN via a numeric keypad on the top of the drive, with no software involved at any level. This means the drive works with all operating systems and isn't vulnerable to code hacking and key logging.

It also means that workplaces that don't allow executable files that run on drives that will be plugged into their PCs can rest easy. Even Imation's award-winning Defender F200 Biometric flash drive uses a CD-emulating boot partition to load its configuration software.

Lok-It costs $69 for 4GB, $94 for 8GB, and $155 for 16GB, as of the publication date. It's not currently sold via any UK resellers, so you have to buy it direct from Lok-It at $US prices.

The Lok-It's keypad is necessarily small. However, the drive has a tiny battery on board so you can enter the PIN while holding it in your hand, then plug it into the PC within 30 seconds. I have a similar device from Corsair that is three years old and the battery still works, albeit after extremely light usage. Regardless, the device will always work when plugged in.

The only drawback that I can see with the Lok-it is that the tiny numeric keypad might encourage overly weak passwords. Do yourself a favour and convert a password to numbers, then use that. Don't bother with birthdays, phone numbers, and so forth, which are virtually useless in terms of security. The Lok-it will reset and erase all data after 10 failed attempts.

Since this review's original publication date, the Lok-It has been submitted for certification with the US government's FIPS 140-2 standards, and the drive uses FIPS approved AES 256.

The Lok-It drive is also built to be durable, shock-resistant, and waterproof to one meter's depth.

Next: Our expert verdict >>

See also:

Lok-It: Specs

  • 4GB/8GB/16GB USB hard drive
  • Hardware Authentication by PIN code
  • platform independent
  • full-disk 256-bit AES hardware encryption
  • Anodized aluminum shell
  • Dust resistant and waterproof
  • Epoxy potting prevents physical tampering
  • 4GB/8GB/16GB USB hard drive
  • Hardware Authentication by PIN code
  • platform independent
  • full-disk 256-bit AES hardware encryption
  • Anodized aluminum shell
  • Dust resistant and waterproof
  • Epoxy potting prevents physical tampering

OUR VERDICT

All-in-all, the Lok-It is a great, secure pocket drive, and more affordable than the aforementioned Imation Defender F200. AES 256-bit hardware encryption and keypad PIN entry nix software vulnerabilities with this secure flash drive.

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