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Storage Devices Reviews
15,670 Reviews

SCM Chipdrive Secure Stick with SmartCard Office 2.5

£35 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Chipdrive

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

The SCM Chipdrive Secure Stick is a low-cost solution that can extremely effectively protect your notebook.

The SCM Chipdrive Secure Stick is a low-cost solution that can extremely effectively protect your notebook. It comprises a USB drive to hold the Masterkey SIM (which stores your pin) and SmartCard Office 2.5 software. Plug it in and enter your password, and you have access to your data. But once the stick has been removed, the data is protected immediately.

Laptops are a dream when it comes to mobility, but a nightmare for security: easily lost or stolen, there have been high-profile cases in recent years of sensitive data falling into the wrong hands.

Encrypting data is, of course, the answer, but the best solution is not simply to rely on software but combine it with a hardware device that will ensure only you can access your information.

Installation is a little tricky – the SCM Chipdrive Secure Stick is choosy about the operating systems it can work with (it doesn't support Vista, for example), and the German instructions are not entirely helpful. Once installed, however, the SCM Chipdrive Secure Stick is extremely effective. With the smartcard key installed via USB, you can prevent all access to your PC without this hardware dongle, or simply use it to encrypt certain key files.

To supplement SCM Chipdrive Secure Stick, SmartCard Office 2.5 consists of a number of applications: the Smartcard Manager is where you configure your key and create security backups, while other elements such as Password Manager and Address Book protect key personal data. It is possible to encrypt parts or the whole of a drive and, using WinLogon, the program can be configured so that a PC cannot be accessed at all without a smartcard being present. There is even an applet that allows you to make encrypted notes.

Most features of SmartCard Office can be used simply by right-clicking on a file or folder. Information such as passwords is stored on the actual smartcard itself rather than your PC, so that losing a notebook does not compromise security.

SCM Chipdrive Secure Stick with SmartCard Office 2.5 Expert Verdict »

SCR3320 smart card reader
Chipdrive Masterkey 24K
SIM-sized MasterKey
Included Smartcard Manager
Password Manager, WinLogon and Form Fill software
  • Build Quality: We give this item 6 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 9 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 9 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

Although a little tricky to set up, SCM Chipdrive Secure Stick is an excellent security combination – and, what’s more, one that is offered at a very reasonable price. To be a real killer, there should really be a Vista-compatible version, and Chipdrive should also revise some of its documentation for a UK market. Despite these criticisms it is a great solution – just as long as you don’t lose your USB key.

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