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Storage Devices Reviews
15,669 Reviews

LaCie Rugged Key review

16GB - £34.99; 32GB - £54.99

Manufacturer: LaCie

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

When the going gets tough – LaCie has the (storage) answer! Read our review to find out more.

Cloud storage services such as Dropbox – and, of course, Apple’s own iCloud – make it easy to store your important files online and gain access to them from multiple devices. However, there are times when you may not be within easy reach of a wifi network or Ethernet cable, and you need to fall back on a good old-fashioned hard disk or memory stick to back-up your files.

LaCie’s new Rugged Key is specifically designed for laptop users who need strong, reliable protection for their files when they’re out and about. We tested the 16GB version, which costs £34.99 but there’s also a 32GB version available for £54.99. See all USB drive review.

LaCie Rugged Key review

The Rugged Key actually comes in two parts. The memory stick itself is made out of aluminium and is sturdy enough that you could carry it around on its own without really worrying about it getting damaged. However, if you’re planning on hiking up Ben Nevis with your MacBook Air then you can quickly slip the Rugged Key into the chunky rubber sleeve that is included in order to provide extra protection. See also iStorage datAshur 8GB review.

LaCie Rugged KeyLaCie says that this sleeve can survive drops of up to 100m, and is heat-, cold-, dust- and water-resistant as well. There’s some additional digital protection too, as the Rugged Key includes LaCie’s Private-Public software that allows you to set up password protection and 256-bit encryption for your files. You also get a year’s subscription to the Wuala online back-up service that gives you 16GB of online storage – enough to back-up the entire contents of the Rugged Key when you get back home.

The Rugged Key has a USB 3 interface, so you can use it with the latest MacBook models that have USB 3. We got a snappy speed of about 650Mbps when backing up a 5GB batch of test files – not the fastest we’ve seen from a USB 3 device, but still around the average. And, of course, it will be compatible with USB 2 on older Macs as well.

LaCie Rugged Key Expert Verdict »

USB 3.0
650 Mbps
256-bit encryption
Available in 16GB or 32GB
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

The Rugged Key is a lot more expensive than an ordinary memory stick, but it could be a good investment for people who regularly work outdoors with their laptop and need extra protection for their important work files. Its encryption option also provides another layer of security in case the Rugged Key gets lost or stolen.

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