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Group test: four flash drives reviewed

Keep your data safe on the move

Storing sensitive data on portable drives can be a risky business. But some USB flash drives come with powerful security features to protect your sensitive information. We've tested four drives to suit varying budgets.

If you're frequently on the move, you'll often have had cause to carry valuable data with you. You could store and carry your files on a laptop or smartphone but, if you need absolute portability, what better solution is there than a compact flash drive? The main problem with such a solution, of course, is that it can be easily lost or stolen.

What you need, then, is a portable drive with powerful security features to protect your data from prying eyes. Several flash drives come with security features such as encryption, password- and fingerprint-protection. Here, we've looked at four such drives: Kingston's DataTraveler BlackBox and DataTraveler Vault Privacy, Transcend's JetFlash 220 and Sandisk's Extreme Cruzer Contour.

We focused mainly on security for the purposes of this group test, checking what features are offered and how good the security mechanism within each drive is. Speed and performance tests were also carried out using synthetic and real-world tests. For the synthetic test, we used Lavalys software's Everest Benchmark tool; the real-world test saw a 1.7GB ISO image and 1.65GB folder containing 210 test files transferred to each drive.

Click on the links below to read our individual reviews:

Kingston DataTraveler BlackBox

Kingston DataTraveler Vault Privacy

Sandisk Extreme Cruzer Contour

Transcend JetFlash 220

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