A sleek and secure USB drive, the DataTraveler's integrated keypad and top-of-the-line encryption make it a wise choice for businesses and individuals looking to keep sensitive data safe.
Military-grade encryption, brute force protection, well-built, easy to use
Expensive, middling transfer speeds
Size: 16GB, 32GB
Encryption: 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard
Keypad: 10-key alphanumerical
Compatible with: Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, OS X 10.8 and later, Linux 2.6 and later, Chrome OS and Android
The Consumer Electronics Show puts technology's weirdest and cleverest creations front and centre, and it was therefore fitting that Kingston chose this year's show to reveal the DataTraveler 2000, an eye-catching encrypted USB drive that can be PIN-protected using the onboard keypad.
There's just one problem: this is not a particularly new or innovative device. It's effectively a re-release of the iStorage datAshur, sharing everything from the underlying ClevX DataLock platform to the keypad typeface and, well, iStorage brand.
Still, the concept is sound, and whether it works as a secure storage device is more important than the new coat of paint. We've been finding out.
The integrated, alphanumeric keypad is powered by an internal battery that recharges whenever the stick is plugged in. The keys are small, and those without the tiniest fingers will need to exercise caution, but they also require a surprising amount of force to depress, preventing the likelihood of accidental inputs.
Ease of use is pretty good as well. Labelled red and green LEDs make it idiot-proof in terms of determining whether the drive is locked or unlocked, and the PIN can be entered before actually plugging it in, so there's no need to fiddle around with the code while hunched over the back of a PC or craning around the side of a laptop. It automatically locks itself on being removed.
Starting at about £85 for the 16GB model, this is several orders of magnitude more expensive than a basic stick, but in addition to all the security features, build quality is also a step up. The DataTraveler 2000 is built from tough matte metal and plastics, with a wrapped wire loop for keychain attachment.
It's also thinner than we expected for something with so many added extras, measuring 78x18x8mm, although it is quite long. Anyone who, say, uses a mouse with their laptop might not appreciate how far the drive sticks out.
A sturdy aluminium cover is also included to protect the keypad from accidental (and potentially ruinous, as we'll explain later) presses while knocking around in a bag or pocket. The cover also features a rubber cap that allows the device to meet the IP57 certification. This means it's resistant to dust and able to survive short-term submersion in shallow water.
Next: Setup, security and features