For some folks, keeping data away from prying eyes isn’t just a consummation devoutly to be wish’d, it’s an outright business necessity, particularly for folks who work with confidential data under NDA or who don’t want their personal or financial information wandering the Internet if a hard drive should be stolen. Peripheral and accessory maker La Cie is looking to address that market with its Rugged Safe external hard drive: in addition to yet another fetching design from Neil Poulton, the unit features biometric authentication that can enable up to 10 users to access the drive, plus data protection via 128-bit AES hardware encryption: your information is never written to disk in unencrypted form.
“The LaCie Rugged Safe was developed to enable professional or private users to protect their valuable data and intellectual property from theft and unauthorized access,” said LaCie Business Unit manager Erwan Girard, in a statement. “We’ve synthesized a range of technologies to ensure this device is the safest and most mobile storage solution—a real vault for your data.”
The Rugged Safe external hard drive is bus powered (no external power brick) features USB 2.0 and FireWire 800 interfaces and can be used with Windows XP/Vista/7 as well as Mac OS X 10.5 or newer. It features a shockproof design to cope with the bumps and jolts of the road, but also features biometric authentication using a fingerprint scanner: once configured, users just have to swipe their finger over the scanner to get access to data on the drive. The system supports up to 10 authenticated users. And the authentication is plug-and-play: users don’t need to install software on a host computer to access data. On the disk itself, the unit uses 128-bit AES encryption to protect data, so even if someone swipes the drive, disassembles it, and tries to read your secrets off the platters…all they’d get is gobbledegook.
The Rugged Safe external hard drives are available now through LaCie’s online store, with a 500 GB version going for $189.99 and a 1 TB version going for $299.