When most people think of securing data, they think of backups. You would be hard pressed to find an expert who wouldn’t recommend making regular backups of your hard drive’s contents, and indeed, you should. But what most people don’t consider is where all that redundant data actually goes. Sure, putting a handful of DVDs into a filing cabinet keeps them safe from the viruses, but what about bigger catastrophes?
What about a flood? What about a fire? What about theft? As soon as any of these unfortunate events strike your home, both copies of your valuable data could easily be wiped out together. Internet backup companies allow you to store your data at a different physical location, but regularly pushing gigabytes worth of data through a narrow Internet connection isn’t always practical. What’s left? A safe designed specifically for protecting your data.
SentrySafe, a well-known maker of traditional safes, has designed a specialty safe dubbed the QE5541 especially for this purpose. Like many of the company’s other offerings, it’s a fire- and water-resistant cubby to protect whatever you put into it. But quite unlike the safe in grandma’s closet, it also has room and connections for a functioning 2.5-inch hard drive that can be hooked up via USB cables, allowing users to store data in a physically secure location on the fly, without having to write it onto separate media and lock it up.
Image Courtesy of SentrySafe
The safe has a pocket on the inside of its door which is meant to accommodate the hard drive. A foot-long cable connects the drive to an internal USB jack, which is in turn connected to an external jack, that can be hooked directly to a computer. Since a conventional hard drives draw a lot of power, the external cable forks into two male USB plugs, one with the explicit purpose of supplying extra juice if it’s needed.
Besides a spot for the hard drive, the safe also has dedicated space for other data storage mediums, such as CDs and DVDs, as well as a spot big enough to hold regular A4-size paper laid flat, a key rack, and an area for small items. With the included CD tray, the safe can accommodate 72 CDs or DVDs in jewel cases. All together, the safe offers two cubic feet of storage inside.
Of course, none of it is any good unless the safe can actually stand up to the elements it’s supposed to, but SentrySafe claims a broad range of protective capabilities that have been verified by ETL, an independent testing company. The QE5541 will protect CDs, DVDs and other sensitive storage formats for two hours in fires that reach up to 1850°F, and will keep water out for up to 24 hours when submerged in eight inches of it. It will also survive a drop from 30 feet, and if its 211-pound weight isn’t enough to keep thieves from stealing it, it can be bolted to the floor. The door lock is electronic, so codes can be custom set, changed, and deleted.
The SentrySafe QE5541 certainly can’t be called a necessity for every home with a computer, but depending how much of your life you’ve poured into bits and bytes, it could be a wise investment. The safe sells for $519.99 USD, only slightly more than what a comparably sized traditional safe goes for. Find out more at their website.