Rocstor Amphibious portable drive: You can't overdo data security

Rocstor introduced at CES 2012 the first portable hard drive that comes with more data security features that one can imagine.

The Rocstor Amphibious is the first portable storage device that comes with both a keypad and smart-cart slot for authentication.
The Rocstor Amphibious is the first portable storage device that comes with both a keypad and smart-cart slot for authentication. Rocstor

LAS VEGAS--Add a retina scanner and you'd believe you're reading about a gadget for "Mission Impossible 5."

Rocstor announced at CES 2012 what it considers the world's most secure yet user-friendly storage device: the Amphibious.

The Rocstor Amphibious drive comes with two FireWire 800 ports and one USB 2.0 port. It doesn't support USB 3.0, unfortunately.
The Rocstor Amphibious drive comes with two FireWire 800 ports and one USB 2.0 port. It doesn't support USB 3.0, unfortunately. Rocstor

This is a superrugged portable external drive, and is made out of aircraft grade aluminum alloy. Yet it's still compact and bus-powered, meaning you won't have to carry a separate power adapter with it. And all that is still the least interesting thing about the drive.

What makes it really special and unique is its long list of  built-in data encryption features. Most of these are above the technical level we, consumers, can understand, but I will list them here, anyway. They include:

  • Advanced Encryption Standard Algorithm (AES)-256 bit key strength
  • Real-time encryption (virtually zero time in encrypting and decrypting the data)
  • Military grade hardware encryption (as opposed to software imbedded in a chip)
  • CBC modes
  • Smartcard and password-protected
  • The cryptographic engine is NIST- and CSE- certified hardware AES algorithm.
  • FIPS 140-2 Cryptographic Module validated

Now note that most portable drives on the market don't support even one of the encryption methods above. A few others I've reviewed support just the AES-256 bit encryption method and already are able to be called very secure. For the record, the Amphibious is the first portable drive I've known that comes with a built-in smartcard slot and a built-in keypad for authentication.

Despite the long list of security features, the Amphibious manages to remain compact, about the size of any regular portable drive.
Despite the long list of security features, the Amphibious manages to remain compact, about the size of any regular portable drive. Rocstor

Rocstor says that all of these encryption methods are integrated on the drive's enclosure itself, meaning you can use any 2.5-inch SATA hard drive or solid-state drive (SSD) with the Amphibious and can be assured that the information is secure. When the internal drive is taken out of the Amphibious enclosure, information on it can't be accessed by any other device or computer.

Capacity-wise, the new drives come with up to 1TB, which is of either a traditional internal 2.5-inch hard drive or a solid-state drive. Rocstor says that users can also easily swap out its internal drive with one of their liking, or get just the enclosure and add a hard drive/SSD later. The drive supports USB 2.0 and FireWire 800 connection types. It works with both Windows and Macs.

I am not sure to whom I should recommend the new drive, but it's likely that the Amphibious appeals more to Mac users since it lacks USB 3.0 and comes with a hefty price tag of around $350 for just the enclosure itself (no storage included).

The new supersecure Amphibious portable drive will be available for purchase during the first quarter of 2012.

 

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