ioSafe SoloPro Disaster-proof External Hard Drive review: ioSafe SoloPro Disaster-proof External Hard Drive

Despite the large size, the SoloPro is a single-volume external hard drive. This means it doesn't support any RAID configurations (such as RAID 1, which safeguards the data against a single-drive failure). So although the data could survive extreme conditions, it might be lost if the internal hard drive dies from defects, mechanical problems, or just general wear and tear over time. Users are not able to replace the internal hard drive on their own. Once the chassis is opened, IoSafe no longer guarantees the effectiveness of the SoloPro's protection.

It's also important to note that though SoloPro's chassis will protect your data against extreme conditions, the device itself will likely stop working once submerged or put through fire. At this time, you can use a screwdriver to peel off its layers of protection to retrieve the internal hard drive inside. After that, you can use a docking station, such as the Vantec NexStar or the adapter of a Seagate GoFlex Desk, to recover the data. If you don't want to do this yourself, the SoloPro comes included with IoSafe's Data Recovery Service that will do that for you.

The drive works with both Macs and PCs and setup is easy; you just turn it on and plug it into a computer's USB port. The drive is preformatted using NTFS file system (Windows) so if you want to be able to use it with a Mac, you'll need to reformat it into HFS+.

Performance
We tested the SoloPro with both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0, and though it didn't blow us away, its performance met our expectations.

In tests with USB 3.0, the drive scored 77.1MBps and 106MBps for write and read, respectively. Both of these were average among USB 3.0-based external hard drives we've reviewed.

In USB 2.0 tests, the SoloPro was the second fastest in the write test with 28.7MBps, just a tad slower than the 29.8MBps score of the top-runner Hitachi LifeStudio. In the read test, the SoloPro scored 36.6MBps, once again among the average.

The SoloPro worked smoothly during our tests and as expected, it remained very cool. As its protective layer is so thick, we didn't know how hot the internal hard drive got, but the air blown out by the ventilation fan on the back felt rather warm. The fan, though small, is actually noisy enough to be annoying if you use the device in a quiet room.

CNET Labs USB 3.0 external hard drive performance scores (in MBps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Read  
Write  

CNET Labs USB 2.0 external hard drive performance scores (in MBps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Read  
Write  

Service and support
IoSafe backs the SoloPro with a one-year warranty that includes the company's Data Recovery Service, which takes care of trying to get the data back for you should disaster strike or if the drive stops working for any reason. In case the hard drive is so badly damaged that expensive forensic recovery service is required, the warranty will cover up to $2,500 of the cost. Customers can upgrade to a three- or five-year warranty for $50 and $100, respectively.

Other than that, you probably won't need much support for the drive. Nonetheless, the company's toll-free technical phone support can be reached from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST, Monday through Friday. At the company's Web site, you'll find FAQs, downloads, user guides, and other support-related materials.

What you'll pay

Pricing is currently unavailable.

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Where to Buy

IoSafe SoloPro (2TB, USB 3.0, 1 Year Warranty)

Part Number: SJ2000GB1YR

MSRP: $419.00

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Form Factor 3.5"
  • Capacity 2 TB
  • Hard Drive Type external hard drive
  • Interface Type SuperSpeed USB 3.0