ioSafe SoloPro Disaster-proof External Hard Drive review:

ioSafe SoloPro Disaster-proof External Hard Drive

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+.

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)

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

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

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