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Kingston DataTraveler Locker (16GB) review: Kingston DataTraveler Locker (16GB)

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Kingston's 16GB DataTraveler Locker relies on software locking out a partition. We much prefer this to the common hardware encryption, which first mounts a virtual CD drive and then upon proper authentication shows the data partition. The problem with this? It's invariably Windows only, and more than once has caused some partition headaches even on the operating system of choice.

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7.5

Kingston DataTraveler Locker (16GB)

The Good

Software-based encryption means the non-encrypted partition is viewable on all operating systems, file system willing. Impressive sequential and 4K random read speeds. Five-year warranty.

The Bad

Encrypted partition is viewable under Windows only.

The Bottom Line

If you want an added bit of security and will only be using Windows machines, the DataTraveler Locker isn't a bad choice. Still, for max portability and speed, we'd be suggesting a non-secure USB 3.0 drive along with something like TrueCrypt.

The software version of Kingston's encryption works by creating an encrypted partition, meaning to create it and see it, you'll still need Windows — but at least you can leave a portion of the drive open for cross-operating-system viewing.

The way the software works is flat-out odd — run it, enter your password and it swaps out your normal partition for the encrypted one, making it appear as if it's the entire drive. There's no way to see both partitions at once.

As a USB 2.0 drive, the DataTraveler Locker isn't the speediest drive of the bunch, as shown by its CrystalDiskMark scores. Still, compared against other USB 2.0 drives as shown here, it puts in a good effort.

Sequential data (MBps)

  • Read
  • Write
  • 34.7827.21
    Corsair Flash Voyager GTR (32GB)
  • 20.4513.93
    Kingston DataTraveler Vault (32GB)
  • 35.227.56
    Kingston DataTraveler Locker (16GB)

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

512K random data (MBps)

  • Read
  • Write
  • 20.032.33
    Kingston DataTraveler Vault (32GB)
  • 34.841.69
    Corsair Flash Voyager GTR (32GB)
  • 35.160.90
    Kingston DataTraveler Locker (16GB)

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

4K random data (MBps)

  • Read
  • Write
  • 5.100.02
    Corsair Flash Voyager GTR (32GB)
  • 9.460.01
    Kingston DataTraveler Locker (16GB)
  • 4.630.01Kingston DataTraveler Vault (32GB)

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

While the 4K results are comparatively impressive, the sequential and 512K reads are capped by the USB 2.0 spec, bumping against the spec's 480Mbps limitation. It almost holds its own against Corsair's speedy Voyager GT as well, with sequential writes being its only real downfall.

If you want an added bit of security and will only be using Windows machines, the DataTraveler Locker isn't a bad choice. Still, for max portability and speed, we'd be suggesting a non-secure USB 3.0 drive along with something like TrueCrypt.