September 01, 2003
$176 for 128Mb
- Ease of Use:
- Value for Money:
- Overall Rating:
Simplicity of concept, ease of use, portability.
A little expensive.
A good solution for portable data storage.
An ingenious little device from Meganet Corporation to enable secure portable data storage, the USB token incorporates a fingerprint biometric sensor and a simple interface of 3 LEDs to inform the user of status.
Installation is straightforward as the device is recognized by Windows 2000. After installing the VME drive utility, connecting the device and verifying your identity via the fingerprint reader enables a portable drive in Windows Explorer, to which you may add or delete files as you wish.
Files stored on the BioDrive are encrypted using Meganet's virtual matrix encryption (VME) algorithm. This is invisible to the user as files may simply be opened from the drive as with any other, but it does provide security should the device fall into the wrong hands.
This is of course also where the biometric comes in. If you are unfortunate enough to misplace your BioDrive, or have it stolen, it is highly unlikely that the casual fraudster will even be able to access it as the fingerprint biometric works well and was not fooled under test. If they somehow manage to take it apart and find a way of accessing the memory (even more unlikely), then the files are encrypted with VME, providing more protection.
For those concerned about transferring data securely between computers, the VME BioDrive thus provides an interesting solution. It is available in a range of memory capacities from 16Mb right up to 1Gb and, of course, no power source is necessary as it takes it power from the USB connection. Build quality, while not exceptional, should be more than adequate for the type of usage envisaged and the small size and light weight makes it easy to slip into the shirt pocket or handbag for those on the move.
However, pricing is such (starting at $122 retail for the 16Mb version) that it will probably appeal more to those with a real need rather than the casual buyer. The VME BioDrive is a nice product, with simple, intuitive operation and a high level of security which remains transparent to the user in everyday operations.
We can see this being an attractive proposition for users who regularly need to transport important data between locations.
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