External storage, network-attached storage (NAS) and networking solutions specialist Buffalo Americas has announced the availability of its MiniStation Extreme NFC portable hard drive.
The ruggedized drive, which adheres to U.S. Military Standard shock protection and is safeguarded against water and dust damage, also features advanced hardware encryption and near-field communication (NFC) technology to block unauthorized access.
When accidentally bumped or dropped from up to 4 feet, the MiniStation absorbs and transfers the resulting shock away from the hard drive, and it adheres to the IPX3 standard for resistance against water and the IP5X standard for protection against dust.
"Other rugged hard drives on the market don't strike a balance between design and functionality," Mary Blackowiak, marketing manager at Buffalo Americas, told eWEEK. "Many available hard drives focus on a specific aspect of ruggedization such as water resistance and go above and beyond the requirements of that standard. However, when resources are concentrated on one feature, the rest of the product can suffer."
When Buffalo was developing the MiniStation Extreme NFC, it saw a need for a rugged hard drive that not only protected against environmental damage such as shock, dust and water, but also supported extreme data protection, Blackowiak said.
"Knowing our design and rugged goals from the beginning, we were able to balance our resources to develop a complete solution in a single form factor," she said.
The drive's NFC technology allows users to unlock files using the included smart card without having to remember a password.
This capability also protects data from being accessed by an unauthorized user, and users can securely ship information by sending the hard drive and smart card separately, so the data is protected even if the hard drive is lost or stolen.
The MiniStation also offers support for the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface and is backward-compatible with USB 2.0. The integrated flex connect USB cable wraps around the chassis to make sure it doesn't get misplaced or lost.
"Companies that manage and distribute sensitive files or those that need to transport data in unpredictable environmental conditions would find the MiniStation," Blackowiak said. "This includes legal, financial and health care-related companies that deal with private client information as well as entertainment studios that send original work that is often targeted for content piracy."
Additional industries that have a need for rugged data protection include outdoor photography, transportation, emergency services and the military, she added.
The hard drive is available at a suggested price of $129.99 for the 1TB model and $199.99 for the 2TB model, and contains a limited three-year warranty, including toll-free 24/7 U.S.-based technical support.