Fantom DataShield Portable Drives Boast AES Encryption

The device is lightweight for portability and features military grade 256-Bit AES encryption to provide defense of data against third-party access.

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Data storage specialist Fantom Drives announced the launch of the DataShield portable data drive, which provides the option of traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) or solid state disk drives (SSDs) and features software-free setup that can be quickly installed.

The device is lightweight for portability and features military grade 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption to provide defense of data against unwarranted third-party access.

The AES is a symmetric block cipher used by the U.S. government to protect classified information and is implemented in software and hardware throughout the world to secure sensitive data.

In June 2003, the U.S. government announced that AES could be used to protect classified information, and it soon became the default encryption algorithm for protecting military data as well.

It was also the first publicly accessible and open cipher approved by the National Security Agency (NSA) for top-secret information.

"Portable devices are easily lost or stolen," Hamid Khorsandi, executive chairman of MicroNet and Fantom Drives, told eWEEK. "One of the best ways to protect data on a mobile device is to have a hardware-encrypted hard drive."

Featuring keypad entry, DataShield portable USB 3.0 external hard drives connect to a wide variety of laptop or desktop computers and provide secure storage for sensitive data.

"Due to so many reported incidents and media exposure about hackers and hacking in this digital age, the awareness about the security risk in data among the general public is high," Khorsandi said. "However, not everyone is aware of the simple and friendly solutions available that provide portable encrypted storage."

DataShield portable USB 3.0 external hard drives are available in several capacities, ranging from 500GB to 2TB.

The SSD capacities available with DataShield drives include 250GB, 500GB or 1TB and feature I/O throughput performance up to 5Gbps.

In addition, DataShield drives are compatible with all USB-capable Apple Macintosh computers running Mac OS 10.4 or newer and PC-compatible computers running Microsoft's Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10 operating systems or newer, and Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2012 platforms or newer.

"There is an enormous gap between a simple, friendly and affordable solution such as DataShield and expensive and difficult to use solutions in the data storage market at the present time," Khorsandi said. "We believe that our timing in the market provides us with a competitive advantage. Also, because Datashield has the ability to lock down data with up to 12-digit passcodes, that will make it extremely difficult to break the encryption. Longer keys strengthen the ability to secure encrypted drives, thereby improving security."

The drives are available currently through online retailers, including Ingram Micro, Amazon, TigerDirect, Newegg and others, with a starting price of $99.95.