Review: PicoDisk Crypto

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The thing about carrying data on a small plug-and-play device is that the majority of them are not secure. But, if it comes from the Chrison stable of products, you can be pretty sure it will be.

The thing about carrying data on a small plug-and-play device is that the majority of them are not secure. But, if it comes from the Chrison stable of products, you can be pretty sure it will be.

The PicoDisk Crypto is a small storage device with cryptography at its disposal. Capable of storing 64Mb of data, it comes in other sizes to offer storage capacity from 8-512MB.

Unbelievably small, it measures 60mm x 17mm x 7mm in the smaller storage range. Again it purports to be rewritable up to one million times and will retain data uncorrupted for ten years.

Providing PIN protection for access to the stored data, this little gem uses AES, 128-bit key length, on-the-fly encryption so that you can't simply forget to protect it. As with their other storage media solutions for users of Windows 98/SE a floppy disk is included with the relevant drivers.

Later operating systems will recognize the solution automatically, making it a truly plug-and-play experience.

The floppy disk surprised us, because we rarely see these any more, and many computers are no longer fitted with a floppy drive as standard, but it is aimed at those with older operating systems. When first used, the PicoDisk Crypto is prompted to move the mouse to generate a key.

Then a PIN must be selected and a personal unblocking key (PUK) is provided for safe keeping, similar to a mobile phone, so the user can't forget their PIN and lock themself out, and their data in, for posterity. For access without a PIN or to reprogram it, the PUK will gives privileged access.

One word of caution - don't forget it, write it down by all means, but put it in a secure place. Your data's security relies on it.

Now all that is left is for the formatting to take place before it is ready for use. And, of course, if using an older system like Windows 98, the driver will have to be installed.

The documentation is presented in a small booklet, is well written and presented, easy to follow and refreshingly concise.

The PicoDisk Crypto is well made and fairly resistant, with a clip-on cover to protect the USB connection it can also be added to a key ring.

For:

Small, easy to install and secure data protection.


Against:

We didn't like the floppy disk for the driver installation (Developer says this is now a CD as standard).


Verdict:

Small enough to carry on a key ring, this compact storage device has on-the-fly encryption to protect your data and a PUK number to get you out of a sticky problem should you forget your PIN

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