On Wednesday, Addonics Technologies launched the Sapphire Write-Protect Drive Reader family, which currently includes two models: the 3.5/2.5-inch Sapphire Write-Protect hard drive reader and the 2.5-inch Sapphire Write-Protect hard drive/Flash reader. These readers treat hard drives, SSDs and flash media as read-only devices so that viruses don't jump off and infect your computer, and hackers can't tamper with the data.
"The interface bridge is a permanent feature and can't be disabled," the press release said. "It protects users from accidental or intentional erasing or destruction of data. Software hacking can't be used to circumvent the write protect function. Forensic investigators can quickly discover if the interface bridge was tampered with and replaced with a read/write enabled board."
The Sapphire Write-Protect 3.5/2.5-inch HDD Drive Reader supports all 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch SATA 1/2/3 drives. Meanwhile, the Sapphire Write-Protect 2.5-inch HDD/Flash Reader comes packed with a set of 2.5-inch flash drive adapters. Addonics claims that this solution is also the first on the market that supports read-only functions on the latest flash cards, which include M2, mSATA and CFast.
Essentially, the two Sapphire Write-Protect devices allow the connected media to be treated like a read-only CD or DVD disc. The options to format, delete and "other commands that alter the content, partition table or MBR of the drive" are all disabled. They can be hot-swapped like a tape drive so that users aren't required to restart the system.
As shown above, the units resemble a closed hardback book, and feature a door at one end that opens and allows the drive to easily slide in and out when needed. On the other end, the devices include an on/off switch, a power connector, a 40 mm cooling fan and a USB 3.0 port. The rugged anodized aluminum construction also helps with the cooling in addition to protecting the drive against rough handling.
For the 3.5/2.5-inch Drive Reader, the company is asking $115. However, the 2.5-inch/Flash Reader is a bit more expensive with a $179 price tag.