Locking Down Your Data with Cipher Shield External Hard Drive Encryption

Our Test Candidate: Cipher Shield, 40 GB, 40 Bit

We tested the 2.5" version with a capacity of 40 GB out of 20 GB, 40 GB, 60 GB or 80 GB options. The company provided us with two 40 bit removable hardware keys for our review. The hard drive used here is Toshiba's MK4025GAS with 4200 rpm.

The sleek design impressed us. The casing is made out of aluminum and magnesium. Because the power supply included in the package can handle from 90 to 264 Volts, the Cipher Shield can be used worldwide, provided that you carry the necessary adaptor plug with you. And if you don't, the DC adapter is only necessary if the Cipher Shield is connected to a USB 1.1 port. The moment the Cipher Shield is connected with a USB 2.0 port, though, all the power you need is guaranteed through the interface - that's what we call mobility!

Two LEDs are located on the front side. The upper one indicates the type of USB connection that is in use and whether the external power supply is necessary or not - orange means USB 1.1, green means USB 2.0.