It has become standard practice for users to back their data up to portable drives since they have become available and the price has become reasonably affordable. The one point that has made them a risky since the beginning is there is no security unless the user implements their own security with some sort of encryption software. Windows 7 does have bit locker available, but it only comes with the Ultimate and Enterprise editions of Windows 7 which majority of users do not own. WiebeTech a brand of CRU DataPort has released a product that is unlike any portable drive we have reviewed previously. The mini-Q is a 2.5″ portable drive which has encryption built-in and uses a mini USB dongle to active the access to the drive. Let us take a look at how this works.
The package we received from WiebeTech consisted of a mini-Q drive which contains a 750GB hard drive, three security dongles with lanyards, eSATA cable, USB cable, FireWire cables, power adapter and backup software. The contents seemed a little overwhelming but rest assured that you will not need all these cables all the time.
Lots of places won’t allow portable drives of any sort (including cell phones) on the premises, especially encrypted ones, and the dongle will freak out the security people who will believe it is another portable device. Of course, people who work at these institutions (such as military facilities and government contractors) already know these devices can get them fired and their security clearance revoked.
Good point, so it would be in the consumer’s best interest to check with their employer if such a device is allowed. This is not an answer to every company’s problems, but it can be used in some places. Likely this type of device would be approved by the owner of a company to manage their off-site backups. Another idea would be the data security group at company may use the mini-Q to transport their data. Since it would be the “freaked out” security group who owns the device, there shouldn’t be security issues there.