Encryption is becoming a bigger factor for more and more people these days, even more so with each hacking scandal and spying activity that makes the news. With that in mind, it is a pleasure to take a closer look at the Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G3 with hardware encryption.
The normal sized flash drive doesn’t just come with hardware encryption by user-defined password, it also locks the drive down and reformats it after 10 failed login attempts. It is interchangeable between Windows and Mac OS, which is another great thing to see and something that isn’t always a reality on encrypted drives.
The DataTraveler Locker+ G3 also comes with the free USBtoCloud by ClevX, a backup solution that automatically backups your data on the thumbs drive to the cloud storage of your choice. At the time of writing, it works with Google Drive, OneDrive, Amazon S3, Dropbox, and Box; so you’ll still have a secure backup at all times, even in the event of a lost or stolen drive.
Of course, we don’t just want to secure our files, we also want speedy transfers. The DataTraveler Locker+ G3 will naturally be slower than an ordinary drive in this category simply due to the encryption. It still promises great USB 3.0 speeds up to 135MB/s reading and 40M/s writing; not bad for a 32GB drive, especially not for an encrypted drive.
The drive is as easy to set up and use as a normal flash drive. Upon first insertion you’ll run the application stored on the flash drive to configure it and afterwards it’s like using a normal drive – with the exception that you’ll need to enter your password before you can use it.
The durable metal casing with key loop further keeps your data safe from physical damage. It is robust, light and good looking at the same time. Companies can also get the drive Customised with logo and/or digital files preloaded.
Due to the way the drive works, with a read-only partition for the security software, the drive requires two available drive letters on your system. Not something that should be an issue for most, but still a thing to consider.
Kingston backs the DataTraveler Locker+ G3 with a five-year warranty and free technical support.
- Gigabyte Z79X UD5H-BK
- Intel Core i7-4790K
- Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB 2400MHz
- OCZ Vertex 4 256GB SSD
- CoolerMaster Silent Hybrid 850W PSU
We would like to thank our sponsors for providing us with the test equipment to perform these tests.
To allow for the fairest testing possible, I will be using as many different software applications as possible to test each drive. This ensures the most accurate results and increases the chance that it can help you making just the right drive decision.
- Anvil’s Storage Utilities
- AS SSD Benchmark
- ATTO Disk Benchmark
Some of these application will put quite a strain on a flash drive, it simply isn’t designed for the same workload as an SSD. I still like to include all tests in my reviews as they paint a great picture of how a drive will perform when you tax it to the max.
AIDA64 is a streamlined Windows diagnostic and benchmarking software for home users. It provides a wide range of features to assist in overclocking, hardware error diagnosis, stress testing, and sensor monitoring.
It has unique capabilities to assess the performance of the processor, system memory, and disk drives and is compatible with most Microsoft Windows operating systems. It also has a disk benchmark tool, and that is the one we’ll be using.
Average Read Access:
We see a slight upwards curve on the access times as the drive fills up. This is a usual thing to see on thumb drives and the Kingston Curve isn’t steep at all. A great result, especially since this is an encrypted drive.
Anvil’s Storage Utilities
Anvil’s Storage Utilities is a new benchmarking utility that we have started using here at eTeknix, it’s completely free to download and has the ability to test mainly hard drives and solid state drives, but also any other form of storage medium that you can throw at it.
Anvil’s Storage Utilities shows a straight performance without a single drop.
The Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G3 ranks in as the fastest thumbs drive tested in Anvil’s Storage Benchmark. The write scores are great for a flash drive of this capacity.
The ATTO Disk Benchmark performance measurement tool is compatible with Microsoft Windows. Measure your storage systems performance with various transfer sizes and test lengths for reads and writes. Several options are available to customize your performance measurement including queue depth, overlapped I/O and even a comparison mode with the option to run continuously. Use ATTO Disk Benchmark to test any manufacturers RAID controllers, storage controllers, host adapters, hard drives and SSD drives and notice that ATTO products will consistently provide the highest level of performance to your storage.
As previously mentioned, my tests put a strain on the drive performance and the result is seen clearly in the ATTO results. Around 48 MB/s write score is a very good end result for a drive like this.
ATTO shows a similar story for the Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G3 with read scores up to 159MB/s and write scores up to 95MB/s, placing itself as the fastest USB 3 flash drives I’ve tested.
CrystalDiskMark is a small HDD benchmark utility for your hard drive that enables you to rapidly measure sequential and random 4KB/512KB read/write speeds.
The Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G3 will mount as a DVD drive when you plug the drive into your system. This write protected partition includes the software to unlock the drive as well as managing the automatic cloud backup. This is also the reason the drive needs two available drive labels. Launch the application or accepting the auto-run, will allow the guided setup to start. Choose your language, accept the license agreement and define your own password, password hint, name, and company name; that’s all you need to do to get it up and running.
The wizard will format the drive at the end of the setup and it is now ready to use.
Plugging in a drive will later on prompt you with the window below, asking you to enter your password in order to unlock it.
The second part of the included software is the USB to Cloud by ClevX. It allows you to automatic backup your flash drive content to the cloud and this way to keep it safe in case of damage or theft.
You can select what cloud service you want to use and the application will sort the rest.
The settings panel allows you to change all the settings at a later time, so nothing to worry about in that direction. It can also keep itself updated as well as format your drive.
The Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G3 isn’t the cheapest drive you can find, but you also get something out of the ordinary. It still isn’t expensive either and you can pick one up for £23.32 through Amazon or £21.98 through Scan UK. US-based readers can find it at NewEgg for $33.99 or Amazon for $32.95 while German readers can find it starting at €30.69.
Kingston has created a great little drive with their DataTraveler Locker+ G3. The 32GB version that I’ve tested today performed better than advertised; a thing I always like to see. With reading speeds getting very close to 160MB/s and write speeds around the 95MB/s marker, the Locker+ G3 sets a new baseline for encrypted pocket storage.
The promised ease of use was also given from start to end. A couple of additional steps are needed to initialize the drive the first time, but after that it will work just as easy as any other drive – just with the added password protection.
While the drive automatically destroys the content on 10 failed login attempt, your data isn’t lost to you – even when stolen. The added automatic cloud sync works like a charm and keeps a secure backup of your files in the cloud at all times. This, of course, requires an active internet connection.
The drive itself is well protected from physical damage through the robust metal casing while also giving it a sleek and great appearance.
- USB 3 connection with up to 150MB/s transfer speeds
- Hardware Encryption
- Automatic Cloud Backup
- No Linux support
“The Kingston DataTraveler is a great drive to keep your valuable data secure from both physical damage as well as data theft. You’ll get a fast and hardware encrypted storage that fits right into your pocket.”
Thanks to Kingston for providing us with this review sample.