TechGadgetsReview: Kingston IronKey Vault Privacy 50 Series

Review: Kingston IronKey Vault Privacy 50 Series


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Here is our review of the Kingston IronKey Vault Privacy 50 Series.

Kingston IronKey Vault Privacy 50 series are premium USB Type-A and USB Type-C drives that provide enterprise-grade security with FIPS 197 certified AES 256-bit hardware-encryption in XTS mode, including safeguards against BadUSB with digitally-signed firmware and against brute force password attacks. VP50 has been penetration tested (pen tested) for enterprise-grade security. Because it provides encrypted storage under the user’s physical control, the VP50 series is superior to using the internet and cloud services to safeguard data.

Vault Privacy 50 supports multi-password options (Admin, User and One-Time Recovery) with Complex or Passphrase modes. This enhances the ability to recover access to the data if one of the passwords is forgotten. Traditional Complex mode allows for passwords from 6-16 characters using 3 out of 4 character sets. The new Passphrase mode allows for a numeric PIN, sentence, list of words or even lyrics from 10 to 64 characters long. Admin can enable a User and a One-Time Recovery password, or reset the User password to restore data access. To aid in password entry, the “eye” symbol can be enabled to reveal the typed-in password, reducing typos that lead to failed login attempts. Brute force attack protection locks out User or One-Time Recovery passwords if 10 invalid passwords are entered in a row, and crypto-erases the drive if the Admin password is entered incorrectly 10 times in a row.

To protect against potential malware on untrusted systems, both Admin and User can set Read-Only mode to write-protect the drive; additionally, the built-in virtual keyboard shields passwords from keyloggers or screenloggers.

What’s in the box?

The box contains the IronKey and a carry clip.

A Closer Look

Final Thoughts

The IronKey is small and lightweight and really easy to carry around in your pocket. The great thing of having an encrypted drive is that if you were to lose it, or it was stolen, your data should be safe and secure.

The IronKey works with either Windows or Mac and contains everything it needs to run on the drive itself. Just connect the IronKey to your computer, run the relevant application (Windows or Mac) and the first time you use it you will need to go through the Device Initialisation steps which are really straightforward and only take a few minutes. This includes creating a complex password or passphrase.

And thats it!

When you then connect the IronKey to a computer to use it you have to run the IronKey application (either Windows or Mac), then enter the password or passphrase in order to access the contents. You will also be asked if you want to use the IronKey in read only mode which is safer if you are using an untrusted computer and you just want to access your files.

If you are worried about keyboard loggers recording your password when you type it, there is a virtual keyboard option you can click on which enables you to enter your password using a mouse so nothing is actually typed.

You can even chose to reset the IronKey if you need to from here if you need to, or if you want to securely erase the IronKey and give it to someone else.

If you have a need to keep your private files private, then look no further than the Kingston IronKey Vault Privacy 50 Series!

The Kingston IronKey Vault Privacy 50 Series is available now in sizes ranging from 8GB to 256GB, with prices starting at around £44.40 going up to around £190.08 and and they are available in either USB-A or USB-C. This review was for the 32GB USB-A version, priced around £78.24.

You can learn more from the Kingston website.

Andrew Edney
Andrew Edney
I am the owner and editor of this site. I have been interested in gadgets and tech since I was a little kid. I have also written a number of books on various tech subjects. I also blog for The Huffington Post and for FHM. And I am honoured to be a Microsoft MVP since January 2008 - again this year as an Xbox MVP.

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