• Lexar JumpDrive SAFE S3000 FIPS Review

Hey folks, Valkor here back with another nugget from the folks at Lexar. And this one is all about security, we're talkin documents, photos, digital properties of the utmost importance in need of a house stronger than the pigs house of bricks - the untold cousin who made his house of titanium steel. I give you Lexar's Safe S3000 FIPS. If you're military, government official, or just some nerd who wants to hide his only copy of Princess Leia nipslip from wanting eyes, then this flashdrive is your calling.

Lexar JumpDrive SAFE S3000 FIPS

I just want to point out that I've never owned or felt the need to own such a drive before. But now that it's in the Val-Cave, I'm overwhelmed to say the least. Alacran got to test-drive Kingston's DataTraveler Locker+, which didn't score extremely high, but offered an extreme level of protection. And now I've been put to the task of giving Lexar's secure baby a run… and I'm pretty stoked about it.

At the offset the S3000 is noticeably heavy! I mean I have never, ever owned a jumpdrive with some weight to it. But given the high level of security, it's understandable. The drive is encased in metal that supposed to be waterproof, which should protect it from immediate drops in water, not serious immersions. You can bang it, drop it, toss it against the wall, your data is safe. And I'll admit trying to detail the security features of this drive is beyond my skill, I'll just quote the website:

The Lexar JumpDrive SAFE S3000 FIPS utilizes a smart card—the standard in today's financial and mobile industries—to provide tamper-resistant storage, isolation of all security-critical computations, and strong authentication through a stringent PKI-based challenge-response process. The smart card securely generates and stores the cryptographic key used to encrypt and decrypt data. Its mandatory password authentication process blocks access to the Lexar JumpDrive SAFE S3000 after a set number of password attempts is exceeded, which forms a key part of the defense against brute-force password guessing attacks. Once you plug in the drive, if you want to use the security features, you have to install the software and set the password and security question, which takes only a minute. After that you can start loading up. I tested the drive with two file sizes – one 700 MB and a 1.5GB to test transfer speed. Writing to the disc the 1.4GB flew at 1:22 and the 700MB hit the mark at 40s. Reading the files off the disc back to the PC, the 1.4GB took 50s, while the 700MB took approximately 25s, which is faster than the Apogee drive, which is a drive meant for speed.

Lexar JumpDrive SAFE S3000 FIPS

Afterwards I took the drive to another comp and heading straight for the folder option, I didn't see the files I wanted to access. Clicking on the JumpDrive S3000 file, I got the password prompt and entering the correct phrase I was able to access my files. Finally you get three levels of storage – 2, 4, and 8GB. (I was able to play with the 8). So what do I think of the S3000?

The Bang:

Speed and reliability? Really, really? Really, really! This will be the drive of choice from now on. The fact that no matter what bumps, drops (wet or dry), or attacks that's put onto this drive, I feel secure enough to know that it will survive whatever's tossed its way. I love the added security of having a password protection, because I tend to leave my flashdrives lying about, without thinking that anything could happen. I've been lucky thus far, but I won't need it with the S3000 at my side, because no one's getting at my digital data.

Lexar JumpDrive SAFE S3000 FIPS

The Slack:

After maybe an hour or so in use, the drive became extremely hot. Definitely unplug it when your done.

Speed, security, reliability, and endurance are words I'd use to best describe Lexar's SAFE S3000 FIPS JumpDrive. It's a take your data with you anywhere and have no worries kinda drive and I highly recommend it to any and all looking to keep their important data safe. And out of TOV 5 stars, definitely can't deny it, it's a 5 for me. And it's been Valkor tested, TOV Approved.