Seagate has second try at encryption drive

Seagate has fortified its BlackArmor line of self-encrypting hard drives, announcing an external PC unit, a revised network-attached storage (NAS), and a follow-up portable drive.

Last year's portable BlackArmor - marketed under the old Maxtor brand - was a worthy first pass, but was criticised in some quarters for sluggish performance, which gives the new BlackArmor WS 110 2.5 inch model some work to do.

The drive features a new look, taken from the FreeAgent products, but a specification that bar the higher capacities available of up to 500GB, appears to be much the same as the old USB 2.0 unit. The key will be in the internal hardware and drivers, which speed the unit's automatic encryption and decryption of data.

Performance is key here because while security is critical for a portable drive that might be lost, but not if it means slow transfers.

Desktop drive

The company has upgraded its new desktop external drive, the WS 110, which now sports an eSATA interface in addition to USB 2.0. The drive also comes with the company's SafetyDrill+ ‘bare metal' drive imaging software, which could be a useful step up from the usual cut-down backup programs that ship with such drives.


Finally, Seagate has slightly refreshed its relatively new NAS line with the NAS 220, featuring up to 4TB of capacity in a dual drive configuration, Gigabit Ethernet, RAID 1 mirroring, and the same imaging disaster recovery of the desktop model. It also works as an FTP server and print server, and comes with a 3-year guarantee which should apply across the globe.

"The BlackArmor family of products gives small businesses, those with home offices, and more advanced recreational users an easy-to-use yet robust storage solution at an affordable price point," said Seagate senior vice president, Terry Cunningham, identifying the lower end of the SME as the company's target for the drives.

All three will be available from July, with the portable PS 110 costing $159.99 (500GB), the desktop WS 110 at $159.99 (1TB), and the NAS 220 at $699.99 (4TB).

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Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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