Published on October 26th, 2013 | by Greg0
Apricorn Aegis Bio 3.0 USB Hard Drive: Storage At Your Fingers
Fingerprint scanners have come racing back into vogue. For a period of time at the end of the 20th century, it seemed like they were going to be everywhere- security at a swipe. But voiceprint security, retinal scanning, and even more obscure methods seemed to grow in popularity before largely fading, with pop culture references like “My voice is my passport” still decades later being largely ignored for the good old PIN or password for most people and places.
But between the technology in the new iPhone 5S, and the requirement for US Customs to have fingerprints on record, it’s easy to see that they are here to stay. Chalk another win for the humble fingerprint with the Aegis Bio 3.0, a new secure external hard drive from Apricorn. Available in several models from 500GB on up, ours was the largest current 1.5TB model. As you might expect from the name, the drive is USB 3.0 compatible, which means far faster transfer speeds than older USB 2.0 models, about 50 MB/s in our sustained read test and a bit slower during write tests.
We’ve previously tested Apricorn’s secure gear- their Padlock drive featured a nifty built-in number pad for personal PIN security. The two look and feel similar in a few ways, both good and bad. For instance, the security is transparent and data is completely encrypted, all handled in the hardware, which means that the drive can work across any OS easily. Neither requires any external power, allowing them to be totally portable. And they both include a nice integrated cable, which attaches nicely to the case for storage- it’s short, but an extension is included, which is even nicer. One small downside is the lack of any utilities; many external hard disks come with a few tools for simple backup of your computer or disk management but that’s not the case here. Most people won’t miss them, especially considering the folks likely to use a drive like this, but especially for a fingerprint reader there might have been some useful utilities that could have made use of the tech.
Of course, it might have been nice to include an SSD (solid state drive), but it likely would have added to the cost, which already isn’t cheap. It’s competitive though, since there simply aren’t that many options like it on the market. Available online and in stores now, the model as tested runs around $329, but smaller capacities can be found for around $190.