A small safe for your virtual files.
Nowadays, one of the biggest concerns people have when transporting their data is security. Well, not everybody is carrying military grade sensitive data that needs an extraordinary amount of security, so SanDisk has come up with a simple solution with their Cruzer USB flash drives.
The Cruzer itself looks like a standard flash drive, with a slide out USB head and a pulsating red LED inside the slide button. The LED flashes continuously when transferring files. The body itself is plastic, and I doubt it’ll survive any serious damage.
The goodies on the Cruzer come on the inside, with the encryption software. Inserting the Cruzer, the USB will be recognized as a regular flash drive. Inside you can transfer any file, but the encryption bit comes from the SanDisk Secure Access software.
Installing the software on your PC takes a couple of seconds, after which the ‘vault’ opens up. This is the point where you setup your alphanumeric password, and that’s it. A desktop widget opens up (which can be hidden) where you can drag any file from your PC and drop it in there. The file is encrypted as its being transferred, and that’s it. Instant 128-bit AES security.
So what happens on the Cruzer itself is that a new folder called ‘My Vault’ is created, where all the encrypted files are stored. Interestingly, the file size remains the same, and you can still see the encrypted files, even deleted! However, nothing can open up those files except logging in to the Secure Access software again. You can even create a YuuWaa account to get 2GB of free online storage, creating a cloud backup of your file. Although these aren’t encrypted.
The ease of use is incredible, files can be dragged and dropped directly into the folder (that opens up with Secure Access) or just the vault widget on the desktop. Sadly, to edit these files, you’ll have to copy them onto the PC and then save them back again. And this reminder pops up every time you try to open a file.
In one instance I simply opened an Excel file directly from the vault software, however after editing it I could save it anywhere, even the USB itself, but I have to manually transfer the edited file back through Secure Access.
In case you (or someone else) actually format the Cruzer, you can always download the software again from SanDisk.
The SanDisk Cruzer is a good USB drive for providing decent security. The online 2GB cloud storage isn’t bad either. Transfer rates remained 32Mbps for read and 3Mbps for write speeds. The build quality isn’t the best in the world, but it gets the job done nicely. At AED 42 for the 8GB and AED 77 for the 16GB version, the SanDisk Cruzer is an adequate storage solution if you want decent level of hardware
encryption. [UPDATE: The encryption is completely software based using the YuuWaa Secure Access encryption application.]