If you are concerned with the data on your portable SSD getting seen by others an encrypted SSD like the ArmorLock by G-Technology might be of interest. This 2TB external NVMe SSD has high-end speeds of up to 1000 MB/s yet offers 256-bit AES-XTS hardware encryption and NIST P-256 elliptic curve-based key management!
This drives shipped to you locked with encryption enabled and goes back to a locked state each and every time it is ejected from the system it is being used on. This automatic locking feature ensures that all of the content on the drive is inaccessible.
To unlock the ArmorLock you’ll need to use a dedicated app for your smartphone that unlocks the drive over Bluetooth. This means no password is needed and you can assign multiple users to the drive. Right now the app requires macOS 10.13+ and iOS 13+ operating systems to work, but an Android app is said to be in the works.
G-Technology sent over the ArmorLock 2TB model to review that is sold under part number 0G10484-1. This is the only capacity that the ArmorLock is available in and it runs $599.99 shipped at places like Amazon.
Inside the box you’ll find a USB Type-C to Type-C cable, USB Type-C to Type-A cable, quick start guide, and finally the the drive itself.
The LaCie Rugged SSD 1TB measures 5.29″ x 3.21″ x 0.73″ and our 2TB sample tipped the scaled at 198 Grams without the cable. The enclosure feels solid and G-Technology says that it will survive a 3-meter drop, has a crush resistance of 1,000-pounds and is IP67 dust and water rated. This drive comes with a standard 5-year warranty, so it should last many years!
The front of the drive also has LED lights that go along with padlock images to show if the ArmorLock is in a locked or unlocked state. On the front and back of the AmorLock you can see the yellowish aluminum core that was deigned to dissipate heat from the NVMe SSD to minimize throttling.
On the back of the ArmorLock you’ll find the usual regulatory information, part number, serial number, capacity, place of manufacturer and so on. You’ll, also have a QR code and short code that is unique to each individual drive. The QR code is to be used with a phone camera and the short code is to be used with computers for app-to-drive pairing.
The USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type C connector is located along top edge of the Armorlock. All the power for this external drive is bus-powered, so no external power source is needed.
Along the bottom edge of the drive is the white activity/power LED light. The white LED is illuminated when the device is powered and blinks to show read/write drive activity.
Using the drive for the first time is fairly simple. You need to download the ArmorLock app and then use your phones camera to scan the WR code on the back of the drive. After accepting the EULA you can then name your phone, the ArmorLock drive and setup users for the drive. You can partition the drive using the HFS+, NTFS, or exFAT file systems. The ArmorLock app guides users through the whole setup process and it is quick and painless.
Bluetooth is required and must be enabled. You can authorize local users and they can request access to the drive by using the QR code or short code found on the back of the drive. The manager of the ArmorLock can review, modify and reject access to the drive on their app.
Here is a good video that G-Technology did that shows how content creators and professionals can benefit from the ArmorLock.
Let’s move along and see how this drive actually performs!