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Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G2

Encrypted USB 2.0 flash drive

This little USB 2.0 flash drive in 4GB to 32GB capacities includes hardware encryption for secure file storage.

The outer casing is metal, with a very solid keyring loop at the end. The cap is secured with a plastic push-fit mechanism, which I was sure would break quickly. So, I kept the Locker+ G2 on my keyring for over two months to test it. As I write this, the cap still fits perfectly and – apart from a faded logo – the metal casing looks brand-new.

You access the drive via onboard software. Setup is simple: just add a password. You can also use a password hint and your contact details, which are readily viewable to anyone that uses the drive. You enter the password every time you insert the drive on a Windows/Mac PC to access your protected files.

If you enter the wrong password ten times, the drive locks up and wipes itself. You can still format the drive, however – so you lose all the protected data, and end up with a factory-fresh USB drive.

Kingston advertises speeds of up to 10MByte/s read, 5MByte/s write. Using incompressible data, we measured speeds almost twice as fast – sequential reads averaging 17MBytes/s, and writes averaging 10MBytes/s. We’ve seen USB 2.0 flash drives that averaged 28-32Mbyte/s read, and 14-15MBytes/s write. So, the Locker+ G2’s performance is reasonable when you factor in the encryption.

Altogether, it’s a good USB 2.0 drive with hardware encryption, for a reasonable price. It’s a shame Kingston doesn’t publicise the encryption method used; we can’t speak to the quality of its security.

This review was first published in the May issue of PC World New Zealand.