The new version we are reviewing here is essentially the same technology but the storage has changed: the hard disk inside the original has been replaced with a solid state disk (SSD).
Because it has no moving parts, an SSD is less likely to be damaged than a hard disk (which has a mechanical rotating platter and ‘head’) if it’s dropped or if dust gets in. What’s most obvious immediately, though, is that it works silently – again because the SSD has no moving parts.
As before, the Diskgenie has a nice rubber casing and a telephone-style numeric keypad on the top, which is used to lock and unlock the disk with a Pin of between six and 16 digits.
This version also uses the same encryption – the AES standard which, as the makers point out, is ‘military-grade’. It is powered through the USB connection, the cable for which is built into the disk’s shell.
It can be used on PC, Mac and Linux and no software is required.
One advantage of SSDs is speed: they are capable of transferring data much more quickly than hard disks, and though the Diskgenie is restricted to 30MB a second by its USB 2 connection that is a good speed.
The main drawback of the SSD version is price: our 500GB review sample sells for £169 while a standard hard disk model at the same price can store 10 times as much: 640GB.
The physical casing is rugged, with the disk mounted inside in such a way as to protect it from drops and dust.
The main reason to buy a Diskgenie above a cheaper standard portable disk is security: the encryption protects your data as you use it. Files are only released once the Pin is typed, and disconnecting the disk secures everything again.
Of course, if you copy a file off the Diskgenie it’s no longer protected but if you are worried about carrying around sensitive information, it works well.