best secure usb drives – DataTraveler Vault Privacy Edition 2017

The DataTraveler Vault Privacy Edition from Kingston Technology is a secure USB drive with a good warranty, not as long as the DiskGO Secure GUARDIAN but longer than the warranty for JumpDrive Secure II Plus.


The DataTraveler Vault Privacy Edition connects to Windows computers using a USB 2.0 port. This secure USB drive is sealed in a waterproof aluminum casing and is waterproof in depths up to four feet. Disk-read speed is a respectable 24MB/s. Disk-write speed is 10MB/s.

When companies and governments reacted to the first flash-drive security breaches by banning the devices, the industry began to field secure USB drives. Kingston Technology uses the password/encryption approach to security and does not compete in the market for portable drives that rely on biometric fingerprint scanners for security. Advocates for the encryption approach to security argue that biometric scanners sometimes malfunction and lock out users that they should have approved. And if an employee resigns or is terminated, administrators will not be able to access material on the drive if biometrics are involved.

All of the data are invisible and encrypted on the drive unless the user enters a valid password. The drive forces a complex password with a minimum of six characters and a mix of three alphabetic, numeric and special characters. The drive will automatically reformat itself after 10 invalid passwords.

The encryption is hardware based and conforms to the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The AES 256-bit encryption standard is the one that the U.S. government uses. The U.S. National Security Agency protects top secret information with it and it is approved for use by civilians. The standard encrypts data in such a strong way that, according to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, companies that lose 256-bit AES encrypted data need not report the loss, because it is not as if anyone would ever be able to decrypt it. Not only do we not have any computers that could break the encryption if they ran for billions of years, we cannot conceive of any future technology that could successfully use a brute force attack to crack 256-bit AES encryption.

The drive supports passwords and encryption on Windows, not Macs. The warranty is for five years. Technical support is available via email or by 24/7 phone support in North America, Europe and worldwide.

Help & Support

The DataTraveler Vault Privacy Edition has a five-year warranty, superior to the warranties provided by competitors such as IronKey, Kanguru and Lexar. In comparison with secure USB drives from IronKey and Kanguru, the price might be a little high because the drive does not include antimalware software and it has not earned FIPS validation. FIPS is the Federal Information Processing Standard. Unless a vendor receives FIPS validation from one of the Cryptographic Module Testing laboratories approved by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program, the vendor cannot sell drives to government departments or healthcare and financial institutions that must protect sensitive but unclassified data. If you must have FIPS validation, look to IronKey and Kanguru. Otherwise this drive from Kingston Technology will protect you with encryption that will never fail. Avoid the inevitable misery of confidential data leakage from unsecured drives. Buy this secure USB drive and never look back.