Kingston DataTraveler Secure Series

Jul 29th, 2007 | By

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Kingston DataTraveler Secure Series

: 07/29/07 – 02:43:41 PM


: Storage

Page 1 : Index


$125/$110 US (DataTravler Secure-Privacy Edition/DataTraveler Secure)

Kingston is by no means a stranger to most any personal computer user. They have been in the business of producing memory products for both enthusiasts, with their HyperX line of high performance memory, and general users with their Value line of memory. They also produce a wide array of USB thumb drives and flash memory.

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Today I am looking at two of Kingston's Enterprise model USB flash drives, the DataTraveler Secure and DataTraveler Secure – Privacy Edition.

Page 2 : Package and Contents

Now to take a look at the packages that house the DataTraveler Secure and Secure – Privacy Edition.

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Both packages are pretty much identical aside from the Privacy Edition text along with the difference in the area of 256-bit AES protection

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The similarities follow onto the back of the packaging with a short list of features written in 9 different languages.

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Opening things up, here we have the contents from the DataTraveler Secure – Privacy Edition. You have the flash drive itself along with the warranty statement, small keychain string and installation guide. The contents of the DataTraveler Secure are identical minus the hardware installation guide. I am a little disappointed that a lanyard was not included as even drives that cost as little as $20 typically include a lanyard. I myself do not like to attach my thumb drives to my keychain.

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Since both drives are identical in appearance, aside from the name, I am only going to show pictures of the DataTraveler Secure. Both drives feature a titanium coated steel case that to me speaks professional. No cutesy bright colors, just a very nice metallic brown finish. Each side has a black ridged line that aid in gripping the drive to either remove the cap or remove the drive from a USB slot. The drives also have a solid feel to them, which has been the first thing friends have commented on when they have seen them.

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On the opposite side is the Kingston logo, the activity LED that lights up blue and the wording of what size capacity the drive is. This is also where you can have your company logo or slogan printed using Kingston's Co-Logo program. More information on that service can be found on Kingston's website.

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A feature I wanted to point out and I really appreciate, is the notch on the back of the drive. The cap can be snapped onto the end for safekeeping while the drive is being used. This really is something small that I wish more flash drive manufacturers would do, as something as small as a cap can easily get lost when it's not attached.

Page 3 : Specifications

I wanted to take a look at the specifications for these two flash drives as the security features on these drives are a main focal point. Here is a quick rundown of the DataTraveler Secure and Secure – Privacy Edtion features and specifications taken from Kingston's website:

Datatraveler Secure


. Capacities1 – 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 8GB
. Secure – utilizes 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) hardware-based encryption (privacy zone)
. Dimensions – 3.06" x 0.9" x 0.47" (77.9 mm x 22.2 mm x 12.05 mm)
. Operating temperatures – 32 F to 140 F (0 C to 60 C)
. Storage temperatures – -4 F to 185 F (-20 C to 85 C)
. Waterproof – protects against water damage
. Fast – data transfer rates of up to 24 MB/sec. read and up to 10 MB/sec. write
. Enhanced – Enhanced for Windows ReadyBoost on PCs preinstalled with Windows Vista
. Casing – Titanium Coated Stainless Steel
. Safeguarded – includes MyDataZone access security software for Windows
. Simple – just plug and play into a USB port
. Easy to Use – includes My Traveler file management software
. Guaranteed – five-year warranty
. Customizable co-logo program available
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DataTraveler Secure – Privacy Edition


. Full Privacy 100 percent of stored data is protected by 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) hardware-based encryption
. Fast data transfer rates of up to 24 MB/sec. read and up to 10 MB/sec. write3
. Secure drive locks down after 10 intrusion attempts
. Strong password protection password is userset with minimum characteristics to prevent unauthorized access
. Waterproof 2 protected against water damage
. Easy to use just plug and play into a USB port
. Compatibility Win 2000 SP3 or higher, Win XP SP1 and above.
. Guaranteed five-year warranty
. Customizable co-logo program available
. Dimensions 3.06" x 0.9" x 0.47" (77.9 mm x 22 mm x 12.05 mm)
. Capacities1 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 8GB
. Compatibility designed to USB 2.0 specifications
. Operating temperatures 32º F to 140º F (0º C to 60º C)
. Storage temperatures -4º F to 185º F (-20º C to 85º C)
. Minimum System Requirements:
o Pentium III processor
o USB 2.0 compliant and 1.1 compatible
o Two (2) free consecutive drive letters required for installation
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Quite an impressive list of features packed into these two little drives. The main difference between the two drives from a security standpoint comes from the way the encryption is implemented. The Secure allows you to set up both a public and privacy zone, where as the Secure – Privacy Edition puts 100% of the drive under encryption. Note that both drives require Windows 2000, XP or Vista for the encryption and password features and therefore since the DataTraveler Secure-Privacy Edition encrypts the entire drive it cannot be used at all on Linux, MAC's or Windows versions previous to Windows 2000. Both drives allow only 10 failed password attempts before locking down, preventing brute force attacks. After the drive has been locked down, the only way to use it again is by formatting the drive thus losing the data. This should appeal to anyone that works with sensitive data and is somewhat prone to losing things. Another nice feature is the drives have a dedicated Encryption and Decryption co-processor. The benefit of this method is it does not expose the encryption 'key' that is used to the operating system like software based encryption programs do.

Page 4 : Installation

Installation is quite easy and you are guided step by step. I will start with the DataTraveler Secure – Privacy Edition installation and setup.

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I won't bother showing pictures of the first two screens as they are just selecting your language and accepting the EULA. On the third screen you setup your password. Clicking on the Password Rules shortcut gives you the criteria needed for a password which requires 6-16 characters consisting of 3 out of 4 of the following: upper case, lower case, digits and special symbols.

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On the fourth screen you enter your name, company and any other info you would like to add such as a mailing address or other contact info. This information can be seen by anyone without entering the password, so could be useful in having the drive returned to you should you lose it.

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After the initial setup, when you plug in the Secure – Privacy Edition, you will get this login screen. If you click on the 'Contact Information' button it displays what you entered earlier in fourth setup screen. If you have forgotten your password and click on the 'Forgot Password' link, it warns you that you will need to reformat the drive and set up a new password, thus losing all of the information on it. Without entering the correct password you cannot access the files since the entire drive is under encryption.

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After you login you will see a yellow and red icon in your taskbar. Left clicking on it brings up this menu. The settings menu is where you can change all of the information that was entered on initial setup.

Next we will take a look at the setup of the DataTraveler Secure. The setup is basically the same but there a few slight differences from the Privacy Edition.

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When you first insert the DataTraveler Secure drive you have 2 programs along with a readme file for each. The MyTraveler software is used for managing your USB key, such as synchronizing information on the drive with a folder on your PC. The MyTraveler software is compatible with any DataTraveler and can be downloaded straight from Kingston's website. In order to setup the privacy zone, you start off by simply clicking the MyDatazone.exe

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The drive comes with full public access to the drive straight out of the box. To set up the Privacy zone, you simply click and drag the slider on the right to the desired capacity you would like in the privacy section enter a password and click the format button. Formatting of course will erase all information on the drive, excluding the MyDataZone application.

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After the privacy zone is set up, whenever you plug in the DataTraveler Secure, you will see any files that are located in the public zone. In order to access the privacy zone you simply click on the MyDataZone and login and you are presented with the encrypted files. One thing of note is that you cannot access both zones at the same time. If you are logged in to the privacy zone, those are the only files you can see and vice versa.

While the names are very similar and it can be a bit confusing, just keep in mind that the Secure-Privacy Edition secures the entire drive under encryption where as the Secure allows you to set up as large or small a section as you want under encryption.

Page 5 : Testing

For testing I used an empty, freshly formatted drive on a Windows XP machine and ran three instances of each benchmark to get the average. The following drives were tested for comparison:

Corsair FlashVoyager 1Gb
Ultra FlyDrive 1Gb
DataTraveler Secure 2Gb
DataTraveler Secure – Privacy Edition 2Gb
First off I ran the drives through SiSoftware's Sandra Lite XI removable storage benchmarking module.

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The results pretty much confirm my experience so far with the DTS and DTSP, they are certainly some fast drives. However I was rather surprised at the large difference between the scores, while both DataTravelers do feel quite a bit faster than the other drives in everyday use, I wonder if there isn't something possibly going bad on the FlashVoyager for it to receive such a low score.

Next I ran them through Simpli Software's HDTach benchmarking tool.

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Once again the Kingston drives perform very well and easily outpace the other drives in Burst speed, but they fall slightly behind in Sequential reads.

The final benchmark I ran was NodeSoft's Diskbench. With Diskbench, a file is copied from the hard drive to the thumb drive. This should give us a better indicator of real world performance.

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Here we can see again the drives from Kingston handily beat the other two. These results are a fair representation of what I have seen between these drives. Kingston really has some speedy drives with great features.

Page 6 : Conclusion

In my experience with both DataTraveler drives I have come away quite impressed. From the beginning I wondered if they would warrant their hefty price tag in comparison with drives that do not have hardware based encryption. After using them for over two weeks, if you are looking for a flash drive and deal with sensitive files you can't go wrong with either one of these drives. Security comes at a premium. They are both the fastest drives I have used to date, with or without encryption. The onboard encryption and decryption co-processor is a big factor in allowing these drives to perform as fast as they do. If you want peace of mind and superior performance, either one of these DataTraveler drives will make any user happy.


  • Fast

  • Loaded with features
  • Sturdy
  • 256-bit AES Encryption


  • Expensive

  • Lack of included lanyard

Overclockers Online would like to thank Kingston for supplying the DataTraveler Secure and DataTravler Secure – Privacy Edition for review.

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