ioSafe Solo G3 1TB
Resistant to fire, water and theft; free data recovery in first year; USB 3.0; fanless
No Thunderbolt connectivity
ioSafe is a US company that makes disaster-proof hard drives – meaning they’re fireproof (think house fires), waterproof (think firefighters trying to put out the blaze, or floods) and shock-proof (think collapsing buildings). They can also be bolted down or locked against theft using a cable lock or a Kensington security cable.
That means you can rest easy, knowing that your data’s in safe hands – especially if you’re in a bushfire- or earthquake-prone area.
We reviewed the ioSafe Solo and Solo PRO drives back in 2010 and gave both a four-mouse rating. This model, the Solo G3, features a fanless design, a funky new hole-studded enclosure and an upgrade from USB 2.0 to 3.0. No Thunderbolt yet, unfortunately.
If anything ever happens to your data for any reason within a year from the date of purchase, ioSafe provides a full forensic data recovery service (DRS) of up to $2500 value.
The company says it means it when it says “any reason”, so besides fire, flood and accidental damage, you’re also covered for power failures, human error and “an intern dumping soda on your drive”. The DRS cover can be extended for an extra cost.
The unit itself is big and heavy – measuring 13cm wide, 18cm high and 28cm deep, and weighing 6.8kg. The lack of a fan is appreciated, as the older ioSafes could get pretty noisy, and the air-cooling vents seem to do their job well – the unit never overheated in our testing period.
We couldn’t test the Solo G3′s fire- or waterproof capabilities, so we’ve taken ioSafe’s word for it. As far as fire goes, the company says the drive protects data from loss up to 1550°F for 30 minutes.
“DataCast endothermic fire insulation technology protects your data from extreme heat,” it says. “The DataCast formulation forms a chemical bond with water molecules that, at temperatures above 160°F, releases water vapor to limit the internal temperature of the unit during a fire.”
On the water side, ‘HydroSafe water barrier technology’ protects data from loss up to 3m in fresh or salt water for 72 hours ioSafe specifies the drive’s speed at up to 5Gbps, which was borne out in our tests.
Macworld Australia‘s buying advice.
The ioSafe Solo G3 is a great option for those living in high-risk areas, or users who just want extra peace of mind. The drive is compatible with Apple’s Time Machine backup utility.
It comes in 1TB, 2TB and 3TB capacities, for $499, $549 and $599 respectively.