SecureDrive BT review: Unlock this secure portable SSD using your phone

This cleverly designed secure SSD is also FIPS 140-3 certified and a good performer

If you’re a phone-centric user looking for a secure drive that matches your lifestyle, then you definitely need to take a look at the SecureDrive BT SSD. Unlike other secure drives, which rely on a keypad or an client app on your PC to unlock them, the SecureDrive BT uses an app and Bluetooth, the wireless connectivity that’s available on every modern phone and mobile device.

Even beyond lifestyle and convenience, managing the drive using your phone or mobile device may also be the most secure way to do it. And that’s what corporate and government buyers, the real target audience, are more concerned with.

Why the phone?

As I said, the SecureDrive BT uses Bluetooth and the Android/iOS app for unlocking the drive. But it doesn’t transfer data via BT, so it’s basically just a USB drive with a new approach to access. The drive, as all do, locks itself automatically when power is removed, so you don’t even need the app for that. Is this approach handy? I’m not in any way shape or form phone-centric,


yet I prefer using my phone for the task for several reasons.

For one thing, keypads on hard drives are rarely as easy to use as they look. Generally, they’re designed not to show wear patterns (which make it easier to steal PINs) and aren’t easy to press. I’ve mis-entered PINs more times that I care to count. But even without wear patterns, traces from your fingers are a dead giveaway to forensic pros.

Then there’s client software, which is often used to unlock and administrate secure drives. Personally, I’d find it more convenient if there were some, as my computers have Bluetooth. But as SecureData, the vendor, pointed out, software is vulnerable to key trackers and other exploits. If the company made it available, some enterprising soul would, of course go, against their own company’s policy and install it, so SecureData simply forgoes it.

Also, some secure drive client software I’ve seen goes to such great lengths to prevent hacking, by shifting the keyboard after every digit or some other trick, that it’s a colossal pain to use.  Far worse than pulling your phone out of your pocket and pecking a few digits.

Of course, there are secure sites where phones aren’t allowed, so in that scenario, you’ll need a secure drive sporting a keypad, something SecureData also makes.

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