Verbatim Executive Portable Hard Drive 500GB review
500GB hard disk, USB3, 18x123x82mm
The Executive is, just as its name suggests, aimed at professionals who need to keep their data safe at all times. It comes with built-in 256-bit AES hardware encryption that can protect your files instantly, in case you lose it or it gets stolen. You can enable it via Windows using the bundled software Suite, but the circular touch-sensitive button on the disk itself is much more convenient.
With a single tap, you can encrypt the whole disk, or just the portion where you keep sensitive data. Using the configuration tool, you can also change the button’s function to start an automatic backup, sync between folders or (less usefully) launch a specific website.
The disk also comes with a free copy of Nero BackItUp & Burn Essentials, which is considerably well-equipped for a piece of free software. As well as full, automated system backups, you can create extra copies on CD, DVD or Blu-ray if you have a compatible optical drive. Its only limitation is that you can’t open your backed-up files without running the program first, but that’s a relatively minor problem that’s worth the peace of mind of having regular backups.
With 97.5MB/s read and 90.5MB/s write speeds when handling large files, as well as 37.3MB/s read and 17.1MB/s write speeds for small files, it’s fairly middle-of-the-road in terms of performance. If you want security over performance, it's a good choice, but you could add software encryption to the faster, cheaper Seagate Backup Plus Portable 500GB instead.