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Integral CryptoSSD 128GB review

Mike Jennings
24 Sep 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
277
inc VAT

A neat and effective solution for encrypting SSD content, but it’s far too slow and much too expensive

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Specifications

128GB sata solid-state disk

SSDs typically follow the same blueprint: drive, desktop upgrade kit and, if you’re lucky, some file migration software. Integral’s Crypto SSD is different, and it’s all due to one unique feature: encryption that promises to protect your most important files.

Integral CryptoSSD 128GB

The encryption comes courtesy of the 256-bit AES standard, which is apparently used by the US military. It’s enforced at the hardware level, so any data that’s transferred to the drive is encrypted by a chip inside the device instead of software in Windows 7, Vista or XP. The drive also complies with the FIPS 197 standard, which Integral claims is more secure because software can’t tamper with or access data.

It must be used as the C: drive in order for the encryption to function properly, and you need to plug the included USB key into your computer once Windows has installed. Run the SSDLock software on the USB drive, accept the terms and conditions and then set up a Master account. You’ll then have to specify the password that must be used to unlock the drive when booting and the number of incorrect attempts it’ll withstand before the drive is reset.

Integral CryptoSSD 128GB

In addition to the USB drive, Integral also includes a 2.5in to 3.5in bracket and the relevant screws, so it’s easy to slot the SSD into a PC expansion bay. The warranty only lasts for two years, though, which is disappointing. Even budget drives tend to offer a three year warranty as a minimum.

The Integral Crypto SSD 128GB uses the SATA2 interface. It isn’t as theoretically quick as the newer SATA3 interface and this was apparent in our benchmarks. In our large file write test, the Crypto SSD transferred data at a rate of 242MB/s and 211MB/s in our large file read benchmark. That’s around half the speed we’re used to seeing from our favourite drive, the Corsair Performance Series Pro 256GB, and it’s still slower than the Corsair when it’s connected to SATA2. Using the SATA2 interface, the Performance Pro scored 298MB/s and 241MB/s.

The Integral didn’t pick up the pace in our small file tests, either. The Integral scored 104MB/s when writing small files and a meagre 42MB/s when reading them; the Corsair, meanwhile, scored 134MB/s and 75MB/s when connected to the slower interface.

Integral CryptoSSD 128GB

It’s not fast, then, and it isn’t cheap. At £277 for just 128GB of space, the Integral weighs in at a hefty £2.16 per gigabyte. That’s far more than the Corsair Performance Series Pro, which served up 256GB of space for just 93p per gigabyte.

If that’s the price you’re willing to pay for security then the Integral could prove to be worth that high price. However, the expense and the lack of speed make us think that a software solution rather than hardware encryption would do the job just as well for most people.

Basic Specifications

Rating***

Storage

Capacity128GB
Formatted capacity119
Price per gigabyte£2.16
InterfaceSATA2
Power connectorSATA
CacheN/A
Seek timeN/A
Bearing technologyN/A
Noise (in normal use)N/A

Buying Information

Price£277
WarrantyTwo years RTB
Supplierhttp://uk.insight.com
Detailswww.integralmemory.com

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