Every once in awhile a product comes along that is both unique and useful. The ioSafe SoloPRO is the first external drive offering protection from water, fire, and hard drive failure. The drive comes with USB 2.0 and eSATA or USB 3.0. It is available in sizes from 1TB to 2TB. ioSafe also offers an internal hard drive enclosure and an external SSD hard drive enclosure. Currently, ioSafe is now working on waterproof/fireproof NAS devices.
How Does it Work?
The beauty of the product is the simplicity of its design. The case consists of a steel cover, on/off switch, USB 3.0 output, power input, and a fan. Internally there is a ceramic hard drive case with small curved passageways that allow airflow but prevents direct heat from penetrating. To keep the drive waterproof it is sealed in an anti-static bag with power and data cables going into it. The drive is not mounted but held tightly into place with rubber strips. The power for the unit comes from an external power brick. Everything comes together with a small electronic board that plugs into the hard drive and provides an I/O bridge from SATA to USB 3.0.
Data protection has been a concern since the development of the PC. Today the most conventional forms of data protection are to create DVD backups, online backups, or have multiple hard drives in a raid. The biggest problem with most methods is they require a certain amount of technical expertise and time. The SoloPRO requires very little technical knowledge and no extra backup time while still protecting your information from many forms of disaster. Most manufacturers insure their hard drives for free replacement if it breaks, but your data is lost. ioSafe doesn’t care what happened to your hard drive, they will fix it. If ioSafe can’t fix it they will pay up to $2500 for a lab to recover the data for you. The most effort that needs to be exerted to recover your data is to mail it back to ioSafe. More importantly the SoloPRO can withstand up to 1550F heat and can be submerged under 10 feet of water. The SoloPRO has theft protection in mind as well with pre-drilled holes in its steel case to hook to a lock. For those who have doubts about the SoloPRO standing up to a fire or even a backhoe check out ioSafe’s website for a list of disasters the SoloPRO has survived.
So the ioSafe can survive a fire, but can you edit video on it? With the USB 3.0 interface the hard drive performs the same as an internal drive in your computer. Using HD Tune an average read and average write speed of 108 MB/s was measured. This is just slightly above the average speed of 100 MB/s for a 1TB drive. This makes the drive perfect for editing video. Not only is the drive external, portable, and safe in a disaster but it is as fast as a standard internal hard drive.
Should I Buy This?
In short, everybody with important data should have one of these. Whether the SoloPRO gets covered with water, dropped, burned, or the hard drive just fails, you are protected from most foreseeable disasters at a reasonable price. Many NAS devices offering just hard drive failure protection (RAID) cost more than the ioSafe and may not perform as well. The SoloPro is a unique product that is simple in design but offers great data protection.
HDD: 1 Internal 3.5″ Drive
Interface type: USB 3.0 or eSATA/USB 2.0 Interface
Dimension: 5″ W x 7″ H x 11.75″ D
Weight: 15 lbs.
Fireproof: Up to 1550F for 30 min
Waterproof: Up to 10′ deep for 72 hours
Data Recovery: Up to $2500 in data recovery costs
Warranty: 1 year Data Recovery, 3 year Parts
- None to note
Whether the SoloPRO gets covered with water, dropped, burned, or the hard drive just fails you are protected from most foreseeable disasters at a reasonable price.
2422 Lindbergh St
Auburn, Ca 95602
Lance Olinger is Videomaker‘s I.T. assistant.