By Andrew Liszewski
It’s taken about 2 years to reach the market but the world’s most secure hard drive, the Seagate Momentus 5400 FDE.2 will soon be available in a laptop from ASI.
The 2.5 inch drive uses full disk encryption which means that if you’re ever separated from your laptop you won’t have to worry about someone else accessing your private data. If you don’t have the password, you’re not getting in. Alternately the laptop will also include a fingerprint reader if having to remember a password is something you’d like to forget.
The main cleverness of the Momentus FDE.2 lies in the way the drive reads and writes have been tightly entwined with 128-bit AES-based encryption right down to DriveTrust firmware level. The user has the power to set a password to access the drive during system boot, but is otherwise unaware that all data at rest is being encrypted and unencrypted transparently. Data is never in clear text except when it is being used by an application.
Another important feature of the Momentus drive is that it uses its own onboard processing to deal with the encryption and decryption tasks. Normally this is a CPU intensive process that causes a performance hit on whatever system it’s being used. But with the Momentus drive installed the actual CPU usage is only a couple of percent and no doubt that will be further reduced sometime down the line.
At the moment only an 80GB version of the Seagate Momentus is being shipped but 100, 120 and 160GB models are already enroute. If you’re looking for an extra bit of piece of mind the ASI C8015+ will be the first laptop with the drive installed and will sell for $2,150.