datAshur SD
£69 - Drive price
Plus SD price: 32GB: £25; 64GB: £40; 128GB: £60; 256GB: £100; 512GB: £170; 1TB £300

With working from home more prevalent than ever, the already high need for data security has increased. Files that would otherwise never leave the office may instead need to be accessed on home devices, which raises the question of how to make this possible safely and yet affordably. As we’ve seen the in past, the super-safe datAshur devices from iStorage do a thorough job of answering these concerns, and now, they are back with a very timely release of a new product: the datAshur SD.

The major difference between this product and its processors is, as the name suggests, that this data stick can take SD cards, ranging from 32GB to 1TB, without compromising on your safety. How? If you’ve used datAshur products in the past, or read our past reviews, then you’ll know that these memory sticks are built security both against attacks to their software and their hardware, as difficult to smash into as they are to hack into. With an SD card, how does this stay possible? We took a look.

Like its siblings, the iStorage datAshur SD is a PIN authenticated, hardware encrypted, USB Type-C flash drive. However, its removable iStorage microSD cards make a major difference.

The obvious advantage of this design is that one can have multiple cards and therefore greatly increase the amount of safe storage they can have from their datAshur device. These cards can also be shared between colleagues’ devices. However, what does this mean for security?
Using their own patented iStorage datAshur SD KeyWriter software clones datAshur SD flash drives with the same encrypted encryption key, enabling a secondary drive as a backup and also allowing organisations to share encrypted iStorage microSD Cards with as many authorised users of cloned datAshur SD drives as required, without the card being able to be read by an unauthorised device.

The sign of a well-made device is one that has a lot going on behind the scenes, and yet is easy to use. All you need to do to use the datAshur SD is insert your microSD card into it (it’ll need to be an iStorage SD card) and enter your PIN, which can be between 8-64 digits, to authenticate it. Whilst locked, all of your data is fully encrypted using FIPS PUB 197 validated AES-XTS 256-bit hardware encryption (no software required).

It’s as physically safe as it is digitally safe! Overall, the device is FIPS 140-3 Level 3 safety compliant. It should be hack-proof, tamper-proof, and it’ll make sure you know if somebody tried. Every component is covered in a tough epoxy resin, meaning they’re extremely difficult to remove without damaging the component beyond use. This means that someone won’t be able to remove your SD card without you knowing, and even then, they’ll probably break it beyond the point of being able to attempt to read it. You’d have to be trying hard to even get this far, though: you can throw all sorts of this device and it won’t break. You can drop it from up to 4m onto concrete (we weren’t that brave, but we did throw it against some walls and it survived fine!) or crush it under the wheels of a 2.7 ton vehicle and it’ll still work! Its IP68 accreditation means it can even survive being submerged under 1.5m of water for 30 minutes, as well as being sand and dust proof. Basically, this is the James Bond of flash drives.

Like its sibling iStorage devices, the datAshur SD has separate PINs for the user and the Admin, meaning if you forget your PIN, your Admin can give you a new one. The Admin can also set a restriction policy for the User PIN, allowing a company to set the minimum PIN length, whether it needs special characters in it etc. In other words, if this is your personal device, you can stick to an 8-digit PIN if you want to, but if you’re using these in a business, a company can insist on even higher-level security as needed.

As well as being easy to use, the device is fast. It has a read speed of up to 100MB/s and a write speed of up to 95MB/s. Again, that’s crazy fast. James Bond time.
For a full breakdown of the many ins and outs of this devices’ physical and digital protections, you’ll need to look up the full product description – there's too much to do justice here! And that’s exactly why this device is brilliant. Every paranoid angle seems to have been considered and accounted for, without making the device itself needlessly complex to use or, the danger with many ‘super safe’ products, too easy to lock oneself out of!

The prices about are for the readily available SD size options. However, packs of multiple cards are also available, with a reduced price per car, and smaller-sized cards of 2GB, 4GB & 8GB are available from iStorage for bulk orders.


Multiple SD cards means more memory for cheaper
Physically tamper proof
Extremely hard to break
Highly water and dust resistant
Fully encrypted data when locked
No additional software required
Huge range of SD card sizes
Extremely hard to hack