RadTech Impact HDD Enclosure w/64-bit Encryption (UPDATED)

Posted by:
Date: Sunday, February 19th, 2006, 20:00
Category: Review

radtech-impact-enclosure.jpgRadTech has release a new and unique hard drive enclosure that’s perfect for an extra 2.5-inch hard drive that you might have as a result of upgrading the internal hard drive in your PowerBook. The Radtech Impact Hard Disk Drive Enclosure w/64-bit Encryption is different than any HDD enclosure I’ve ever seen because it adds a layer of physical security giving your data an extra level of protection.
Most people keep a complete backup of their PowerBook at home on a FireWire drive of some sort (and if you don’t, you should) but what happens if the backup drive is lost or stolen? It’s the same as having your PowerBook and all its precious data stolen – personal and private information can fall into the wrong hands.
This story has been updated with new information in the keys and getting replacements.
Read More…


radtech-impact-enclosure.jpgRadTech has release a new and unique hard drive enclosure that’s perfect for an extra 2.5-inch hard drive that you might have as a result of upgrading the internal hard drive in your PowerBook. The Radtech Impact Hard Disk Drive Enclosure w/64-bit Encryption is different than any HDD enclosure I’ve ever seen because it adds a layer of physical security giving your data an extra level of protection.
Most people keep a complete backup of their PowerBook at home on a FireWire drive of some sort (and if you don’t, you should) but what happens if the backup drive is lost or stolen? It’s the same as having your PowerBook and all its precious data stolen – personal and private information can fall into the wrong hands.
The RadTech Impact hard drive enclosure have USB 2.0 and FireWire 800 ports but the defining feature is their real-time 64-bit hardware encryption that occurs even at peak bus speeds.
The Impact enclosure looks like any other HDD until you notice a funny looking FireWire 400 port on the backplane. That’s where you connect the Impact’s unique 64-bit hardware key. When it’s plugged in, you can access that hard drive as expected. When the key isn’t present, the drive simply won’t mount.

The Enova X-Wall engine provides real-time, hardware-based encryption and decryption. X-Wall shuttles encrypted data as fast as a standard enclosure.
Unlike easily circumvented and platform dependent software-based encryption, Impact enclosures strong encrypt (DES) every bit and byte on the hard drive. The included Secure Token is a physical key which must be present to read from, or write to the drive. Without the secure key, the drive and its data are rendered useless and unreadable – 2 keys are included with each enclosure.

The enclosure itself is also ruggedized and features a good amount of shock prevention. The enclosure is built from tough, lightweight heat-dissipating 1mm thick extruded 6075 Aluminum alloy. The tubular shell has 2mm thick, full-length stiffening runners with excellent load-bearing capabilities and physical crush resistance.

A full-length bridgeboard features anti-shock damper strips and is suspended within the enclosure by full-length radial Aluminum stand-off ribs. An array of self-limiting shoulder screws are provided to prevent stripped screw guides and properly load the shock-absorbing damper strips. This arrangement forms an effective anti-shock chamber, further guarding the HDD and electronics from impact and crush damage.

The Impact enclosure is quite small, but it’s about 3/4-inch longer than other 2.5-inch enclosures that I’ve used – presumably to fit the extra chips required to do the on-the-fly encryption. I’m not sure what happens if you lose the key (you get two) but having extra piece of mind that if the enclosure is lost or stolen that the thief won’t be pilfering my data is well worth it. Just like your car, don’t leave the keys in it, keep them in a safe place and keep the extra in an off-site location.
Updated 2006-0219:
If the keys are lost, the data on the drive is unreadable. The drive can be reformatted and used again, but any data written with the lost keys is history.
If only one key is lost, RadTech can burn new keys from the remaining key. Additional keys can be burned from an original for US$20 per key. Currently this process takes about two weeks as it’s done in Japan – where the X-Wall patent holding firm is based. RadTech plans to get their own key-generating equipment soon – which will reduce the turn-around.
The Radtech Impact Hard Disk Drive Enclosure w/64-bit Encryption is available for US$60 (USB 2.0 only) or US$100 (USB 2.0 and FW800).

Recent Posts