Best Survivalist Hard Drive: ioSafe Rugged Portable
ioSafe's one-pund, aluminum-cased external hard drive protects data from dropping, crushing and even dunking.
What's the most important thing on your computer? Financial data, home movies, all those ancient photos you spent six weeks scanning? Data backup is critical, but the information will be only as safe as the device on which it's stored. For that, ioSafe's Rugged Portable drive is as tough as it gets.
Why we like it
At a list price of $250 (currently $191 at Amazon), ioSafe's Rugged Portable 500GB external hard drive is a steal given its advertised toughness: the ability to withstand up to 2,500 pounds of pressure, submersion under 10 feet of water for three days, exposure to grit and sand, and 10-foot drops. In areas that flood or have frequent major weather events like tornadoes, sandstorms or hurricanes, this is an essential device. And of course, klutzes and children can be just as dangerous to electronics as any natural disaster is.
In the event that all this physical protection isn’t enough, you also have the company’s basic data-recovery service plan: free for the first year, $50 for three years, and $100 for five years. It includes coverage for one "event" per year, in which the company will pay for the shipping and recovery and provide a replacement product loaded with your recovered data. If it can’t extract your data, it will contact a specialist company that very likely can. (You may have to pay something for this, depending on how much work is required.)
Keep in mind
In addition to a 1-terabyte-capacity option, the ioSafe Rugged Portable is available in even more-durable versions, such as solid-state drive models, up to 600GB capacity, that can survive a drop from 20 feet. Though it's likely overkill for most folks, you also can upgrade from the aluminum enclosure to a titanium shell for an extra $1,000.
You can also back up your most important data to the cloud (and probably should), but that isn't practical for all your files. Just 100GB of storage on popular online storage service Dropbox costs $199 per year. [What is “Cloud” File Syncing?]
Your data, whether irreplaceable photos or tax info, is precious. This drive will keep your data safe and easily accessible in outrageous weather, gritty deserts, your kids' playpen and perhaps even a zombie apocalypse.
ioSafe Rugged Portable Key Specs
- Capacity: 500GB or 1TB
- 3.9 (wide) by 5.7 (long) by 1 (high) inches, 1 pound
- Connectors: choice of USB 3.0 or FireWire 800
- Price: $250