by Paul Mah

StarTech Hard Drive Enclosure Password Protects Encrypted Data

Oct 31, 20123 mins
Computers and PeripheralsLaptops

The StarTech Encrypted Hard Drive Enclosure offers top-notch performance and secure data encryption, and it has a touch pad for typing passwords to protect sensitive data.

The portable StarTech Encrypted Hard Drive Enclosure (S2510BU3PW) can accommodate a 2.5-inch hard disk drive or solid state drive. Unlike other enclosures on the market, it comes with a secure touchpad and real-time 256-bit AES hardware-encryption capabilities to protect your data from unauthorized access.

The unit is operating-system independent and should work with every operating system that supports USB storage devices.


Warning: Failure of the enclosure means that encrypted data will be lost

From afar, the StarTech enclosure looks just like any other portable enclosure. A closer look reveals a touchpad and a miniature OLED display along the top of its chassis. Using the provided screws (and a screwdriver), I was able to easily install a 750GB 5400rpm SATA hard disk drive (HDD).

I connected the StarTech enclosure to my PC using the bundled USB 3.0 cable, which powered up the device. I was then guided through the process of enabling its encryption function using its OLED display. Passwords can be 4-8 digits, and they must be keyed in a second time for confirmation. The process of installing a new HDD and then initializing encryption is intuitive and painless, and it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes.


The preconfigured contact number flashes on the screen when a wrong password is entered


The user’s name appears when successfully logged in

Upon startup, the StarTech enclosure prompts you for the preconfigured password, with a brief pause in between each erroneous attempt to thwart brute force attempts. Instead of fumbling to safely disconnect the StarTech enclosure from the operating system, you can just press and hold the Menu button on the touchpad for two seconds.

The Menu button can also be used to display usage time, internal temperature or to change passwords. You can also enable write protection, a useful feature that protects the device from malware on USB storage devices. Finally, you can also key in a contact number that flashes briefly on each unsuccessful authentication attempt.

Overall, I found the interface to be exceptionally well-designed. The enclosure does not lag in performance either; it clocked an impressive 100MB/s speed when copying a 5GB DVD image to it over a USB 3.0 port.


StarTech Encrypted Hard Drive Enclosure and another portable hard disk drive


The StarTech enclosure and its sleeve case

Conclusion: StarTech Encrypted Hard Drive Enclosure

At $117, the StarTech Encrypted Hard Drive Enclosure could be too expensive for many consumers. However, people or organizations that want to protect confidential data will find valuable encryption features in a very sleek package. Finally, an unusually well-designed user interface and two-year warranty also make the enclosure an attractive option.

You can purchase the enclosure directly from StarTech or various resellers mentioned on its product page.