ioSafe SoloPro disaster-proof external hard drive (1TB)
ioSafe SoloPro review: a USB 3.0 external hard drive that can withstand flooding and house fires
- Protects against nature's most fearsome elements, attractive design
- Heavy and cumbersome, a bit on the pricey side
If you live in an area that's prone to bush fires or flash flooding, the Iosafe Pro will provide peace of mind. USB 3.0 connectivity is a nice bonus.
Price$ 475.00 (AUD)
In the event of a house fire, the first thing most people run for is the family photo album. But what happens when your irreplaceable photos are stored on a hulking PC? With flames rising all around you, disconnecting a computer and lugging it to safety isn't exactly viable. This is where the ioSafe SoloPro comes in.
The ioSafe SoloPro is a 1TB, USB 3.0 external hard drive that has been built to withstand serious elemental punishment. The hard drive's enclosure is constructed from 2mm thick steel that is guaranteed to repel fire damage (up to 840 degrees Celsius), physical trauma and flooding (up to a depth of 10 feet). In other words, it is capable of surviving not only a house fire, but also the fire brigade's hose and any resultant debris that happen to fall on its noggin.
The ioSafe SoloPro is suitable for consumers who want to protect their personal files, as well as businesses that require a cost-effective way to ensure their data survives. On the downside, it's kind of expensive for an external hard drive, with prices starting at $475. Also, with cloud storage on the rise, we can't help but wonder whether such archaic safeguards will be necessary in a few years' time. Nonetheless, the ioSafe SoloPro remains a sturdy solution for those who desire on-site file protection.
ioSafe SoloPro: Design
If you're used to traditional desktop hard drives such as the Hitachi XL, the ioSafe SoloPro is going to come as a shock. This thing is huge. With dimensions of 280x180x127mm and weighing a whopping 7.2kg, it's not something you can perch on the corner of a cluttered desktop. For the sake of your biceps, we recommend placing the SoloPro near your computer or investing in a lengthy cable: the less you have to lug this thing around, the better.
The ioSafe SoloPro sports a smart, industrial design
On the plus side, the SoloPro's imposing size and weight should discourage burglars from swiping it during a break-in — it's simply too cumbersome to be worth the bother. (For the extra-security conscious, a cable-locking tab is included to bolt the device in place.)
The ioSafe SoloPro sports a Spartan yet attractive design that will suit the office or home equally. The industrial steel black finish is complimented by a series of blue LED lights and a neat logo. It looked quite stylish — until we threw it into a fire, but more on that later.
ioSafe SoloPro: Connectivity and features
For connectivity, the ioSafe SoloPro boasts a USB 3.0 port and AC power input. It's unlikely that you'll need to make frequent file-transfers with the SoloPro (it is primarily designed as a backup solution), but the extra speed that USB 3.0 offers is sure to be appreciated anyway. There were no inbuilt networking options on the version we tested.
Pictured: SoloPro conectivity ports
Curiously, the ioSafe SoloPro's 1TB of storage is contained on a single 3.5mm hard drive: this means you can't set up a RAID configuration to protect your data from traditional hard drive errors. Thankfully, ioSafe offers a data recovery service that covers any type of hardware failure.
ioSafe SoloPro: Fire test
The ioSafe SoloPro's main claim to fame is its fire-proof design. This is achieved via two layers of 'DataCast' insulating material that sandwich the 3.5mm hard drive. This clay-like material releases water vapour whenever temperatures rise above 86°C. This enables the unit to remain cool inside, even when it's engulfed in flames.
DataCast insulation after burning.
To test the ioSafe SoloPro's fire-proof abilities, we filled it with photos, video files and Word documents. We then placed it on a kindling-filled BBQ and left it roasting for around 20 minutes, before dousing it with a hose to cool it down.
As expected, the drive's enclosure became inoperable after it was burnt: the connectivity ports, cables and power switch had all melted and ceased to function. It's worth noting that the ioSafe SoloPro is not fire-resistant in the reusable, 'ruggedised' sense: rather, it just protects data inside the device.
Internal hard drive in water-proof bag.
After unscrewing the outer enclosure and removing the water-proof bagging, we connected the 3.5mm hard drive to our PC via an eSATA connector. Lo and behold, all our files were present and accounted for.
All of our stored files still worked after the burning.
Become a fan of PC World Australia on Facebook
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Join the PC World newsletter!
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Acer Swift 7
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® Portable SSD
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Huawei Mate 9
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Samsung's 960 Pro and 960 Evo SSDs marry crazy-fast speeds with roomy capacity
- Start-up sells a stamp-sized Linux server for $5
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- IBM targets x86 server territory with new Power servers
- As Dell and HPE revamp, Lenovo sets sights on enterprise cloud servers
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTFull Stack DeveloperQLD
- CCIT Procurement OfficerNSW
- FTCitrix EngineerNSW
- CCSenior Technical Business Analyst - Wealth AdviceNSW
- CCArcSight Security Engineer - Contract - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- TPProject OfficerNSW
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperQLD
- TPAgile Project Manager. Sharepoint / PeoplesoftNSW
- FTEnterprise ArchitectQLD
- CCNetwork Specialist - IPAM TelcoVIC
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)QLD
- FTSenior Business AnalystSA
- TPDigital Process Business Analyst - Digital Transformation**NSW
- CCIT Support TechnicianNSW
- CCCloud Security Solutions Architect - Finance - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTGraduate Software EngineerNSW
- CCUnix AdministratorNSW
- TPSenior Project Manager - ReinsuranceNSW
- FTSenior C++ EngineerACT
- TPEngineer Desktop DevelopmentVIC
- CCTransport Planner - GIS SpecialistNSW
- CCDevops Consultant - 12 month contractVIC
- CCSalesforce DeveloperNSW
- CCADABAS Natural DeveloperNSW
- FTSolution Architect l MS Exchange, O365NSW