Kingston DataTraveler Vault - Privacy Edition (32GB) USB flash drive

Secure your data on the move with Kingston's AES-encrypted USB flash drive

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Kingston DataTraveler Vault - Privacy Edition (32GB)
  • Expert Rating

    4.25 / 5

Pros

  • Government-grade, 256-bit AES encryption for the whole drive; fast; protection against brute force attacks

Cons

  • Extremely expensive; slightly chunky

Bottom Line

If security is a must, Kingston's DataTraveler Vault - Privacy Edition is a good choice. However, if you aren't backed by corporate or government funds, this is one expensive USB flash drive.

Would you buy this?

As portable USB flash drive storage capacities continue to rise, the possibility of losing a lot of data in one hit becomes more worrying. While there are no flashing lights, laser grids or barbed wire to suggest that the Kingston DataTraveler Vault - Privacy Edition is different to other USB flash drives, the drive comes with 256-bit AES encryption. If you lose your drive your data will still be safe from prying eyes.

Apart from the bold "Vault Privacy" lettering on the underside of the drive, it resembles the DataTraveler 150 without the Spiderman suit. Like the DataTraveler 150, it is slightly chunky for a USB flash drive, which means you might have trouble accessing adjacent USB ports when it's plugged in.

Using the Kingston DataTraveler Vault - Privacy Edition with a PC for the first time initiates automatic installation of the DTVP Launcher (which is compatible with both Windows PCs and Macs). During installation and before you type in your password, the DataTraveler Vault - Privacy Edition shows up on your computer as a 3.9MB CD drive with the installation software and a removable media drive that denies access.

Once software installation is complete, you can enter your password, which unlocks and mounts the drive as a standard 32GB removable storage device. On Windows PCs, a system tray icon also appears from which you can access the settings menu to change your password or format the USB flash drive. From plugging the USB flash drive in to be being prompted for your password takes roughly a minute, and this has to be repeated on every new computer you plug the drive into. Subsequent uses on the same computer don't require the set-up process, so you can start using the USB flash drive as soon as you enter your password.

The 256-bit AES encryption employed by the drive is also used by Maxtor's BlackArmor portable hard drive and has been ratified by US government for use with both unclassified and potentially classified information.

All of the available storage on the drive is encrypted, so you can't accidentally transfer a file to an unprotected portion of the USB flash drive. The drive is also protected against brute force attempts to break the password, and will automatically reformat itself after 10 unsuccessful password attempts. You can securely format the USB flash drive at any time through the settings dialog.

The Kingston DataTraveler Vault - Privacy Edition is extremely fast, able to write 20GB worth of 3-4GB files at a rate of 12.2 megabytes per second (MBps), and read the same data at 28.5MBps. It also handles small files well. In our benchmark tests, it wrote 3GB worth of 1MB files at 5.5MBps and read them at 23.6MBps. It performed a simultaneous read/write operation of the same files at 4.8MBps.

The DataTraveler Vault - Privacy Edition's closest competitor, Corsair's 32GB Flash Voyager provides data encryption, but it only encrypts the USB flash drive in 4GB portions and it's not government-grade.

The Kingston drive is twice as expensive as Corsair's offering, and unfortunately you don't get the rugged shell of the Flash Voyager. But if data security is your primary concern, Kingston's DataTraveler Vault - Privacy Edition wins hands down.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

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.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

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.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

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.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

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.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

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!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

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.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?