STARAY S2 Series S225-1S-B2
Fast and flimsy.
- Extra security, easy to install a hard drive, fast transfer speeds, simple software manager
- Feels fragile, unattractive, encryption is not the highest level currently available
It may look and feel flimsy, but the STARAY S2 Series S225-1S-B2 is a useful little hard drive enclosure designed for a 2.5in notebook HDD. It is simple and effective.
Price$ 77.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 2 stores)
The Staray S2 Series S225-1S-B2 is a drive enclosure that allows owners to choose which standard 2.5in hard drive they want to use as an external hard drive. It also provides extra security features. Although the casing feels flimsy and the encryption isn't the current industry standard, it's still worth considering.
As the speed of external hard drives increases and the cost per gigabyte decreases, the usefulness of a drive enclosure largely depends on what extra features it brings to the table and how simple it is to use.
The bay is only large enough to house a single 2.5in drive (the size of a standard notebook drive). Installing the drive doesn't require any screws, and the Serial ATA connection (which has an interface speed of 1.5GB per second) means that any modern notebook drive will slide right into the connection.
The case itself is unattractive, with a garish metal panel on the removable plate. The unit looks and feels very fragile, creaks with every squeeze and won't stand up to much punishment, so users should handle it with care.
The enclosure's stand-out feature is the fingerprint reader on its front. This is designed to offer quick and easy access to a secure partition of the hard drive that is "invisible" until the correct fingerprint or password is entered.
The software that initially prepares the inserted drive is unsurprisingly named Initial.exe and is relatively easy to use. Users set the proportion of openly visible space to secured private space, and format the drive accordingly — a process that doesn't take more than a few minutes.
Once this is done, a separate program automatically starts up and registers the user's fingerprints and password, completing the process and allowing for relatively safe data storage.
The S225-1S-B2 primarily uses 128-bit DES encryption to secure data on the drive. If the drive is removed from the case and connected directly to a computer, it appears to be an unformatted and empty hard drive.
It should be noted that 128-bit DES encryption has been cracked in the past and that AES encryption is now considered the industry and government standard. However, it would still take a very committed hacker with a very expensive computer setup a long time to break into the drive.
Once the correct fingerprint or password has been entered, the secure partition of the drive appears as a separate drive. The transfer speeds of both the secured and unsecured sections are the same. For our benchmarking, we used a Western Digital Scorpio Blue (WD5000BEVT) that spins up at 5400rpm.
When transferring a folder with 5GB of data from a PC using a Seagate Barracuda ES2 that spins up at 7200rpm to the enclosure, we recorded read/write speeds of 31.1 megabytes per second and 25MBps, respectively, while the copy transfer test recorded 15MBps. These are fast times, especially when compared to the Seagate FreeAgent Go, which is currently the fastest external hard drive we've reviewed.
All in all, the Staray S2 Series S225-1S-B2 is a relatively affordable device that offers additional security, albeit in an ugly and fragile package. Unless users are willing to splurge on the Seagate Maxtor BlackArmour drive, which features less hard drive space but better encryption, this is a good bet that provides an increased choice of hard drives.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 4 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
- 5 Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III review: Testing the world's first 600Mbps wireless hotspot
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- AMD gets into SSDs with value Radeon R3 drives. But US only for now.
- How to recover data from a corrupt hard drive or SSD with no backup on Mac: How to delete corrupted files on external Mac drive
- Akitio's combines two speedy technologies in blazing external SSD
- Intel claims storage supremacy with swift 3D XPoint Optane drives, 1-petabyte 3D NAND
- Nvidia's DGX-1 supercomputer packs the horsepower of 250 servers
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- CCICT Contracts and Procurement SpecialistACT
- CCBig Data DeveloperWA
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- FTMid-Level Full-Stack Java DeveloperVIC
- FTSOE SpecialistACT
- CCBusiness AnalystACT
- CCBusiness Analyst, LifeNSW
- CCSenior Process AnalystVIC
- CCMobility SpcialistACT
- CCMS SCOM AdministratorVIC
- CCAnalyst Programmer (Enterprise Java Beans/J2EE) 160601/AP/982Asia
- FTData Feeds Developer | Financial Services | C# & SQLNSW
- CCMobile LI SMEVIC
- FTPerformance Test AnalystNSW
- CCSoftware Engineer (Client facing) - Publisher SolutionsNSW
- FTSenior Developer (.Net)SA
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/SQL) 160606/AP/251Asia
- CCSenior Programmer (Data Engineering)NSW
- CCInteractional Designer-Adobe Creative Cloud, SketchNSW
- CCData and Business AnalystACT
- FTSenior .NET DeveloperWA
- CCEnd to End Project Manager - PMO and GovernanceVIC
- CCMicrosoft System Engineer - NV1ACT
- CCOracle DBA | 3-6mth ContractVIC
- CCQA OfficerACT