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 newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R11s review: The iClone you know and love, but not quite the one you deserve
- 2 Blackberry KEYone Black Edition review: What the original KEYone should have been
- 3 Samsung Gear IconX 2018 review: The path of least resistance makes for an easy upgrade
- 4 TCL X2 review: QLED escapes the premium market
- 5 Xbox One X review: Brave new world
Latest News Articles
- ASUS Announces Two New Entries into the VivoBook Range with the VivoBook 14 and VivoBook 15
- US says laptop ban may expand to more airports
- Epson launches new high-speed Enterprise inkjet printer
- HP's Spectre x360 puts Kaby Lake and Thunderbolt into a thinner, faster package
- HP upgrades the Envy 13 laptop with Kaby Lake, debuts the 4K Envy 27 display
PCW Evaluation Team
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
- Sony a7R Mk III review: The strongest case yet for ditching your DSLR
- Oppo A73 review: The budget smartphone that sets the bar for 2018
- Oppo R11s: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTIT Support OfficerQLD
- CCJava Full stack developer - Telco domainVIC
- CCService Design LeadVIC
- CCHogan Technical Consultant - BrisbaneVIC
- FTDesktop Support AnalystOther
- FTEnd-to-End Recruiter - TelecommunicationsOther
- FT1st Level Technical SupportVIC
- TPSenior Business Analyst - $104/hrQLD
- CCLead Developer - BrisbaneVIC
- FTBusiness AnalystSA
- CCOracle Fusion Middleware AdminNSW
- TPSenior Project Manager: InfrastructureQLD
- CCProcess Improvement Specialist - TelcoVIC
- FTCampaign ManagerOther
- FTCapacity Manager - AWSOther
- FTGraduate Project CoordinatorQLD
- FTPMO ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Project Manager - Financial MarketsVIC
- FTSenior Scrum MasterOther
- FTCRM / MS Dynamics Architect / Sr ConsultantACT
- CCLevel 1 / 2 Desktop Support - BrisbaneNSW
- CCDigital DesignerNSW
- FTSQL Developer / Data AnalystOther
- FTChief Technology OfficerSA
- FTDigital DesignerOther