The good guys over at ioSafe sent us an ioSafe SoloPro 2T hard drive to play with. We took it out for a picnic where we set it on fire. Read the full review after the jump.
So it is true, the ioSafe is indestructible and it is built like a tank so as far as back-ups go, you’re covered. But, with cloud backup becoming more and more popular the first question that I asked myself is why the heck would I want a hard drive at home.
The short answer is that even with today’s upload bandwidth it is still not practical to back up 2 or 3 terabytes on the cloud. It does not make sense price wise and it does not makes sense in upload times.
It is that amount of storage data that gives the ioSafe it’s right to live as a product.
The ioSafe SoloPro is a fairly big unit: 5.0″W x 7.1″H x 11.0″L and weighs a hefty 15 lbs. Once you set it in place it will stay there.
My version was the SoloPro 2T, which carries 2 terabytes of data. as my main computer has a 2 terabytes it is an ideal fit to be used as a mirror / hot backup to the entire drive.
All and all I was fairly impressed with the drive, it looks really cool (black with a blue LED pattern) it was quite and transfer rate was very good.
How I Would Use It
The way my computer environment is set up is that I have a mirror computer at my bomb shelter (using second copy) and I would place the ioSafe there to mirror my mirror. So in case there is a hardware failure (or the bomb shelter collapses) the mirrored ioSafe will still survive with all my data.
The drive comes with an eSATA port or a USB port which makes it ideal as a mirror, but it lacks a network ports so it can not be a stand alone. If you are using some sort of Network storage, it would make sense to have the ioSafe mirror that storage.
The Good Stuff
Well, if you got here, this should be obvious but the ioSafe holds up to its promise and survived both our camp fire and a few buckets of water. While we were pretty mild with it there is some footage going around showing how tough this baby really is. I believe them
Another big plus for me was the high transfer rate when using the eSATA interface, about 70MB/second which is roughly 4 gigs a minute. More than enough. If you get the maximal capacity drive you get 4 terabytes which should be enough for your everyday backup needs.
On the operational level, the drive was quite, which is good if you choose to place it next to your working station.
The Other Stuff
I really did not find anything that really bugged me with the unit that I was sent. But there are a few things that would make it even better.
The biggest thing for me was the size/no network port combo. It means that I would either have to place the unit which is fairly big next to my computer (via eSATA or USB) or have it mirror a remote NAS.
The other thing was that if you want the benefits of the faster eSATA the drive cannot be daisy chained. This means that if you upgrade to a bigger drive you can’t really use it with the old drive (unless you install a second eSATA card).
Lastly, for my computer the drive was not hot swappable, I had to reboot. No biggie, but still an inconvenience
I say this in the video, for the price it is a great bargain. You know that your files are safe and you can go to bed knowing that even if a flood is followed by a fire you’re good.
We give it 8.5 out of 10.
(Amazon are offering the ioSafe drives for about 30% off which makes this even better)
From manufacturer’s site:
- Fireproof — protects data from loss up to 1550°F for 1/2 hour
- Waterproof — protects data from loss up to 10ft for 72 hours
- Data Recovery Service – Up to $5000 for forensic recovery w/ Advanced Replacement
- eSATA/USB 2.0 connectivity
- Windows Server, Linux, Mac and PC Compatible
- Capacities from 1TB to 4TB