Apricorn's Aegis Bio 3.0 pairs solid performance with enhanced security features to create a nice, all-around external hard drive. The Aegis Bio harnesses biometrics to make sure you (and only you) have access to your data.
The pocket-sized hard drive comes with a built-in fingerprint scanner than helps alleviates any worries of unapproved access to the drive. Fingerprint access might sound like a bit of a novelty, but from a security standpoint it actually makes sense; passwords can be cracked--fingerprints, not so much.
Programming a new Aegis Bio 3.0 to recognize your fingerprint is a relatively straightforward task; just plug it in and wait for the green light to start blinking, then swipe your finger and repeat. Eventually, both a green and a blue light will remain solid, meaning your fingerprint has been stored and you can begin using the drive. Apricorn says that it should take most people about six finger swipes before the drive fully recognizes it, but I had to perform 11 swipes. The Aegis Bio can store up to five different fingerprints, enabling you to allow friends, family, or coworkers access to the drive.
You can add additional fingerprints at any time, but as a sort of confirmation, you first must scan a fingerprint that is already registered with the drive. If the Aegis Bio 3.0 has five registered fingerprints and you want to remove and/or add new ones, you have to completely reset the Aegis Bio 3.0 and rescan the prints. Performing the full reset on the system will wipe it clean of all data and stored prints. Seems like a hassle, but it's actually a nice little feature that insures that your data will be safe and private even if the drive gets stolen.
After the fingerprints have been enrolled, unlocking and accessing the Aegis Bio 3.0 is a breeze with one slow swipe of your finger doing the trick--usually. Locking the drive is just as simple and is done by pressing and holding down a button located directly under the scanner.
The encrypted drive protected its data even when detached from its biometric component. To test this, I opened up the Aegis Bio in the lab, removed the actual hard drive from the case, and plugged it into an external enclosure in an attempt to bypass the finger scanning process completely. The result? I was locked out of the drive and only able to regain access by reattaching the biometric component.
The Aegis Bio 3.0 uses power from the USB port and no extra software is needed to get the drive's biometric features up and running. Just plug it in and the 256-bit AES encrypted hard drive is good to go.
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