Kingston DataTraveler Vault Privacy 3.0 Review

Privacy and security of personal data is getting more and more important now-a-days, and difficult at the same time. On the same note, Kingston has introduced DataTraveler Vault Privacy 3.0, which has hardware backed encryption to protect your files from unauthorized use. Moreover, this device has a read-only mode to protect your device from malware, which comes very handy when using the USB drive on public or shared computers.

Kingston is the leading manufacturer of memory and storage devices, and understands the needs of their customers. They quickly realized the need of more security of the data on the USB drive and hence launched the Kingston DataTraveler Vault Privacy (DTVP). The DTVP 3.0 is the newest edition to the family which is just the DTVP with USB 3.0 standards for more speed for data transfer.

We have the 16GB version of reviewing and testing purposes, let’s take a look at several aspects of the USB drive.

Hardware and Design

The drive itself is not very compact or trendy, it’s like a pendrive from 2009. What’s great about it is not it’s design but it’s build and quality. The USB drive is cased in an aluminum shell and is waterproof up to 4 feet of depth. The device is enclosed in such a way that it protects the internal components not only from water but from dirt, moisture and more. The device is rugged and can protect the data from physical damage up to a limit. While the device is rugged, it’s a bit clunky too measuring 0.5″ x 0.9″ x 3.1″ (H-W-D), which sometimes lead to jacking of the nearby port. 

The drive has a hardware backed encryption mechanism which protects it from fraudulent software based alterations. The device is fully encrypted by enterprise grade 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) in XTS mode.

Software and Speed

The drive comes with a pre installed software, which runs directly from a separate section of the USB drive. The software supports Windows, Mac OS and even Linux, which is usually not found is such consumer products. One thing that needs to be noted is that it only supports the full version of Windows and will fail on RT systems. Said that the software is cross-platform, you’ll never have to take headache on converting and re-encrypting data on different platforms. On the 16GB version of the drive, we have 14.2GB of usable space after the companion software, which is pretty great.

In our testing, we were able to achieve sequential read speeds of 30.48  MB/sec on USB 2.0 and of 281.23 MB/sec on USB 3.0, moreover we were able to achieve sequential write speeds of 20.64  MB/sec on USB 2.0 and 102.1 MB/sec on USB 3.0. The read and write speed of the device is pretty good, especially considering that your data is fully secure and encrypted on device.

The software provided onboard is pretty good in terms of functionality. As soon as you plugin the disk, Windows shows a dialog to run the software present. As soon as the software starts, you’ll see a password prompt to open the device and other options like formatting the drive, etc. You get 10 attempts to enter the password, the device will be locked and formatted after that. One thing I don’t like is that anybody can totally erase the data on the drive without password, so don’t think of storing very sensitive one-copy files on the drive.

The drive provides a read-only option, which is good to be used on public computers to prevent malware from infecting the drive. Moreover, the Kingston icon stays in system taskbar icons and provides additional functionality including setting your contact information, which can also be seen on the initial password entry screen.

Moving on to the software after you login, it provides functionality needed to manage your drive, such as changing password, setting language, contact information, etc.

Specifications and Technical information

The USB drive is available in the following capacities and models:

  • Kingston DataTraveler Vault Privacy 3.0
    • 4GB (DTVP30/4GB)
    • 8GB (DTVP30/8GB)
    • 16GB (DTVP30/16GB)
    • 32GB (DTVP30/32GB)
    • 64GB (DTVP30/64GB)
  • Kingston DataTraveler Vault Privacy 3.0 AV
    • 4GB (DTVP30AV/4GB)
    • 8GB (DTVP30AV/8GB)
    • 16GB (DTVP30AV/16GB)
    • 32GB (DTVP30AV/32GB)

We had the 16GB version for review with the following technical specifications:

  • 64GB (DTVP30/16GB)
  • USB 3.0 backards compatibility with USB 2.0
  • Speeds (Theoretical):
    • USB 3.0:
      • 4GB: 80 MB/s read, 12 MB/s write
      • 8GB: 165 MB/s read, 22 MB/s write
      • 16GB: 165 MB/s read, 22 MB/s write
      • 32GB: 250 MB/s read, 40 MB/s write
      • 64GB: 250 MB/s read, 85 MB/s write
  • Dimensions: 77.9 mm x 22 mm x 12.05 mm
  • Operating Temperature: 32°F to 140°F (0°C to 60°C)
  • Storage Temperature: -4°F to 185°F (-20°C to 85°C)
  • Minimum System Requirements:
    • USB 3.0 compliant and 2.0 compatible
    • Two (2) free drive letters required for use
  • Guaranteed: 5-year warranty
  • Compatibility: Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7 (SP1), Vista (SP2), XP (SP3), Mac OS X 10.6.x–10.9.x, Linux v2.6.x+

Usability and Data Security

The drive is very easy to use, the items on the software are well labeled to easily figure out everything. I personally had no problems in using this drive at any point of time. The design is not small, pretty big in fact, which makes it a little difficult to use another drive on the adjacent USB slot, which ain’t much of a problem.

The protection of data is top-notch, with useful features like Read-Only mode. I tested it on a system infected with malware, but the drive wasn’t found to be infected when scanned with Antivirus. On the whole, you’ll never notice a difference in usage with this drive or your normal drive, except the password prompt everytime you plug in the device.

The data on the drive is totally secure and encrypted. All the data is encrypted with Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256-bit standard which is powered by ESET security.

Conclusion

The Kingston DataTraveler Vault Privacy 3.0 provides great performance and exceptional security with it’s enterprise grade hardware backed encryption system. I would recommend this drive only if you want to carry very sensitive information. The drive works great, and offers great flexibility with options. But the price of this device is insanely high, with a very high price per GB. This does offer great security of data, at a price. Said that the device comes with 5 year warranty, that too with free technical support, you’ll never have to worry about data protection anymore. You can find more information on the device on Kingston’s website.

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