With the popularity of cloud storage services like Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive, you might wonder why anyone would have any use for a USB flash drive anymore. Well, there are definitely some instances where making files available in a cloud service might not make sense for a variety of reasons, and one of those reasons might be data security. Thankfully Kingston knows this and in this review we will be taking a look at their IronKey Keypad 200 hardware-encrypted USB flash drive. The Keypad 200 offers 256-bit XTS-AES hardware encryption paired up with an alphanumeric keypad for easy access to the drive contents via a PIN. There is more to the IronKey Keypad 200 than an integrated keypad, so follow along as we dive in for a closer look.
|Interface||USB 3.2 Gen 1|
|Capacities1||8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB|
|Speed2||USB 3.2 Gen 1
8GB – 128GB: 145MB/s read, 115MB/s write
|Dimensions (drive with sleeve)||80mm x 20mm x 10.5mm|
|Dimensions (drive without sleeve)||78mm x 18mm x 8mm|
|Waterproof/Dustproof3||Certified to IP57 rating|
|Operating Temperature||0°C to 50°C|
|Storage Temperature||-20°C to 60°C|
|Compatibility||USB 3.0/USB 3.1/USB 3.2 Gen 1|
|Minimum System Requirements||USB 3.0 compliant and 2.0 compatible|
|Warranty/support||3-year warranty, free technical support|
|Compatible with||OS-independent: Microsoft Windows®, macOS®, Linux®, Chrome OS™, Android ™4 or any system that supports a USB mass storage device.|
FIPS 140-3 Level 3 (Pending) Certification
The National Institute of Standards and Technology provides many security specifications that software and hardware vendors can comply with, and FIPS 140-3 is the latest standard related to the effectiveness of cryptographic (think encrypted data) hardware. This includes focus on the Keypad 200’s security capabilities, including tamper-resistance, component protection, XTS-AES 256-bit encryption, and protection againsts Brute Force and BadUSB attacks.
OS and Device Agnostic
The Keypad 200 is compatible across multiple operating systems and platforms. A USB Type-A connector ensures form-factor compatibility, while an internal battery allows for drive unlocking without the use of software.
The Keypad 200 can be configured in single User or Admin/User modes. This allows an administrator to have some administrative control over the device if it is being checked out to a user – especially helpful if the user forgets or enters in an incorrect PIN.
Available to both Users and Admins, the Read-Only mode lets you access the contents of the drive in an untrusted system without worry of the drive becoming compromised.
The packaging for the IronKey Keypad 200 is quite minimal, but provides information about the drive on the front and back of the retail hanging card. Interestingly, I’ve typically seen the more expensive USB flash drives locked up in display cabinets or on locked pegs, which almost defeats the retail card purpose. Either way, the package does its job without any real excess waste.