Here at ThinkComputers, we recently took a look at the Kingston IronKey Keypad 200, an encrypted USB flash drive with an integrated keypad for on-device control and configuration of the drive. That drive works great in instances where you may not have access to install software related to the drive in order for it to work, and it even outperformed its advertised specifications in our testing. In this review however, we are looking at the IronKey Vault Privacy 50 Encrypted USB Flash Drive, a device that offers FIPS 197 certification and XTS-AES 256-bit Encryption. Our version of the Vault Privacy 50, the 50C, is configured with USB Type-C connectivity for compatibility with the latest hardware. Follow along for a closer look!
|USB 3.2 Gen 1
|8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
| USB 3.2 Gen 1
8GB – 128GB: 250MB/s read, 180MB/s write
256GB: 230MB/s read, 150MB/s write
|77.9 mm x 21.9 mm x 12.0 mm
|Up to 4 ft; IEC 60529 IPX8
|0°C to 60°C
|-20°C to 85°C
|USB 3.0/USB 3.1/USB 3.2 Gen 1
|Limited 5-year warranty, free technical support
Windows® 11, 10, macOS® 10.15.x – 13.x
FIPS 197 certification ensures the Vault Privacy 50 is up to snuff with regards to the encryption algorithms used to protect your data. In this case, that is XTS-AES 256-bit. Additionally, the drive has built-in protection against BadUSB and brute force attacks.
Multi-Password Option for Data Recovery
The Vault Privacy 50 can be configured with User, One-Time, and Admin recovery passwords. 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.
New Passphrase Mode
With the ability to choose either a complex or passphrase mode, you can configure passphrases from 10-64 characters in length. Plenty of room to incorporate your favorite poem or saying into your data protection plan.
Dual Read-Only Settings
You can set the Vault Privacy to a Read-Only mode, protecting your data against malware-based attacks that try to write to your devices.
The packaging for the IronKey Vault Privacy 50 is quite minimal, but provides information about the drive on the front and back of the retail hanging card. Just like with the previously reviewed Keypad 200, 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.