Kingston IronKey Vault Privacy 50 Encrypted USB Flash Drive Review

Testing

The following components are used for our testing.

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D
Cooling: Custom AlphaCool Loop
Motherboard: ASUS Crosshair VIII Hero
Graphics Card: EVGA RTX 2070 Super
Memory: Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 64GB
Storage: Sabrent Rocket 4.0 Plus
Case: InWin 925
Power: EVGA G5 750

Once the Vault Privacy has been unlocked, you are able to access the data on the drive. The process of unlocking the drive, that we covered previously, is an easy process, but if for some reason the User or One-Time recovery password is entered incorrectly 10 times in a row, those accounts will be locked. If the Admin password is entered incorrectly 10 times, then the drive initiates its brute force protection mechanism, triggering a full crypto-erase of the drive and resetting it.

With my User and Admin passwords setup, it was time to see how the IronKey Vault Privacy 50 performs in basic file transfer use. I fired up CrystalDiskMark, ran the standard benchmark, and you can see the results below. Kingston does not mention the performance of the drive anywhere on the product packaging or their website – outside of the specifications table. Kingston advertises the VO50 as having a range of performance across their 8GB to 256GB drives between 230-250MB/s for READ, and between 150-180MB/s for WRITE, but my testing results were actually a decent bit above those figures. I experienced up to 333MB/s READ speeds and 249MB/s WRITE speeds with sequential workloads. Random workloads drop way off, which is expected, and I saw 17MB/s READ and 10MB/s WRITE in those types of workloads.

IronKey Vault Privacy 50C

While these results are nothing compared to some of the crazy fast speeds we have seen from portable SSDs, that’s not the workload the IronKey Vault Privacy 50 is aimed at. The VP50 is designed with security as the number one focus. The performance results I encountered during my time with the Vault Protect 50 are great for a USB 3.2 Gen 1 drive with built-in hardware encryption. This drive will be more than suitable for safely transporting and transferring your tax documents and other important personal information, leaving you resting a little more soundly if the drive were to become lost or stolen.

Final Thoughts

With it being tax season in the US, I can see the Kingston IronKey Vault Privacy being a great option for folks that want to ensure a safe and secure way to provide their documents to a tax preparer in-person. The ability to have these types of sensitive documents with you at all times, without having to worry about the drive falling into the wrong hands thanks to the 265-bit AES encryption, makes going about your daily tasks that much easier. The built-in software used to unlock the VP50 doesn’t require any installation, it just runs when needed in order to unlock the drive for data access.

IronKey Vault Privacy 50C

The USB Type-C connectivity that the VP50C offers makes sure it is compatible with the latest systems, while a USB Type-A version is also available for those that need that type of connection. In capacities from 8GB all the way up to 256GB, the Vault Privacy 50 line of drives should come in handy for anyone needing encrypted data on the go. Throw in the way-better-than-advertised READ and WRITE performance that I encountered, and the Vault Privacy drives from Kingston just keep getting better. The only issue I encountered in my time with this drive was that the endcap just didn’t want to stay on the drive, and would often come off during transport.

With multiple size and connectivity options and robust encryption and drive protection measures, the 64GB Kingston IronKey Vault Privacy 50C is currently available for $124.99 at our favorite online retailer, and earns a 9 out of 10.

rating9 10

Pros
– Metal body
– Read and Write performance above advertised specifications
– FIPS 197 Certified
– XTS-AES 256-bit Encryption

Cons
– Cap Comes Off Too Easily