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Sunday
Mar252012

Review: ioSafe SoloPro Disaster Proof backup hard drive

 By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

We have a variety of backup solutions today ranging from inexpensive cloud storage as well as  high capacity external hard drives. Critical personal and business data needs to be backed up and safely stored and while most external hard drive solutions in the market can manage to store data efficiently, very few can withstand exposure to high temperatures or being immersed in water. ioSafe's SoloPro is the highest rated disaster proof backup drive and it offers extreme protection.

Available in one to four terabyte capacities, this is a fireproof, waterproof and theftproof solution that combines solid construction with the high speed performance backed up with business class compatibility. This is an external drive that brings the build quality of the world's best safes to the world of data.

The first thing I noticed with the ioSafe SoloPro backup hard drive (starting at US $349) was its weight and industrial strength construction.  

Weighing 15 pounds and encased in thick metal with various physical theft potection features, a floor mount as well as a Kensington lock feature, this backup drive offers the ultimate in personal or small to medium business storage protection. For users who want to leave nothing to chance, the SoloPro is pretty nigh-invulnerable.

How tough is the io Safe SoloPro?

It is rated to protect data from loss up to 1550°F temperatures for 1/2 hour and is likely to survive most fires and even napalm.

It can also be submerged 10ft underwater for 72 hours without data loss. ioSafe also offers 1, 3, or 5 year  data recovery plans for added insurance.

For the fire proofing, the backup drive employs the DataCast endothermic fire insulation technology that protects your data from extreme heat. The DataCast formulation forms a chemical bond with water molecules that, at temperatures above 160°F, releases water vapor to limit the internal temperature of the unit during a fire.

Photo courtesy of http://computerrepairblog.blogspot.com

Waterproofing is made possible by a  HydroSafe water barrier technology is designed to protect data loss from fresh or salt water damage, including full immersion. While keeping your data dry, the HydroSafe technology still allows heat to dissipate during normal operation. 

For situations when exposed to floods or sinking, the ioSafe SoloPro is the only backup storage option that can preserve data for up to 72 hours.

ioSafe CEO Robb Moore said, "The new SoloPRO provides industry-leading performance and physical security as well as plug-and-play simplicity. Additionally, the new interfaces and upgraded Data Recovery Services make the SoloPRO a logical choice for disaster protection in home office and business environments."


"Both homes and businesses need to store ever-increasing volumes of data quickly without worrying about data loss. ioSafe has always been about safely and securely storing data locally and now with its introduction of USB 3.0 and eSATA, homes and businesses can accomplish that more quickly than ever before ," said Jerome Wendt, an expert in data storage who serves as the Principal and Lead Analyst at DCIG.

In terms of compatibility, I found that the ioSafe SoloPro was a good fit for both PC and Mac backups and worked with a variety of solutions such as Apple's Time Machine as well as CrashPlan. Users whose PCs have USB 3.0 connections will be able to enjoy faster data transfers and quicker backups with transfer speeds over 100 MB/s — 3 to 4 times faster than typical USB 2.0 speeds.

I used the backup drive connected directly to my computers as well as through the Synology NAS for network backups and found it to be seamless. Hundreds of articles and blog posts, important photos and even videos were moved from various hard drives into the ioSafe SoloPro.

One TB of data can be backed up to a SoloPRO in a couple of hours versus 10+ hours with USB 2.0 or several months online at normal speeds.

Below is an actual account of an ioSafe SoloPRO user's experience.

"We had a house fire December 16, 2011.   It was one of the single most devastating events of my entire life.   I watched as everything I ever owned went up in flames and turned into nothing more than ash.  Not a single photo remained.  Our computers were not recognizable for the most part, and we didn't even bother to look for external hard drives or flash drives.  In just a few hours I lost, what felt like everything I ever owned.

After the fire was put out and the structure was deemed safe to enter by the fireman, we walked through what used to be our home.  The fire was electrical in nature and started in a wall in the living room.   This is where my husband's desk, computers, and all equipment sat.   You couldn't even tell there used to be a desk there.   The floor had burned through and the fire was so hot that nearly everything that did remain in the house, even in those rooms furthest from the flames, was melted.

Our ioSafe sat in the living room.   In the room the fire started in and the room that was literally turned to ash.

One of the firemen who had fallen through the floor trying to fight the flames saw the ioSafe in the basement and noticed it was something we might want soon.   It was covered in soot, soaked and the plastic melted on the outside of the case.

About 24 hours after the fire we plugged the ioSafe into a computer at my office and were quite shocked that it didn't appear to be harmed on the inside AT ALL.   We were able to recover every file we ever backed up to the ioSafe, and it ran smoothly as if nothing happened.

I cannot thank you enough for this product.  I only wish I had utilized all the space and backed up EVERYTHING to it.  I wish I had scanned more photos and saved more files.   I am so happy for what I do have - which is my entire list of files for work, many baby photos of my children and a few scanned wedding pictures as well!!! I will still get to see all those pictures of the years my kids were babies and as they grew into teenagers thanks to you."

ioSafe's convenient 12 months Data Recovery Service Standard is included. This ensures to $2,500.00 towards the cost of thirdparty forensic data recovery, one time, for any reason including accidental deletion, hard drive failure, fires, floods, etc. Upgradeable to 3 or 5 years for $49 or $99 respectively.

Rating: 5 out of 5


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