10 August 2018, Comments: Comments Off on Most Rugged USB Drives You Can Buy Today

 August 2018         Ian Chiu

Product Comparison

Flash Survivor
G-DRIVE SSD R-series
Rugged SSD
Rugged RAID Pro
Storage Type:Flash drivePortable SSDPortable SSDDesktop hard drivePortable hard drive
Environmental Resistance:Drop, pressure and immersion protectionIP67 rated:
Total dust & limited immersion protection
Chemical, drop and immersion protectionHeat, chemical and immersion protectionIP54 rated:
Limited dust & water spray protection
Not specified3 m
10 ft
3 m
10 ft
Not applicable1.2 m
4 ft
200 m
650 ft
1 m
3 ft
3 m
10 ft (up to 3 days)
3 m
10 ft (up to 3 days)
Not applicable
Not specified1 T2500 lb (aluminum)
5000 lb (titanium)
Not specified1 T
Not specifiedNot specifiedNot specified1550 F
840 C (up to 30 mins)
Not specified
Build Material:CNC-milled, aircraft-grade aluminum chassisAluminum bodyBillet-machined aluminum chassisRubber bumper, aluminum body
Available Capacities:16 to 256GB500GB to 2TB250GB to 1TB2 to 6TB2 x 2TB
4TB (RAID-0)
2TB (RAID-1)
Data Recovery Service Included?NoNoYesYes3-year Seagate data rescue program
Interface:USB 3.1 Gen 1USB 3.1 Gen 2USB 3.1 Gen 1USB 3.1 Gen 1USB 3.1 Gen 1
SD slot
Dimensions:8.5 x 2.4 x 2.4cm
3" x 0.95" x 0.95"
94 x 50 x 14.5mm
3.74" x 1.97" x 0.57"
14.5 x 10 x 2.5cm5.0" x 7.1" x 11"5.5" x 3.6" x 1.18"
Weight:1.28 oz
36 g
0.19 lb
86 g
450 g
1 lb
6.8 kg
15 lb
0.9 lb
Release Date:20142017201120102018
Warranty:5 years5 years3 to 5 years3 to 5 years3 years

Corsair Flash Survivor

Not completely content with rubber’s above-average durability, Corsair has decided to go all out with their Flash Survivor rugged series.  Forged from aircraft-grade aluminum in the CNC mills of Mount Doom, California, this drive is designed to take a beating while providing transfer speeds unfathomable by mere I/O controllers.

The Corsair Flash Survivor lived up to its name, after being submerged in 12′ of chlorine water, chucked from a roof and backed over by my SUV multiple times.  And while the tube housing may not have met our expectations with its flying endcap, it did protect our data, and Corsair’s generous 5-year warranty will grant it a new lease on life.   The Survivor is definitely for those with active lifestyles.

Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive, Black
964 Reviews
Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive, Black
  • Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth 128gb Usb 3.0 Flash Drive - 128 Gb - Black

G-technology G-DRIVE SSD R-series

G-technology – a brand under Western Digital that targets on-the-go photographers and video professionals alike – has a moderately rugged portable SSD that keeps up with today’s demand in performance and also data protection against different working environments.  Its G-Drive SSD R-series is rated for IP67 rating which means the drive offers protection against dust and immersion up to 1m.  G-technology also claims the chassis is able to withstand drops from up to 3m and to resist pressure up to 1000lb.

In addition to durability, the G-Drive offers superb performance (up to 560MB/s) via its USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface over USB-C.  This kind of speed should be fairly future-proof for most people’s needs unless you are trying to edit RAW 4k footage in real-time.  G-technology doesn’t include free data recovery services with the G-Drive but offers a 5-year limited warranty with the product.  You can find the rugged drives available from 500GB to 2TB.

G-Technology 1TB G-DRIVE mobile SSD Durable Portable External Storage -...
1,498 Reviews
G-Technology 1TB G-DRIVE mobile SSD Durable Portable External Storage -...
  • A durable design with IP67 water/dust resistance, 3M drop tested, and 1000lb crush resistance
  • Super fast transfer rates up to 560MB/s
  • Latest generation USB C connectivity (USB 3.1 Gen 2)

ioSafe Rugged Portable

This ioSafe really is a triple threat.  It offers stellar performance; exceptional protection; and great aesthetics.  The chassis is designed to take all the beatings so the hard drive inside can survive.  This means that no matter how extreme a situation you encounter your precious data is going to be as safe as it could possibly be.

Even in a worst-case scenario, your data will be safe and sound; or at the very least, the ioSafe has a much better chance of surviving the disaster than you will.  As long as you are willing to pay more per gigabyte than you would for an unprotected portable drive; and as long as you don’t mind it being slightly less portable than an unprotected drive, the ioSafe Rugged Portable would be a great choice.

ioSafe SoloPRO Fireproof Drive

The SoloPRO from ioSafe is a giant disaster-proof external storage.  Suffice to say, you can literally burn as well as drowning this drive, and the drive (inside) is guaranteed to keep on ticking.  With actual dimensions of 7.1″ x 11″ x 5″, shoebox-sized DAS also weighs in at 15 lbs.  The reason the drive is so large is due to the fact that the chassis is made from thick steel with no plastic anywhere in sight.

ioSafe advertises the SoloPRO as waterproof. While hard drive inside the enclosure is technically, but the USB SATA controller chip, the fan and basically everything else are not. This makes sense as only the hard drive is sealed against the elements. As for ioSafe’s fireproof claim, no doubt one shouldn’t expect anything to survive after being engulfed in fire for 30 minutes. Thanks to extracting the hard drive inside and plugging it into free SATA port on any motherboard shows that your data is safe and sound. This is certainly a tank that your precious data can live in and be safe under just about any terrible circumstance but you have to pay a premium for this ultimate data protection.

ioSafe SoloPRO 2TB Fireproof & Waterproof External Hard Drive, Black...
7 Reviews
ioSafe SoloPRO 2TB Fireproof & Waterproof External Hard Drive, Black...
  • Fireproof - Protects data from loss up to 1550°F for 1/2 hour per ASTM E119
  • Waterproof - Protects data from flood. Fully submersed, fresh or salt water, 10 foot depth, 72...
  • Data Recovery Service(DRS) for any reason.

LaCie XtremKey USB 3.0

The LaCie XtremKey has already made a name for itself as one of the handful of flash drives being able to survive the pressure, water, heat, and cold.  LaCie claims it can resist temperatures as high as 200ºC; 10-ton pressure; 10m drop; and submersion in water up to 200m.  The latest addition of USB 3.0 to the already formidable-looking drive should only make the XtremKey more desirable.

LaCie advertises the rugged drive performance with an impressive 230MB/s read speed. If manufacturers don’t make the write speed public, you can usually expect it to be only half of read.  Regardless, the new XtremKey should still leave the original version with its 30 to 40MB/s average speed in the dust.  Little else has changed in the fundamental design, retaining its heavy-duty screw-tight enclosure made with 2mm-thick ZAMAC metal alloy.  LaCie offers 32GB as minimum capacity with a starting street price of $45 up to 128GB for $110.  But the company stops making them so try your luck on Amazon and eBay.

LaCie Rugged RAID Pro

The Rugged RAID Pro from LaCie shares the same iconic orange bumper design as its siblings, but the latest iteration of the portable storage line now comes with an SD card slot and data redundancy using a pair of 2TB 2.5″ drives.  Switching to RAID-0 will give you the combined capacity of 4TB; this mode also boosts performance up to 240MB/s.  The sole drive supplier is none other than Seagate as it is the parent company of LaCie.

Being a rugged drive, it has a crush resistance of 1T which means the LaCie (or more importantly the data inside) should be able to survive after being run over by a small family car.  The company also claims its IP54 rating should give you adequate protection against water spray and limited dust ingress.  In addition to LaCie’s 3-year warranty, Seagate has included rescue data recovery should you need one.

LaCie Rugged Raid Pro 4TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD – USB 3.0...
969 Reviews
LaCie Rugged Raid Pro 4TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD – USB 3.0...
  • Rugged Raid Pro offers the best of all worlds raid versatility, an integrated SD card reader...
  • Shuttle large scale projects with 4TB of capacity, and directly ingest files with fast speeds...
  • This portable external hard drive makes raid 0/1 configuration easy with the step by step...

These are the 5 most rugged USB personal storage solutions we’ve found so far. We hope you find them useful. If you are using some other products that aren’t listed here, let us know in the comments below.

USB Duplicators By Nexcopy
Nexcopy manufactures a variety of PC-based and standalone USB duplicator solutions.

PC based systems support advanced USB functions such as write protection, CD-ROM partition and multi-partition creation, while standalone systems are ultra-fast, high speed USB copiers duplicating gigabytes of data quickly and accurately.

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