Password protect external hard drives for Windows & Mac use?

Discussion in 'Storage & Backup' started by sjobeck, Mar 14, 2019 at 9:36 PM.

  1. sjobeck

    sjobeck Member

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    Hi Peoples,

    I carry some sensitive (medical) data around in my work bag on an external 2tb USB HDD (Seagate). When on the road I access this data (video files) using my mac laptop. New files are added by plugging the drive into medical recording equipment (microscopes etc). When at home I backup this data to my PC.

    Does anyone know of a reliable password protect solution that will work across mac and PC operating systems? I don't data to be readable by others in case the drive is lost or stolen. External equipment has to be able to write to the drive without a password though...
     
  2. PsydFX

    PsydFX Member

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    Does the drive need to be so big? Could you get away with something like a hardware encrypted Kingston Datatraveler 2000 64GB USB drive for ~$250, or the Corsair Padlock 3 64GB for ~$100
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019 at 12:26 PM
  3. mr camouflage

    mr camouflage Member

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    I assume you formatted the drive as exFat so it could be read by both mac and pc?

    I would back up the data off the drive.
    If running Sierra or High Sierra, format the drive as AFPS encrypted.
    buy https://www.paragon-software.com/home/apfs-windows/ and install on your windows machine (theres a trial version you can test before committing)

    If you are using an older version of Mac OS, you can format it as HFS+ encrypted am use https://www.paragon-software.com/home/hfs-windows/ instead. (but seriously, upgrade your macOS - its free)

    You would probably need a second drive for this "New files are added by plugging the drive into medical recording equipment (microscopes etc)." then copying the files to the encrypted drive (with your mac).

    All the files on the encrypted drive can only be accessed by entering the password to unlock the drive.

    I haven't tried this, YMMV. Grab a spare usb drive and test it out with the free versions to see if it works as advertised.
     
  4. 1dongchen

    1dongchen Member

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    That method of adding new files will probably make most things hard/impossible. You plug the drive into the imaging equipment and the equipment writes the video files to the drive?
     
  5. mr camouflage

    mr camouflage Member

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    Do you even read bro?

     
  6. 1dongchen

    1dongchen Member

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    apparently not
     
  7. bcann

    bcann Member

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    I'd suggest your more looking at hardware level encryption/authentication then software if you want cross OS readability.

    https://datalocker.com/product/ironkey-h200-biometric/

    Can't say i've used one, but i'd think your after something that doesn't enable/show the usb connection until after some kind of authentication, likely fingerprint or something like that due to it needing to be plugged into a "Dumb" machine that likely is running on some legacy/weird OS. So look for hardware level encryption and some kind of external authentication mechanism (IE Fingerprint/pinpad on the drive itself)

    Likely to be exxy....
     
  8. HorrorLand

    HorrorLand Member

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    If you can turn off the password stuff and the biometrics is purely hardware based than that looks like good all round solution esp for dumb machine compatibility, says you can even order one for evaluation.

    OP never mentioned anything about price either.... ;)
     
  9. mr camouflage

    mr camouflage Member

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    about $820 to $850 for the 1TB version.
     
  10. ndt

    ndt Member

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    Ebay has external HDD enclosures which have a pin pad on them. I bought one after forgetting a external HDD on the bus(luckily someone handed it in).They're meant to be encrypted but not sure how good it is(my hdd didn't really have sensitive data on it, just uni stuff), but probably better than a open HDD. I did check that you can't just take the hdd out of the enclosure and use it and it just appeared as a unformated hdd.
     
  11. PsydFX

    PsydFX Member

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    Scorptec have a couple on sale:
    $59 EZSAVE-Lockdown
    $29 EZSAVE-Lockdown-PE
     
  12. bcann

    bcann Member

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    Maybe its just me but reading the description where it talks about "Top secret" AES encryption, makes me wonder about the product.
     
  13. PsydFX

    PsydFX Member

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    It's true, right? So why not milk it for marketing purposes?
     

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