Solo G3

A fire- and wa­ter­proof hard drive to keep your data safe

Mac Format - - RATED - From £309 Ca­pac­ity 2TB, 3TB Con­nec­tiv­ity USB 3.0 Man­u­fac­turer ioSafe,

The ioSafe Solo G3 is a big hard drive (avail­able in 2TB or 3TB con­fig­u­ra­tions) de­signed to sur­vive fire and flood – so if the work you do re­lies on safely stored data, it could be a lifesaver. It’s rated to with­stand tem­per­a­tures of up to 1550°F (around 840°C) for half an hour (or longer at lower temps), and can be dunked in up to 10 feet of wa­ter for 72 hours while keep­ing your data safe; while we didn’t test it to the ab­so­lute limit, it re­ally works.

The unit is huge, and is ex­tremely weighty – it’s large enough that ac­com­mo­dat­ing it might be a gen­uine is­sue if you’re us­ing it in the home, rather than in, say, an of­fice space you’ve de­signed for it. The back of­fers a power plug and switch, a USB 3.0 socket, and a hole to let you ei­ther bolt the thing into wher­ever you’re go­ing to keep it, or at­tach a lock of some kind. Ba­si­cally, the Solo G3 wants to keep your data safe. The way it ac­tu­ally works is that the case is sup­posed to be bro­ken by the fire – it’s ‘sac­ri­fi­cial’. The drive will sur­vive, though, and ioSafe will col­lect the unit, re­cover the drive (there’s an op­tional monthly plan that in­cludes data re­cov­ery ser­vices if needed) and send it back in a re­place­ment unit. So, this drive costs a lot, but you get a kind of in­surance pol­icy with it.

It per­forms fairly well as a hard drive too – speeds of 170MB/s on av­er­age for larger file trans­fers are right up with the best hard disks we’ve seen. (Ours came for­mat­ted as NTFS, so you might need to re­for­mat it.) Its cost means it sim­ply won’t be a re­al­is­tic op­tion for ev­ery­one, but con­sid­er­ing the pro­tec­tion level, if your files are vi­tal to your liveli­hood, this is a great op­tion. Matt Bolton

While the ex­pense and size will put some off, if your data is truly pre­cious to you, this is a great op­tion.

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