Water And Dust
Staying safe, come rain or shine
As well as surviving shocks and drops, these rugged drives also need to withstand water and dust when they’re exposed to the great outdoors. Three of the drives quote specific IP ratings - IP54 for the Freecom Tough Drive and LaCie Rugged RAID, and IP53 for the Buffalo MiniStation Extreme. Those ratings indicate that the drives offer limited - but not complete - protection from dust, spilled liquids or splashed water. All three drives coped with our shower spray test, but they’re not 100% dust or watertight so they may not survive if they are fully submerged under water.
The Transcend StoreJet 100 doesn’t quote an IP rating at all, and its exposed USB port is clearly a weak spot, so we definitely wouldn’t want to risk that drive on a sandy, wet beach. G-Tech doesn’t give an iP rating for its G-Drive either, but does say that its protective case can survive in one foot of water for up to 30 seconds, and is also light enough to float up to the surface. This was the only drive that we tested by fully submerging it in the bath - with no adverse effects at all.