boxout | Getting Tough
There are two sets of conditions that these rugged drives are designed to cope with. They have to survive sudden shocks or impacts, so we held them above our head at a height of two metres (6.5ft) and dropped them onto the pavement outside our office. That height was actually significantly greater than most of the manufacturers recommend on their spec sheets, but we were pleased to see that all the drives survived this test intact.
Many manufacturers also quote an IP rating - ingress protection - for resistance to water and dust. Most of the drives tested here only offer IP54 or IP53, which means they can survive exposure to dust or splashes of water, but they’re not designed to be totally submerged underwater. For this test we held the drives under a shower spray for 30 seconds and - after a quick rubdown with a towel - they all carried on working normally. So, basically they can be drenched in the rain and be fine. The one exception here was G-Tech, which claims that its G-Drive ev ATC can cope with up to 30 seconds underwater. We took them at their word and dunked the drive completely underwater in the bath - with, thankfully, no ill effect.
Rugged drives need to survive impacts, dust and water.