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Feb 102014
 
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Kingston Datatraveler Locker+ G3
  • Kingston Datatraveler Locker+ G3
  • Rating: 5
  • USB Stick: Kingston Technology
  • Price: $38.99 (Amazon)
  • Reviewed by:
  • On February 10, 2014
  • Last modified:February 9, 2014

Review Summary:

I have found no other 32GB USB Flash drive that offers the performance and security at the price, the Kingston Datatraveler Locker+ G3 gets my highest marks for being a MUST HAVE USB stick if you need one that not only has speed but also allows you to password protect and encrypt the data on your flash drive.

The Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G3 advertises automatic personal security by having you password protect the USB stick and encrypting the data stored on the USB stick.  It also boasted having 135MB/s read and 40MB/s write speeds over USB 3 even while encrypting data on the fly and storing on the USB stick.

kingston g3 (1)kingston g3 (2)

Kingston Technology sent me one of the DataTraveler Locker+ G3 sticks to test and I put it through it’s paces copying dozens of gigabytes of files back and forth, deleting, re-adding, copying on both USB3 and USB2 ports to compare and see how well the performance lived up to the name.

Yes, I even tested out the fact that if you enter a bad password 10 times, it formats the USB stick supposedly making your data unrecoverable as a security precaution.  Here is my review of the Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G3 and full summary of my thoughts on it.

DataTraveler Locker+ G3 Setup

kingston-dtlogo

When you first plug in the USB stick whether it is on your MAC or PC, you will at first see a partition that looks like a DVD RW and is the only accessible partition on the USB stick.  Here you will have to run the launcher which runs the Kingston DataTraveler software which helps setup the password and format your USB stick.

kingston-dt

Though the stick is 32GB in size, you really only get about 28GB of usable space due to it keeping the rest reserved for it’s setup files and functionality.

Running the installation program is simple and you only accept the license and then set your password and hint on the first page.

kingston-password

The 2nd page is for you to identify who owns the flash drive and the company and some details about what may be stored there.

kingston-password2

After this the device will format, right now though you can access your files until you first unplug the USB stick, then if you plug it into any PC you will be prompted to enter your password before you can see the 28GB formatted portion of the disk.  The only thing is I wish it would automatically execute the run software to enter the password, instead however you have to browse to the DVD RW DTL+G3 partition and execute the software which will prompt you for the password.

dtlauncher

You only have to do this 1 time for every time you plug the USB stick into the PC, but it should open the password protection prompt automatically in my opinion.  More on the formatting after bad attempts at the end of the review.

Kingston DataTravler Locker+ G3 Write Speeds

I first tested the DataTraveler write speeds with USB 2 first, and I had to put data on the USB stick before I could test read speeds.  Several tests showed that the write speeds were better than the 20MB/s rated write speeds advertised by Kingston.

write-speed3write-speed1write-speed2

I was able to consistently get 27 MB/s write speeds no matter which USB 2 port I used and which set of files I started copying, this is 7MB/s over the 20MB/s advertising for USB 2 and is very good considering it is encrypting the data as it is being copied.

USB 3 write speeds were exceptional however, and often went 2x as high as the rated 40MB/s write speeds that Kingston claims on the packaging.  I never saw it dip below 67MB/s write speeds and even saw it climb as high as 84MB/s write speeds which was higher than most USB 3 flash drives in the 60-70MB/s write range that I tested previously.  Considering the fact that the Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G3 is both encrypting while writing the data and it is impressive that it maintains these write speeds.

kingston-write5kingston-write4

Kingston DataTravler Locker+ G3 Read Speeds

Read speeds were just as impressive, and on multiple tests I was able to exceed the 135MB/s read speeds advertised on the packaging.  I was able to consistently get between 142 and 144MB/s read speeds and copying data from the DataTraveler G3 was very speedy, copying over 3GB of files in 5 seconds or less.

kingston-read1kingston-read2

Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G3 Data Protection

My last test was the most important, and this is what the automatic personal security is all about.  This is where if someone fails to enter the password on your USB stick 3 times, it will auto wipe the data supposedly preventing it from being accessed or retrieved by would be thieves.  So to me, this means it doesn’t only have to format the data, but it needs to write over it to make sure you can’t use recovery software to extract the files that were formatted.

Note, when you hit 7 bad passwords, you get the warning that in 3 more attempts your data will be wiped.

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When you enter all 10 bad password attempts, you get the following popup message.

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It then forces you to set a new password for the device

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So now the drive is freshly re-formatted after entering 10 invalid attempts, now I click OK and will write no new data to the drive and instead just try to recover any data if I can from the USB stick.

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First I tried the free version of Piriform Recuva to see if it can find anything to recover from the DataTraveler G3 that was wiped.  I first did it without deep scan enabled, and it couldn’t find anything to recover on it’s initial attempt.

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So then I added in deep scan to let it really dig deep and see if it could salvage files from the formated Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G3.

recovered-kingston

Deep Scan however was able to find what appeared to be some my most recently copied movie files, so I attempted to recover it and see what data happened.  I had put 6 files on, deleted, 3 files on, deleted and then 1 file on.  So not sure what it exacly found but the file size was actually larger than any single mp4 that I had copied onto the drive.recovering

After about 26 seconds the operation was completed, and I had the file on my drive to see if it actually worked after recovering it.

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I knew this was an mp4 file, so after seeing the file I renamed it to recovered.mp4 to see if it would play.  The file size was about double the largest MP4 file that I copied, I didn’t copy any single files that were 2GB+ in size, so I think it recovered multiple movie files as 1 file actually.

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Didn’t work, the data was not usable, I could not get the media data to be playable or make it work with renaming the file.  I repeated my tests again, this time with word documents and excel documents instead of media files which are much harder to recover if data is damaged.

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After another deep scan, there were no recoverable files at all that it could see, though it claimed it found 2 potential files and ignored them, I had 6 so not sure if it just detected some remnants of files.

I have not tried any professional recovery software, but from freeware, it seems like your data is relative safe from recovery.  I would say this product does a good job of keeping your data portable and secure for most purposes and is an excellent option for the home user.

Based on my review of the Kingston Datatraveler Locker+ G3 I have found no other 32GB USB Flash drive that offers the performance and security at the price, this product gets my highest marks for being a MUST HAVE USB stick if you need one that not only has speed but also allows you to password protect and encrypt the data on your flash drive.

I have found no other 32GB USB Flash drive that offers the performance and security at the price, the Kingston Datatraveler Locker+ G3 gets my highest marks for being a MUST HAVE USB stick if you need one that not only has speed but also allows you to password protect and encrypt the data on your flash drive.

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Justin Germino
Working in the IT Industry for over 13 years and specializing in web based technologies. Dragon Blogger has unique insights and opinions to how the internet and web technology works. An Avid movie fan, video game fan and fan of trying anything and everything new.
Justin Germino

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  • bob1

    hiya can u please confirm what encryption method/level used?

    • http://www.dragonblogger.com/ Justin Germino

      256 bit AES

      • bob1

        thx for confirmation – nothing to support this could be found on the vendors website , or your report i believe, happy to be corrected :-)

      • Frank

        Hi, Justin

        Any idea where is the 256 bit AES came from? I haven’t seen any kingston official claim about the AES mode. Also, as you have mentioned, it is not using XTS mode, any idea which mode it actually is? CBC? or EBC? Thanks a lot, I am just thinking purchasing it after knowing more about it.

        • http://www.dragonblogger.com/ Justin Germino

          I keep lobbing all questions that come to me to my contact over at Kingston who responds with the answers. As I am the middle man for these questions, it may be easier just to ask Kingston directly http://www.kingston.com/us/company/contacts their live chat, sales or support should be to dig answers. I wish the product spec docs covered more detail. I am more than happy to ask for you, but if you have a larger list of questions, list them all and I will ask to help save time and avoid the 3 day delay I get in my responses from them.

        • Frank

          Hi, Justin

          Thanks so much for the reply. For the questions, I think I already presented all of them. Here, I’d like to repeat it again: Is the drive using AES encryption? 128 bit or 256 bit? How about the “Block cipher mode of action”? Is it ECB? CBC or XTS?
          Please dig as much as possible. I think the readers would be happy to be aware of the mode of action. As well known, the ECB isn’t secure but the CBC or XTS is far better.
          Thanks so much. Looking forward to your information!

        • Iggy

          Hello Frank, this drive does use AES and it is 256Bit as Justin mentioned above.

          Kingston responded to me the following “The Data Traveler Locker+ G3 does not
          use XTS. If your reader is looking for a USB that does use XTS Block Cipher
          Mode I would suggest the DT 6000.”

          http://www.kingston.com/datasheets/dt6000_us.pdf
          Protect your organization’s portable data by choosing Kingston’s ultra-secure
          DataTraveler® 6000 USB Flash drive. The DT6000 is FIPS 140-2 Level 3 validated
          and features 256-bit AES hardware-based encryption using XTS block cipher
          mode. XTS is the newest cipher mode that provides stronger protection
          over other block cipher modes such as CBC and ECB modes. DataTraveler
          6000 uses elliptic curve cryptography (ECC), which is recommended by the
          United States National Security Agency (NSA) as part of the NSA Suite B set
          of cryptographic algorithms. Encryption keys are protected with a 256-bit
          Master Key Encryption Key (MKEK), preserving the AES 256-bit encryption
          strength. Its 100% hardware authentication eliminates the possibility of
          password brute force attacks by destroying all critical security parameters
          after 10 invalid login attempts. DataTraveler 6000 is rugged and waterproof1
          with a titanium-coated, stainless-steel casing for added durability. It’s easy
          to set up and use, with no admin rights or application installation required.

  • BillD

    Thanks, I was looking for this info as well. Also, do you know if it uses XTS block cipher mode? Does it have read-only access mode?

    • http://www.dragonblogger.com/ Justin Germino

      Kingston responded to me the following “The Data Traveler Locker+ G3 does not
      use XTS. If your reader is looking for a USB that does use XTS Block Cipher
      Mode I would suggest the DT 6000.”

  • yelingyang

    Hi, is there a flash disk both support read-only access mode and hardware data encryption?