Product Information







$99 for a 24GB drive


I found this one fascinating purely for its technical innovation. ObliqueDrive is a novel approach to mobile data and file-sharing that uses resources that are cloud-based. While I have seen similar approaches to this in the past, they all were involved with government agencies and their efficacy was unproven. This one looks as if it might change that.

The fundamental concept behind ObliqueDrive is the separation of a file into two parts. Those parts are not simple file-carving. Rather, they are created with security in mind. One of the parts is retained by the user and the other is stored in what the vendor calls Oblique Space. The file to be stored is broken, initially, into two parts that the vendor calls "aspects." The smaller one stays with the user, perhaps on a USB drive, while the larger goes into Oblique Space and is broken up further into some number of "packs." There is no cross-reference from the packs to the original file. The company calls this process "enclouding."

Because the file is separated based on a distributed process, not a specific location, it is nearly impossible for an intruder to learn enough to reconstruct the file. The management of the tool is accomplished using an application that has the look and feel of Windows Explorer. The application requires no installation, so it can be kept on a USB drive along with the local aspect of the file.

Files stored using ObliqueDrive are effectively hidden to the extent that their existence cannot be determined. A combination of the ObliqueDrive technique and security through obscurity - in its extreme - provides a very secure file storage and sharing capability. Further, there's an interesting side benefit: since only a small part of the file is stored as the local aspect, files many times larger than the available storage space can still be saved, for example on a thumb drive.

When reassembling the file - a process called "declouding" - the local aspect knows only about the location of the first pack in the remote aspect. The first pack then begins the reconstruction process. Overall, there is no doubt that, in theory at least, this is about the most secure method available today for storing sensitive files. The only question, beyond actually testing the product to ensure that its vendor's claims are correct, is what happens if one of the critical pieces of the file is destroyed? How does one back up an enclouded file?

The existence of a traditional backup obviates the high level of security inherent in a file enclouded in Oblique Space. While the obvious answer is to encloud a second copy of the file with its local aspect stored somewhere other than where the operational file is stored, that assumes that the owner of Oblique Space is performing backups reliably.

Overall, we liked this one but, as with many cutting-edge technologies and applications, we had some questions.

Product: ObliqueDrive

Company: Callplex

Cost: $99 for a 24GB drive.

The problem it solves: Secure storage of sensitive files.

What we liked: Very innovative approach to saving and sharing sensitive files.

What we didn't like: It is not clear how backups should be handled.