IronKey F200 Biometric Flash Drive
Strengths: The multi-user, multi-print recorder for fingerprints is a nice feature for the on-the-go user.
Weaknesses: Accidental recycle option could clear important data.
Verdict: Important to have this tool if one is on the go with confidential business-related documents.
The IronKey F200 Biometric Flash Drive by Imation comes in several sizes for different uses. The first noticeable aspect out of the box is the waterproofing case that houses the flash drive. Once it is plugged in, the LED light up to tell the user that it has power and is ready for the user to swipe their fingerprint. The level of security that Imation has developed is top of the line with FIPS 140-2 level 3 validation.
The drive is straightforward to employ - just plug it in and it will prompt on how to set up the administrative and user accounts. The instructions are easy to follow and comprehend. If there is confusion, the user can call the support line. Once the administrative account is set up, it will prompt one into making the user(s) account where the user can choose what finger - or up to all 10 fingers - to use as the login key. If a user is in a hurry, they can swipe a finger for it to unlock the drive. Along with the biometric feature, the user can also employ a typical password that they choose when setting the system up. In case the drive is lost or stolen, an admin can wipe it to the original state in which it was shipped, thus keeping the data out of the wrong hands. This is the recycle option. One of its benefits is that the administrator always has override in case of emergencies. As well, when setting up the drive the user can limit the number of bad swipes so that after the amount specified the drive cleans everything off rendering it useless. The drive itself has LED lights and each of these has a corresponding meaning. Green indicates the device is open while red indicates either the device is locked or the device received a bad read and the user needs to swipe a finger again.
One of the tool's strongest features is that it can record up to 10 fingerprints per user and up to 10 users. The software application ACCESS has a simple interface that has a built-in help function that lay out what everything does on the menu. ACCESS has three levels of applications: standard, enterprise manager and enterprise server, all offering a little more software support to enhance the application. The performance of the flash drive is excellent - just plug it in and swipe a finger to unlock the drive and start using it. One of the strong features is the sturdy magnesium alloy case in which it comes with a waterproofing O-ring. Also, if the drive is being tampered with, it will clear all the data on its own.
As far as documentation, the user manuals are easy to read and have some diagrams in case of confusion. If the manual still doesn't help answer any problems that may arise, then the online resource center may help. Along with the five-year support that comes with the device, there is also phone and email assistance 12 hours a day, five days a week.
IronKey F200 Biometric Flash Drive comes at a good price on its own, but with the support price of $250 for the first time and then $45 a year after that can get a little pricy. Nonetheless, it is still a good deal for the software support and maintenance.
Allen Ramsay contributed to this review.