ioSafe Rugged Portable external hard drive

This drive is smashproof, crushproof, waterproof and almost-everythingproof

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
ioSafe Rugged Portable
  • ioSafe Rugged Portable
  • ioSafe Rugged Portable
  • ioSafe Rugged Portable
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5

Pros

  • Rated against almost any calamity
  • Speedy USB 3.0 interface
  • Comes with $2500 data recovery

Cons

  • Pricier than a regular external drive
  • Bulky and heavy
  • Not fireproof

Bottom Line

ioSafe's Rugged Portable sacrifices a bit of bulk and weight to add some serious protection to a fast USB 3.0 hard drive. We put it through some grueling tests and it didn't skip a beat. If data reliability is important to you, we think this drive justifies its premium price tag.

Would you buy this?

Traditional external spinning-disk hard drives can be fragile things — if you’re carrying one around with you it’s almost guaranteed to get a few knocks and bumps, and there’s an ever-present chance that it might fail. You can reduce the chance of this with a portable solid-state drive, but another more inventive solution is to ‘ruggedise’ a traditional drive.

ioSafe Rugged Portable: Design and specifications

ioSafe offers the Rugged Portable in either a SSD or spinning-disk version, but whichever drive you pick is immaterial. What’s more important is the thick aluminium shell that surrounds the drive — hewn from a single block of metal, it’s able to withstand some of the most punishing testing we’ve seen a piece of technology put through.

The Rugged Portable 250GB USB 3.0 version, which we tested, is a spinning-disk model with the internal laptop-size 2.5in hard drive running at 5400RPM. ioSafe rates the Rugged Portable against some pretty serious standards, and for all practical purposes the drive should stand up to almost any punishment the average user can throw at it.

The ioSafe Rugged Portable aluminium version is waterproof (under 10 feet for 3 days), crushproof (over 1100kg of direct pressure), drop-proof (up to 26 consecutive drops from 10 feet high), weatherproof, and chemical-proof: you can even leave it a 12-foot deep tank of diesel or jet fuel for an hour. The MIL-STD-810G specification that the Rugged Portable claims to comply with is unforgiving — so unsurprisingly, ‘military grade’ is an accurate description of the Rugged Portable’s build quality. It’s not fireproof though, with this left to the even-more-serious ioSafe SoloPro.

ioSafe Rugged Portable hard drive review The business end of the ioSafe Rugged Portable drive.

If these ratings aren’t good enough, there’s also a titanium-shell version which is twice as sturdy (but it’s restricted to the SSD versions and comes with a correspondingly high price tag).

It’s a stark and simple device. No superfluous flashy lights or design flair: just a rectangular block of aluminium with a smooth finish and rounded corners. A single USB 3.0 connector at the rear of the ioSafe Rugged Portable looks flimsy, but it actually connects solidly and reassuringly. There’s also a Kensington lock port for securing the drive when it’s not travelling.

The aluminium Rugged Portable weighs just over 450 grams, and measures 10cm wide, 14.5cm long and 2.5cm tall. It’s definitely heavier and bulkier than a standard portable hard drive Because of the thick aluminium casing around the ioSafe Rugged Portable, it’s almost silent during operation. Unless it’s been running for more than an hour, the drive stays cool to the touch.

Next page: Performance and reliability

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?