ioSafe Solo First Look

Is this tough external hard drive tough enough to give you total peace of mind?
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01.First Look ioSafe External Hard Drive

500GB $299, $399 1TB, 1.5TB $499, $599 2TB
You wouldn’t normally throw your external hard drive on the barbecue then drop it in tub of water and expect it to keep working. But that’s what we did to the “disaster proof”  ioSafe Solo external hard drive to see just how tough it really is.

The ioSafe Solo is shock resistant and designed to withstand the sort of real world disaster that would reduce a normal hard drive to a useless lump of metal. Think of it as an aircraft “black box” for your irreplaceable information, such as financial files and your growing collection of digital family photos. This drive is built to survive a house fire and the firemen’s hoses that inevitably follow. It attaches to your computer via USB and can be secured by cable or bolted to the floor to foil potential thieves.

Why choose it over a standard external drive which costs less? Quite simply, peace of mind. A standard external hard drive can be easily stolen or damaged and in a flood or fire you will likely lose everything. Backing up to “the cloud” over the internet is relatively slow to do and can be even frustratingly slower to get your information back again in the event of a mishap.


Video: ioSafe HDD

CHOICE barbecues the ioSafe Solo external hard drive to see just how tough it really is.

The ioSafe is local storage, so it’s fast and there when you need it. And it it’s tough. Really tough. Its maker claims fire-protection of up to 843 degrees Celsius for half an hour and survival in three metres of water for up to three days.  

To see how well it lives up to its claims, we bought a 500GB model and cranked up the backyard barbecue, with the ioSafe Solo as the main course. After baking it on full heat with the oven top closed for 15 minutes the drive casing was hot enough to fry an egg – and to prove it, we did just that.

We then picked it up by a wire, attached to its handy security tab, and dunked it in a tub of water where it stayed fully immersed until it cooled to a temperature that could be handled safely. Back in the lab, we opened the case and retrieved the hard drive locked within, protected by heat-resistant ceramic blocks and a heavy-duty watertight bag. We then connected the drive to a laptop to see if our data was intact. And it worked!

Of course, the external casing is only good for one major disaster, but that’s enough if it protects your precious data. Fortunately, major disasters are generally few and far between. You can buy this robust little box with a hard drive of 500 gigabytes, one terabyte (TB), 1.5TB, or two terabytes. The drive comes formatted with the Windows NTFS file system, but can be used with Linux also and easily reformatted for use with a Mac. It’s available directly from the website of ioSafe's Australian distributor (

From September, ioSafe will also include a range of USB 3.0 and eSATA/USB 2.0 drives for Australia. USB 3.0 and eSATA are capable of speeds several times that of USB 2.0. Australian  pricing for the new drives will be $475 for 1TB, $575 for 1.5TB and $675 for 2TB.



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