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Seagate Backup Plus Slim External USB 3.0 2TB Hard Drive Review

SuperTalent Luxio 64GB AES-256 Encrypted USB Drive Review

SuperTalent Luxio 64GB AES-256 Encrypted USB Drive Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: That's the sales pitch behind the SuperTalent Luxio, a 64GB USB drive which boasts AES-256 hardware encryption. It sounds secure, yet PCSTATS was able to crack the security on the Luxio USB drive W-I-D-E open.
 60% Rating:   
Filed under: Memory Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Supertalent Mar 09 2009   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Memory > Supertalent Luxio 64GB

Testing the SuperTalent 64GB's Speed

We've tested a couple different USB flash drives at PCSTATS recently and the main spec you'll want to watch out for is peak read and peak write speeds for the 256MB test. These are the numbers that manufacturers quote to sell their USB thumb drives. Not all PCs have USB2.0 ports, so actual performance speeds can differ greatly between computer systems.

SiSoft Sandra 2009 Source:Sandra

Sandra is designed to test the theoretical power of a complete system and individual components. The numbers taken though are again, purely theoretical and may not represent real world performance. Higher numbers represent better performance. The best results for each column are bolded.

Sandra 2009 Multi-Filesize Read / Write Tests
( higher numbers are better )
USB Stick Size 512 Byte Test 32 KB Test 256 KB Test 2MB Test

64MB Test

256MB Test
Read Write Read Write Read Write Read Write Read Write Read Write
PQI Intelligent Stick 512MB 237.92 kb/s 4.27 kb/s 8.65 MB/s 271.47 kb/s 20.11 MB/s 1.87 MB/s 23.5 MB/s 3.07 MB/s 24.53 MB/s 8.53 MB/s 25.6 MB/s 8.53 MB/s
Kingston DataTraveler Elite 2GB 247.75 kb/s 25.23 kb/s 8.99 MB/s 2.17 MB/s 18.7 MB/s 7.67 MB/s 20.90 MB/s 9.27 MB/s 21.33 MB/s 9.6 MB/s 21.33 MB/s 8.53 MB/s
Supertalent "the Godfather" 16GB 129 kb/s 18 kb/s 5.44 MB/s 944.5 kb/s 19.02 MB/s 5.09 Mb/s 28.17 MB/s 8.6 MB/s 27.73 MB/s 13.87 MB/s 29.87 MB/s 12.8 MB/s
Supertalent Luxio
(unencrypted)
64GB 179.27 kb/s 15.23 kb/s 5.74 MB/s 1.01 MB/s 20.17 MB/s 5.71 MB/s 28.73 MB/s 11.03 MB/s 29.87 MB/s 16 MB/s 29.87 MB/s 17.07 MB/s
Supertalent Luxio
(AES encryption)
64GB 144 kb/s 18.08 kb/s 4.22 MB/s 1.06 MB/s 19.93 MB/s 4.95 MB/s 28.17 MB/s

11.83 MB/s

29.87 MB/s 17.07 MB/s 29.87 MB/s 17.07 MB/s

With the Supertalent Luxio operating in its AES-256 Encryption state data speeds aren't significantly changed from the default state where data is stored unencrypted. At its peak, for the 256MB tests, data is read at 29MB/s and written at 17MB/s. When encryption is disabled, the peak rates are exactly the same. The CD 1x rating is equivalent to 150kB/s, so this translates to a maximum read speed of 203X and write speed of 116X. Smaller capacity USB drives tend to operate quicker in the small file size tests.

Selling Security to Data Travellers

USB drive encryption is smart insurance for the day you accidentally loose 64GB of confidential data. Whomever finds your lost USB drive has access to all of it, to do with as they please, unless it's encrypted in some way. The method Supertalent have adopted with the Luxio 64GB USB drive may be 256-bit AES encryption, but the company provides no specifics on how it is implemented.

In PCSTATS tests with the Luxio, the encrypted drive partition displays in Windows Explorer as an unformatted and unformattable drive. Only after the SecureLock application is run can the data on it be accessed. It's hard to say whether the drive tables are encrypted, or all data within them. I won't hazard a guess. PCSTATS did apply data recovery tools like OnTrack's Easy Recovery in an attempt access data on the encrypted drive partition, current and deleted, but nothing came up.

Data read speeds peaked at 29.87MB/s and write speeds at 17.07MB/s, both well in line with the manufacturer's listed speed rating of 30MB/s or 200X. As a 64GB USB drive the SuperTalent Luxio is fine; it transfers files quickly to-and-from the host PC and has a solid feel to it. PCSTATS tends to treat USB drives as pretty utilitarian devices around here, so in deference to one's personal opinion on fake wood gain plastic and glossy coatings, I don't think these things are particularly significant yard sticks to measure the Luxio by.

Aside from its 64GB memory capacity and data transfer speeds, the Luxio sells itself with AES-256 encryption. The Luxio's encryption capabilities are not sufficiently robust to provide user confidence in them. We would not store data in the encrypted state on any device that failed to recognize a correct password, particularly under the threat of sudden death (automatic formatting).

Supertalent's 64GB Luxio USB drive retails for about $140USD ($150CDN) (model STP64GLXWU) , about par for a similar capacity USB drive. As a USB drive alone, it's fine. It's implementation of data security in the form of AES-256 encryption is is extremely buggy, unreliable and at worst completely circumventable and pointless. If you've read this PCSTATS review in hopes of finding a new personal storage drive to replace an old USB key that's no longer large enough, I hope we've made it clear that Supertalent's Luxio and SecureLock software do not deliver reliable data security in the least. Not recommended.

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< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Memory News»

 

Contents of Article: Supertalent Luxio 64GB
 Pg 1.  SuperTalent Luxio 64GB AES-256 Encrypted USB Drive Review
 Pg 2.  Hacking SuperTalent's AES-256 Encrypted Drive is Easy
 Pg 3.  — Testing the SuperTalent 64GB's Speed

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