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LaCie 301491 Rugged All-Terrain SAFE 500 GB USB 2.0/FireWire 800 Portable External Hard Drive (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

by LaCie

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  • Biometric authentication: up to ten users
  • 128-bit AES hardware encryption for full data protection
  • Bus-powered and compatible with Mac and PC
  • Shock-proof rugged design
  • Design by Neil Poulton

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 8.9 x 2.5 cm ; 227 g
  • Shipping Weight: 907 g
  • Item model number: 301491
  • ASIN: B003LQTNLC
  • Date first available at Amazon.ca: May 11 2010
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #273,991 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)
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Product Description

Amazon.ca Product Description

The LaCie Rugged Safe is the most complete mobile storage solution available. It offers multiple levels of data protection, from its unbreakable hardware encryption and the safest biometric authentication technology, to its shock-proof enclosure. Developed for users that need to protect their data against theft, the Rugged Safe boasts AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) 128-bit encryption. This is the same standard used by the U.S. government and organizations worldwide to protect critical documents. The Rugged Safe also features biometric authentication, which enables personalized data control, with access for to up to ten users. In addition to its enhanced security, the Rugged Safe comes with USB 2.0, FireWire 800/400, and is fully plug and play. Once configured, it grants access to authorized users on any Mac or PC with a single finger swipe, requiring no software installation. It’s also bus powered, making it the best solution for people on the go carrying sensitive data.

From the Manufacturer

The LaCie Rugged SAFE All-Terrain USB 2.0/ FireWire 800 Biometric Hard Disk is a complete mobile storage solution that has both outstanding performance and security for your most important and sensitive data. The Rugged SAFE provides 500 GB of storage, and features a durable enclosure with a rubber bumper that is designed to withstand the rigors of travel. The Rugged SAFE also provides multiple levels of data protection, including biometric authentication technology and hardware encryption. For users who demand that their data be safe, the Rugged SAFE drive is ideal.

LaCie Rugged SAFE All-Terrain USB 2.0/ FireWire 800 Biometric Hard Disk

LaCie Rugged SAFE
Biometric authentication provides simple but strong security. View larger.
Biometric Authentication and Data Encryption

The LaCie Rugged SAFE All-Terrain Biometric Hard Disk features biometric authentication for up to ten users, enabling personalized data control. A fingerprint sensor is built into the top of the device, and users simply slide their fingers across it to gain access to the drive. After configuration, the drive grants access to authorized users on any Mac or PC with a single finger swipe, requiring no software installation.

The Rugged SAFE also features AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) 128-bit encryption, the same encryption used by the U.S. government, and others around the world, to protect critical documents. With the Rugged SAFE, you'll be sure your data is secure.

LaCie Rugged SAFE
With three interfaces, you're sure to find a fast connection with any computer. View larger.
Mobile, All-Terrain Protection

Designed exclusively for LaCie by world-renowned designer Neil Poulton, the Rugged SAFE is built like an off-road vehicle, ready to withstand the bumps and bruises of your travels. Its unique, scratch-protected, aluminum shell and shock-resistant, rubber bumper make it especially resistant to harsh elements while giving it a stylish look. In fact, the drive is designed to withstand drops of up to 2.2 meters (86.6 inches) while in non-operating mode. (Dropping the drive while it's in operation, however, could cause damage.) Additional bumpers are available for purchase separately to change the look of the drive.

Three Interfaces for Fast Connections

The Rugged SAFE offers speed and versatility with three connection interfaces, letting you use it with almost any computer. The FireWire 800 interface allows for a blistering 800-Mbits/s data transfer speed, ideal for video editing and other intensive work. FireWire 400 is also supported, which has long been a favorite of Mac users and provides 400-Mbits/s speeds. The nearly universal USB 2.0 interface is supported as well, which offers a transfer rate of up to 480 Mbits/s, and is backwards compatible with USB 1.1.

Measuring a mere 3.5 x 1.0 x 5.7 inches (W x H x D) and weighing less than 11 ounces, the Rugged SAFE is designed to travel and will fit easily in your briefcase or backpack. The disk is bus-powered and runs off either the FireWire or USB connection, eliminating the need for an AC adaptor.

LaCie Rugged icons
SAFE Utilities and Backup Software for Macs and PCs Included

Preloaded on the drive are the LaCie SAFE Manager and the LaCie Backup Assistant software. LaCie SAFE Manager lets you customize your drive settings for different users. The LaCie Backup Assistant makes backing up your computer a breeze, whether it is a Mac or a PC.

The LaCie Rugged SAFE All-Terrain USB 2.0/ FireWire 800 Biometric Hard Disk is backed by a 3-year limited warranty.

About LaCie

Established in France in 1989, LaCie is a leading manufacturer of computer peripherals for Windows, Apple and Linux users. With offices and plants in the USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, Europe, Singapore and Hong Kong, LaCie develops and manufactures external storage solutions and color monitors that help professionals and everyday people easily manage their digital lives. LaCie has differentiated its products through original designs and leading-edge technology.

What's in the Box

LaCie Rugged SAFE Hard Disk, FireWire 800 to 800 and 800 to 400 cables, USB 2.0 cable, USB power-sharing cable, Quick Install Guide, User Manual, LaCie Backup Assistant (Windows and Mac), LaCie SAFE Manager.


Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 16 reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Not Recommended For Corporate Environments May 2 2011
By J. F. Herlocker Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
We purchased two of the LaCie SAFE drives after being happy customers for years with their regular rugged line of external drives. We use them for backups, and like having tough drives that we can take off-site without having to handle like cracked eggs. We've used TrueCrypt (open source encryption software) to encrypt the regular rugged drives, and thought using hardware encryption would be faster and more secure. And the biometric feature was a plus.

Problems:
* Can't reuse the drive if it is "bricked". The drives are very secure, and that's good; alas, they are so secure that if you do not have usable fingers available, and the password was changed by a previous owner who left, not only can you not get to the data, you can't reuse the drive. LaCie says that your only recourse is to return the drive to them (at your expense) and they will replace it (if it's still under warranty). Yes, proper password management will avoid this problem, but there should be a way (as with Ironkey encrypted storage hardware) to wipe and reinitialize a storage unit so that it can be reused.
* Only ten fingerprints allowed. Sure, that seems like a lot, but in a corporate environment you will have several people who need to access a drive. Every person who will use the drive should have at least two fingerprints registered, and more is better; this means only 3-5 people can be registered on the biometric reader.
* The drives are slow with USB, compared to the regular LaCie rugged drives (didn't test with Firewire). Yes, encryption adds to overhead. But with software encryption, a faster CPU makes for faster throughput. With the SAFE drives, the CPU speed does not have an appreciable impact on throughput -- on a fast machine, they're still slow drives.

So if you are thinking of this drive for your company, I recommend getting LaCie's regular (orange bumper) rugged drives with a software encryption program such as TrueCrypt (you'll save money, too).

For personal use, these drives would be fine, and the convenience of the biometric reader might balance the extra cost.

TECH NOTE: The typed passwords have a limit of 16 characters. The documentation does not warn you about this, and the software won't keep you from trying to save more than 16 characters. But if you save a 20-character password, and try to use it later, the software won't ignore the last 4 characters you type in, it will just deny you access. You can still get in by typing the first 16 (and ONLY the first 16) characters.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The device came broken March 21 2011
By M. Andrei - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The external HDD doesn't mount now on my Mac or on Windows 7. Has a weird anomaly:
-after taking it out from USB+power cord/FW port, I can plug it again and I'm able to add is as a device only after 1h. Doesn't work instantly after it's unplugged and plugged back. Probably a hardware issue
-while is protected (password and fingerprint), I plug the FW port into my MacBook Pro, the LED blinks in green 5 times and then gets red. Instantly, I hear a hard "clicking" noise, just like it would be the reading head of the internal HDD which is giving failures. I cannot use fingerprint sensor because does not work and LaCie told me that my device was broken and needs to be replaced under warranty. How is this possible, on such an expensive and quality-oriented product?:(

I'll return it to Amazon.com tomorrow (will be shipped from Europe) and ask for a refund. They've confirmed me that this would be possible, since I'm not from USA and a re-shipping to my country isn't possible. I've had issues with my HDD since I've bought it first time, but I didn't gave them importance on first 30 days. Now LaCie told me to ship in USA my drive and to pay other moneys for replacement. Stupid policy, I give LaCie 1* for this. Amazon gets 5*, because they've promised that they'll replace my drive and refund the HDD+shipping to USA price, since my HDD is defective.

I'd buy again this drive, but without SAFE (fingerprint sensor and encryption feature) option. I've found it as a total FAIL.
=================
Update 6.04.2011: Amazon.com refunded me the whole cost of this HDD at the price when was bought in December 2010, plus the shipping between Romania to USA. I was amazed how Amazon managed to solve my problem with the defective HDD! Good job, Amazon!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Don't be mislead, these drives are great!!!! Dec 7 2010
By Scott Jackson - Published on Amazon.com
Don't let that other 1 star review sway you. These drives are great. Yes, they are slower than an unencrypted drive, but the encryption is worth it. Plus you can have up to 10 fingerprints authorized for 10 different users to access the drive, as well as setting admin privileges for each user, etc. A brilliant solution for anyone dealing with secure work that needs to be passed between multiple parties, or anyone just looking for a more secure drive to store their personal information to. I have loved the Rugged drives LaCie has made for years, and this is just a secure evolution of the same drive. I highly recommend it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
OMG. Back to the stone age! Oct. 16 2011
By elGuille - Published on Amazon.com
Well, I must star saying it is not the first LaCie drive I use. I've used many of them, and I've always recommended the brand to my customers. LaCie almost always work great and they always look very nice. I really respect the brand.

Now... this thing is awfully SLOW. As a technician, I always try to blame the user (me, in this case) so I run through the manual again, reinitialized the unit again, tried with a different port, USB, FireWire... nothing. It is the encryption engine. It is so damn slow that at first you think the disk is broken.

It may be ok if your files are small, and you put them one by one in the unit. But if you drag a 20Gb folder on it, it's nap time! it takes about 1 hour to move that amount of data into the rugged safe. It is like the old times when we use a 33.6 modem to download a file.

Now, if you are happy waiting I have some more great news: If, in the middle of a transfer, you receive a disk full message, check if there is no files bigger than 4Gb, because if you inadvertently clicked in OK instead of CANCEL during the last step of the installation, your disk is now compatible with PC, which means it is formatted in FAT32 so it doesn't support files bigger than 4Gbso you get the error dialog telling you that there is no more space in the disk. No, there is no way to format it NTFS.

This guys got the gizmo to store some sensitive data and I was meant to be the one to make the transfer. After 4 or 5 hours of zen waiting I gave up and asked for a standard drive encrypted by software, as always.

This disk is useless for big files, even if formatted for mac only. That doesn't affect the transfer slowness.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great Holes! June 23 2011
By B. King - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The primary reason I bought this drive was for the two FW800 ports on the back. Other drives in the LaCie Rugged line only have one FW800 and one FW400, which makes it difficult to daisy-chain FW800 devices. The biometric sensor was only a bonus feature.

This bonus feature caused some problems. Six months after the purchase, I wanted to add another user to the drive (in case I die, and none of my fingers are preserved). I came to find that I need an administrative password that I had previously set and forgotten about. I called LaCie, and there is absolutely no way to recover this password or format the drive without physically mailing it to them. I find this kind of ridiculous, considering the fact that it has a biometric sensor on it.

The drive works by mounting a tiny "LaCie" partition upon being plugged in, then a fingerprint swipe unlocks the real drive. Occasionally while plugging in daisy-chained devices or putting the computer to sleep, the drive will forget that it's "logged in" and disconnect itself from my computer. That's something that I now need to be very careful about while using the drive.

Unless you have a legitimate NEED for biometric security or two FW800 ports, I wouldn't recommend this drive over a regular LaCie Rugged. The bio-sensor only causes headaches, and I'm sure it'll cause plenty more when the drive gets old and frail.

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