The IoSafe Solo G3 external hard drive combines extreme durability, good USB 3.0 speeds and robust data-recovery options. It's on the pricey side, but its military-grade enclosure can withstand an inferno or flood, making the Solo G3 a go-to choice for those who need or want the very best stronghold for their data that money can buy. Versions include 1TB (Est. $300), 2 TB and 3 TB (Est. $400) capacities.
Quicker and quieter than it looks. While its beastly exterior doesn't exactly suggest quickness, the IoSafe Solo G3 boasts fast USB 3.0 speeds. CNET's Dong Ngo tests its USB 3.0 speed against 19 other external hard drives, finding that the Solo G3 tops the chart for read and write performance. USB 2.0 speeds are less stellar, with the drive testing out a little below average. The Solo G3 is preformatted for Windows (NTFS) but can be configured for Mac (HFS+). There's no internal fan, so the drive runs quietly.
Survives nature's wrath -- and human's as well. The IoSafe Solo G3 is a disaster-proof external hard drive. Beneath its massive chassis are layers of protection against fire and water. If the drive is set ablaze -- IoSafe says it can handle temperatures up to 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit -- an internal chemical reaction releases water vapor to keep data safe. IoSafe also says that the Solo G3 will protect data while submerged in water for three days.
CNET's Dong Ngo blasts the Solo G3 with a shotgun and finds it still works. In the event of a mini-cataclysm, the Solo G3 includes one-time access to the company's data recovery service, including up to $2,500 of forensic data recovery (which the company bills at $150/hour). Coverage is for one year, but it can be extended to five years. A one-year warranty is included, which also extends to five years if extended data recovery coverage is purchased.
The high cost per-gigabyte of immortality. The IoSafe Solo G3 external hard drive costs considerably more per-GB than traditional backup drives. For many, that may make the Solo G3 overkill. But if you need absolutely bulletproof -- literally -- data protection, no external backup hard drive does it better. Whether that kind of peace of mind is worth this drive's premium price tag is a question you'll have to answer for yourself.
The IoSafe Solo G3 external hard drive receives an Editors' Choice nod and 4 stars out of 5 from PCMag.com. Reviewer Ahmer Kazi praises its durability, "speedy USB 3.0 connectivity" and an "incredibly ingenious design," – but he also says "it's not for everyone," since most people don't need a drive that's "practically indestructible." Kazi tests performance and goes into detail on design and features.
Review: IoSafe Solo G3 1TB, Ahmer Kazi, April 30, 2012
The IoSafe Solo G3, writes CNET's Dong Ngo, is an "excellent backup solution for those who need to make sure their important data survives even the worst disasters." Ngo tests the Solo G3's USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 performances and compares the speeds against 19 other models. Design and features are also discussed. The drive makes a list of "best external hard drives" and gets a rating of 4 stars out of 5.
Review: IoSafe Solo G3 Review, Dong Ngo, April 9, 2012
DigitalTrends.com gives the IoSafe Solo G3 an Editors' Choice designation and 4 stars out of 5. Reviewer Matt Smith doesn't test the manufacturer's durability claims -- on account of not having an oven or swimming pool nearby -- but he says he "definitely got the impression the Solo G3 is equipped to meet IoSafe's claims." Performance is tested; results put the Solo G3 in the "upper end of the performance scale," Smith says. The review, while informative, is brief compared to others.
Review: IoSafe Solo G3 Review, Matt Smith, July 3, 2012
Stan Horaczek puts IoSafe's claims to the test. He says that the IoSafe Solo G3 "promises to be one of the toughest, so I gave it a dip. Later, I lit it on fire. It kept on working." He adds that though the drive seems like overkill, when it comes to safeguarding crucial files, "overkill can be a good thing."
Review: Review: ioSafe SOLO G3 Rugged External Hard Drive, Stan Horaczek, May 13, 2013