The Corsair Flash Padlock 2 secure USB drive offers external buttons to enter a key code, which unlocks the drive for use on virtually any type of computer. Because the drive doesn't require software to unlock, and because the data on it is protected with 256-bit encryption, reviewers had a lot of good things to say about its features. It is not FIPS 140-2 compliant, so government offices or other workplaces requiring that level of security will not be able to use the Flash Padlock 2. Some user reviews offer another caution, suggesting that, depending on the network configuration of the computer you use to read the drive, not having administrator access on the computer may keep you from accessing your files.
But with those caveats, reviewers found a great deal to like, including the drive's rugged casing and ease of use. While it is not completely waterproof, it did survive at least one reviewer's washing machine test. Transfer speeds were consistently low, barely average for a USB 2.0 drive, but a tradeoff most reviewers were willing to make for the extra security.
Most reviews date from the Flash Padlock 2's 2010 launch, when it was only available in an 8 GB size, but their tests still apply to the current model, which is also available as a 16 GB drive. Detailed reviews at a number of sites test the drive's transfer speeds and durability. TechReport.com runs it through a washing machine, TechPowerUp.com gives an extensive overview of the strengths and weaknesses of its data security, and ThinkComputers.org hosts a video detailing exactly how the drive works.
While dated, this review of the 8 GB version of the Corsair Flash Padlock 2 USB drive still pertains to the model currently for sale. LegitReviews.com praises the hardware-based security on the drive; the security code is entered with buttons on the drive, so it works equally well on PC, Mac and Linux platforms and is protected from keyloggers and software hacks. However, because it requires administrative rights on some host computers to use (depending on your network setup), it may not be suitable for all users, Joe Evans writes.
Review: Corsair 8GB Padlock 2 USB Flash Drive Review, Joe Evans, Feb. 28, 2010
R. Scott Clark praises the Corsair Flash Padlock 2 Secure USB drive in this review, noting its strong security, "master PIN" for parents or system administrators, platform independence, and cooldown after unsuccessful code attempts. It is not FIPS 140-2 government security standard compliant, he notes, and offers only moderate transfer speeds. "Corsair's Flash Padlock 2 secure flash drive is hands-down your best option for transporting sensitive data that's not government classified," Clark writes.
Review: Corsair Flash Padlock 2 Secure Flash Drive Review, R. Scott Clark, March 27, 2010
An OverclockersClub.com reviewer gives the Corsair Padlock 2 secure USB flash drive a thorough testing and review. He praises the drive's easy-to-use hardware security, including the strength of its encryption and secure features, and the rubberized case, which helps prevent physical damage. Drawbacks are mostly based on storage size and price. He awards an Overclockers Club Bronze Award.
Review: Corsair Padlock 2 8GB USB Flash Drive Review, "jlqrb", Feb. 26, 2010
Tweaktown.com gives the Corsair Padlock 2 Flash USB drive a Must Have Best Features Award and an overall score of 86% out of 100%. Performance is average or below, but the security features are strong, the review says, and for people who need it, the Corsair Padlock 2 is a good option to consider.
Review: Corsair Flash Padlock 2 8GB 256-bit Encrypted Pen Drive Video Review, Cameron Wilmot, April 5, 2010
TechReport.com tests the transfer speeds of the Corsair Padlock 2 Flash USB drive and runs it through a washer cycle in a jeans pocket. The transfer speeds are average, but the drive makes it through the wash with flying colors, still functioning perfectly a month later. Tester Cyril Kowaliski praises the drive's security, ruggedness and 10-year warranty, but says transfer speeds and the price are still disappointing.
Review: Corsair's Flash Padlock 2 USB Thumb Drive, Cyril Kowaliski, April 6, 2010
TechPowerUp.com gives the Corsair Padlock 2 secure USB flash drive an 8.1 out of 10 score and a Highly Recommended rating, based on its extensive testing of the drive's security and features. The site notes that the cooldown from incorrect code entry can be circumvented, allowing for brute force code repetition attacks, but guessing the correct code seems unlikely. Of all the sites testing the drive's security, this one is one of the most rigorous.
Review: Corsair Padlock 2 8 GB, "Darksaber", March 24, 2010
Guru3D.com reviews the Corsair Padlock 2 secure USB flash drive, explaining exactly how the drive works in practice and testing its transfer speeds, finding them average. The site includes a handy video showing exactly how the drive's locking and unlocking sequence works. Actual security and durability are not tested. The site awards a Guru3D Recommended rating, based on the drive's security features.
Review: Corsair Padlock 2 Review, Hilbert Hagedoorn, April 16, 2010
Bob Buskirk writes about the Corsair Flash Padlock 2 for ThinkComputers.org, giving the secure USB drive a 9 out of 10 score and a Recommended #1 award. The site also hosts a video detailing the flash drive's features. He finds the 256-bit encryption impressive, the flash drive's code buttons easy to use, and the drive itself rugged and durable. Cons include storage size.
Review: Corsair Flash Padlock 2 8GB USB Flash Drive Review, Bob Buskirk, Feb. 25, 2010
NotebookReview.com praises the hardware-based security, encryption and size of the Corsair Flash Padlock 2 secure USB drive. The price tag is high, and it is physically large, the site cautions. "The encryption method that the Padlock 2 uses is highly secure, so it's not likely to be hacked," reviewer Allison Johnson writes. "If that's important to you for work or other purposes, then the Padlock 2 is worth the investment."
Review: Corsair Padlock 2 Review, Allison Johnson, June 13, 2010
About 40 users award the Corsair Padlock 2 Flash Drive an average score of 4 out of 5 stars, praising the ease of its hardware-based security. Setting a security code is easy, and doesn't require software or a particular system to be compatible, reviewers write. A few who mark down the flash drive complain that it takes administrator access to the computer it's plugged into in order to work.
Review: Corsair 16 GB Padlock 2 USB 2.0 Flash Drive CMFPLA16GB, Contributors to Amazon.com