Rugged External SSD for Hazardous Environments

Review by Erik Vlietinck

We all know that harsh environments are risky for storage media, and many vendors certify their portable drives for submersion in 30cm deep water for 15 minutes. But if you work in more hostile environments, you need something like an ioSafe Solo Hawk 1TB external SSD from the CRU Data Security Group. This is a drive that comes with an insurance policy! 

The Solo Hawk has a crush-resistant (up to 2,500 lbs) aluminum shell. It uses HydroSafe technology to waterproof its SSD in submersions for up to 30′ for 72 hours, and withstands full immersion in diesel fuel, oils, hydraulic fluids, and more. If you occasionally photograph in the Sahara or the Antarctic, the Solo Hawk can handle that too, as it has been designed for continuous exposure to UV, blowing sand, blowing dust, rain, salt fog, ice, and freezing rain. Finally, it comes with two years of the ioSafe Data Recovery Service (five years optional) by simply registering the Hawk online. 

To test it, I tightened a 33′ rope around the Solo Hawk and flung it off one of the Port of Antwerp’s docks. I could see the Hawk quickly disappear in the oily sludge. After half an hour in the freezing cold, I’d had enough, and retrieved the drive. When I plugged the Solo Hawk into my Mac, it mounted as if nothing had happened!

Over the next couple of days, I did some other fun stuff, and was amazed at how unbreakable the Solo Hawk seems to be. It isn’t slow either, with a healthy write speed of 512MB/s and read speed of 560MB/s. ■