Encrypted SSDs deliver security and speed

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We tested five different 2.5”, SATA-3 replacement drives and found that we could not crack their encryption. We also found that the drives delivered speeds that were up to five times faster than the Hitachi hard drive that came with our Lenovo laptop.

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We tested five different 2.5", SATA-3 replacement drives and found that we could not crack their encryption. We also found that the drives delivered speeds that were up to five times faster than the Hitachi hard drive that came with our Lenovo laptop.

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Other World Computing

The OWC Pro 6G was the fastest SSD in our test. This no-frills drive came with no additional software, cables or data sheet. The drive we tested cost $1,040 (£669) and, once formatted, provided 460GB of storage. There's also a 240GB model that costs $448 (£288).

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OCZ Deneva 2

We ran 12 performance tests, including two sequential read/writes and 10 random read/writes, using the CrystalDiskMark tool on a laptop running Windows 7. The Deneva 2 drive was similar to the OWC drive, but a tad slower. The Deneva 2 costs $650 (£418) for a 240GB drive.

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Micron Crucial M4

The M4 came more prepared to do work than the others. The box arrives with a USB-SATA-3 cable and a CD that can be used to clone an internal drive, then transfer the data to the newly installed M4. This worked without a hitch, although it took 2 hours to copy our 120GB test drive load. The M4 costs $424 (£273) for a 256GB drive.

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Adlink Technology ASD25

This product was the first to arrive in our lab and we pounded it every way we could in order to break the encryption, but to no avail. The Adlink product performed in the middle of the pack when it came to our performance tests. The product costs $428 (£275) for a 256GB drive, 248GB when formatted.

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Intel 320 Series

The Intel drive was also in the midrange of our performance testing, which makes it more than twice as fast as the hard drive native to our Lenovo T520. Intel also has some online tools that optimize the drive, and recommends that the tools be run weekly. They take only seconds to run. The Windows-only tool can also Secure-Erase the drive, which re-writes the SSD. The drive costs $500 (£322) and formatted out at 300GB.

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