The Amacom ezSecure is a lockable external USB drive using a 2.5in SATA HDD.

Portable hard disks are great ways to store huge amounts of data easily, but always carry a security risk since they can be so easily removed. We've seen RFID tags used before to lock them down, and now here's another easy solution: PIN code access.

The Amacom ezSecure is an external USB drive using a 2.5in SATA HDD, available in 160, 250 and 320GB capacities. We tested the 160GB version for £119.

The Amacom ezSecure packs its internal hard drive in a lightweight metal case finished in brown bonze finish, and overall rather resembles an old-school cassette walkman with its large LCD control panel.

The screen is touch sensitive, and requires a six-digit number code to be typed in each time the drive is plugged into a computer. You can also elect to encrypt the entire drive, so that even if the Amacom ezSecure is removed from the case it will remain unreadable.

There's a six-digit PIN setup as default, although you can create your own up to 12 digits long. The Amacom ezSecure is a little noisier than the quietest available, and construction is lightweight but looks reasonably tough.

We measured an average 31.5MBps read speed and 20.3MBps write, although with secure mode engaged the read figure fell to 29.7MBps, reflecting the extra processing required for on-the-fly de/encryption.

OUR VERDICT

The Amacom ezSecure is a neat solution to data security - with one trillion PIN permutations - which worked well under test, although the supermarket bleep style of touch button feedback quickly became annoying.