'

Apricorn Aegis Secure Key 3NX: The best flash drive for business users

Business users looking for a USB flash drive that offers built-in encryption and a broad range of storage capacities, all at an affordable price need look no further.

I've been putting Apricorn's new Aegis Secure Key 3NX through its paces for the past few weeks, and I've come to the conclusion that it is the best USB flash drive for business users -- by far.

The Aegis Secure Key 3NX is Apricorn's fourth-generation Secure Key, and this builds on the previous-generation keys by running up to 25 percent cooler than previous versions, and adding a broader range of capacities -- ranging from 2GB to 128GB -- so buyers don't have to spend for more storage than they need.

Also: How to completely erase any device

And pricing is competitive -- starting at $59 for 2GB, with the 128GB costing $189.

The Aegis Secure Key 3NX also features a patent pending RM/FD toggle that allows the user to switch between Removable Media or Fixed Disk mode, which is handy for embedded devices that only recognize Removable Media storage devices.

Also: The best business laptops of 2018 TechRepublic

Other features of the Aegis Secure Key 3NX include:

  • Software-free - There's nothing to keylog or to hack
  • OS Agnostic and cross-platform compatible
  • On-board keypad, with authentication taking place within the device itself
  • All data, passwords and encryption keys are 256-bit encrypted at rest
  • Setup, authentication, and encryption involves no host computer
  • Forced Enrollment-- No default PINs to ensure that data is not put at risk by employees who fail to supplant a factory preset PIN with a suitably complex PIN before deployment
  • IP-67 validated against water and dust damage

FIPS 140-2 Level 3 validation for the Aegis Secure Key 3NX is expected later this year.

Over the past few weeks I've used and abused the Aegis Secure Key 3NX and it's performed flawlessly. The hardware is robust yet easy to set up and use. And, unlike many other ruggedized drives, is small enough to slip into a pocket or bag.

Also: Best Hard Drives and Storage Devices for 2018 CNET

This isn't some bulky behemoth that looks and feels like a tank. This is a sleek, modern flash drive that's totally pocketable.

There are some other nice touches, such as laser-engraved case (as opposed to stickers or printing that wears off), and a durable polymer-coated keypad that seems impervious to wear and tear. These are welcomed, and unexpected on a product that starts at $59.

Out of the many dozens of USB flash drives I have available to me, this has quickly become my favorite, and I can't recommend it highly enough to anyone looking for a drive to satisfy the demands of an era dominated by regulations such as GDPR, FISMA, FERPA and HIPAA.

Previous and related coverage:

Want a new iPhone or Android smartphone? Here's how to sell or trade

The new Samsung Galaxy Note 9 was just announced and we expect three new iPhones and two Google Pixel phones to launch soon. Now is the time to consider selling your current one before market prices drop or plan to participate in a trade-in program.

10 best smartphones of 2018

he major smartphone launch season is upon us and one of the first out of the gates is the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, immediately taking over the top spot in our list of best smartphones.

Best Wearable Tech for 2018 CNET

Our editors hand-picked these products based on our tests and reviews. If you use our links to buy, we may get a commission.

The best tablets for 2018: Our top picks TechRepublic

Tablet sales may be declining, but there are still plenty of viable use cases and many models to choose from. Here's our pick of the best.

Related stories: