GSARGear Review: M550 Stealth

MXI M550 Encrypted USB drive review.

SAR and support units from differing agencies and organizations all need a secure, portable way to transfer mission-critical files easily between different types of computers and operating systems. Software solutions
are very time consuming and not standardized, and with unsecured flash drives, any confidential or sensitive mission data can easily be accessed if it falls into the wrong hands. MXI offers a quite strong solution to this problem with their hardware based encryption drive, the M550.

Form:

It is compact, narrow enough to not block adjacent USB ports when plugged in, but not so thin as to feel flimsy or breakable. It is extremely solid, inside and out.  It has a tough magnesium enclosure which is crush, water and dust proof to IEC60529 IP57 and MIL-STD-810F. That’s pretty impressive for a flash drive.  There’s no rattling or any give whatsoever between the sheath and the drive itself, it’s just a really compact, solid drive.

Weight: 19g
Dimensions: Enclosure on (H x w x L): 12.5 x 21.5 x 76 mm
Dimensions: Enclosure off (H x w x L): 12.5 x 21.5 x 75 mm

Encryption:

The M550 has integral hardware based encryption, running off of their FiPs 140-2 Level 3 validated processor, automatically encrypting any and all data, applications or digital identities placed on the drive with AES-256 bit algorithms. The M550 can handle multiple PKI Digital identities and RSA SecureID soft tokens as well. MXI bundles their own ACCESS software with it, including antivirus programs, partitioning and user account administration software, and all kinds of configurable security options.  Because all this takes place on the drive itself, with no need for drivers or software installs on the individual machines, it is far less prone to being compromised and can be used cross-platform with no problems.

The MXI M550 Stealth Drive is a secure, rugged, feature-rich flash drive, and has now proven itself in the SAR field. I would highly recommend getting these into the hands of field teams, they are secure, simple, rugged, and reliable.

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