Hopefully you’ll never have to test a fireproof or waterproof hard drive in a real life situation but you can rest assured that many of the claims put forth by these manfucturers are true. We tested the both FireKing MediaVault HD and the IoSafe Solo for water-fastness and one of them for fire proofing and came away quite impressed.
The IoSafe Solo is a hard drive that can hold up to 1.5TB of data. The drive is flood proof and fireproof up to 1550 degrees Farenheit for a half hour. It connects to your Mac or PC with a USB 2.0 cable and requires an external power source. You can also bolt the drive down to prevent it from getting washed away. It starts at about $149.
The FireKing MediaVault is a bit more heavy duty. The drive itself is a standard 500GB pocket hard drive. You can add another one of your own by connecting it to another USB cable. A USB hub on the back routes two cables into the box itself through small holes in the bottom that are closed with fireproof plastic. This thing is a monster. It weighs 55 pounds and is clad in plastic and, as well discovered, filled with light concrete. It can survive at 125 degrees for one hour without affecting the contents.
The first test involved dunking both drives into a kiddie pool. Both drives were affected by moisture. The IoSafe stopped working and we found that the FireKing was slightly moist inside. We stopped testing of the IoSafe because it seemed the internal USB hardware was broken. IoSafe told us that you can remove a few screws to remove the hard drives inside and simply mount them as regular drives. Both were salvageable.
The FireKing looked like it deserved more of a beating so I gave it to my neighbor Carmine to work on with an oxy-acetylene torch. As you see from the above video most of the plastic burned off but the inside stayed nice and cool. Even the water that was left over from the dunking test stayed in the case.
Both drives survived quite a bit of torture. The IoSafe seemed at first to be broken but it only took a moment to free the drives from their internal container. The MediaVault also withstood quite a bit of abuse and would have kept anything inside safe – at least for a few more minutes.
Both of these drives are quite bulky but if you need something that can keep your documents and data from going extra tasty crispy, these are definitely two drives that can survive all sorts of abuse.