Short Version: This seemingly everyday USB 3.0 hard drive hides a couple dirty secrets. tl;dr don’t buy this drive. Why you ask? You’re going to have to click through for that.
- 1TB storage
- USB 3.0 interface
- AES 265-bit hardware encryption
- $159 MSRP
- Product page
- Rugged design
- Good transfer rates
- Included software suite is loaded on a virtual CD drive (craziness)
- Bundled USB 3.0 Cable doesn’t work with other USB 3.0 devices
I don’t get it. How in the world can someone mess up an external hard drive? The formula is dead-simple: take a notebook hard drive and put it in the smallest possible external enclosure. Profit! Somehow the committee in charge of the Iomega eGo 1TB external hard drive dropped the ball.
It all boils down to one grievous issue. When you plug in the drive, it loads a virtual CD drive along with the hard drive. This isn’t simply a partition either as it shows up as another physical drive in Disk Management. On this virtual drive is the bundled encryption software (which I can’t get to install) and so, it’s not that much of a journey to see how this virtual drive came to be.
What’s the very first thing you do when you get an external hard drive? Delete all the crap software, right? That’s what I do. Someone at Iomega must of have realized this and so instead of leveraging the Internet’s fine ability to distribute software, this method was enacted to make sure the bundled software would remain on the drive for all of time.
This separate drive wouldn’t be that big of a deal if Windows didn’t insist on autorunning it every time the drive is connected even if instructed not to — or if there was an easier way to delete it. Because, you know, you bought the drive and should be able to use it how you want.
Then there’s the issue with the included USB 3.0 cable. I have three other USB 3.0 external hard drives and it won’t work with any of them. I can’t figure out why, either. It seems like a standard USB 3.0 drive with an extra end to help power the drive if needed. But it’s a no-go on my other devices.
The drive performs fine and finishes along side the other USB 3.0 drives I’ve tested with the average read/write speeds clocking in at 83.2 MB/s and 71.3 MB/s over USB 3.0. But it really bothers me that the owner does not have complete control over the drive. That’s a massive dealbreaker in my book.