A pretty good bang-for-your-buck storage drive, the Apricorn Aegis Portable offers 120GB of data and is packaged with software that will help you securely back up your data, as well as keep an eye on your hard drive’s health. But while its read speeds were decent, you’ll find yourself waiting a bit longer to copy data to the drive.
The Aegis Portable is housed in a plain case with an unremarkable silver finish. However, we appreciate that the USB cord wraps neatly around the unit and snaps into a small recess on the side. It also comes with additional USB cables for creating a longer cord—a rarity among portable drives.
The Aegis Portable comes with an installation disk with several apps, including EZ Gig II, Cryptainer encryption, and Smart-ER software. Cryptainer creates an encrypted disk volume for your hard drive, and you can manually set how large you want that volume to be. It supports both Blowfish448 and 256-bit AES encryption. EZ Gig II lets you backup images of your entire hard drive, clone your hard drives by completely copying contents to another disk, recover or restore individual hard drives or the whole volume, and it can even assist you in adding a new hard drive.
The software interface is intuitive and easy to use. The Smart-ER software will let you know ahead of time if your hard drive’s health begins to deteriorate, and it runs behind the scenes in the system tray. It can check the status of your drive at different intervals, from every 5 minutes to every eight hours and keep logs of its health.
Despite its plethora of software, read and write speeds of the Aegis Portable were decidedly mixed. It tied the Western Digital My Passport Essential in hard drive read time, transferring a 5GB folder of mixed media including documents, videos, pictures, and music in 3 minutes and 23 seconds (25.2 MBps); it was bested by the Maxtor OneTouch 4 Mini, which read the same folder in 3:17, a rate of 25.9 MBps. The Aegis Portable had a very low write speed of just 13.9 MBps, compared to 17.4 MBps for the Buffalo Ministation TurboUSB.
You’ll appreciate the backup options the Aegis Portable provides, the price is right, and we like the hideaway USB cord. However, you won’t get the style of hard drives like the Western Digital My Passport Essential or LaCie Little Disk nor the speeds of drives like the Buffalo Ministation or Maxtor OneTouch 4 Mini.