by Alex Schuchter

Apricorn Aegis Fortress L3 Review

The Aegis Fortress L3 is a portable SSD that offers external storage for organizations and companies that require the highest level of protection for their data. The drive is a compact sleek black vault for your data that utilizes a built in PIN authentication pad to unlock allowing you to take large amounts of sensitive data wherever you go. 

The dedication to security and protections can be seen throughout the design. Featuring FIPS 140-2 level 3 (validation pending Q3 2019) the drive meets the highest standards for information technology and computer security set by the U.S. government. An extra layer of security is added with real time 256-bit AES-XTS hardware encryption which means 100% of your data is hardware encrypted on the fly with military grade encryption. The onboard keypad is wear resistant with a durable polymer coating that adds water and dust resistance decreasing visible wear and tear on frequently used keys. The case adds tamper resistance as it is milled from a single piece of durable aircraft grade aluminum alloy. Additionally, there are multiple safeguards that set into motion a crypto-erase. Brute force defence is enforced after a selected number of consecutive invalid pin attempts set into motion a complete wipe and reset. Another nifty feature is the self destruct PIN which when programmed and activated the drive instantly deletes all data and becomes the new access PIN. 

The drive comes in capacities up to 16TB. The Aegis Fortress L3 comes with a 3-year limited warranty and can be picked up for around $239 for the 512GB and up to about $10,000 for the 16TB. Our Aegis Fortress L3 SSD was 512GB. 

Aegis Fortress L3 Specifications

Capacity 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 8TB, 16TB
Data Transfer Speed  USB 3.0 - up to 180MB/s
Interface USB 3.1 / 3.2 type A and C
Power Supply Bus Powered
OS Compatibility MS Windows
Mac OS
Linux
Android
Symbian
Chrome
Physical
Dimensions 512GB - 2TB models: 16.5mm X 77mm X 122mm 
​4TB - 16TB models: 24.5mm x 77mm x 122mm
Weight 512GB - 4TB: 7.6oz
​8 TB - 16TB: 11.9oz 
Warranty 3-year limited
Hardware Data Encryption Real-Time Military Grade AES-XTS 256-bit Full-Disk

Design & Build

The Aegis Fortress L3 features an industrial all black design. The top features the key pad along with lock and unlock buttons and LED indications above the buttons. The company branding is located in the top right corner.The bottom features the product information such as approvals, serial number, and capacity.

The drive comes with a case to neatly store the drive and it’s USB cords. Two USB 3.1/ 3.2 cords are provided offering the standard USB TYPE-A and the newer USB TYPE-C connection. The AEGIS Fortress L3 comes pre-formatted in NTFS for Windows however it can be reformatted for Mac OS. 

Performance

To test the performance of the Aegis Fortress L3 we used a HP ZBook x2 G4 for Windows testing. For IOMeter the Aegis Fortress L3 was able to hit 284.4MB/s read and 294.4MB/s write in our 2MB sequential. Our 2MB random test results showed 225.5MB/s read and 236.4MB/s write. Looking at random 4K throughput, the drive hit 4,638.1 IOPS read and 6,464.2 IOPS write. 

Conclusion  

Looking at the performance the Fortress L3 exceeded expectations. For IOMeter it hit 2MB scores of 284.4MB/s read and 294.4MB/s write in sequential and 225.5MB/s read and 236.4MB/s write in random. For 4K throughput the drive had scores of 4638 IOPS read and 6,464 IOPS write.

When looking to transport large amounts of sensitive data with ease the Aegis Fortress L3 is a great product to check out. Using the provided USB 3.1/ 3.2 A and C cords the drive can be bus powered and transfer data up to 180MB/s. The drive comes in capacities up to 16TB. Set-up is fast and user-friendly. A few covert functions keep security at you fingertips with an auto-lock that secures the device before you can walk away and self destruct PIN which initiates an instant crypto-erase. Being made out of a single piece of rugged aircraft grade aluminum alloy the drive is not easily tampered with and can withstand a few bumps in transport to say the least.

Apricorn Ageis Fortress L3 on Amazon

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