by Adam Armstrong

Apricorn Aegis Secure Key 3z Review

The Aegis Secure Key 3z is Apricorn’s newest and smallest, in terms of size not capacity, secure USB drive. The drive ranges in capacity from 8GB to 128GB. The 3z comes with 100% hardware-based 256-bit AES XTS encryption and an onboard keypad PIN authentication. The drive has a USB 3.1 interface, claims speeds as high as 190MB/s read and 80MB/s write, and works with just about any OS that possesses a USB port.

The Aegis Secure Key 3z is all about security. As stated, the flash drive has 256-bit AES XTS encryption, is FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certified, and is polymer coated to avoid physical tampering. The drive has to be unlocked with a PIN put into the onboard keyboard on the side. PINs can go as long as 16 characters and there are Admin and User pins, where the Admin can set functions such as read only. The drive automatically locks itself when there is a lack of activity, the time can be programmed in. The drive also comes with a self-destruct PIN erasing everything on it.

The Apricorn Aegis Secure Key 3z comes with a 3-year limited warranty and can be picked up for as little as $79. 

Apricorn Aegis Secure Key 3z Specifications 

Interface USB 3.1 (Backwards compatible with USB 3.0, 2.0 and 1.1)
Power supply USB port/internal battery
Performance Up to 190MB/s read/80MB/s write
Dimensions 81 x 18.4 x 9.5mm
Weight 22g
Warranty 3-year limited
System requirements Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and Symbian systems, or any powered USB OS with a storage file system

Design and Build

The Apricorn Aegis Secure Key 3z is a smallish flash drive, roughly three inches long. There is a 10-digit keypad on one side with a lock and unlock button as well as LED indicator lights. The drive comes with a cap covering the USB interface.

The other side of the device has certifications and product information including a number to call for customer support.


To test the performance of the Apricorn Aegis Secure Key 3z we ran the BlackMagic on a previous generation MacBook Pro. The 3z almost hit its claimed numbers with 76.6MB/s write and 185.7MB/s read, within a hair of its claimed speed.


The Apricorn Aegis Secure Key 3z is a highly secure flash drive. Coming in at capacities form 8GB to 128GB, the 3z offers top speeds of 190MB/s read and 80MB/s write. The drive has 256-bit AES XTS encryption, is FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certified, and has an onboard keypad for entering a PIN before it can be used. The drive should work with just about any device that is USB ready. 

From a performance perspective, the drive more or less lives up to its claims. It claimed 190MB/s read and hit 185.7MB/s and 80MB/s write and hit 76.6MB/s. From usability it wasn’t especially difficult to set up the PIN and get it going. It did take more than a few attempts before we figured it out, but once that happened it was smooth sailing.

For those that need to transfer critical data and need to make sure it is as safe as possible, the Apricorn Aegis Secure Key 3z is right up your alley. If you just need a way to transfer data quickly from point A to point B with no security concerns, there are several items on the market for that. 

Apricorn Aegis Secure Key 3z on Amazon

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