Home Consumer Kingston Ironkey Vault Privacy 50 Review

Kingston Ironkey Vault Privacy 50 Review

by Aron Letalik

The Kingston Ironkey Vault Privacy 50 is a new portable USB drive in the line of Kingston encrypted drives. This drive is built for professionals looking for extra security built into their portable storage devices. The Privacy 50 has a FIPS 197 certification and AES-256 hardware encryption, with XTS support to secure all your valuable information. XTS mode protects against BadUSB and Bruteforce password cracking attacks.

The Kingston Ironkey Vault Privacy 50 is a new portable USB drive in the line of Kingston encrypted drives. This drive is built for professionals looking for extra security built into their portable storage devices. The Privacy 50 has a FIPS 197 certification and AES-256 hardware encryption, with XTS support to secure all your valuable information. XTS mode protects against BadUSB and Bruteforce password cracking attacks.

Ironkey Vault Privacy comes in storage sizes of 8GB to 256GB. These sizes should be perfect for any individual seeking on-the-go data storage. The prices range from $49.99 for the 8GB variant to $219.99 for the 256GB model on Amazon.

Kingston Ironkey Vault Privacy 50

Kingston Ironkey Vault Privacy 50 Security Features

The Kingston Ironkey Vault Privacy 50 is on the USB 3.2 Gen 1 standard which delivers quick speeds over USB type A connectors. The 8GB to 128GB USB is reported to have read speeds of up to 250MB/s and write of 180MB/s. The 256GB USB is a bit slower, clocking in at 230MB/s read and 150MB/s write. However, security is the main selling point of this drive.

The Ironkey has built-in password protection, which allows any user to easily protect their information. When first plugging in the device, the user is greeted with a screen that allows them to create a password. This is similar to the previously reviewed Kingston IronKey Locker+ 50.

The user has the option to create a complex password or a passphrase. If the user decides to use the complex option, they are prompted to create a password that is 6-16 characters long and requires uppercase letters, lowercase letters, digits, and special characters. Kingston Ironkey Vault Privacy 50 screencap

A great feature of the Kingston Ironkey Vault Privacy 50 is upon 10 incorrect password attempts, the drive is erased. This will protect the drive data if it is stolen or lost.

Other than security features, the thumb drive doesn’t come with very much software. The software offering is in the drive encryption and automatic cloud backup. However, if you are using this drive to protect your private data, a cloud backup does not seem useful if you want total control over where the data resides.

Kingston Ironkey Vault Privacy 50 Specifications

Interface USB 3.2 Gen 1
Capacities1 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
Connector Type-A
Speed USB 3.2 Gen 1
8GB – 128GB: 250MB/s read, 180MB/s write
256GB: 230MB/s read, 150MB/s writeUSB 2.0
8GB – 256GB: 30MB/s read, 20MB/s write
Waterproof3: Up to 4 ft; IEC 60529 IPX8
Dimensions 77.9 mm x 21.9 mm x 12.0 mm
Operating Temperature 0°C to 60°C
Storage Temperature -20°C to 85°C
Compatibility USB 3.0/USB 3.1/USB 3.2 Gen 1
Minimum System Requirements Two (2) free consecutive drive letters are required for use
Warranty/support Limited 5-year warranty, free technical support.
Compatible with Windows® 11, 10, 8.1, macOS® (v. 10.14.x – 12.x.x)

Kingston Ironkey Vault Privacy 50 Design and Build

The Ironkey Vault Privacy 50 is a very standard endeavor from what you would expect in a secure USB. It has a nice blue finish to the entire unit. It is fairly big in comparison to its contemporaries. Kingston Ironkey Vault Privacy 50 conenctor

The USB stick has the storage capacity and the name emblazoned on it. The larger size may be in part due to the thickness of the USB outer casing. This will protect it for times when you may chuck it into a backpack or drop it on the ground.

On this one the cap is removable and probably easy to lose, so keep an eye on the cap when in use.

Ironkey Vault Privacy 50 Speed Tests

We used our Lenovo ThinkStation P520 for performance testing. The Ironkey Vault Privacy 50 had 230.8 MB/s write and the read speed was 301.6 MB/s according to the Disk Speed Test. Kingston quoted the speeds at 180MB/s write and 250MB/s read therefore our tests showed that the write speed was about 50 MB/s faster and read speed was 51 MB/s faster than Kingston advertised.

When comparing the Ironkey Vault Privacy 50 to the Kingston IronKey Locker+ 50  Disk Speed Test showed that the Ironkey Vault Privacy 50 is faster in many areas than the Kingston IronKey Locker+ 50. The Ironkey Vault Privacy 50 had a write of 230.8 MB/s and the Kingston IronKey Locker+ 50 had a write speed of 136.2 MB/s.

The read speed of the Ironkey Vault Privacy 50 is 301.6 MB/s compared to the Kingston IronKey Locker+ 50 which has a read speed of 158.6 MB/s.

In our IOMeter tests, it was shown that the Ironkey Vault Privacy 50 has good speeds. In our 2MB sequential workload test we saw data rates of 226.33MB/s write and 301.24MB/s read. Our random 2MB test showed 207.61MB/s write and 280.13MB/s read while the smaller 4K I/O test measured 2,137 IOPS 4K write and 3,805 IOPS 4K read. The Ironkey Vault Privacy 50 is also faster in almost all tests compared to the Kingston IronKey Locker+ 50 in our IOMeter tests.

IOMeter 1 thread
Test Ironkey Vault Privacy 50 Ironkey Locker+ 50
2MB sequential write 226.33MB/s 132MB/s
2MB sequential read 301.24MB/s 156.88MB/s
2MB random write 207.61MB/s 128.4MB/s
2MB random read 280.13MB/s 154.67MB/s
4K random write 2,137 IOPS 3,332.9 IOPS
4K random read 3,805 IOPS 3,367.5 IOPS

Conclusion

The Ironkey Vault Privacy 50 is a security-first USB flash storage device that takes security and puts it at the forefront of its design. The device is solid and looks like it can withstand anything a user may throw at it. The encryption features built in and the ease of use make this USB a no-brainer for anyone who is privacy or security conscious. The drive is also stated to be waterproof up to 4 feet, which is a nice extra feature to have.

Kingston Ironkey Vault Privacy 50 side

Kingston includes a software utility on-board the thumb drive in a special partition to allow the user to unlock the drive on different systems. This type of encrypted storage is one of the easiest to use for most buyers. Overall for buyers that want simple encrypted storage, the IronKey Vault Privacy 50 is a good choice.

Kingston Ironkey at Amazon

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