Honeywell SecuraDrive RFID

Aron Schatz
March 7, 2009
Honeywell SecuraDrive RFID
Honeywell offers both portability and security with their new RFID SecuraDrives.

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Honeywell sent us their latest external hard drive product, the SecuraDrive RFID. We were excited about getting our hands on such a portable hard drive with advanced data security built right in.

Honeywell is a renowned and respected company covering many areas of consumer electronics from motherboard manufacturing to advanced security, automation and control solutions for businesses around the globe. Honeywell is a company that not only has high expectations for itself but continually remains highly respected by end users and competitors alike.


The Honeywell Trademark is used under license from Honeywell International Inc. by SOYO Inc. The Honeywell Consumer Electronics line is designed using only the most cutting-edge technology delivering long-lasting, quality products. Although we at SOYO are strongly focused on our products, our primary goal is to develop a lifelong relationship with each of our customers by providing excellent reliability and customer support through a variety of accessible brands. more...



Honeywell sent us a 160GB SecuraDrive RFID for evaluation purposes, but the 250GB and 500GB products will be the ones to hit shelves. They will offer the same USB 2.0 interface, 480Mbits/s maximum transfer rate, and 8MB buffer.



Included with the drive is the USB cable, two RFID tags, carrying case, Owner's Manual and Quick Start Guide. The carrying case has a soft feel and each RFID tag has key rings included for quick attachment to the owner's key fob or other carrying device.

Closer Look


The SecuraDrive cable comes with two USB plugs. Most of the time the black USB plug will be all that is needed as it will supply the power and data transfer for the SecuraDrive. The second (red) USB plug is included for the occasions where the drive might not be receiving enough power from the black plug alone. This will most likely occur while plugged into an old 1.1 USB port or a USB hub. While connecting this to most newer computers and devices, the lone black plug will be all that is needed.

Honeywell informed us that the circular, silver "Warranty void if removed" stickers on the sides will be black on the 250GB and 500GB units, so as not to be a dramatic eyesore on the otherwise slick looking drive.


These slim little drives come in at 5.5(L) x 3.0(W) x 0.75(H) inches and 7 ounces. As you can see, the height of this SecuraDrive is less than the width of a typical USB plug. The good news is the SecuraDrive is easily transportable. You can carry this little gem easily in your pocket, a small pouch on the side of backpack or laptop bag, purse and most other means.


The drive is not detected by the operating system or device upon being plugged in. It will, however, get power from the USB drive right away indicated by blue LED. The other LED indicates the security status of the drive and always starts off red when initially powered on. When this LED is red, the drive is locked by the AES 128bit security encryption and is not detectable by the computer or device it's connected to.


Waving one of the RFID tags over the wireless symbol on the corner of the drive will deactivate the security. The red LED will turn green and the drive will begin to operate as a traditional external USB drive. The operating system will detect the drive and regular transfers are permitted.


The included two RFID tags are designed to only work with the SecuraDrive they are included with. The drive will not be operational if the RFID tags are lost. It is highly suggested that the owners of Honeywell SecuraDrives register their product with Honeywell in case the RFID tags are lost or stolen. If properly registered, Honeywell will have the ability to replace the tags using a registered account.

Honeywell also informed us that the data encryption is not only part of the enclosure but the drive as well. If someone steals the SecuraDrive and breaks open the enclosure attempting to get the data, the drive will not function and the data will remain secure. Per the Owner's Manual, the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 128bit is a recognized standard by the US Government and approved by the NSA to be secure enough to store sensitive data labeled as "SECRET."



The SecuraDrive is simple to use. There is no special way to use the RFID tags. Either side can be facing the drive as it is waved over the wireless symbol like a little magic wand. It takes just a short second or two for the drive to be activated or deactivated. The only exception is when data is still being transferred to or from the drive. The drive will not allow encryption activation while the drive is in use.

When we first activated the drive the operating system immediately recognized the Honeywell SecuraDrive as an external USB hard drive. Data transfers were simple and at expected speeds. We ran transfer tests on multiple computers with different operating systems as well as stand-alone external drive enclosures with USB ports. The compressed 1GB test file transferred to and from the SecuraDrive in 35 to 38 seconds in all tests.



The bottom line here is that Honeywell's RFID SecuraDrive does everything as advertised. It slim and light, allowing for easy transportability. The RFID tags were simple to use. It is entirely undetectable until a valid RFID tag is waved over drive in the proper location. And ultimately it works great as an external hard drive on the Hi Speed USB 2.0 interface. There is no street pricing on this drive but it is expected to be more expensive than traditional mass storage due to the extra encryption. The additional cost is well worth it for anyone looking for data security.

ASE Labs would like to thank Honeywell and SOYO for making this review possible.


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