When you walk into retail store to buy an external hard drive, there are dozens of options to choose from. And there's always the option of buying a hard drive or SSD and putting together your own. So, manufacturers have to find ways to add value to what is a reasonably straightforward device you can rig up yourself. LaCie's answer is the Rugged SECURE. As the name suggests, it combines with physical and logical security features.
What Is It?
LaCie established themselves as a hard drive maker with a particular focus on Mac users. At a time when external drives were ugly boxes, they used designs created by folks like Scottish designer Neil Poulton and Porsche to make their enclosures stand out from the crowd. A few years ago, LaCie was purchased by Seagate so the hardware they're shipping now is really a Seagate drive with a fancy case.
The Rugged SECURE boasts LaCie's familiar orange protective surround. That protects the 2TB hard drive from drops and crush incidents.
|Interface||One USB-C ports (USB 3 compatible)|
|Size and weight||18.7 by 86 by 135 mm, 100g|
|Drive bays||Four hot-swappable 3.5"/2.5" SATA 6Gb/s HDD/SSD|
|Ruggedising||Drop resistance: 1.2m, Crush resistance: 1-ton car, Water resistance: rain|
|Warranty and support||Two year warranty and two year data recovery services access|
Despite the somewhat chunky appearance, the Rugged SECURE doesn't take up too much bag space. And that bulky orange cover can be removed if you're prepared to run the risk of damage if space is at a premium.
Connectivity is over USB-C but if your computer lacks a USB-C input, there's a also a USB-C to USB-A cable in the box which is handy.
When the drive is first plugged into a Mac or Windows system, you get the the opportunity to register the device and install LaCie's Toolkit software. The software lets you mirror a folder from your computer to the drive, like Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive. You can choose the default option and the software creates a folder called "Mirror", or you can customise and mirror other folders if you prefer.
The encryption feature, works well but if you lose the encryption password your data is lost.
Despite having a HDD, rather than an SSD, the Rugged SECURE was no slouch. I was able to manually copy files to the drive quickly with a 426MB file landing well inside five seconds. Larger packages comprising of larger and smaller files were fast well.
Read performance, as expected, wasn't quite a speedy but 1GB of files moved off the drive in under 25 seconds. Other disk intensive activities such as video playback were trouble-free.
As well as the two-year warranty, LaCie backs that with two years of access to their data recovery services so, in the event the drive goes belly up, you can get some help recovering your data.
I tested the Rugged SECURE on a current model iMac 27-inch. The LaCie software looks like a mobile app that's been ported to macOS. When it's active, which following installation is set to be on startup, the app appears in a borderless window and there's no icon for it on the Dock. There is an icon on the Menu Bar but the UI, in my view, wasn't very intuitive.
Unlike some of LaCie's other drives, there's no waterproof covering for the USB-C port. Some of the other ruggedised LaCie drives make it easy to wrap the cable around the enclosure for easy storage and transport bu the Rugged SECURE doesn't do that.
Should You Buy It
The LaCie Rugged SECURE 2TB Drive has a recommended retail price of $219.95. That's not a bad price given you're getting access to recovery services should the drive fail and a ruggedised enclosure.
You can save a buck or two by purchasing the LaCie Rugged SECURE online but I did notice some retailers marking this product up by as much as 20% so be aware.