New Hard Drives Withstand Gunshot Blasts, and More

Dennis Faas's picture

Hard drive manufacturer ioSafe has produced what it calls the ultimate range of "disaster proof" external hard drives. It promises the drives can withstand anything short of fire or bullets, though recent testing demonstrated the latter won't necessarily destroy data.

The drives, which ioSafe says meet "military specifications," serve two main purposes: one is to be able to stand up to extreme environments such as Arctic cold or hot, dusty deserts. The second is for corporate users who want to take every practical step to protect their critical data.

Disaster Proof Hard Drives Offer Three Levels of Customization

The near-bulletproof hard drives offer up multiple configurations, ranging in either a 256GB or 512GB model. Users can opt for a traditional (spinning) hard drive, or an SSD (solid state drive) -- a much faster-loading, and more durable unit which contains no moving parts. Finally, the outer casing can be made from aluminum or titanium.

Drives Withstand Ice, Sand, Water and Dust

The aluminum models can withstand a crushing forcing of 2,500lbs while the titanium version can withstand 5,000lbs. Either case can also survive up to three days under water (including seawater), or an hour immersed in a foot of chemicals such as diesel fuel, hydraulic fluid or oil.

ioSafe's hard drives are also designed to withstand an onslaught of ice, dust or a sand, and will work at up to 15,000 feet above sea level (aluminum hard drive), or 30,000 feet (titanium, solid state drives). Inside the casing there's a suspension system that prevents the data from being affected after a 10-20 foot drop onto concrete. (Source:

Gunshot No Match In Demo

Officially, ioSafe doesn't guarantee the drives can survive a fire or gunfire. However, at a demonstration event, one drive was still working after coming under fire from both a shotgun and an M-16 automatic rifle. (Source:

The company is so confident in the drives that it gives all customers a one-claim-only data recovery service under which ioSafe will attempt to restore the data and, if needed, pay up to $5,000 for a third-party forensic recovery service.

Price Tag Almost as Shocking as Durability

As you'd imagine, though, the drives have a hefty price.

While the 256GB aluminum hard drive goes for $1,299 (about two to three times the market price of a similar model without the protection), the 512GB titanium SSD model clocks in at a whopping $3,499.

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