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Hard Drive Withstands Fire And Water Submersion

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Auburn (CA) - Most small businesses and consumers do not have elaborate disaster recovery plans in place, which means that their data may be at risk, especially if backups are stored nearby. Fire and water can wipe out at least portions of the contents stored on hard drives in a matter of seconds. ioSafe announced new hard drives that promise to withstand fire and water and offer a type of product for all those who don’t invest in off-site storage.


ioSafe claims that it is the first company to offer fire- and waterproof hard drives, which may be worth a look not just for businesses, but also families who are looking for ways to keep those digital family pictures safe, even when a house burns down. The company uses 2.5" drives within 3.5" enclosures are specially equipped with heat and water barriers.

Fire protection is provided by the firm’s "DataCast endothermic insulation technology", which the manufacturer claims forms a chemical bond with water molecules that, at temperature above 160 degrees Fahrenheit, releases water vapor to limit the internal temperature of the unit. Combined with the insulation, ioSafe claims that the drive can sustain outside temperatures of up to 1400 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 15 minutes and short term peak temperatures of up to 1700 degrees Fahrenheit.

In the case of a fire, the plastic tabs on the inside of the 3.5" casing will melt at a temperature of 250 degrees Fahrenheit, closing the drive and blocking airflow. The manufacturer said that the inside of the 2.5" drive should not get hotter than 210 degrees Fahrenheit during a fire, as 98% of radiant heat can be deflected. Typical house fires reach a heat of about 1100 degrees Fahrenheit with 3 to 5 minutes.
There was no detailed information on the water protection technology, other than the claim that the drive will be protected from fresh or salt water damage, both in full submersion and spray/splash scenarios. Full submersion protection is guaranteed for up to 24 hours in up to 5 ft of water.

Just in case the drive is damaged, ioSafe offers an optional data recovery plan that is activated through the registration of a product. The service, which is offered free of charge, provides access to data recovery experts and includes up to $2500 payment by ioSafe to a third-party data extraction service plus replacement product, if required.
Not surprisingly, ioSafe’s hard drives come at a premium over regular hard drives. The price list ranges from $330 for a 5400 rpm 80 GB drive to $460 for a 7200 rpm 200 GB drive. The highest capacity is offered by a 320 GB 5400 rpm model for $450.
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