In normal conditions, a hard drive is the most affordable and efficient way to back up music, video, and photo libraries. Yet most drives—typically made from lightweight materials such as plastic—won’t last through a disaster. The ioSafe N2 will. Designers wrapped the system’s dual hard drives in materials that protect it against the worst.
By default, the dual hard drives mirror each other, so if one drive fails, the other will have a copy of every byte lost. (This of course cuts the max storage from eight terabytes to four.) In the event of a complete meltdown, ioSafe will pay for forensic data recovery.
A 0.05-inch steel shell surrounds the entire N2 and protects the drive from falls. The shell also helps deter thieves; an accessory allows users to padlock the front door and also bolt the drive to the floor or a tabletop.
An inch of custom insulation protects the N2 from temperatures up to 1,550°F. Designers embedded water molecules into the layer; when the temperature rises above 160°F, the droplets evaporate and pull damaging heat away from the drives.
The N2’s ventilation system circulates air during everyday use, but prevents flames from passing through. A fan pulls air from the N2’s front through an S-shaped vent, and out the rear exhaust. The angle of the vent makes it hard for flames to infiltrate the system.
IoSafe says the N2 will keep data safe for as long as three days in up to 10 feet of corrosive saltwater. Designers wrapped the hard drives in a 0.07-inch-thick watertight aluminum barrier. Users can remove a gasketed cap if they need to swap out the drives.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.