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Samsung Portable SSD T3 Review

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Samsung Security Software

Although the Portable SSD T3 is not compatible with Samsung’s excellent Samsung Magician software– apparently it only works with internal devices– it does come with a simple and powerful security system that implements AES 256-bit encryption. Included on the drive are versions for Mac OS, WIndows, and Android.

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Setting up the drive password is easy: just type it in twice. You’re limited to 16 characters, though, which limits the use of pass phrases. Note that Samsung warns that if you set a password and subsequently forget it, you’ll have to send the drive back to Samsung to have it reset, which will incidentally result in the loss of all information on the drive.

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Once the password is set– and any time you run the security program afterwards– you’ll get this nice summary screen showing the serial number of the drive, and its name and status.

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Any time the computer is rebooted, or the drive connected, you’ll have to enter the password in order to mount it.

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If you take the drive and connect it to another computer without the security software, only a small read-only partition will mount. This partition– which, by the way, survives a DISKPART “clean all” command– contains copies of the security software and an explanatory note. Once a password has been set, you’ll need to install the security software and enter the correct password to use the disk on another computer.

In the last section I’ll present my final thoughts and conclusion for the Samsung Portable SSD T3 drive.


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3 comments

  1. BeX

    Driver needed for Mac? See warning for previous model at
    Mac Owners Should Hold Off on New Samsung T1 Flash SSD
    http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/mac-owners-should-hold-off-on-new-samsung-t1-flash-ssd

    Can it be used to boot Mac and work from it all day long?

    RAID 0 inside as in SanDisk’s 1.92TB Extreme 900 Portable SSD? That is the best way to lose data (2x probability or more). One disk fails (or controller), all lost.

    1. David Ramsey

      The T3 drive comes with the necessary software to run it on a Mac, included the SAT driver mentioned in your link. I tried the drive on a Mac and had two minor issues: the first time I ran the installer, it installed the security software, but not the SAT driver, so the drive was inaccessible. Running the installer again brought up the option to install the SAT driver. Second, the “T3 Login Activator for Mac” utility you need to unlock an encrypted drive doesn’t “see” the T3 if it’s connected when you boot the Mac– you need to unplug the drive and then plug it in again.

      I copied over 200GB of video files to the drive (simply by dragging them over in the Finder) and saw a transfer rate of about 1GB every 7 seconds, or about 140MB/second.

      I don’t see any way to use the T3 as a boot drive for the Mac, since their installer will not install the security software and SAT driver on the T3 itself. You might be able to hack around this by manually transferring a preconfigured system folder, but I wouldn’t recommend it. In any case, an internal SSD would be much faster than a USB 3 SSD.

      1. BeX

        Thanks. I guess you mean when using the T3 security software. I guess, no problem when not using it.

        Sure an internal SSD could be faster, but booting from external Thunderbolt or SSD is very convenient as Mac to Go (like Windows to Go) to carry your stuff and boot from Mac at work and home.

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