Buy Honeywell 2040 0.14-Cubic-Foot Fire and Water Media Chest, Light Gray

I've got a good sized RAID at home and I'm rotating two 1TB drives for backups, but I needed someplace safe to store the unused drive. I could have brought it to work and stored it in the datacenter, but that presents a few problems - 1) it's not on hand when needed 2) other people have access to it 3) hauling it around allows for more opportunities to drop or otherwise mishandle the drive. A cheap lock box would have solved #2, but I didn't want to deal with #1 and #3.

I selected the Honeywell 2040 safe because it's rated UL-125, which means it will maintain an internal temperature of 52C for at least one hour. Anything higher and the drive platters will likely crystalize, destroying the drive and rendering the data inaccessible. Most hard drives have allowable storage temperatures from -40C to 70C, flash is often -20C to 70/80C, and CDs and DVDs are -40 to 70C. A UL-150 should maintain an internal temperature of 66C, but it's not recommended for magnetic media, only microfilm/fiche or other photographic film.

Sentry Safe has a large selection and most of what I looked at were noted as being suitable for various computer storage media like CDs and DVDs, even some that have a USB port so you could use the device while it was IN the safe, but only two models (1710, 6720) were actually appropriate for computer media. I liked their prices and selection, but was annoyed with the somewhat deceptive and vague information on their website. Don't believe me? Download the 1710 manual and look for the UL ratings and their notation on suitable safes for storing "computer and audio/visual media". Most of their safes are UL-350, which is 177C and primarily for paper documents, certainly well beyond the maximum storage temperature of hard drives, flash, and CD/DVD media.

The Honeywell safe is big and heavy (awkward to carry), and the price is definitely up there. I'd rather not have spent $170 on a safe, but it'll be well worth it if the safe is ever tested (hope not) and my data survives.Get more detail about Honeywell 2040 0.14-Cubic-Foot Fire and Water Media Chest, Light Gray.

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