Seagate Encrypts Laptop Hard Drives

Seagate is shipping two new models in its Momentus line of laptop hard drives - one that includes built-in encryption software to protect data integrity, and another that offers better protection of data if the laptop is dropped.

Both drives will begin appearing through the company's retail channels over the next month, the company said in a statement. Seagate's announcements also reflect an acknowledgement by the company that consumers are increasingly turning to laptops as their primary computer.

"The growing number of computer users turning to laptops as their primary PCs want every inch of capacity, performance and durability they enjoy in their desktop systems," PC business executive vice president and general manager Michael Wingert said.

The Momentus 7200.2 drive, available immediately, includes a free-fall season to detect if the drive has been dropped. When activated, the feature would allow the drive to withstand up to 900 Gs of non-operating shock and 350 Gs of operating shock, the company says.

The 7200 RPM drive will be available in 80GB, 100GB, 120GB, and 160GB capacities, and also includes power-saving functionality and quieter operation thanks to Seagate's SoftSonic and QuietStep technologies.

Starting next month, Seagate will begin shipping the Momentus 5400 FDE.2, announcing that ASI will be the first manufacturer to use the drive in an actual laptop. Further partners are expected to be announced by the middle of this year.

A technology called "DriveTrust" encrypts the data on the drive, which Seagate says would lessen the likelihood of data breaches. It would be marketed as a simpler alternative to pre-existing software based encryption for hard drives now on the market from several companies.

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