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Freecom ToughDrive Review

The ToughDrive is a drive that is specifically designed to resist the wear and tear of being carried about, with capacities ranging from 250GB all the way to a staggering 640GB you can be certain that you’ll never run out of storage.

So the question about this disk is how well it actually performs after some tumbles, or if it actually works? The plain grey plastic and silicon casing isn’t the most attractive out there, and you aren’t provided with a choice of colours, nonetheless it has been replaced by the translucent rubber case with allowed for “customizable” designs, which quite frankly didn’t look the part.

Performance isn’t the major selling factor of the Freecom, coming with a standard 5,400 RPM drive and USB 2.0, nevertheless it does pack some punch. With Freecom providing a Turbo Boost Driver (Windows only), you certainly see a speed bump compared to the high majority of the portable drives out there, with a 1GB movie file being copied in around 30 seconds.

Coming in at 200 grams and only 19mm thick, this is certainly portable. Despite that, I have become a little unsure about the silicone sleeve that simple slips over the hard drive. Over time I feel this may become loose and the overall integrity of the drive will be compromised. This may be a turn off for some.

To ensure that all your data on the drive is kept secure, Freecom has protected it with 256bit MD5 hardware password protection. So entering the correct password is the only way to access the files on the drive. This even means if the disk has been taken out from the case, your files will still be protected.

As expected I found that dropping the drive from 2 meters had no effect on it, so to give it a real run for its money we ran it over with a car, chucked boulders onto it and even threw it at concrete walls. After all this, the only damage was a slightly bent USB connector. Believe it or not, the drive is still working.

One of the ToughDrive’s nicest features is the built in USB lead that allows you to connect it to the computer straight away. Not having to worry about forgetting cables is a real big bonus. Just like the LaCie little disk.

But coming in at only 6cm it can be found to be very short when using a desktop PC, so I would recommend using the included USB extension cable, otherwise the drive would be just left dangling.

Now if you find that you have destroyed the drive and are unable to get any data off, Freecom provide a Data Recovery Service with 3 years coverage. For just £24.99 Freecom with try to recover all data on the hard drive, as well as provide you with a replacement Hard Drive.

Now that brings Peace of Mind. With a SRP of £79.99 for the 250GB version and £124.99 for the 640GB model, the ToughDrive is competitively priced.

Considering it comes with award winning NTI Shadow Backup software and the pure ruggedness, the ToughDrive seems to be a steal! However your going to have to get this online as this isn’t available in stores. So the Freecom isn’t the fastest or most attractive drive out there with the only design perk being the USB lead and LED light.

But it sure is going to match your needs if you need to carry around a lot of data and durability is a must have, then sure the high price does seem a lot more appealing. We managed to track down the 500GB Freecom Drive for under £85 (at Misco (opens in new tab)) while the 250GB model was on sale for £64 at Amazon (opens in new tab), both significantly much lower than their respective SRPs.