External Hard Disk, SSD and NAS Drives

Providing security protection to an external HDD and SSD drive

An external hard disk drive or SSD is an external device that may contain data that you would like to protect. There are two main ways of protecting the data on one – by making use of encryption software that can also provide password protection, which can be provided free by the drive manufacturer, free by a third party or paid for, and by making use of a password-protected screensaver that you can activate when you are not at the computer. Some external hard disk drives come with encryption software that also provides password protection. Note that the free third-party encryption software tends to be difficult to use while the paid-for third-party software is much easier to use but worth the price if you don’t want to read through a user manual.

Affordable, encrypted, PIN-protected external hard drives are also available from companies, such as DataLocker, priced from £199.

Encryption of a whole drive or just some of the data on it will only provide security when the external drive is not connected to the computer that encrypted that data. Anyone trying to connect the drive to another computer or to your own computer will not be able to access the data because it is both encrypted and password-protected. But when the drive is connected to its computer, anyone will be able to access the data, so the best way to protect it is to make use of a screensaver that provides password protection that can be activated when you are away from the computer or after a set period of the computer being inactive. Help & Support in all versions of Windows provides information on screensavers and their use.

How to password-protect an external hard drive –

Note that you need Windows 10 Pro in order to use BitLocker Drive Encryption software, which encrypts a chosen drive and provides the password. Never lose that password or you will be locked out of the drive.

How To Protect External Hard Disk Drives With Password –


Page 7Network-attached storage (NAS) devices