Portable backup options

Recommendations for an external storage/backup device for my L14? Prefer portable, and it seems some now have password protection to prevent anyone from accessing anything on the drive itself. Been looking casually at ones from Seagate and Western Digital for about $100 or so, even 5 TB for about $135 for the WD my passport 5 TB model.

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You might look at some of the portable solutions here, although they’re not the cheapest:


You could also use their selection/product descriptions to get ideas for (cheaper) purchase elsewhere…although it would be nice to support this Linux vendor. :wink:

P.S. Obvious lost commerce opportunity for Purism, @Kyle_Rankin, @nicole.faerber . :crazy_face:

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If you need something secure, I like https://istorage-uk.com/ products. There are benefits to HW side encryption and they are driverless, don’t care about the OS or software and they have some certifications to some of the products. That being said, they are not open, so if you feel paranoid (or just want to), you can also use software side encryption on top of / inside of those drives.


Ah, and does the L14 have an SSD port?

Yes. So they may have unintentional security weaknesses that can’t readily be discovered by customers etc. Has the security been independently audited? Link? And they may have intentional security weaknesses, which may or may not be paranoid.

Another approach is to use encryption on the original drive and then back up the entire encrypted drive to the portable drive. Then it doesn’t really matter whether the portable drive offers any kind of encryption. In fact, you would generally want to avoid encryption on the portable drive. (However with this approach you are protecting against media failure, loss, theft, corruption, etc. of the original drive but you are not protecting against loss of the unlock passphrase of the original drive.)

So, in general pretty much any external storage device with USB2/3 interface should work with our laptops or the Mini. Our stance on hardware encryption of such devices is that since encryption is not open, i.e. the exact way this is implemented including key generation, storage and encryption algorithms is usually not fully documented and especially it’s source code not open for audit. In the past quite some of these methods have been broken due to design flaws or weaknesses. But what we do know is that the operating system side full disk encryption, that we also use within PureOS for the OS SSD, has not been seriously compromised yet.

So if you need a secure external storage for backups and such, just get $some storage unit (HDD, SSD etc.) with USB2/3 interface, hook it up to your Librem device, configure it with full disc encryption and you are golden. Then you do not have to invest big $$$ into some proprietary “secure” solution that implements some mystery security scheme you can not really trust since you can not audit it (or anyone else). FDE (Full Disk Encryption) is proven to be safe and nicely integrated into PureOS.