I’ve test driven — and reviewed — ToughTech products before, but I’m revisiting the product line now due to the recently added ability to take advantage of WriteLock technology. In fact, all the ToughTech storage enclosures now support the technology, which allows you to “lock down” all data on the hard drive with the push of a button to prevent accidental erasures or changes.

ToughTechs with WriteLock provide the functionality, speed and data capacity of an external hard drive enclosure with the read only feature of a CD-ROM and DVD. What’s more, they offer security and encryption features.

The latest ToughTech I’ve taken for a spin is the ToughTech Q (http://macte.ch/7uEFO) — compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 or higher — is a drive enclosure designed to ensure your data is safe without sacrificing portability. It’s aluminum design looks great with any Mac and its fanless design lets it run quietly.

Its FlexMount Anti-Shock Protection offers a “shock absorber” that mounts between the drive and the enclosure, reducing the amount of bumps and vibrations that make it to your hard drive. Plus, you can use a standard Kensinton lock cable to prevent theft.

Connecting to any host computer via FireWire 800/400, USB 2.0 and eSATA provides flexibility, while the eSATA interface option offers the fastest transfer rates. I used a FireWire 800-to-FireWire 800 connection from the ToughTech Duo to my iMac, and it offered plenty of speed. The ToughTech Q is a breeze to set up; it just runs out of the box without a need to install drivers.

Some Windows users may justly complain that the ToughTech Duo doesn’t have USB 3.0 support, and Mac users may wish for Thunderbolt connectivity. But if you can live with the connectivity options (and most of us can) the ToughTech Q provides a tough, flexible and quiet solution for backing up and protecting your valuable data.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Pricing ranges from US$120 for the ToughTech Q enclosure only to $302 for a TouchTech Q with 2TB of storage.

— Dennis Sellers