Object of Desire: Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC

July 3, 2015

By Greg Scoblete

While nothing can keep your data safe from the NSA, Buffalo’s MiniStation Extreme NFC portable hard drive can probably keep lesser-order snoops at bay. It uses a combination of 256-bit AES hardware encryption and NFC to regulate access to stored files. The drive ships with an NFC-enabled smart card that unlocks the drive without requiring a password. You simply tap the smart card against the drive to unlock it, then connect it to a PC via the integrated, flexible USB 3.0 cable. When not in use, the cable wraps securely around the drive. If someone swipes your drive but not the smart card, they’ll be unable to gain access to its contents. However, you can turn password protection on too—this way, if you lose the smart card, you’ll still be able to access the drive. Beyond thieves and data miners, the MiniStation Extreme is also protected from the elements. It has U.S. Military-standard shock absorption with internal bumpers and a ruggedized chassis that can protect the drive from a fall from roughly four feet high. It’s also dust and water-resistant. The drive is Windows and Mac OS compatible and offers free licenses to several Windows software utilities for backup, disk formatting and NFC.