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External CipherChain with AES 256-bit CBC encryption



The External CipherChain is a unique security tool that you can use for a variety of storage applications. Built on a FIPS certified AES 256-bit crypto engine, the External CipherChain is the perfect solution to secure sensitive data stored on external RAID storage, hard drive, SSDs. You can even secure popular flash media when connected to the External CipherChain by using the Addonics eSATA DigiDrives. The External CipherChain can also be used as a drive sanitization tool for removing any sensitive data stored on an used hard drive or flash media.

Similar to the Addonics field proven CipherChain, the External CipherChain is very easy-to-use and implement. As a simple pass through device between the storage device and the system, once connected up, the simple ion of the Cipher key will activate the encryption and decryption of the data on the fly with no noticeable performance degradation. There is no software or driver to install and no special training required. It is as easy as using a key to open a door. The External CipherChain is Operating System independent and will work on any system.

Any external storage device with eSATA or SATA connection can be attached to the External CipherChain, which in turn connects to any host via an eSATA port. Using an optional Addonics USB 3.0 - eSATA adapter, the External CipherChain can connect to a USB 3.0 / 2.0 port on any computer. The compact size and rugged metal housing of the External Cipherchain makes it extremely portable and easy to deploy in various environments where applications require solid data security. The External CipherChain operates at very low power and can be powered directly by a system using various Addonics optional cables.



The External CipherChain is a full disk encryption solution. This means that the boot sector, partition table and all the information in the drive are encrypted. If the encrypted external drive is stolen, the drive will appear as a brand new drive with no trace of any data. The AES 256-bit encryption provided by the External CipherChain is considered the highest level of encryption standard, secure enough to protect classified information designated as "Top Secret".


The External CipherChain encrypts and decrypts data on the fly using a NIST and CSE certified cryptographic AES engine. Unlike software encryption product which depends on system CPUs to encrypt and decrypt data, the External CipherChain has no impact to CPU utilization. This leaves the system CPU to perform all its computing task at normal speed. There is also no measurable impact to the performance on the hard drive.

Cipher key

The AES 256-bit Cipher key used for the encryption/decryption in the External CipherChain is the same Cipher key as used in the Addonics Diamond Cipher drive kit, Ruby Cipher drive kit, CipherChain and CipherChain-E. As a result, you can share the same encryption key to operate on the storage device that has been encrypted by either the CipherChain, Diamond Cipher or Ruby Cipher drive kits. You may also order Cipher keys with the same key codes when you order multiple CipherChain ES kits or Cipher keys. You may also re-programmed the Cipher keys to other codes using the optional key management system or sending the keys to Addonics for the re-programming service at no charge.

Drive Sanitization

The External CipherChain can also be used as a drive sanitization equipment for wiping clean all previous data on a used hard or flash media by using the following operation procedures:

  1. Connect the storage device to be sanitized into device side of the External CipherChain.
  2. Connect the External CipherChain to the computer.
  3. Initialize and perform a standard formatting (not quick format) of the hard drive or the flash media..
  4. Transfer unimportant data to completely fill the hard drive or the flash media . This essentially writes over every sector in the hard drive or the flash media with unimportant encrypted data that are not viewable to any OS. The drive or the flash media, when connects directly to a system, will appear like brand new with no trace of any data
  5. Now connect the drive or flash media directly to the computer. Initialize and format the hard drive or the flash media with any OS to use it as a brand new hard drive or media



Great for the following applications:
  • Prevent sensitive data from unauthorized access when the storage device is lost or stolen
  • Shipping or transporting storage devices containing sensitive data.
  • Encrypt an entire RAID volume
  • Drive sanitization - wipe clean of old data on used drive or flash media

Support the following storage devices:
  • AES 256-bit encryption - the highest level of encryption standard
  • FIPS 140-2 certified Crypto Module listed in NIST
  • Full disk encryption. No traceable data when the encrypted drive is connected to any system.
  • Simple to use - no software to run or any password to remember
  • No training required. Encryption / Decryption via a hardware key  , just like using a regular key to open a door.
  •  System connection options -
  • Power options:
    • power adapter (included)
    • USB port using optional USB power cable (AAUSBPCP24)
    • eSATAp port - support both power and data using optional Addonics universal eSATAp cable
  • High performance - up to 150 MB/sec
  • OS independent - can be used on any system

Note on Cipher key code 

Each pair of Cipher keys is set with a unique key code. When ordering multiple Cipher kits and extra Cipher keys and wish that all the keys be set to the same key code, please provide instructions at the final checkout when placing the order at our online store. Customers may also e-mail the instructions with reference to the sales order number after final checkout. When ordering from an Addonics reseller or distributor, be sure to leave the instructions when placing the order. Keys can be sent back to Addonics at any time if re-coding is desired there is no charge for re-coding keys, the only charge is the return shipping of the newly re-coded keys.


  • Onboard AES 256-bit crypto engine
  • Compatible with SATA I/II/III HDD/SSD
  • Connectors:
    • Host - eSATA
    • Device - eSATA
    • Cipher key hole - mini USB socket
  • LEDs:
    • Green - for power and the presence of key code
    • Yellow - drive access activity
  • RESET: To clear key code and reset the CipherChain. This also remove the drive icon when the storage device is removed from the CipherChain connected to a hot swap SATA port.
  • Disable RESET jumper - use for disabling the RESET button.
  • Maximum throughput - 150 MB/sec
  • Input power: 5V @ 150 mA
  • Dimension: 106 x 92 x 24 mm (W x D x H) (4.17 x 3.62 x 0.94 in)
  • Weight: 260 g (9.17 oz)
  • Operating temperature and humidity: 0 °C to + 60 °C, 5% - 95% (non condensing)
  • Storage temperature and humidity: -40 °C to + 85 °C, 5% - 90% humidity 

No additional files, specification sheets, guides or documentation found for product.

Warranty: 1 Year Return to Base

Full manufacturers warranty details are available at the manufacturers (Addonics) web site.

Unless otherwise specified Techbuy is normally your first point of contact for warranty related returns, further information regarding our warranty policies and consumer guarantees is available on our policies and service & support pages.

To apply for return of a product just go to our returns page.

These terms are in addition to and do not affect any terms, conditions, guarantees and warranties implied by law.

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