CES is the place to check out the hottest hardware and gadgets. So when it comes to services and software, it’s a really tough sell against all the cool stuff you can touch and feel and play with. Although ioSafe creates some fantastically rugged products that keep your data safe from physical trauma, the biggest selling point of their products is the service (and a bit of the software) that comes with each of their products. Sure you could buy a regular bare drive or external drive for cheaper than you could get one of their products. But will that company pay to recover all your irreplaceable data if something were to happen to it? Not a chance!

That’s what ioSafe is trying to promote and to do they’ve come up with a crazy demo each year to show off their products. Last year they asked us to shoot one of their rugged drives with a shotgun. This year, they are sending a million volts of lightning into their new thunderbolt equipped drive. Check out the video above or on our YouTube Channel to see what happens in glorious 1080p HD

The ioSafe Thunderbolt Extreme Rugged Portable Drive

I think I just made that name up, but the device you witnessed getting hit by a million volts of lightning is indeed extreme and is indeed a ruggedized enclosure that houses two 500 series INTEL SSDs running in RAID 1 inside. The connectivity is based on Thunderbolt and can be daisy chained with other Thunderbolt devices. It is constructed of a full metal jacket made of titanium in a fully suspended design. It’s shock and drop proof and is crush rated for up to 2500lbs. You can even submerge it in water, sand, mud and fuel and we can now add lightning survival to the mix of what it can handle.

Starting at $149 for its platter based siblings, and up to 1TB of storage, it certainly isn’t cheap. The SSD version you can count on not being anywhere near “Thrify” especially with an estimated price for about $2000US. But when you consider the unconditional warranty for damage, defect or problems (with a Data Recovery Service (DRS)) on top, it’s actually not a bad deal when you consider the total loss of data as an alternative. Although the demonstration you saw in the video was more of a show, it does punch the point home about how one would feel if you lost it all and there was nowhere to go to get your data back. At least not cheaply. I know a certain Chris Grundy from DIY Network’s Cool Tools knows that feeling now.

ioSafe Solo G3 Fireproof/Waterproof External Hard Drive

Another extreme product that ioSafe was showing off was their new SOLO G3 external drive. This one is made more for home or desktop use but still features some impressive features like being fireproof for up to 1550F for 30 minutes and being able to withstand submersion for up to 3 days in 10 feet of water. The new fanless design also makes it far more reliable than the previous design which we thoroughly soaked and baked in our original review.

Again, the most important part of this product is the unconditional warranty and the DRS (data recovery service) that you pay for in the price of the product. With all their drives you get that 12 month warranty that will cover you for anything that happens to the hardware and up to $5000 in forensic data recovery. You can extend that to up to 60 months at varying price points, but the company says they are moving towards a 99 cents per month service per TB that is easier to get your head around. Basically, it’s insurance for each TB of data per month that you want to protect.

We’re certainly looking forward to what ioSafe has to show us next year. For all of our CES 2012 coverage, please click here for all the stories from the show.

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