10 Best USB-C SSDs

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USB-C SSDs are a convenient way of increasing data storage across devices. They may be more expensive than traditional hard-drives, but they are faster, smaller, and more reliable than their mechanical counter-parts.

This guide looks at the top ten USB-C SSDs currently on the market as well as what makes them stand out from everything else. A lot of these drives have been designed to suit different needs, and just because a certain drive may excel in one area, it doesn’t mean it is necessarily the best option for everyone.

Budget
best-budget-usb-c-ssd
Lexar SL100 Portable SSD
4.4/5.0
Max Capacity: 512GB
Speed: 550Mb/s
It is very fast and has a very stylish design.
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Best Value
best-value-usb-c-ssd
SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD
4.8/5.0
Max Capacity: 2TB
Speed: 550Mb/s
Has fast read/write speeds and durable construction.
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Top Pick
top-value-usb-c-ssd
Samsung T5
4.9/5.0
Max Capacity: 2TB
Speed: 540Mb/s
Offers better encryption and also has a nicer design.
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What is an external SSD?

Solid-state drives or SSDs have been around for a number of years now but many users upgrading to new hardware still don’t know what they are or why they are being used in modern computers. Without this knowledge, it is very difficult to make an informed decision on what to buy, which can leave users both frustrated and out of pocket.

An SSD is essentially just some memory chips on a circuit board with an I/O interface. This interface is usually in the form of SATA or PCIe for internal drives and a variant of USB for external drives and it is used to feed power and transfer data. The reason, however, that SSDs are so special is because unlike traditional hard drives, there are no moving parts.

An HDD works by using an actuator arm that moves across a spinning platter to read/write data. For the most part, this works just fine but over time these moving parts wear out, making them a less reliable option. SSDs use something called NAND flash memory instead. It is relatively stable and unlike the mechanics used on traditional hard drives, it will last for years. The lack of mechanical parts also make SSDs more durable and they are far less likely to be damaged by the occasional impact. This is true for both internal and external SSDs.

Another benefit of SSDs is that they are lighter than HDDs and they also tend to be smaller. They also require less power, saving your laptops battery life somewhat. SSDs are also faster than HDDs, reducing the time it takes a computer to boot and load programs.

USB-C Solid-state Drives Comparison Table

Make and ModelStorageSpeedMaterialsSizePrice
Samsung T52TB540Mb/sMetal2.3 x 0.4 x 3 inchesCheck Price
Western Digital My Passport USB-C SSD2TB540Mb/sPlastic/Metal3.5 x 1.8 x 0.39 inchesCheck Price
LaCie Rugged 1TB Thunderbolt USB-C SSD1TB510Mb/sMetal/Rubber1.02 x 3.39 x 5.32 inchesCheck Price
Glyph Atom RAID Silver 2TB SSD2TB770Mb/sMetal/Rubber3.15 x 1.18 x 5.51 inchesCheck Price
SanDisk 2TB Extreme Portable SSD2TB550Mb/sMetal/Rubber3.79 x 1.95 x 0.35 inchesCheck Price
Lexar SL100 Portable SSD512GB550Mb/sMetal0.43 x 2.17 x 2.91 inchesCheck Price
G-Technology 0G06054 2TB G-Drive Mobile SSD R-Series2TB560Mb/sMetal3.74 x 1.97 x 0.57 inchesCheck Price
Samsung Portable X5 2TB NVMe Thunderbolt 3 SSD2TB2800Mb/sMetal4.7 x 0.8 x 2.4 inchesCheck Price
SanDisk Extreme 900 Portable SSD1.92TB850Mb/sAluminum/Rubber0.7 x 3.25 x 5.25 inchesCheck Price
Seagate Fast SSD2TB540Mb/sMetal3.7 x 3.11 x 0.35 inchesCheck Price

1. Top Pick: Samsung T5

Samsung T5View on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.9/5

The Samsung T5 has become one of the most popular external SSDs on the market since its launch and with good reason. The top model comes with a max capacity of 2TB and while this isn’t massive compared to some SSDs, it still offers users plenty of storage space. Unless you are storing graphics-intensive files or something similar on this drive, you shouldn’t really run out of space.

The read speeds for this device are around 540Mb/s which is super fast, even for an SSD. The write speeds, unfortunately, haven’t been specified but you can be sure they will be decent, given the fantastic read speeds this drive is capable of.

The T5 has an all-metal body and it has been designed to handle drops of up to two meters comfortably. The metal design gives the drive a very stylish look and it is clear to see that this is a premium quality SSD with no cut corners. The only problem with an all-metal design is that it can be prone to scratches, which over time, could detract from that premium look.

The drive is very small, even for an SSD. It will fit snug in the palms of most peoples hands, making it very portable. This is also impressive, considering it is capable of holding two terabytes worth of data. There aren’t many other SSDs offering that amount of storage in such a small form factor.

The security available on this device is also really good. It has optional password protection, which is important as not every file on a drive really needs to be password protected, so having it as an option gives users more control over their device and data. It also has built-in AES 256-bit hardware encryption so any data stored on the device will be encrypted/decrypted following this approved standard. Some form of encryption should always be included on high-end drives but a surprising number of devices still aren’t offering it, so props to Samsung for that.

Almost perfect, but with some devices offering more storage, it doesn’t quite tick every box.

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Tech Specs
Capacity: 2TB
Speed: 540Mb/s
Materials: Metal
Size: 2.3 x 0.4 x 3 inches
Security: Optional password Protection, AES 256-bit hardware encryption
The Pros
Large capacity
Can store plenty of different files
Very fast read/write speeds
Will transfer data very quickly
Will handle graphics-intensive files like games, easily
Durable body
Stylish design
Relatively small
Very portable
Has password protection
Built-in encryption/decryption
The Cons
Some drives offer larger capacities
May be prone to scratches
Doesn’t offer a protective shell like some of the drives on this list

2. Western Digital My Passport USB-C SSD for Mac

Western Digital My Passport USB-C SSD for MacView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

Western Digital or WD have been a specialist in drives for a number of years now and this device is yet another example of their attention to detail when it comes to producing quality products.

It has a few different storage options ranging from 256GB all the way to 2TB. This means there should be an option to suit most people. Some SSDs do offer more than two terabytes of storage, but this amount of storage is overkill for most people and most high-end SSDs tend to stop at the 2TB threshold.

Like the T5, this drive is capable of read speeds of up to 540Mb/s. Users, therefore, shouldn’t have any issues with the transfer speeds even with higher volumes of data.

The drive seems to be made of plastic and metal which can sometimes be an issue in terms of durability, however, WD has insisted that the drive can handle drops of up to 1.98 meters, so in theory, it should offer the same level of durability as the Samsung T5. The other issue with plastic is more of a subjective one but when choosing a premium device like a high-end drive, an all-metal construction is usually preferred as it represents quality, whereas plastic is usually seen as the cheaper alternative.

This drive is certainly on the larger side when it comes to SSDs but it is still relatively small and users shouldn’t have any trouble in terms of portability.

The drive also offers the same security features as the Samsung T5 with optional password protection and built-in encryption. You should expect nothing less from a high-end WD drive but it is still worth noting that it is included.

Another great drive from Western Digital. The only downside is the plastic casing and overall size of the drive. Other than that, it is a fantastic option for anyone looking to increase storage space.

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Tech Specs
Capacity: 2TB
Speed: 540Mb/s
Materials: Plastic/Metal
Size: 3.5 x 1.8 x 0.39 inches
Security: Optional password Protection, AES 256-bit hardware encryption
The Pros
Very large capacity
Can store plenty of different files
Very fast read/write speeds
Will transfer data very quickly
Will handle graphics-intensive files like games, easily
Durable body
Rugged finish
Relatively small
Very portable
Has password protection
Built-in encryption/decryption
The Cons
Some drives offer larger capacities
Plastic tends to be less durable than metal
Doesn’t offer a protective shell like some of the drives on this list
One of the larger drives available

3. LaCie Rugged 1TB Thunderbolt USB-C SSD

LaCie Rugged 1TB Thunderbolt USB-C SSDView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

The LaCie Rugged is a unique looking drive that has clearly been designed for people on-the-go such as photographers and videographers. There are two models available, a 500GB version and a 1TB version. These options will cover the majority of users needs, however, it is a shame not to see a 2TB variant as they are becoming increasingly popular.

The read speeds for this drive are around 510Mb/s which might not be the quickest on this list but they are still super-fast and users shouldn’t have any issues when it comes to transferring high volumes of data.

The materials used throughout this device are really high-quality and a lot of attention to detail has gone into making this a drive that can take some serious punishment. It has a metal construction around the internals as well as an outer rubber shell, protecting the drive against drops of up to two meters. The rubber shell also protects the device against rain thanks to its IP54-rated resistance.

Thanks to the rubber shell, the device is on the larger side for an SSD but it shouldn’t affect portability in any way. After all, it has been designed with portability in mind, hence the added protection.

The security features on this SSD are reasonable but certainly not the best. It has built-in encryption thanks to its use of Seagate’s Secure Technology and also a data recovery service, should your files get lost for any reason.

Almost the perfect SSD, however, it doesn’t seem to offer password protection which is a bit of an issue. A 2TB version would also be nice.

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Tech Specs
Capacity: 1TB
Speed: 510Mb/s
Materials: Metal/Rubber
Size: 1.02 x 3.39 x 5.32 inches
Security: Data recovery service, Seagate Secure Technology
The Pros
Large capacity
Can store plenty of different files
Fast read/write speeds
Will transfer data very quickly
Will handle graphics-intensive files like games, easily
Durable body
Rugged finish
Fairly small considering it has a protective shell
Very portable
Built-in encryption
The Cons
Some drives offer larger capacities
One of the larger drives available

4. Glyph Atom RAID Silver 2TB SSD

Glyph Atom RAID Silver 2TB SSDView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

The Glyph Atom RAID SSD is by far one the fastest drives available today. With read speeds of up to 770Mb/s, it will transfer data ridiculously fast and reports from buyers have suggested that it takes just a matter of seconds to transfer gigabytes of data to and from the drive.

There are three options available in terms of storage capacity, which include a 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB version respectively. This is, therefore, the first SSD on this list to offer above the 2TB threshold that many of the main manufacturers seem to aim for. The 4TB version will probably be overkill for most people but it is good to know the option is there for those who need it.

The construction is a mix of metal and rubber. It has a metal body, protecting the internals, which is then housed inside of a rubber shell, much like the LaCie Rugged. The difference, however, is that Glyph has managed to create a similar package in a much sleeker form factor. There isn’t much information on how much of a beating this drive can take but given the fact it has a protective case, it is probably similar to that of the LaCie Rugged.

As mentioned, Glyph has managed to create a fairly slim form factor for a drive with a shell. This makes the drive very portable and it certainly seems as though Glyph have found the perfect blend of form and functionality in terms of design.

There isn’t much information on the security features, unfortunately, so it can’t be said as to whether there is any built-in encryption.

The only thing stopping this device from getting a perfect score is the lack of information regarding the security features. It is an otherwise flawless drive.

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Tech Specs
Capacity: 4TB
Speed: 770Mb/s
Materials: Metal/Rubber
Size: 3.15 x 1.18 x 5.51 inches
Security: Not specified
The Pros
Large capacity
Can store plenty of different files
Super-fast read/write speeds
Will transfer data very quickly
Will handle graphics-intensive files like games, easily
Durable body
Sleek finish for a protected drive
Reasonable size as it has a protective shell
Very portable
The Cons
Some drives offer larger capacities
One of the larger drives available
Might not have any security features

5. Best Value: SanDisk 2TB Extreme Portable SSD

SanDisk 2TB Extreme Portable SSDView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

The SanDisk Extreme SSD is another drive that’s been getting a lot of publicity for all the right reasons. It has a few different storage options ranging from 250GB to 2TB so there should be an option for everyone, however, it would have been nice to see a 4TB version as well.

The read/write speeds on this drive are in keeping with a lot of the drives on this list and they come in at 550Mb/s. This is a good speed and it makes this device slightly quicker than two of its direct competitors, the Samsung T5, and the WD My Passport.

The construction is a combination of metal and rubber. It appears to be a metal body with a rubber coating that provides extra durability and helps reduce damage from impacts. The drive is also IP-55 rated so it shouldn’t be affected by small amounts of water, such as from getting caught in the rain.

It is also one of the smaller drives on this list, making it extremely portable. It is just a touch taller than the WD My Passport but this is partly due to the rubber coating and given that it is useful in adding protection to the device, it is fair to say SanDisk has done a very good job at blending form and functionality effectively. The only real issue with the design is that the drive looks a bit too practical. This is a subjective issue of course, but some consumers might be put off by its rugged look.

The security features on this device are decent and you will find password protection as well as built-in encryption. The only downside is that the encryption is 128-bit, rather than 256-bit. This isn’t really a big deal but as this device is often compared to the T5 and My Passport, it is worth noting that the encryption on this drive technically isn’t as secure.

This is probably the closest thing to the perfect external SSD. it might not be the fastest or the best looking but it is good in every area and the whole device just seems to be very well thought out.

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Tech Specs
Capacity: 2TB
Speed: 550Mb/s
Materials: Metal/Rubber
Size: 3.79 x 1.95 x 0.35 inches
Security: Password Protection, 128-bit AES Encryption
The Pros
Large capacity
Can store plenty of different files
Very fast read/write speeds
Will transfer data very quickly
Will handle graphics-intensive files like games, easily
Durable body
Rugged rubber finish for increased protection
Very compact size
Extremely portable
Has password protection
Data is encrypted
The Cons
Some drives offer larger capacities
The finish gives the drive a practical look, rather than a stylish one
Encryption is 128-bit, rather than 256-bit

6. Best Budget: Lexar SL100 Portable SSD

Lexar SL100 Portable SSDView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

The Lexar SL100 is one of the smallest SSDs available today. There are two versions, a 240GB variant, and a 512GB variant. These are certainly not high numbers when it comes to storage capacity but that isn’t really what the Lexar is about. Although it would be nice to see at least a 1TB version of this device, the SL100 isn’t really targeted towards power users. Its aim is to be a small, lightweight solution for the everyday person.

The read speeds for this device are very good. They come in at 550Mb/s, putting it slightly ahead of some of the high-end drives on this list which is very impressive. Although the storage capacity isn’t very high, users can rest assured that if they do need to transfer something large like a video game, the SL100 will handle it just fine.

The drive is an all-metal construction, giving it a premium feel. It has also been finished off with what appears to be a brushed look that almost represents wood at the right angle. This is a nice touch and it makes the drive very pleasing to look at. The only downside is the lack of a protective shell, although. That would detract from the aesthetics somewhat.

The size of this device is one of its greatest assets. It has a similar form factor to the Samsung T5, however, it is slightly smaller making it a great choice for anyone needing their drive to be as small as possible.

The SL100 comes with some special security software called DataVault Lite. This software offers password protection and built-in 256-bit encryption, meaning this device certainly doesn’t cut corners in the security department. The software works by creating a vault that automatically encrypts any data. Lexar has also made it clear that any files that are deleted are securely erased and can’t be recovered.

A great little SSD that will be the perfect option for the right person. Unfortunately, the lack of high-capacity storage options prevents this drive of receiving a higher rating.

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Tech Specs
Capacity: 512GB
Speed: 550Mb/s
Materials: Metal
Size: 0.43 x 2.17 x 2.91 inches
Security: DataVault Lite software
The Pros
Reasonable Capacity
Very fast read/write speeds
Will transfer data very quickly
Will handle graphics-intensive files like games, easily
Durable body
Stylish Design
Very compact size
Extremely portable
Built-in 256-bit encryption
Password Protection
The Cons
Low, compared to some of the other drives on this list
Doesn’t offer a protective shell like some of the drives on this list

7. G-Drive Mobile SSD R-Series

G-Drive Mobile SSD R-SeriesView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

The G-Drive Mobile SSD R-Series is yet another premium drive offering up to 2TB of storage, although it does also offer 500Gb and 1TB variants respectively. This is in no way unique but at least it keeps to the trend set by big name manufacturers like Samsung and Western Digital.

The read speeds for this device are around the 560Mb/s mark, which puts it ahead of much of the competition which is nice to see. It also means users can expect super-fast data transfers even with large volumes such as video games.

It has an all-metal construction and the overall design of the drive is rather imposing. This aesthetic will likely divide opinion but it makes the drive look like a high-quality piece of kit, which it is. Although the metal construction will provide a good level of durability, there is no rubber shell, so the drive could be prone to scratches. The drive is also IP-67 rated, giving it the same level or water-resistance as a modern day flagship smartphone.

The drive is relatively small and users should have no issues with portability. It isn’t the smallest drive on this list but it is also far from being the largest. The compact design allows the drive to fit snug into most pockets, highlighting just how portable this drive is.

There wasn’t any information regarding any built-in security features, unfortunately. This doesn’t mean there aren’t’ any necessarily, but if security is a concern to you don’t purchase this device before making sure.

Another solid drive, however, the possible lack of security features reduce the rating of this drive somewhat.

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Tech Specs
Capacity: 2TB
Speed: 560Mb/s
Materials: Metal
Size: 3.74 x 1.97 x 0.57 inches
Security: Not specified
The Pros
Large capacity
Can store plenty of different files
Very fast read/write speeds
Will transfer data very quickly
Will handle graphics-intensive files like games, easily
Durable body
Stylish Design
Compact size
Extremely portable
The Cons
Some drives offer larger capacities
Doesn’t offer a protective shell like some of the drives on this list
May be prone to scratches
Possible lack of security features

8. Samsung Portable X5 2TB NVMe Thunderbolt 3 SSD

Samsung Portable X5 2TB NVMe Thunderbolt 3 SSDView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

The Samsung X5 is about as good as it gets from Samsung when it comes to external SSDs. it is an NVMe-based SSD with Thunderbolt 3 technology. In short, this means it is fast, really fast. Most of the drives on this list offer speeds of around 550Mb/s but the X5 is capable of speeds of up to 2800Mb/s. When it comes to read/write speed, the other drives on this list simply can’t compete.

There are three versions available, a 500Gb variant, a 1TB variant, and a 2TB variant. Considering the speed of this drive, it is surprising not to see a 4TB version available but that could be because it would simply cost too much with this already being a very expensive SSD. It isn’t really an issue though as two terabytes should be more than enough for most people.

It has a metal construction with an internal protection layer to keep the components safe without compromising the aesthetics of the device. This does mean, however, that it could be prone to scratches, depending on the finish of the metal.

It is slightly larger than most of the drives on this list but it shouldn’t be an issue as it has a rather streamlined design, meaning the drive should fit snug into any bag and possibly some pockets.

The X5 also has the same security features as the T5, so users can benefit from optional password protection and built-in encryption. These security features were never in doubt to make an appearance on a device like this. After all, it is a very pricey piece of kit.

The Samsung X5 may have ridiculous read/write speeds but the average user simply doesn’t need them. As good as this drive is, it should only be purchased by those who really need the extra performance, otherwise its price tag simply isn’t justified. For the average user who wants a Samsung SSD, the T5 is a much better choice.

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Tech Specs
Capacity: 2TB
Speed: 2800Mb/s
Materials: Metal
Size: 4.7 x 0.8 x 2.4 inches
Security: Optional password Protection, AES 256-bit hardware encryption
The Pros
Large capacity
Can store plenty of different files
Extremely fast read/write speeds
Nothing else on this list comes close in terms of speed
Durable body
Internal protective layer
Compact size
Very portable
Has password protection
Built-in encryption/decryption
The Cons
Some drives offer larger capacities
Doesn’t offer a protective outer shell like some of the drives on this list
Could be prone to scratches

9. SanDisk Extreme 900 Portable SSD

SanDisk Extreme 900 Portable SSDView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

The SanDisk Extreme 900 is the companies second entry on this list and although many of its features are similar to the entry above, it does improve in some areas rather substantially. It comes in three different versions, depending on capacity, which are 480GB, 960GB, and 1.92TB. This puts it in the same bracket as most of the drives on this list in terms of capacity.

One of the best features of this device is its speed. It has read speeds of up to a whopping 850Mb/s, making it faster than most of the other drives on this list. This means the device will handle even the heaviest volumes of data with relative ease and users shouldn’t have any issues transferring data to and from this drive.

Another great feature of this device is its design. It has an aluminum and rubber construction, meaning it should survive small drops and other impacts with relative ease. It has also been designed to be temperature-resistant, which is a feature not specified on the other drives on this list.

The SanDisk 900 is let down slightly by its size, however, as it somewhat larger than a lot of the drives on this list. For most users, this won’t be an issue, but for those who need their device to be as small as possible, you should probably look at something else.

The drive has its own built-in encryption thanks to SanDisk’s Secure Access software, meaning that any data stored on this drive will be secure. What wasn’t specified, however, was the level of encryption that the software offers.

This drive does it all. It has plenty of storage, super-fast read speeds, and a durable, stylish design. It is on the larger side for an external SSD though.

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Tech Specs
Capacity: 1.92TB
Speed: 850Mb/s
Materials: Aluminum/Rubber
Size: 0.7 x 3.25 x 5.25 inches
Security: SanDisk Secure Access
The Pros
Large capacity
Can store plenty of different files
Very fast read/write speeds
Will transfer data very quickly
Will handle graphics-intensive files like games, easily
Durable body
Stylish Design
Fairly compact size
Very portable
Built-in encryption
Password protection
The Cons
Some drives offer larger capacities
Level of encryption not specified

10. Seagate Fast SSD

Seagate Fast SSDView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

Seagate has been a major player in the hard drive industry for many years and their Fast SSD is a clear representation of their expertise in these types of products. It comes in four different versions, 250GB, 500Gb, 1TB, and 2TB. This gives users plenty of choices in terms of capacity, although, these options can also be found on most other drives.

The device is capable of read speeds of up to 540Mb/s, which isn’t mind-blowing but it is enough to put it on par with some of the top drives on this list. Although a few of the drives have significantly faster speeds, 540Mb/s is still very fast and will allow this drive to transfer high volumes of data fast.

The drive has an all-metal design and it is certainly one of the more stylish looking drives out there. The design doesn’t include any type of protective shell, however, so the device may be prone to scratches. It should hold up well from the occasional impact though.

The drive is fairly small and it shouldn’t provide any issues in terms of portability. A lot of the drives on this list are smaller but this device is by no means large, however, if you need a small SSD, there are better options available.

The most disappointing aspect of this device is that no security features have been specified. This is concerning, considering how reputable Seagate is, however, it doesn’t necessarily mean the device doesn’t have any. This also doesn’t mean the device can’t be encrypted with a third-party solution, however, this method is more tedious and time-consuming.

A very competent drive, however, it lacks a protective shell and it may also lack security features such as data encryption.

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Tech Specs
Capacity: 2TB
Speed: 540Mb/s
Materials: Metal
Size: 3.7 x 3.11 x 0.35 inches
Security: Not specified
The Pros
Large storage capacity
Fast read/write speeds
Will transfer data very quickly
Will handle graphics-intensive files like games, easily
Durable body
Stylish Design
Compact size
Easily portable
The Cons
Doesn’t offer a protective shell like some of the drives on this list
May be prone to scratches
Possible lack of security features
5/51 rating