Apricorn Aegis Fortress L3 Portable SSD Review

Testing Summary

On a clear note, Apricorn Aegis Fortress Portable L3 Drive is carved using aircraft-grade aluminum alloy to make it sturdy and durable. Additionally, it has the fastest 256-bit AES XTS encrypted SSD, which also incorporates FIPS 140-2 at the Level 3 validation to let you take benefit of both worlds. This drive entails two read-only modes and separate admin and user data saving mode which permits multi-users interaction. Plus, this USB external drive is integrated with Brute force defense to realize all your dreamy needs.

The feature of data recovery PINs is added in addition to programmable PIN lengths and self-destruction PIN. Ahead of the curve, the polymer-coated onboard membrane keyboard which is wear-resistant is fitted on the drive to offer handy data access. The unattended auto-lock and lock over-ride customizations proffer more security. The LED keypress indicator along with the two USB 3.1 & 3.2 interchangeable cables ensures diversity. Furthermore, the IP 66 certification and device reset feature make it more user-friendly. Overall, it has fast read and write speeds.


To be on clear ground, Apricorn Aegis Fortress L3 Portable Drive comes with a military-level security system in an extremely sturdy aluminum enclosure in addition to an ultra-swift encryption chipset. This drive is sculptured to come across the NIST’s upper grade of FIPS validation, and all the amazing functions are kept in a compact, lightweight case which permits you to take it anywhere in your backpack or even in the pocket.

The Fortress L3 is completely portable and doesn’t require any software, comes with 100% hardware rooted 256-bit AES XTS encryption making it one of the most secured portable SSDs. Practically, the keyboard is placed on the drive which helps in PIN authentication with the ultra-sharp USB 3.1 (3.2) data transfer speed to save your precious time while transferring massive files.

Apricorn Aegis Fortress L3 Portable SSD 2

Inching forward, Apricorn Aegis Fortress L3 Portable Drive keeps all the data and PINs encrypted while the device is at rest to offer you dreamy security. Interestingly, the compatibility of Apricorn Aegis Fortress L3 with cross platforms such as Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, UNI, Chrome, and Symbian make it an excellent external drive for almost all.

Additionally, the Brute force defense is integrated to let you recover your drive after a destined number of invalid PIN attempts and allows easy reset of data for both admin and user mode. Overall, L3 is a slim and sleek black valet of your all data which is ready to go with you everywhere to offer handy data access at any time to completely give you what you can expect from an external drive.

Apricorn Aegis Fortress L3 Portable SSD

Mathew Bradford



Product NameApricorn Aegis Fortress L3 Portable
ManufacturerApricorn Direct
Digital Storage Capacity500GB, 1TB,2TB,3TB,4TB,5TB
Hardware InterfaceUSB 3.0
Buffer Speed8 MB
Power SupplyBus Powered
Data Transfer Speed180 MB/s
ATA Transfer RateUp to 5 Gbps
Hardware PlatformLinux, UNI, Mac, PC
Hard drive rotational speed5400 RPM
Average Seek Time0.1 ms Access Time
Shock ResistantYES
Encryption Type256-bit AES Hardware Encryption
Warranty3 Years
Weight13.7 oz
Dimensions4.75 x 3 x 0.9 inches


Apricorn Aegis Fortress L3 Portable Drive is designed and assembled in the USA and is rooted in hardware-based data security to eliminate any kind of software attack. Additionally, the packaged box is secured with the tamper-proof security seal, and also contains a portable carry case and a pair of cables which are USB-C and USB-A.

Apricorn 1TB Aegis Fortress L3 Portable SSD -image 1

Overall, it has a black industrial design. Ahead of the curve, the most stunning design of this drive is that it comes with keypad along with lock and unlock buttons to provide you with user-friendly interface. While the company’s branding is printed on the top right corner of the device to impart a classier look. In addition to this the product’s information such as serial number, capacity, and approvals.

Digging deep, Apricorn Aegis Fortress L3 Drive is carved using milled Aluminum and is FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certified which means that this drive is secured both physically and electrically. The tough enclosure is carved by the sturdy aluminum block sealed with the temper resistant mono-directional security fasteners which are located fixed at the place with the hardened epoxy. Surprisingly, any extra force put to crack open the device could destroy the electronics inside the case.

To provide both USB Type-A and USB Type-C connections, two USB 3.1 and 3.2 cords are included. This drive comes with NTFS formatted out of the box for windows, but it can be re-formatted for Mac. Plus, the LED indications is incorporated above the buttons. The indicator based on LED keypress incorporates three built-in LEDs, the top left is red which is for locked padlock, the top middle is green for unlocked padlock, the top right is blue specifically for admin mode and is labeled as A. Moreover, this encrypted SSD is rated both water and dust resistant due to durable aluminum alloy housing to protect your data all the time.


To saunter through life, Apricorn Aegis Fortress L3 External Drive comes in privilege protected firmware incorporating the most innovative feature of FIPS 140-2 at the level-3, the validation of which is guaranteed by the NIST. Moreover, it delivers a fast read and write speed of 180 MB/s which is comparatively 150% higher than the previous Aegis drives models.

However, sadly this is far less than read speed of 500 MB/s by Crucial X6 and Seagate Barracuda FAST SSD; 1050 MB/s by SanDisk Extreme, and Samsung T7, and a stunning 2000 MB/s by WD_Black P50 Game Drive. Another stunning feature of this SSD is the durability which is ensured by the Aluminum alloy enclosure. Additionally, the compatible Windows-based applications permit you to set up multiple devices instantly.

Apricorn Aegis Fortress L3 Portable SSD -image

Digging around, this Apricorn Aegis Fortress L3 Portable Drive allows you to keep separate admin and user mode which is configured in the device settings to let you feel relax while giving it to someone in the hour of need. Actually, it has a factory default PIN which can be replaced by the unique personal PIN at the time of set up.

Moreover, you are free to generate one extra user PIN to easily access the data on the drive. If you want to hand over this drive to the new user, he must create his own PIN before proceeding further which ensures the data safety of everyone. Believe it or not, the most important problem encounter by the users is the issue that they forgot the PIN, which is resolved in this drive by proving you with user forced enrollment to help you restore your access to the device.

Inching forward, Apricorn Aegis Fortress L3 Portable Drive has an integrated lock over-ride system which keeps the drive active during the Re-Enumeration of the USB port just like some virtual machines. Above all, this device entails the reset option which permits you to erase all the data on the drive which is associated with admin and users accounts, but all the data will be permanently destroyed.

Right after the reset, you will be able to generate a new encryption key that allows you to use the drive repeatedly, and the unlimited randomly occurred encryption keys can allow the admin and the users to reset this drive as many times as required.

This drive has a user-friendly interface, you can lock it by just clicking on the lock button, but to unlock it you just need to put the admin, or use PIN and then press the unlock button. Actually, it comes formatted in NTFS which makes it compatible with Windows, but the MAC users can easily reformat it and during the whole process the saved PIN won’t be affected.

The Fortress L3 Drive comes with a polymer-coated onboard membrane keyboard that is wear-resistant which proffer the innovative function of unlocking by putting the PIN on the driving keyboard, not on the host keyboard to offer perfect security. In addition, the drive wouldn’t be visible to the host until you successfully unlock it by entering the correct PIN.

Apricorn Aegis Fortress L3 Portable SSD -4

Interestingly, it incorporates two read-only modes, one for the admin which can’t be modified by any other user, and the second for the user which can’t be changed by the admin. Isn’t it super secure? Moreover, the Brute force defense is enabled, 4-20 invalid PIN attempts are allowed before implementing the Crypto erase. It also entails an auto-lock system, which means the driver will robotically be locked after the decided length of time, and it also becomes locked once disconnected from the USB port of the computer.


On a clear note, Apricorn Aegis Fortress L3 Portable Drive is a kind of plug-and-play SSD right out of the box. Its performance while setting up the PIN for both admin and users is just amazing and easy to proceed with as all the steps are guided in the provided booklet. Moreover, the access to the drive for writing and retrieving the data is exceptionally fast which makes it an excellent choice for many. Additionally, upon connecting it with the computer, the drive started showing on the screen right after entering the PIN on the drive’s keyboard.

While adding the new user PIN, you just need to begin with the admin mode and press the provided unlock button for few seconds until it attains solid-blue color and starts blinking with green. Then set out on the user PIN and press again the Unlock button by repeating the process, if you see any stable green light for few seconds, then blue light, it directly means that the user PIN is now successful? Isn’t the performance is exceptionally fast?

Apricorn Aegis Fortress L3 Portable SSD -image

To dig deep, Apricorn Aegis Fortress L3 Portable Drive is the best performer among similarly priced models, which is made possible by adding numerous features that are undoubtedly not for all but everyone can get the desired feature and can simply skip the other which might be beneficial for some other users. Its great efficiency to keep the data secure even by public use along with the excellent data transfer speed allows you to take good mileage out of it by spending less.

Stunningly, you don’t need any software to be downloaded to put it on work as it permits you to carry it from one computer to other to access your files anywhere with full-proof encryption. The function of locking the drive-by just pressing the lock button when moving away from the computer tends to enhance its efficiency as your all files will be secured with no compromise even for seconds. As it comes with two interchangeable USB 3.1 and 3.2 cables which make it compatible with all the available USB connectors to let you take benefit of both worlds.

Ahead of the curve, Apricorn Aegis Fortress L3 External Portable Drive is compatible with Desktop PC, MAC, UNI, and Linux which make it compatible with any kind of working environment and you don’t need to search for the specific model and operating system. Amazingly, it incorporates 256-bit AES hardware encryption which means that even the hundreds of supercomputers wouldn’t be able to get into your data, and surprisingly the encryption has a backup in drive rather than software which is efficient to halt any performance hit. Overall, Apricorn Aegis SSD incorporates a write speed of around 150% and a read speed of about 180% higher than the previous Aegis models, which makes it able to perform up to 180 MB/s even on the larger sized file transfer.

Reasons to Buy

  • Decent performance
  • Comes with USB Type-A and C cables
  • High-end security by PIN reservation
  • Incorporated 256-bit AES encryption for added protection
  • Allows multiple users to keep their data secure
  • Brute forced defense and unattended auto-lock system

Reasons to Avoid

  • The price is high
  • The Keypad doesn’t seem much durable

Testing Results

Saunter through the drive’s world, Apricorn Aegis Fortress L3 Portable Drive is an extremely secured drive to keep all your data safe. Its compatibility with USB 3.1 and 3.2 makes it more diverse and the fast read and write speed is taking the heart of many. Stunningly, the L3 external drive is carved in a compact, lightweight case that allows you to carry it along with you and the IP 66 rating lets you feel more relaxed as it can bear harsh conditions without impacting the built-in performance. The LED interface permits more easy operation even in the dark and the PIN protection is added to take your data saving practices to the next level. We have reviewed almost all the essential attributes of this drive that can support you in making a purchase. Grab this drive if you really want tension-free data storage!

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Mathew Bradford

Hey! Mathew Bradford Here, A proud member of GamingExpert Team. I love playing games with new gaming gadgets. Our team is here to help you find the best gaming products, reviews of videos games and to help you decide which one is best for your. You can contact me if you need further assistance.