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Printable Version CipherChain ExpressCard Frequently asked questions eNova X-Wall 128-bit TDES


  1. Q: Can the CipherChain ExpressCard be used in a 54mm notebook slot as well?
    A: Yes. The CipherChain ExpressCard comes with a bracket that makes the ExpressCard fit snug into 54mm slot.

  2. Q: Is there drive size limitations?
    A: No there are no drive size limitations for the CipherChain ExpressCard.

  3. Q: Can I use the CipherChain ExpressCard to encrypt multiple hard drives?
    A: Yes. You are able to encrypt multiple hard drives. This can be done with all Addonics Cipher products that use the AES-265 encryption. Although, the hard drives encrypted with the same key will have the same encryption on them. You can use the same key to access all the different hard drives with same encryption.

  4. Q: What kind of chip does it use?
    A: Silicon image chip 3531

  5. Q: Does the CipherChain ExpressCard support raid?
    A: No it cannot support raid on its own. It is possible if paired with and Addonics hardware port multiplier with raid capabilities. (ex: AD5SAHPM-EA, AD4SR5HPMU-E)

  6. Q: Does the CipherChain ExpressCard affect performance speed?
    A: The Cipherchain ExpressCard Offers encryption with superior performance with no noticeable performance lost on external drives.

  7. Q: Is there any software needed to encrypt hard drives?
    A: No software is necessary to encrypt hard drives when using the CipherChain ExpressCard.

  8. Q: Can I encrypt a hard drive that already has data on it?
    A: No. When using the CipherChain ExpressCard for the first time, the computer will read the hard drive as unallocated. Next, the drive needs to be initialized with the Cipher Key and all data will be erased. To encrypt a hard drive with data, you must first back up the data onto another hard drive and then transfer it back on the encrypted drive.

  9. Q: What happens if key is lost or stolen?
    A: No. There is no need to remember long passwords. The drives can be accessed with the Cipher Key.

  10. Q: What happens a key is lost or stolen?
    A: If you lose all the keys, there is no way to access the data on the hard drive with no chance of recovery. It is EXTREMELY important that one key is stored in a safe place.
  11. Q: Can I order duplicate Cipher keys?
    A: Keys can be ordered from the Addonics website. To have the original key duplicated, you must send your Cipher key back to Addonics for duplicating additional keys. Be sure to back up your data before sending the key to Addonics for duplication. Addonics is not responsible for keys lost in the mail.
  12. Q. Can the key be used for other Addonics Cipher products?
    A: Yes. Other Addonics Cipher products such as CipherChain, Diamond Cipher and Ruby Cipher all use the same time of AES 256-bit encoding system. Encrypted drives can be accessed with a Cipher key with the same code.

  13. Q. Will there be an increase in file size after encryption?
    A: No. AES is a complicated mathematical algorithm that computes the original data with 256-bit cryptographic key length. Regardless of the size of the key, the size of data file after encryption remains unchanged.

  14. Q. Will my data be lost if the CipherChain ExpressCard is becomes defective?
    A: No. The Cipher key contains the AES cryptographic key. A new CipherChain ExpressCard could be replaced and the data can still be accessed.

  15. Q. How does the Cipher encryption system work?
    A: The CipherChain Cryptographic Engine (CCE) intercepts, interprets, translates, and relays commands and data to and from the disk drives, encrypting the data with AES 256-bit key strength. Before all data reaches the disk drive, the CCE encrypts it, and then saves it to the disk drive. When there is a read to the disk drive, the CCE decrypts it before sending the data to the host. The operation of encryption and decryption is totally transparent to all users; thus, the CCE is invisible to the entire system. The CipherChain Cipher key contains the cryptographic key that is used by the CCE. At power up, the cryptographic key will be delivered to the CCE register sets using a proprietary hardware protocol. If by chance the cryptographic key was incorrect or missing, the CCE will not decrypt the hard drive; thus, the CipherChain encrypted hard drive cannot be detected by any operating system without the correct Cipher key, which keeps all the content in the drive is secured. Attempts to surface scan the entire disk drive platters will not return results. Since the CCE is a generic engine and it relies on the cryptographic key to enable all functions, a malfunctioned CCE can be easily replaced with the same model and the content of the disk drive can be safely retrieved as long as the original cryptographic key is intact.

  16. Q. Is the CipherChain certified?
    A: Addonics hardware encryption is based on the eNova's FX Cryptographic engine that has been certified by NIST and CSE. These certificates are available on NIST web links: ( and

  17. For more information on hardware encryption, visit the tutorial at: