Cipher Snap-In

The Cipher Snap-In is another simple secured storage solution that combines the convenience of a removable drive system and the Addonics field proven CipherChain into a 5 1/4" drive rack. Once installed, any 3.5" SATA hard drive can be installed and removed from the Cipher rack like a VCR cassette. The hard drive inside the Cipher Rack is fully encrypted on the fly with bullet proof AES 256-bit encryption.

There is no special software to install or training required to use the Cipher Snap-In. Simply the Cipher key, load the drive into the Cipher Snap-In and lock the drive door to turn on the power. The hard drive operates just as if it is an ordinary drive with no measurable performance degradation as commonly experienced with software encryption. The hard drive inside the Cipher Snap-In can be used as a boot drive or as a secondary data drive. When used as a boot drive, system becomes unbootable without the Cipher key, thus making this a great solution for preventing any unauthorized system access.

The Cipher Snap-In comes in choice of models with a single CipherChain or Dual CipherChain. The extra CipherChain module in the Dual Cipher Snap-In model can be used to secure an additional internal hard drive, an internal RAID volume or any removable SATA drive system. Alternatively, the dual CipherChain modules can be daisy chained to add further security with the two factors authentication on the same hard drive mounted inside the Cipher Snap-In..

Cipher Snap-In installed into 5.25" bay of desktop tower Dual Cipher Snap-In installed into 5.25" bay of desktop tower


close up view of the Cipher Snap-In (shown with dual CipherChain modules installed)
The entire unit is designed to fit inside a standard 5 1/4" drive bay

Click on image for detailed connection configurations


Simple to use
Similar to all other Addonics encryption products, the Cipher Snap-In is a pure hardware solution. This means that there is no software to run, no driver to install and no password to remember. There is very little user training required to use the Cipher Snap-In. All the user needs to the correct Cipher key to the Cipher Snap-In to gain access to the encrypted SATA hard drive. The same hard drive can also be accessed by another system that is equipped with Cipher Snap-In, CipherChain, Diamond Cipher or Ruby Cipher using the same Cipher key.

Cipher Snap-In 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 SATA drive is stolen and is connected to another system, the drive will appear as a brand new drive with no trace of any data. The AES 256-bit encryption provided by the Cipher Snap-In is considered as the highest level of encryption standard, secure enough to protect classified information designated as Top Secret. For those who needs the absolute maximum security, the Cipher Snap-In is now available with CBC mode of encryption.

It is impossible to penetrate the encryption of a single CipherChain. Customers can raise the security level to a more complex level by simply daisy chaining two CipherChains The daisy chaining of two CipherChains will raise security to another level when a different person controls each Cipher key. 

Daisychaining example with multiple CipherChains

The Cipher Snap-In encrypts and decrypts data on the fly using a NIST and CSE certified cryptographic AES engine. Unlike software encryption product which depends on the system CPU to encrypt and decrypt the data, the hardware encryption in the Cipher Snap-In does not have impact to CPU utilization. This is true for both the ECB and CBC* models. This leaves the system CPU to perform all its computing task at normal speed without any performance degradation to the applications and the hard drives.

Cipher key
The AES 256-bit Cipher key used for the encryption/decryption in the Cipher Snap-In is the same Cipher key as used in the Addonics CipherChain, CipherChain-E, CipherChain ExpressCard, Diamond Cipher or Ruby Cipher drive kit. As a result, you can share the same encryption key to operate on the storage device that has been encrypted by either the CipherChain, CipherChain-E, Diamond Cipher or Ruby Cipher drive kit. You may also order Cipher keys with the same key codes when you order multiple Cipher Snap-In or extra 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.


*Software encryption in CBC mode requires an enormous amount of processor power and is impractical to implement. All Addonics CBC encryption solutions use a certified CBC hardware crypto engine to encrypt and decrypt data in CBC mode. None of Addonics CBC encryption solution requires any processor resource, thus ensuring optimal system performance in wide range of computing hardware platforms.

  • Great for the following applications:
    • Secure a system from unauthorized access
    • Prevent sensitive data from unauthorized access when the storage device is lost or stolen
    • Shipping or transporting storage devices containing sensitive data
    • Using the extra CipherChain module in the Dual Cipher Snap-In to encrypt
      • a RAID volume inside the system or
      • an additional internal hard drive or
      • an additional removable drive storage system such as the Addonics Drive Cartridge Systems or Mobile Rack with SATA connection
  • Choice of models with ECB or CBC encryption mode
  • Choice of models with single or dual CipherChains (the two CipherChains can be daisy chain together to increase the security complexity or use for encrypting two different storage devices)
  • Supports encrypting the following storage devices:
    • SATA I / II / III hard drive in 3.5" form factor
    • SATA I / II / III hard drive or SSD in 2.5" form factor using the optional Addonics Snap-In 25 adapter.
  • AES 256-bit encryption that uses a FIPS 140-2 certified Crypto Module listed in NIST- the highest level of encryption standard
  • Full disk encryption. No traceable data when the encrypted drive is connected to any system
  • No training required. Encryption/decryption via a hardware key , just like using a regular key to open a door.
  • Drive is added or removed from system like a VCR cassette
  • Hot swappable*, hard drive can be removed or add to the system without restarting*
  • Suspension mount to protect against vibration and shock
  • Point to point Serial ATA connection, no cable to connect hard drive to system
  • High performance - up to 150 MB/sec
  • OS independent - can be used on any system

* Serial ATA hot swap feature works only with controllers that support this feature. You may consider adding one of the Addonics Serial ATA host controllers to your systems to ensure the hot swap capability. Controllers from your system may not support this feature. Please verify with your system or controller manufacturer if you need to have hot swap in your application.

  • Onboard AES 256-bit crypto engine
  • SATA I/II/III compliant
  • SATA connectors:
    • Blue - for connecting to host
    • Black - for connecting to device
  • LEDs:
    • Green - for power and the presence of key code
    • Yellow - drive access activity
  • RESET: To clear key code and reset the CipherChains. This also remove the drive icon when the storage device is removed from the CipherChain and the connected SATA supports hot swap
  • Disable RESET jumper - to disable the RESET button.
  • Maximum throughput - 150 MB/sec
  • Small 4-P power connector
  • Input power: 5V @ 150 mA
  • Bezel color: Black
  • Dimensions: 5.83 (W) x 7.2 (D) x 1.65 (H) in. (148 x 183 x 42 mm.)
  • Weight:
    • model CSN256, CSN256-C - 14 oz (397 g)
    • model C2SN256, C2SN256-C - 16 oz (454 g)
  • Operating temperature and humidity: 0 °C to + 75 °C, 5% - 95% (non-condensing)
  • Storage temperature and humidity: -40 °C to + 85 °C, 5% - 90% humidity

*A Certification Mark of NIST, which does not imply product endorsement by NIST, the U.S. or Canadian Governments.


CSN256 - (Cipher Snap-In, ECB)
Content: Cipher Snap-In in ECB encryption mode, 1 pair AES 256-bit Cipher keys, user guide,
Price: 79.00
C2SN256 - (Dual Cipher Snap-In, ECB)
Content: Dual Cipher Snap-In in ECB mode encryption, 2 pairs of AES 256-bit Cipher keys, user guide,
Price: 139.00
CSN256-C - (Cipher Snap-In, CBC)
Content: Cipher Snap-In in CBC encryption mode, 1 pair AES 256-bit Cipher keys, user guide,
Price: 115.00
C2SN256-C - (Dual Cipher Snap-In, CBC)
Content: Dual Cipher Snap-In in CBC mode encryption, 2 pairs of AES 256-bit Cipher keys, user guide,
Price: 185.00


AAENKEY256 (1 AES 256-bit Cipher key)
Content: 1 piece of AES-256-bit encryption key
Price: 9.00
AACSYSU2 (Cipher key management system)
AACSYSU2 Addonics Cipher key duplication and management system. Use as stand alone key duplicator or for generating key codes for the Cipher key.
Price: 699.00
AASAIDC18I (18" internal SATA data cable)
AASAIDC18I 18" internal Serial ATA data cable. Good for connecting any SATA device to Serial ATA controller.
Price: 3.00