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Secure any SATA hard drive with bullet proof encryption    FIPS 140-2 certified Crypto Module

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 insert 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 insert 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”.

The Cipher Snap-In encrypts and decrypts data on the fly using a NIST & 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 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.

Product Features

  • 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 single or dual CipherChains
  • 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 is FIPS 140-2, NIST & CSE certified- the highest level of encryption standard
  • FIPS 140-2 certified Crypto Module.
  • 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.


Model and pricing

Model Number
Description and package content

CSN256     $95  Cart

Cipher Snap-In

Cipher Snap-In

1 pair of AES 256-bit Cipher keys
Pair of Saturn Cipher key 64-bit
model: AAENKEY256-2
user guide

C2SN256    $145  Cart

Dual Cipher Snap-In

Dual Cipher Snap-In

1 pair of AES 256-bit Cipher keys
Pair of Saturn Cipher key 64-bit
model: AAENKEY256-2
user guide


Click shopping cart to check price and order online
Blank AES 256-bit Cipher key $9 Cart


There is no back door for the CipherChain encrypted hard drive if the Cipher key is lost or stolen. To ensure there is a spare key, cipher keys are come in pairs in the Cipher Snap-In. One of these keys should be kept in a safe and secure location and can be sent back to Addonics for duplicating additional keys. If you are down to the last key, be sure to make a back up of all the data stored inside your encrypted hard drive prior to sending the last key to Addonics. Addonics is not responsible for the key lost in the mail or the retrieval of the data inside the encrypted hard drive.

Note on Cipher key code
When ordering multiple Cipher Snap-Ins or extra Cipher keys and you wish that all the keys be set to the same key code, please provide instructions at the final checkout when placing the order at our online store.  Customers may also e-mail the instructions with reference to the sales order number after final checkout.  When ordering from an Addonics reseller or distributor, be sure to leave the instructions when placing the order.  Keys can be sent back to Addonics at any time if re-coding is desired. There is no charge for re-coding keys. The only charge is the return shipping of the newly re-coded keys.

Cipher Key management system

For organization with large deployment, you may consider managing your own keys by investing into a Addonics Cipher key duplicating system.


  • 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 CDB256 - 14 oz (397 g)
    • model C2DB256 - 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.

All specifications are subject to change without notice. All other products are trademarks of their respective owners.

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