CipherChain ExpressCard

Ever worrying about someone accessing your sensitive data on your external hard drive? This CipherChain Expresscard may be a solution for you. Designed to be installed into the ExpressCard 34/54 slot commonly found on Notebook systems, the CipherChain ExpressCard instantly adds an eSATA port with the AES 256-bit hardware encryption capability onto any Notebook computer. The eSATA port on the CipherChain ExpressCard encrypts any external eSATA hard drive or SSD with the simple ion of a Cipher key. There is no software to run or password to remember. As long as you have the Cipher key with you, you can access the encrypted hard drive on another Notebook equipped with the CipherChain ExpressCard or a Desktop system equipped with the Addonics CipherChain-e.

The CipherChain ExpressCard is a full disk encryption. This means that if your external storage device is ever stolen and connected to any computer, the device will appear as a blank drive with no trace of any data. Built on the same certified AES 256-bit crypto engine (NIST and CSE certified) as the Addonics family of CipherChain solution, the CipherChain ExpressCard ensures superior read/write performance on the external storage without any CPU utilization that is common with software encryption solution.

The CipherChain Expresscard can also operate in non-encryption mode by setting the encryption button to OFF position. This provides the flexibility to connect encrypted or non-encrypted eSATA storage device to your Notebook. The eSATA port on the CipherChain ExpressCard is a Hybrid eSATA port that can provide USB power to operate many low power devices with an optional Addonics Hybrid eSATA cable. To learn more about the Hybrid eSATA port, please visit our Hybrid eSATA tutorial page.

Simple to use
Similar to all other Addonics encryption products, the CipherChain ExpressCard 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 CipherChain ExpressCard. All the user needs to the correct Cipher key to the CipherChain ExpressCard to gain access to the encrypted eSATA storage device. The same storage device can also be accessed by a Desktop system that is equipped with CipherChain-e using the same Cipher key.

CipherChain ExpressCard 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 eSATA 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 CipherChain ExpressCard is considered as the highest level of encryption standard, secure enough to protect classified information designated as andldquoTop Secretandrdquo.

The CipherChain ExpressCard 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 CipherChain product has no impact to CPU utilization. This leaves the system CPU to perform all its computing task at normal speed. There is also no measurable impact to the performance on the hard drive.

Cipher key
The AES 256-bit Cipher key used for the encryption/decryption in the CipherChain ExpressCard is the same Cipher key as used in the Addonics CipherChain, CipherChain-E, 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 CipherChain ExpressCard 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.


LED light status under different operating mode

Operating Mode Standard HDD LED Cipher HDD LED Cipher key LED compatible device
Cipher mode (cipher switch is ON)
encrypted eSATA HDD / SDD
Non-Cipher mode (cipher switch is off)
standard eSATA HDD / SDD / optical drive
USB mode (no encryption)
standard USB HDD / SDD / optical drive

Note on Cipher key code
Each pair of Cipher keys is set with a unique key code. When ordering multiple Cipher kits and extra Cipher keys and 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.

  • Great for the following applications:
    • Prevent sensitive data from unauthorized access when the storage device is lost or stolen
    • Shipping or transporting storage devices containing sensitive data.
    • Encrypt an entire RAID volume
  • Support encrypting the following storage devices:
  • eSATA port - an eSATA/USB Hybrid port (EUHP)
    • can support USB power to operate low power eSATA storage using Addonics optional Hybrid eSATA cable
    • support both eSATA or USB connection ( encryption is available for eSATA connection only)
  • Encrypt any eSATA storage with industry-leading AES-256 bit hardware encryption
  • Full disk encryption. No traceable data when the encrypted drive is connected to any computer regardless of operating system
  • FIPS 140-2 certified Crypto Module listed in NIST
  • Encryption and drive activity LEDs for easy and simple diagnostics
  • Button to disable encryption mode to connect non-encrypted eSATA storage device (Note: this is not for partial encryption of some files or folders. This mode only allows connecting regularly non-encrypted hard drive to the system. An encrypted hard drive connecting under this mode will appear as a blank drive)
  • Compatible with all ExpressCard 34/54 slots with 54mm bracket included
  • Maximum throughput of Serial ATA 1.5Gbps
  • Hot swappable: device can be added and removed without rebooting the system
  • Supports NCQ (native command queuing) and TCQ (tagged command queuing)
  • Port Multiplier compatible
  • Drivers for Windows XP, Windows 2003 Server, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 2008


  • Onboard AES 256-bit crypto engine
  • Compatible with SATA I/II/III HDD/SSD
  • eSATA / USB Hybrid port (EUHP) -
    • support eSATA or USB external storage device
    • power from USB connection or eSATA connection using Addonics optional Hybrid eSATA cable.
  • LEDs:
    • Green - for power and the presence of key code
    • Orange - Standard HDD mode
    • Orange - Cipher HDD mode
  • Maximum throughput - 150 MB/sec
  • Dimension: (W x D x H) - 33mm x 104.3mm x 7.4mm (1.3in x 4.11in x 0.29in)
  • Weight: 27g
  • 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

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, every CipherChain kit comes with one pair of Cipher keys. 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.



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
AAENKEY256 (1 AES 256-bit Cipher key)
Content: 1 piece of AES-256-bit encryption key
Price: 9.00
AAUESP5PT100C (Uni eSATAp cable, 100 cm + 5 power tips)
Universal eSATAp Cable, Set of 5 power tips, User Manual,
Price: 21.99
AAESATA100C (eSATA - eSATA cable, 100 cm.)
Content: 100 cm. eSATA connecting cable with eSATA connectors on both ends. Full compliance with eSATA specification. Great for connecting external storage device with eSATA connector to eSATA host controller.
Price: 9.00
AAESATA200C (eSATA cable, 200 cm (6 ft.))
Content: 200 cm. eSATA connecting cable with eSATA connector on both ends. Full compliance with eSATA specification. Great for connecting external storage device with eSATA connector to eSATA host controller.
Price: 13.99
CipherChain ExpressCard
Applies to: CCHESEXC34
CCHESEXC34 Driver for Windows
Applies to: CCHESEXC34

Cipherchain ExpressCard eSATA drivers for Windows XP, Windows 2003 Server, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 2008 32-bit and 64-bit.