How do I use secure containers?
Secure containers can be used to prevent theft. For that reason, we recommend that you use them when mining in groups or by yourself instead of using the regular jet canisters.
How is a secure container used?
First of all you need to acquire the anchoring skill to operate it. The skill can be bought from various schools for a modest price and is listed in the "corporate management" category. Once you have the skill there are two different methods of launching the secure containers.
Secure containers can also be used to increase your cargo capacity, as they hold more volume than they take up in your ship's cargo. However, you cannot place a secure container inside of a secure container.
Launch for self
In this case anyone who knows the password can access the container but only you can unanchor it. When you launch the container you must be at least 5.000m away from the nearest anchored object, such as an asteroid, a space station, another container (including your own) or even a ship wreck. This also applies to the methods explained below.
Launch for corp
When a secure container is launched for a corporation, only members of the corporation which have the Equipment Management role will be able to anchor and unanchor it. This can be useful in large corporations as you will want to keep control over where vital containers are located.
This works just like the "Launch for self" option, if all of the steps shown below are followed.
Anchoring and setting the password
After you have launched the container, you must right click it and select the "anchor" option, a process that for large containers can take up to a minute. Be warned that if you don't anchor the container it will expire in 2 hours just like a regular container. Unanchored containers will also be removed immediately at the next down time. Furthermore, secure containers which have not been anchored will in fact not be secure, anyone with the available cargo space to carry one will be able to scoop it up into their cargo hold. Therefore it is vital that you anchor your secure containers in order to make sure that the contents stay safe. Once the container is anchored, you can set its password and name. Note that setting the password before you anchor the container will NOT work and will leave the container accessible by all. Giving meaningful names to containers has proved to be very useful; for example you could name the container after the ore that you want other members to put into the container.
UPDATE Testing it out now (Tyrannis v1.2) to set the password before launching/anchoring, you do have to enter the correct password before allowed access (Tyrannis 1.2), so that was probably regarded as a bug and fixed.
Anchorable containers expire after 30 days with no use. When you anchor a container it gains an "Expires In:" attribute. During downtime, any container with 0 days left will be removed from space. The "Expires In" counter is reset to 30 days whenever the container is anchored or opened. In other words, your containers will be safe provided you open them at least once a month. The same exception for stuff near Starbases applies to anchorable containers as to generic junk (see this blog).
Secure containers are built to last and will take quite a punishment before they are destroyed, making them less likely to be blown up. Thus they are a much safer place to store minerals than regular containers.
Be advised that shooting at containers is a criminal offence that will summon Concord or local empire fleet to the defence of the container, usually with dire consequences for the aggressor. This applies even to gangs.
Bookmarking the container is a very good idea so that you don't forget where you placed it.
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