The Good: Easy to use, Does what it promises, Hard to damage, Great storage capacity
The Bad: Easy to lose, Often requires proper shutdown
The Basics: A good, convenient data storage tool for larger files, the Kingston DataTraveler 101 32 GB flash drive works!
Last summer, when my wife came out to Michigan before me for our big move, she was very anxious about her computer files getting lost or damaged. This made a lot of sense to me; she is a photographer and she has tens of gigabytes worth of files, many segregated into various projects she is working on. To make things easier for her, I picked her up a bunch of Kingston Technology DataTraveler 101 flash drives. Each one is a 32 Gigabytes flash drive that runs through USB 2.0.
For those unfamiliar with flash drives, these are convenient little pieces of computer hardware that essentially act as a portable hard drive. They are a male USB port connected plugged into a very small board and it holds any sort of computer information that can be held on a standard hard drive. Because virtually every computer these days has a USB port (the "U" stands for "Universal!") this becomes a remarkably efficient and easy way to transfer information from one computer to another and to walk around with files. Far more durable than floppy discs and easier to transfer information to than a CD-R, the flash drive is a remarkable piece of technology that makes files portable between computers in a way that is often as easy as clicking a flash drive into a USB port!
The Kingston Technology DataTraveler 101 is a two and a quarter inches long by 11/16" wide by 3/8" thick piece of plastic that is purple and silver. One end has a USB interface which plugs into any USB port - it is a standard type of port on computers, the flat-looking interface that is rectangular shaped. This end is covered with a metal cap that rotates around the center of the USB flash drive. When traveling, one may keep the male end covered with the metal protector. To access the USB jack, simply rotate the protector away from the top. At the end of the metal protector is a small loop that can be connected to a strap (like a shoestring) that allows one to carry their DataTraveler 101 around their neck (strap of any kind or keychain is NOT included with this flashdrive).
Whenever you plug the DataTraveler 101 into a computer that has Plug and Play capability (Windows XP or above, according to the back of the card this came on) the computer will register the drive and usually open a window to show the contents of the drive. In Windows, files may be dragged onto the drive or dragged off the drive to copy files to or from the drive. It is seriously that easy. Unlike having to spend minutes loading large files with multiple floppy discs or having the inconvenience of having to find a CD burner for a CD-R/CD-RW, the DataTraveler 101 is literally as easy as plugging in and dragging (or copying) files to it!
My wife moves large photograph and video files in under a minute and she has even stored video files that fill the flash drive to capacity in under five minutes, with flawless replay off the drive!
The DataTraveler 101 has a 32 GB capacity which means most people can replicate their entire data collection from their primary terminal and save it on here! This makes for a great back-up option in case of fire or disaster or covertly transferring information! My wife was able to back up her entire drive with a dozen of these and it became very handy for portable and secure storage of different projects she needed to have available for different clients (without anyone having to share a drive!). The only important functional detail to remember is that if you are plugging it into a PC or other Windows-based system, it must be properly removed from the system using the "Eject" option from the tool bar. Otherwise, some of the files may not open properly. While files are being transferred, there is an LED in the flash drive that lights up. When it is done, the transfer or file saving is completed.
In addition to Windows-based systems, the DataTraveler 101 plugs into USB ports on Apple computers running Mac OS X 10.5 or above. This means it can be a wonderful interface between any of the music-storing Apple products that have a USB port and a computer! It can also transfer files on Linux v. 2.6 and above.
The DataTraveler 101 is very convenient, though because of its small size, it may easily be lost. I got a strap for it pretty much right away because the purple and silver-colored module seems to blend in with virtually everything. A strap comes in handy in that regard and I've found that I tend to be quite glad that I put one on the end loop. Having been schlepping the tiny drive around, I've found that the DataTraveler 101 is handy and durable. I've sat on it, dropped it and nervously spun it around on its strap. This flash drive is not indestructible, but as far as day to day wear goes it may as well be.
With 32 Gigabytes of storage space, this packs a great amount of storage into a very discrete package. Anyone on the go who works with multiple computers will want to get one of these. This drive is inexpensive enough that if you keep an extra one by your bed with your essential computer back-ups, it's convenient enough to grab when you're scooping up the cats and fleeing fire, flood, tornadoes, etc. And as one who has important data to protect, that is exceptionally important to me!
For other flash drive reviews, please check out my takes on:
Lexar Jumpdrive Sport
ATP Breast Cancer Awareness Flash Drive
For other electronics product reviews, please visit my index page for an organized listing of all of them!
© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.