Thursday, August 9, 2012

As My Data Storage Needs Increase, I Upgrade To The 8 GB DataTraveler Flash Drive!

The Good: Easy to use, Does what it promises, Hard to damage, Good storage capacity
The Bad: Easy to lose or destroy, Often requires proper shutdown, No indicator for data transfer.
The Basics: The Kingston DataTraveler 101 8 GB flash drive holds all I need it to!

While I have, for a long time, used my DataTraveler from Kingston, with 1 GB of storage space (reviewed here!), I recently had reason to upgrade. After five years of using the one flash drive, I needed a little more space. Plus, while the 1 GB drive has worked out fine, I’ve been a bit anxious about it because it now “leans” (the plastic portion is now at about a fifteen degree angle to the metal USB port end).

So, I upgraded to a Kingston Technology DataTraveler 101, an 8 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 red 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!

I move music files in seconds, save word processed files as fast as to the hard drive and have even stored video files near a whole gigabyte on the DataTraveler 101 to transfer from downloads to my home computer.

The DataTraveler 101 has a 8 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! I was very pleased that the whole e-mail box I needed to back up was easily transferred to this new 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.

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 red 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 8 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
Tribeca Pinkdrive
ATP Breast Cancer Awareness Flash Drive


For other electronics product reviews, please visit my index page for an organized listing of all of them!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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