It may be a little old fashioned of me but I'm of the generation which grew to maturity before the digital age and I can't quite bring myself to trust any device to keep my information safe, secure and always available. I've owned flash drives before which suddenly stopped working resulting in the loss of everything stored on them and as a consequence I don't take chances and even have back-ups of my back-ups! Most of my digital information is stored more than once on several different devices of varying sizes. I have a flash drive for backing up my computer, a few for music and photos as well as others for personal documents etc.
As I'm away from home every couple of months to check on my mother I have a trusty flash drive which holds most of my day-to-day personal documentation. For the last several years this has been a little pink number from ByteStor but the plastic housing was beginning to crack and the inner workings were loose and everytime I removed it, I lived in fear of the housing coming away leaving the rest of the flash drive in the machine, so I thought it about time I bought a replacement. Over the years, I've discovered that the most reliable flash drives are those manufactured by Kingston Technology and so I decided that I'd add another one from the Kingston range.
Though I worked in the IT industry for over 20 years, I'm by no means a techie, so I won't not go into technical details because for most people that's irrelevant. All most of us want is a flash drive which works reliably.
I bought this USB flash drive from Amazon which offers a wide range of devices but I eventually plumped for the Kingston DataTraveler Generation 3 in the 8GB size which would be plenty big enough for my needs. I paid £4.75 from one of the companies who resell through Amazon and which came with free delivery and the item arrived within the space of a couple of days.
The main selling points for this device are that it comes with a 5 year warranty and has, to quote the sales blurb "a convenient sturdy loop that supports most key rings." This particular range is colour coded depending on the capacity and the 8GB size is colour coded yellow. The housing is in white moulded plastic with yellow highlights which looks a little cheap, but then it was!. Despite the housing being made of plastic, it's a good quality plastic with a little bit of give rather than being that hard and rather brittle kind and though I haven't dropped it on anything harder than carpet so far, I suspect this wouldn't crack if dropped onto a hard surface.
In the several months that I've had this device the speed with which it both reads and writes information is excellent and that, after all, is the main reason why anyone buys a flash drive. I only use this for accessing Word and Excel documents and the odd pdf, so it might take a little longer if processing photographs or other data-hungry files.
I do have a few little niggles with this particular device, however.
The loop which is supposed to fit most key rings certainly doesn't fit mine which I'd regard as being of an average size. The loop is so narrow that it would only be possible to fit the thinnest of metal rings through so it's totally useless.
Although my ByteStor drive had a separate cap, it was possible to slip it snugly onto to base of the drive and keep it safe. With this device, unlike other Kingston ones I own, the cap does fit onto the base, over the useless loop, but it's very loose and the slightest jolt knocks it off. I haven't lost the cap yet but I suspect it's only a matter of time.
The final niggle is probably not the most important but is something which would have put me off buying it had I known about it. When reading and writing to the device, there isn't a little light to show that it's actually doing what it's supposed to do or when it's finished doing it, which means the only way to know whether any action has been performed is to check the documents on the computer.
As a basic flash drive, this is an economical choice and the five year warranty is certainly a bonus. I'll continue to use this and it will, no doubt, provide the usual Kingston efficiency. I won't consider buying another one of these, however, as I feel that the negatives outweigh the benefits in this case.
After having a total calamity of a situation trying to copy all my files from one PC to another, I sternly told myself I needed some extra portable memory. I swiftly did a bit of searching, and found myself a good exterior hard disc and a new USB flash stick for convenience. My previous USB still works fine, but I needed something with a little more zip and bulk. Taking cost into consideration as well, I bought this Kingston Technology DataTraveler 8GB. Here are my thoughts on this neat and tidy little stick of memory.
--Ur' Data on your Travels--
The majority of USB flash sticks are simply a case of plug in and drag files to the relevant window. This Kingston USB drive includes a piece of software called UrDrive. This is basically an automatic updater. If you choose to install the software included on the stick, you're computer will synchronize with the stick every time it's plugged in. You can set the program to transfer the files you want automatically without the need for manually copy and pasting and so on. In principle, this is a great time saving idea, but as I have found out with other software packages that claim to do this, weather it be a mobile phone, Sat-Nav or notebook, things don't always run smoothly.
Personally, I prefer the manual method of transferring data. I feel I have piece of mind that it's done correctly this way. However, I did try the software on my laptop and it did work rather well without any installation problems. The interface is simple enough too, even though it does slow the process up a tiny bit in the first instance. I still didn't trust it though, and double checked the files afterwards. It's a nice feature to include, certainly a little different from a bog standard USB stick, but I give it a miss purely out of my own habits.
--Cost and Packaging--
The price of this stick varies quite a bit. I bought mine from a local high-end computer workshop and thus paid near the full retail price of £9.99. On reflection, I paid over the odds really. It can be found on line for under a fiver, so that's another lesson learnt for me. Impulse buying... and I only went in to inquire about a monitor I saw on sale. Tut!
As usual, this device is packed in a bubble covered card, with a distinctive Kingston logo resembling an Easter Island statue. It's packed tightly, well protected but has no instruction leaflet to speak off. All the information about the UrDrive facility is included on the stick. The card and plastic are fully recyclable of course.
--Design and Durability--
I like a USB stick to look like a USB stick, to be obvious and have a handy ribbon or cord. Unfortunately, this one comes with no cord but does look like what it is suppose to be in a Lego-brick kind of fashion. White and Yellow in design, it's quite an unassuming piece of kit, and could be mistaken for said Lego brick, but it's not a bad shape at all. I do like the rubber grips down the sides however, this makes inserting and removing the stick easier with no slipping on the fingers. Why this rubber strip is not on the protection cap is beyond me, as this sometimes does not come off quickly. It has a tight fit over the USB plug, and can be tricky to remove in a hurry as it is largely smooth surfaced. Also, the gap for a ribbon is on the body side of it, so the cap could be misplaced. This is a design point I dislike from USB sticks with a cord on the cap. No awards are ever going to be given to this for it's looks certainly, my mirrored USB is far more fun to look at.
One thing that did strike me was that it's very light and flimsy to the touch. I would think that any kind of accidental mishap involving something being placed on top of it would cause some damage to the outer casing. That said, the plug is mounted strongly and doesn't move about in the socket, and despite it's feather weight, it can take a small drop off the desk without harm.
The key aspects of any portable memory of course is is it reliable, compatible and fast. Happy to report that this ticks all those boxes with ease. It has had no problems with various operating systems on the different computers I have used it on, simply using the plug and play system. The transfer speed is also very good, faster than any previous stick I have owned. Large files still take a few minutes, but generally it's pretty good using the drag and drop method. Basic pictures and word files move across in a matter of seconds, and transfer in the other direction just as quickly. I have had no compatibly issues to speak off as yet either, and have had no files become corrupt or gone missing , so this all bodes well.
Overall, this may not be the most best looking and designed USB stick; the fact that there is no neck-cord is annoying, but I can't find many faults in it's general functionality. The bundled software, if you choose to use it, works well so people who like this time eliminating aspect will be pleased. The use of it with different computers and operating systems is also fine, as is the transfer speed, capacity and reliability. Even though it's a little on the weak side in build quality, I am quite confident my files are backed up and secure on this device, and it's not a bad price either for an 8GB stick.
Thanks for Reading. © Novabug