Is On-The-Go Storage Ready for Primetime?

On-the-go hard disks allow users to back up USB flash drive or memory card data without a PC - or at least in theory. But two devices from Startech and Thecus were not without their faults.
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  1. I didn't see much mention about how the devices functioned in transferring data from a USB device to the drive beyond that it worked. How compatible was it? Did it transfer the files into a particular directory? Was the transfer timestamped? How would you find the transferred files on the drive amongst all the other files you might have on there?
  2. There are 2 points that were not touched on, and the first is far more important than performance, which are data security and bundled software.

    Being a member in good standing at, we have seen a steady, and almost bi-weekly report of some CEO or lowly intern loosing some portable device that held the personal SSN, credit, bank, or medical information of countless tens of thousands of people and "we didn't have a policy to encrypt it".

    This leads me to the second point, bundled software. Myself being a corporate network security admin. no thought is scarier than a private data theft or loss. And nothing puts an admin out on the street or Federal prison quicker than loosing this kind of data to evildoers. Yes, I am paranoid. But that's not to say you don't value your own private information just as highly, does it?

    My recommendation to you is to find a laptop hard drive enclosure that includes encryption software and a simplified one button backup function. And, no, it does not have to cost much, you can pay as little as $10. The one I use included a very advanced backup program from backupforall. This would get installed on whatever PC(s) you intend to use the device with if you intended to read the encrypted files. And like any hard drive it can hold both encrypted and non-encrypted at the same time. So the software is not required, but I highly recommend you use it.

    Link to the one I use:

    NOTE-Don't forget to get a laptop hard drive to put inside. (40-PIN ATA-6 IDE 2.5")
  3. I bought a thecus N1050 this week as I was impressed by the article in TH. As an external HD it works fine ( but i did'nt buy it for that, there are other cheaper or more performant solutions to be had. I cannot make the OTG digital photo registration feature work. Tried everything, changed hd, used cardreader,canon digicams (G3 and powershot s2is).No avail! The copy button does nothing! No reaction from the HD.The HD inside was a fujitsu 60 gb from jan 2006.I tried other brands (hitachi).The Thecus has probably not been sold so well in Belgium and remained in stock at the supplier.Could there be a firmware upgrade since then? I don't find any on the thecus site, but I fear the worst.
  4. I also have a Thecus 5200Pro as a NAS and we did have a problem with a firmware, which their techs logged in remotely and fixed. They do have competent tech staff that responds timely to email, but expect a delay as they are on the other side of the planet (Taiwan). A tech I communicated with at Thecus is Yvon Lei (, or just use, which may work better as Yvon may be specialized for their NAS systems.

    I hope this helps someone.
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