I wish more manufactures would implement a physical write protect switch on these flash drives. I know they exist but why are they not more prevalent? It seems we take 2 steps forward and 1 step back sometimes.
I really don't see the purpose of this device. I think it's just a gimmick meant to vacuum a few xtra $$$ out of your wallet.
Sure the encryption software is nice but it is free software, ie you can get it for your average flash drive....
As far as the aluminum casing goes it is my opinion that it is completely useless. Why? Here's a short list:
1. It might seem a good idea to protect the flash drive from physical damage. This whole survivor marketing scheme seems to center around the idea that this product will survive an extreme encounter. Well the thing is standard flash memory can withstand over 200 G acceleration which is what you get in a plane crash so survivability isn't really an issue here. Plus if you wanted your device to survive physical damage (such as being stepped on or run over by a car, train and whatnot) why make the casing out of aluminem? Titanium seems a better choice to me. Not only is it a lot more resiliant but the whole device could be lighter and posibly water proof.
2. WOW THIS IS WATERPROOF!!! Oh really? And how does that help me? That's really great but you know if you were ever to drop your flash drive in plain tab water nothing would really happen. When not plugged in a flash drive is really electrically inert. Actually i doubt anything would happen even if you were to plug in a wet flash drive into your usb port. What's the voltage on a usb port 2.5V? That's not enough to short out anything. Of course if you were do dip your flash into salt water then the flash drive would prolly be ruined.
3. One thing that you haven't considered is corosion. For something to be called remotely waterproof it has to first not get wet and then withstand corosion. Aluminum is probably the worst metal you could use if you wanted to waterproof something as it oxidizes very easily, especially when exposed to salt water. In fact most products that say they are waterproof in fact aren't. I remember this guy from my diving classes had a fancy watch. Like all fancy watches the backplate said it was waterproof to some X meters. The dude wore it while diving. Our instructor told him to take the watch off but the guy just wouldn't listen. The result? although the watch stayed dry it started rusting. To sum up the "survivor" might keep the water out but it wouldn't call it waterproof. (try throwing a soda can in salt water and see how long it lasts)
4. This thing is huge and cumbersome to use. Why on earth would I want to lug that thing around and spend my precious time unscrewing and screwing the flash drive in every time I want to use it. And what do I get for that? A heavy not so tough and not really waterproof piece of metal to wear around my neck.
5. Did I mention overpriced? A normal 8 GB flash drive is how much 25$? you can get a 16 Gb one for 50-60$...
All in why do we need this product? What purpose could it possibly serve?
If you right click on a file name from the directory, you can go to properties and select "Read Only" or you can make a file almost permanent by writing it to CD or by making multiple backups.
The purpose in my mind of write protecting the device would be to protect it from possibly virus infected foreign computers. Also, I have had files deleted off my usb drive by lame-o antivirus software that deemed AngryIPScanner as a virus.
Write your files to CD or DVD because viruses can't touch Read Only Memory which are CD or DVD backups. If you get a virus, you can easily get back to the uninfected files if you have enough clean backups.
Second. I have been looking arround the Inet for some time now, but I havent been able to find any good USB-Stick test out there. In the tests I dont give a F..k about data-safety, waterprof or the looks of the casing. I just want straight simple benchmark. Read [MB/s], Write [MB/s] and Access time [ms].
Third. I would like to hear if any of you have used your USB-Stick as primary drive ( C:\ ) and tried to load windows and maby some games onto it. - My thourght was that if i bourght a USB-Stick ( 16 or 32GB ) I could have something like a cheap SSD-disk. THEN... the thourght went on ... and why not use a Raid-0 Stripe on the usb as well?
Can this be done? - and if, how?
You may lose portability but you can have backups since I bought a 512 Megabyte thumbdrive at Five Below which isn't the best price because you can buy 1 GB thumbdrives for about $7 to $8 dollars.
You can also get mini-Cd's.
My feelings about write protect switches on thumbdrives is that they just slow me down because I end up ejecting the drive to change the write protect status and then I have to re-insert it to get Windows to recognize it. There are also times when I have to save my work and close Microsoft Word in order for the word processor to release the thumbdrive so that I can eject it because I forgot that the thumbdrive was locked in the first place. It wastes a lot of time and they are a pain.
If you are looking for portability in CD's, they sell mini CD's in 3 1/2 inch format I believe.
I've tried to complain to companies and I don't always get to talk to the boss so my efforts at changing anything don't come to fruition. Some of them feel that they aren't going to worry about a switch when they have millions of sales to worry about or they aren't going to change operations. Others may listen.
I found a solution. I have a 2GB SD card from Lexar that has a write protect switch and all you need is a card reader to put it into that is small enough for portability. They aren't hard to find but removing them may be difficult and you shouldn't put pressure on the side that has the smallest width.
You are looking for something like this and there are different brands that may be small enough:
I did do a google search on USB 2.0 thumb drives with write protect switches but the results didn't have conclusive information so you might just have to email around or visit enough stores to come to a reliable conclusion.
All in why do we need this product? What purpose could it possibly serve?
I'm inclined to believe it's none.
I completely disagree, these rugged keys are invaluable to me and my work colleagues.
I have been through dozens of plastic USB keys - and as they're used for work for imaging and repairing PCs they constantly in our pockets with our keys and coins. At best the casing of normal USB keys last one or two months before they crack open, the lids are normally lost sooner. If you try to attach the USB key to a keyring the plastic will break in days.
However I've purchased 50 or so of these keys for company use and in the last year not one has broken. Mine has been my keyring for my house keys and no other design would ever have lasted as long. They dont have to be waterproof in terms of dropping in water but enough that I can get it out on a rainy day. The fact that the lid is the attachement to my keys means I can use this USB and never forget it. The speed of the transfer of data is fantastic and the only problems so far is that the label doesnt last as long as the key (fine I scrubbed it off) and airport security staff take a bit of an interest in it until you show them its a USB key.
The problem with all other keys is that they're not rugged enough to survive being with you 24/7 and consequently get lost, lids come off or they break. These things are built like tanks, cost a bit more but will last forever.