Flash drives on the eve of 2019 - a relic of the past or is it still a necessity?

    For some, a flash drive is an important companion in everyday affairs, and someone considers these devices as a consumable material. Each is right in its own way. Although, the second category of users can be divided into two more - those who are really right and those who, nevertheless, make mistakes. Why? It's simple - if you buy cheap solutions on well-known Asian sites, then, indeed, their service life can be very short. And if you approach the choice of a flash drive with the mind, then you can choose a quality option that will serve faithfully for many years. At the same time, the price tag can be quite adequate. In fairness, I must say that the vast majority of users are not willing to pay a lot of money for flash drives, which leads to two ways of development. The first - "a finger to the sky." We determine the budget and buy the model of the maximum available capacity, not forgetting the design, if it matters. The second is to spend some time studying the market and find a quality option, albeit a bit smaller. It would seem that the end of 2018 is in the courtyard and there are enough cloud services, and the Internet is available almost everywhere - are flash drives still relevant? And how! Want to know a dozen possible scenarios for the use of this kind of drives? Then sit back and read! Want to know a dozen possible scenarios for the use of this kind of drives? Then sit back and read! Want to know a dozen possible scenarios for the use of this kind of drives? Then sit back and read!

    Data transfer

    No matter how trite it may sound, transferring data using flash drives is still a very popular way to use it. Yes, the Internet is almost everywhere. But no one is immune from his absence at the destination. Downloaded coursework or diploma to the cloud to show the teacher in the audience? And there is no access to the external network on the training PC. You can, of course, connect your smartphone as a modem, but this is all the time and the patience of the teacher. It is much easier and faster to bring the necessary documents on a flash drive. A flash drive, of course, costs money, which the students have already a little bit. But, for example, options from Kingston in the form of DataTraveler DT106 and SWIVL32 GB capacity cost a little more than 500 rubles. This budget drives, which, despite the low cost, have high quality - the manufacturer gives him a guarantee of 5 years. Of course, this will not save you from data loss in case of failure, but it gives you certain confidence that these flash drives will last a long time. At the same time, unnamed "Chinese" drives with similar costs can let you down in the very first days of use.

    In addition, you can take multimedia materials on vacation or on long trips to brighten up your free time by listening to music or watching TV shows and movies. Let the write speeds of DT106 and SWIVL are small, but with reading there are no problems - under 100 MB / s, which will be enough to view almost any content.

    You can come up with many more situations. For example, if you are a designer or so, you can take examples of your work on a flash drive for an interview in order to immediately demonstrate your skills to a potential employer.

    Or, transfer the latest drivers to the PC where you just installed the operating system.

    You can also connect flash drives to smartphones that support OTG to transfer data without a computer or simply view the content directly on the screen of your smartphone. In general, the options - the mass.

    network storage

    No, not about any full-fledged network storage now we will not go. Many home routers are equipped with USB ports, which allows you to connect appropriate devices. A flash drive is one such device. Of course, launching the torrent client and specifying our flash drive as a destination folder is not entirely correct, but uploading a photo and video album after the holiday to view it with the whole family on any of the devices connected to the network is no problem. The advantage of this method of use is that each user can, independently of the others, see the shared content at any time he needs, even if someone is already watching the content on another device. Otherwise, it would be necessary to transfer the flash drive in turn, which could lead to conflict situations.

    Boot disk

    The times when it was possible to install the operating system only from a disk have sunk into oblivion. Now even Windows 10 exists in the version on a USB-drive. And there is official software for recording a disk image on a USB flash drive, then to make the installation. Here you can also mention the possibility of creating a recovery disk - a standard Windows function, which may be useful. For example, you can also download other operating systems, as well as the UEFI Shell, for updating the BIOS of motherboards and other useful actions.


    Many users are still afraid of this word. But not everything is so bad - the mass has divorced distributions, and some of them are very friendly even to new users. Want to try to join the "linuksoid" - no problem. On the network you can easily find very simple instructions that will allow you to run almost any Linux distribution directly from a flash drive - connect the prepared media to a PC or laptop, select it as a download source and after a short period of time you can dive into the “alien” environment .

    Live CD USB

    Has your operating system stopped loading? The boot flash drive with the installed OS directly on it comes to the rescue. There will also be a whole set of tools that can help in restoring your primary operating system. For the last three tasks, good read speeds are needed, which are achieved using the USB 3.1 Gen1 interface (also known as USB 3.0). For DataTraveler DT106 and SWIVL drives, this is absolutely not a problem. Even with the low cost, they support this standard and demonstrate speeds of up to 100, or even 130 MB / s, depending on the model.


    If you suspect that viruses have appeared on your system (even if you have an antivirus installed, this is quite possible), then you need to do a full scan of all disks. Often this is complicated by the fact that the operating system may not give access to certain files and folders for one reason or another. In this case, the antivirus can help out, which will be launched from a flash drive outside the operating system. It's almost like LiveUSB, but nothing will be downloaded except for the antivirus itself. Thus, you can bypass some of the access restrictions to the resources of your disks.

    Portable applications

    Many applications have portable versions. If in Russian, then this is a completely ready-to-use application - you can run it directly from a flash drive. No installs or uninstallations. They came to the workplace, plugged in the USB flash drive, launched the necessary application, worked, completed the work and took the USB flash drive home.

    Secure WEB surfing

    The topic of anonymity and access to the resources of the global network is very sensitive. There are a lot of nuances here, but you can still protect yourself from some problems, as well as get access to the necessary information. For example, the Tor browser allows you to completely anonymously explore the open spaces of the network, including those resources that were blocked by the laws of a country, no matter how silly this solution was (for example, a massive blocking of even innocent IP addresses when attacking specific resource). In part, this item can be linked to the previous one - Tor is available in a portable version.

    Access key

    Flash drives can also be used as hardware keys to access computers and laptops. One could argue that there are special tools for secure two-factor authentication - the same Rutoken S, eToken and others. But their use is mandatory in cases where jobs must meet the requirements of FSTEC or the FSB. At home (cinema / photo / internet / etc.) You can use a flash drive for authentication - it is noticeably cheaper, and the information that needs to be protected by the means mentioned above should not be there by definition.


    Here we need to remember what was discussed at the very beginning - about the transfer and storage of data. The only difference is that in this case the data on the flash drive is encrypted. You can argue that there are special drives for this, even for Kingston - the same DataTraveler 2000 with a numeric keypad, Vault Privacy or IronKey. But these are all solutions in a completely different price category. If we consider the DT106 and SWIVL, then in your hands can be inexpensive devices with data securely hidden on them.

    From words to deeds

    And what, after all, with the capacity and speed of work?
    DataTraveler 106 flash drives are offered in versions from 16 to 256 GB. For 16-64 GB models, the read speed reaches 100 MB / s, and for older ones (128 and 256 GB) - up to 130 MB / s.

    DataTraveler SWIVL devicesavailable in versions from 16 to 128 GB, the read speed of which (all but 16 GB of the model) reaches 100 MB / s.

    Record speeds are low, but prudence is needed. First, we recall the classification and cost. We are in the hands of a budget solution for very, very modest money, even by modern standards. Secondly, the reading speed in all cases exceeds 100 MB / s. And this is in most cases described in this material - the main criterion. Yes, it will take some time to wait while writing software or operating system images to these drives, but the launch will be quick and without hesitation. Want more and write speed high? Then you have to look at other solutions, the cost of which may be two, or even three times higher. Is it worth it? Not always.

    Instead of conclusion

    Many of you may say that there are a huge number of such drives on the well-known Asian sites. Low speeds and the lack of stability during operation, no support from the manufacturer, no warranty and much more - the list goes on. Here you can just remind one of the English favorite phrase - “I'm not rich enough to afford cheap things”. Its essence lies in the fact that they are looking for things of good quality at a reasonable price. It is safe to say that DataTraveler 106 and DataTraveler SWIVL are well-suited to this description if you do not have particularly high requirements for drives of this kind.

    What else I would like to add is important - inside the case there are “full-fledged” drives. That is, there is a board on which a separate controller and a separate memory chip (or several) are soldered. Even if suddenly the flash drive is no longer determined, then there is a chance to recover the data - there are several ways. While many budget models can simply be thrown away. You will not be able to do any restoration work with them, with very few exceptions - sometimes the needles can close some contacts, but this is a topic for a separate material.

    Flash drive for the story

    Do you want to become the owner of 64 GB DT106 or SWIVL drives ? Tell us your story in the comments - what is the most unusual scenario of using a flash drive you had to realize, the reasons for this and what results were achieved? We will immediately identify two of the most interesting stories and give a drive to each of their authors, so that they themselves can be convinced of all the above in this material! Someone will read for themselves new and useful information from your stories, and someone will become the happy owner of a brand new flash drive. So take a few minutes and share with us your professional and unusual experience!

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