The Pen Drive, also known as Flash drive/thumb drive is a data storage device that includes flash memory with an integrated Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface. These are typically removable and re-writable and physically much smaller than an optical disc. The resurgence of pen drives started with the start of 21st century. During these stages, it kicked out the competitors floppy disks & CDs as Pen drives are much smaller, faster, have thousands of times more capacity, and are more durable and reliable because they have no moving parts. Additionally, they are immune to electromagnetic interference unlike floppy disks, and are unharmed by surface scratches unlike CDs. Also Pen Drives started to come with more capacity and stylish designs which are way easier to carry around.
The Pen drives were initially used for storage, data back-up and transfer of computer files. Prices have never been cheaper, and larger capacities are easily available too. If you’re a computer user, you probably have several of them. Apart from using them to just transport your data, there are a myriad other uses for one, as long as you have a one with a decent capacity and speed.
Run Portable Apps
PortableApps is a Windows launcher that can run entirely from your USB drive. What this means is that you can carry a suite of all your favorite applications like Firefox, Chrome, VLC Media Player, Foxit Reader, 7-Zip and more, all on the drive. Plug it into any remote computer and you’ll have all your favorite applications with you. All you have to do is head to the website and download the PortableApps program.
A USB drive can play host to various applications that can help fix, maintain or troubleshoot a computer in need. First, you can start with freely available virus removal tool. Advanced Utilities can be run to do a complete maintenance check (registry clean, removal of temporary files, manage startup programs). Finally, De-Fragmentation apps can be used organize the files for better speed and reliability.
Run an alternate operating system
Linux and various versions of it are available for free. Many versions of Linux are small and light enough to be run completely from a USB drive. This means that you can run and check out Linux for yourself on any existing Windows computer, without making any changes to it! The added advantages of these ‘Live’ builds of Linux is that they have very minimal hardware requirements, which makes them blazing fast, even on older machines.
Automated backup of selected folders
You may have a 500GB hard drive in your computer, but the most important data to you on that drive will be lesser. It could be a folder of your photographs, videos, songs or important documents. Rather than take a complete backup of the drive which is a time-consuming process, you can selectively backup and synchronise certain folders between the hard drive and an external USB Pen drive.
Encrypted Data with self-destruct feature
If you’re paranoid about someone stealing data from your Pen drive, you can secure the data with SafeGuard apps. These apps encrypts data on the drive with advanced encryption. You can assign a password to selected folders or to the entire drive. And we can add a setting to erase the entire contents of the drive if someone enters a wrong password too many times.
Increase performance with Ready Boost
With Windows Vista and Windows 7, if you have a fast enough USB Pen drive, you can use it for Ready Boost. Ready Boost is a feature that uses the space on your USB Pen drive as extra RAM, instantly boosting the overall speed of your Windows system and programs. Not all USB drives are fast enough to be used for Ready Boost. To check, right click on the drive’s icon in My Computer, click Tools and then the Ready Boost tab.
Use it as a ‘key’ to access several PCs
You might have seen this before in the movies; a Pen drive is inserted into a computer and it immediately springs to life. A free application called Predator can be used for exactly the same thing. Download and install Predator, and pair a Pen drive with it. With the Pen drive is plugged in, you can continue to work, but as soon as it is removed, the screen darkens, the computer locks, and keyboard/mouse input is disabled. Plug it back in, and normal usage is restored.
Make a “life-backup”
This can literally be a life saver. Many of us may have not stopped to think about what would happen if we lost all our belongings in a fire, flood or natural calamity. The size and portability of a Pen drive is actually ideal to store digital copies of all your important documents like bank information, credit card details, birth certificates, legal papers, insurance papers and anything else that ties into yours or your family’s life. Be sure to keep one away at in a locker or at a friend’s place in another city for extra peace of mind.
Overall pen drives are mandatory & essential to keep your stuff safe and secure !!