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Just flash 'em around


Most of us who have laptops and PCs at home never bother to back up our data or files. And, in most cases, the reason behind this negligence is the back-up process being too complicated and cumbersome. Not anymore. A new breed of USB flash drives makes data back-up look like an amateurish task.


Price: 64GB - Rs 15,999, 32GB - Rs 8,299, 
16GB - Rs 4299 and the 8GB - Rs 2,299

So, forget about the 2GB pen drives to save documents folder by folder, or the bulky external hard drives to carry your extra data files. SanDisk’s smaller, aptly-named Ultra Backup flash drive is now available in 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities to back up documents, files, or any other data with the press of a button. The back-up software features SanDisk’s U3 application platform that auto-launches itself, and once the user pre-defines the back-up file locations, the process executes itself in the background. An unobtrusive icon in the computer’s System Tray keeps the user informed about the back-up status. The data retrieval feature, too, works flawlessly.

The SanDisk Ultra Backup offers some very useful custom applications with bundled U3 software platform. One of the most commendable applications for the road warriors is the YouSendIt, which allows users to send files as large as 100MB over a secure connection from any computer to any email address without installing anything. If you lose the data network, then the YouSendIt restarts the file upload where it left off whenever the connectivity is re-established. Though the back-up application offers no password protection, you can still protect the SanDisk Ultra Backup drive with a password. The 64GB unit costs Rs 15,999, 32GB retails at Rs 8,299, 16GB costs Rs 4299 and the 8GB is priced at Rs 2,299.


Price: 32GB - Rs 3,500 (approx)

The closest competitor to SanDisk’s Ultra Backup flash drive is the Kingston DataTraveler 112 flash drive, available in 4GB, 8GB, 16GB and 32GB capacities. You can store a little over 6,000 pictures taken by a 10 megapixel camera, about 6,000 MP3 songs (average file size 4MB) and about 3,200 MP3 audiobooks (average file size 3.7 MB/hr) on the 32GB DataTraveler 112. Any way you look at it, a 32GB drive will enable you to carry around a whole lot of stuff in your pocket.

Although data transfers on Kingston DataTraveler seem to take longer compared to the SanDisk Ultra Backup, users who are not looking to back up files very often will be happy to have a 32GB Kingston flash drive for its attractive price tag. At about Rs 3,500 (approx), the Kingston 32GB flash drive’s cap-less design and five-year warranty make it a compelling buy.

64GB - Rs 8,000

Another flash drive that competes with the above two is Corsair’s 64GB Flash Voyager. This one comes in a rugged rubber casing that is easy to grip, shockproof and water-resistant too. As expected, the 64GB Flash Voyager turns out to be a plug-and-play drive and the surprise add-on is its 10-year warranty. Thanks to the 64GB memory capacity, Corsair’s Flash Voyager can take in roughly 19,000 images, or 16,000 MP3 songs.

Although there is no software included in the 64GB version of the Flash Voyager, there are a few links on the Corsair website for a number of software that some users might find useful. TrueCrypt, for example, allows on-the-fly encryption to secure data.

When compared with 32GB/64GB flash drives, the write performance of the Flash Voyager is really good. But the Corsair Flash Voyager 64GB flash drive’s price tag of Rs 8,000 is a bit prohibitive.


First Published: Mon, September 28 2009. 00:05 IST