We wouldn’t normally test two products from the same lineup in two consecutive issues of the magazine. But when Western Digital’s My Book 3.0 showed up just days after the March issue went to print (it's on newsstands now!), we knew we had to review it. It doesn’t have an e-label or capacity meter, like the My Book Elite. Nor does it include WD’s SmartWare backup software or hardware encryption. But the My Book 3.0 has one feature that makes it awesome: USB 3.0.
Don’t be fooled by the Vantec ezShare’s unassuming looks. This simple six-foot white cable with its Type A USB plugs on either end is actually one of the easiest ways to quickly moves files between two computers. Just plug one end into an available USB port on a box running Windows (XP and up), and plug the other end into the second box.
A Windows Explorer–like app will auto-launch on each machine, letting you drag and drop folders and files between the two PCs. If this sounds an awful lot like Data Drive Thru’s Tornado (reviewed November 2007), that’s because the two products are pretty similar. The file-explorer UI and software functionality of both products are virtually the same. It’s close enough that we have a pretty strong suspicion that the underlying chipsets and software come from the same factory in China. There are a few key differences, though.
In the two years since we reviewed the first version of ID Vault, phishing attacks have increased by more than 180 percent, identity theft is up 25 percent, and organized crime has figured out ways to hijack financial sites and DNS servers.
For the most part, putting financial information into a browser is about as safe as walking through Central Park in one of those Chuck Bronson Death Wish movies.
So, you’d think ID Vault would be one of those tools you’d put on a chain and wear around your neck everywhere you go, but it isn’t. For those not up on ID Vault, it’s an encrypted USB key that stores your user names and passwords. If you want to go to your bank, eBay, or Amazon, you plug in the ID Vault and use a virtual keyboard to punch in a code (to thwart key loggers). The ID Vault client on your PC then goes to the site, makes sure you’re actually on a legitimate IP address for that particular website, and logs in for you.
Clickfree’s Transformer may look like an overweight USB key, but it is—forgive us, Optimus Prime—more than meets the eye.
Plug any generic external USB hard drive into the Transformer, then plug the Transformer into a USB port on your PC, and a backup app auto-launches and starts a countdown to begin an automatic file backup of common file extensions. You can interrupt the countdown and add more file extensions that the app doesn’t recognize by default. The document formats it grabs are fairly extensive, but if you want it to also copy that comic book archive in .cbr format, you’ll need to add the extension first.
Team Flash can’t compete with Team Magnetic on desktop computers, but the flash guys may have finally found a competitor it can conquer.
Unfortunately for Verbatim, its new 12GB micro-drive USB thumb drive is the victim. The Store ’n’ Go USB HD Drive uses Cornice’s Dragon-2 12GB miniature hard drive. This sixth-gen drive features lower power consumption, a 40 percent smaller size, and a 300 percent capacity increase. It also features a motion sensor, so it won’t die if you drop it while it’s running.
Kingston’s DataTraveler Secure is billed as an “enterprise-grade” flash drive. Translated for civvies, that means 256-bit AES hardware encryption, an IPX8 waterproof rating, and a titanium shell. Oh yeah, and optimization for small files. While almost every key we’ve tested in the last few months choked on the 10,000 Word docs we feed them during testing, the DataTraveler Secure was able to write that onslaught of files in three minutes instead of the usual 20 minutes.
Corsair’s Flash Voyager isn’t the largest thumb drive around, but it sure is affordable, as well as speedy. In our tests, the Voyager ran away from all the others here in large-file transfers, and only Kingston’s drive could match it in medium-size JPG file copies.