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A-Data My Flash Fingerprint Disk 2GB

The My Flash Fingerprint Disk offers a feature that goes well with a USB key: a fingerprint scanner to protect the drive’s contents. While not everyone keeps satellite images of nuclear facilities and top-secret documents on their USB key, it’s still reassuring to know that there’s an extra level of protection between your data and potential do-badders.

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GuardID ID Vault

Today’s simple username/password system is a single-factor authentication mechanism—your credentials are the only information necessary. When an evildoer has that information, whether it was stolen with a keylogger or a “phishing” email, you’re screwed.

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Crucial Gizmo OverDrive

Crucial pulled out all the stops with its new Gizmo Overdrive key. This drive roars past everything but Corsair’s fastest offerings.

The Gizmo’s read speeds are more than twice as fast as OCZ's Mini-Kart and Kingston's DataTraveler, and its write speeds are 30 percent faster. This kind of performance has a price, however, as the Gizmo is twice as expensive per gig as these other two.

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Western Digital Passport Pocket 6GB

The Passport Pocket is slow. Way slow. Its read speed of our 3GB test file (590 seconds) was two minutes slower than that of the PNY and the Verbatim drives, and its write speed (636 sec) was three minutes slower than the PNY. That’s just ridiculous.

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Verbatim Store 'N' Go 4GB

Verbatim’s Store ‘n’ Go offers sassy looks and an awesome software package named Ceedo Mobile Launchpad. When the drive is inserted into a USB port, something similar to the Windows Start menu appears in the middle of the taskbar. This menu lets you run a variety of free programs right off of the drive itself.

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Kingston DataTraveler

The Kingston DataTraveler is like the 1969 Mustang of USB drives; it looks old but has a ton of power under the hood, thanks to its preinstalled U3 software.

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OCZ Mini-Kart

The Mini-Kart is so small you could lose it in a bag of potato chips if you're not careful. Luckily, an included lanyard helps you keep track of the wee device. Instead of the standard rectangular metal USB port, the Mini-Kart’s pins are out in the open—it doesn’t even have a cap.

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PNY MaxFile Attache

The PNY drive not only sports the most capacity in this roundup, it’s also the fastest. It blew the others out of the water in our 3GB read/write test. Its read speed (361 seconds) was an incredible minute and a half faster than the Verbatim drive, and its write speed (430 seconds) was an ass-kicking three minutes faster than both the Verbatim and Western Digital models.

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Stealth Surfer II Privacy Stick

Are you being watched? Between the Feds conducting warrant-less wiretaps and companies monitoring their employees’ web-surfing habits, the notion of privacy is as quaint as a PS/2 port. The Stealth Surfer II can’t help with your phone conversations, but it will cover your online tracks—at least most of them.

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