USB Flash Drives

Since YUSG: Win7 was released, several of you have asked which USB flash drives I prefer.  There are two that I use on a daily basis for my backups, the Kingston Data Traveler and the SanDisk Cruzer Fit.

The Kingston Digital DataTraveler SE9 64GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive. I like this flash drive because it is rugged and can survive life on my keychain; I have had the same one for almost eighteen months now and it is still going strong. There is a new version that is USB 3.0 capable but I have yet to try it (link HERE).  Though I am quite certain it performs, the redesigned keychain hole doesn’t look as sturdy.  I intend to get my hands on one in the coming weeks and report back.

The other USB flash drive I use is the SanDisk Cruzer Fit CZ33 64GB USB 2.0 Low-Profile Flash Drive. This flash drive is low-profile enough to remain in my USB port full-time and does not snag when taking my laptop in and out of a bag. I have two of these, and one of the two is always in my machine being backed up by CryptSync and the other is at my offsite backup location. There is also a USB 3.0 version of this drive available and I have tried it but do not prefer it because it is much larger and sticks out much further (link HERE). This is probably not an issue if you primarily utilize a desktop PC or travel with your laptop infrequently.

All three of the flash drives I use for backups are full-disk encrypted with TrueCrypt.

The 64 Gb versions of the SanDisk Cruzer Fit (left) and the Kingston Data Traveler.
The 64 Gb versions of the SanDisk Cruzer Fit (left) and the Kingston Data Traveler.

5 thoughts on “USB Flash Drives”

  1. I am looking at getting a Kingston DataTraveler Micro 3.1 128G drive. Smallest one I can find that will fit on a keying.

  2. How do you use your flash drive? Are viruses/malware programs infecting a flash drive a credible threat? Many readers would use a flash drive to transfer files to, and from computers less safe than their own.


    1. I use a flash drive to back up critical data on my machine. My flash drives are fully encrypted and don’t touch computers that I don’t own.
      I totally agree that hot-swapping USB flash drives between machines (especially in the corporate environment is a terrible practice and one that you shouldn’t do. It’s a major malware vector, could be a “USB killer“, etc.

      1. That’s what I thought. So far as digital attacks go, any idea how effective antivirus/malware programs for flash drives are? If they were a must have feature, you’d expect them to be more common.


        1. X,
          They aren’t terribly effective. It’s not just a concern about what’s on a USB drive once you run it – it has a lot to do with the USB protocol. There is a lot of insecurity baked in at really low levels and code can be executed as soon as the device touches your machine. Using ANY USB device is accepting some risk. That said, I’d rather run one that I had first scanned with my antivirus than one I hadn’t. If that makes any sense.
          I hope that helps,

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