10 Uses of USB Sticks

Many of us use USB stick (aka flash drives) on a daily basis. We use them primarily for sharing and transporting files and documents from one device to another. However, these powerful thumb-drives have much more to offer than merely storing data.

We’ve compiled a handy list of the top ten uses for your handy USB stick (other than storing and transferring data) that will ensure you’re using yours to its full potential, and it may save you some time and extra gadgets.


1: Lock and unlock your computer.

You can never be too secure, and turning your USB stick into a key for your computer will ensure that no-one can access your machine unless they have your flash drive. Simply download and install a program and start using your USB drive as a key.

2: Run a different OS (eg. Linux).

Instead of changing your hard drive use your thumb-drive to install the operating system you want to work on. Before you start ensure that your USB has a high enough capacity for the OS (usually at least 8GB), then start to download the OS you require. Next go to the download page of the USB installer then click download. Plug in your flash drive, and click on the USB installer, allow program and start installing and there you go – Linux, or another OS will be on your USB stick.

3: Quickly access wireless networks.

You can save your Wi-Fi network’s name to your USB stick on Windows machines, so you can quickly connect to your Wi-Fi on other computers, as well as to your Xbox.

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4: Use as storage.

If your PC is running out of storage more than you’d like you can give it a little boost by transferring some of your files over to your USB from your PC, so your PC can manage your applications better. This should ensure a quicker experience.

5: Run portable apps.

Whether you want access to your personal drives (Dropbox or Google Drive etc) or your development tools, with you can build a customised app suite and store it on your USB stick ready for you to access wherever you are.

6: Keep your files safe.

You can encrypt your flash drive (or buy an encrypted USB) and make it password protected. When you do this it means you can safely and securely carry all of your important documents around with you.

7: Emergency security kit.

Fill your USB stick with applications such as antivirus tools, spyware scanners and disk wipers, but make sure they are all current versions, as well as the installation files, so you can quickly and easily clean up your PC.


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8: Hook up to your TV.

Most digital televisions now feature a port for your USB. In some cases this means you can record programs straight onto your USB stick, which will expand the capacity of your digital video recorder. If you have videos, music or photographs on your flash drive you can also play these through your TV from it – or, of course, due to the portability you can watch on other TV sets.

9: Automatically sync documents.

You can automatically sync your files between your computer and flash drive, as conveniently as you do with Google Drive and Dropbox. You do this through tools such as SyncBack and GoodSync2Go.

10: For gaming.

You can take your games with you wherever you go, whilst saving storage space on your console.

Versatile little blighters, aren’t they?! So… How do you use your flash drive?

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