Many of us use USB flash drives on a daily basis, primarily for sharing and transporting files from one device to another, however, these powerful thumbdrives have much more to offer than storing data.
We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 uses (other than storing and transferring data) for your handy USB stick 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 (or trusting of your work colleagues not to mess with your computer if you leave it unlocked), 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, like Predator or TockenLock and start using your USB drive as a key!
2) Run a different OS, like Linux.
Instead of changing your hard drive use your thumbdrive 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 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 360.
4) Use as RAM.
If your PC is running slower than you like give it a little boost by caching some of your data over to your USB from your PC, so your PC can manage your applications better, giving you a quicker experience.
5) Run portable apps.
Whether you want access your your personal drives (whether this be Dropbox or Google Drive etc), or your development tools, with PortableApps.com you can build a customised app suite and store it on your USB stick ready for you to access it wherever you are.
6) Keep your files safe.
You can encrypt your flash drive (or buy an encrypted USB) and make it password protected, meaning 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.
8) Hook them up to your TV.
Most digital televisions now feature a port for your USB so you can record your programs straight onto your USB stick, which will expand the capacity of your digital video recorder. If you have music or photographs on your flash drive you can also play these through yours (or your family/friends) TV too.
9) Automatically sync your documents.
You can automatically sync your files between your computer and flash drive, as conveniently as you do with Google Drive and Dropbox through tools such as SyncBack and GoodSync2Go.
10) For gaming.
You can take your games with you wherever you go, whilst saving memory on your console.
How do you use your flash drive?