What is Encrypted USB Flash Drive?


We are using USB flash drives as a part of our daily activities. I have more or less enough knowledge about it. But do we know what is encrypted USB flash drive? In this post, you will find information about USB flash drives.

USB flash drives are small and quite useful devices. You can use them for different purposes like storing or moving your data from one device to another or you can run your necessary programs externally with it. Its multipurpose use and ability to interact with different devices make it susceptible in terms of security. The encrypted USB flash drive was created to solve security problems.

What is Encrypted USB Flash Drive?

Encrypted USB flash drive is a USB drive encrypted with a hardware or software encryption system. Basically, when you plug in an encrypted USB drive to the computer, in order to use it you have to prove some credentials like password or fingerprint.  If you fail to do so, it is impossible to see your documents. Encrypted USB flash drives can be divided into three categories. Hardware, Software or Biometrically encrypted USB flash drives.

Hardware Encrypted USB Flash Drives

Hardware encrypted USB flash drives consist of two separate parts. In one part there is a chip that handles encryption inside. In the other part, there is a storage unit for the user. Chip part is for just security purpose and you cannot see it on your computer. It is a doorkeeper for your USB flash drive. The storage part is the same as usual USB drives. Apart from software encryption, hardware encryption needs you to use external verification like keypad to see inside of your USB flash stick.

Hardware encryption is essentially free from the possibility of contamination, malicious code infection, or vulnerability. Breach attempt is impossible in terms of malware. Also, it doesn’t require to install drivers to the host systems.

If USB drive is stolen and installed on other computers, it is impossible to reach data inside without true password. It can be expensive than software encrypted USB flash drives. In software encryption, it is possible to update the latest software, but for the hardware encryption in order to get an updated version you have to buy a new one.

Software Encrypted USB Flash Drives

Software Encrypted USB Flash Drive is more cheap and easy solution for daily personal use. It is a fundamental part of modern file protection. Encryption software programs use an encryption scheme. This encryption scheme encodes USB drives data. After encoding, you cannot recover the data of USB flash drive without the correct key.

The purpose of encryption is to prevent third parties from recovering any of the original data, or even any information about the data in Software Encrypted USB Flash Drive.

Software encrypted USB drives are the cheaper alternative to hardware encryption. They require numerous updates to keep up with hacking techniques. Sometimes they could be quite slow and may require complex driver and software installations. Besides that, they may be vulnerable to user error, requires users to follow certain procedures in order to secure the data.

Biometrically Encrypted USB Flash Drives

A well-known example of biometrically encrypted USB flash drives is fingerprint encrypted biometric USB flash drive. It contains a scanner part on itself for scanning the fingerprint of the user. In order to use it, you have to identify your fingerprint in first use. Then for the subsequent uses, you only have to slide your finger on scanner part. Most of the products in markets are enabling 10 additional users to be identified for each USB drive.

Using a biometric encrypted USB drive is easier in some aspects. For example, you don’t need to remember your password in order to use the device. In addition to that only, the authorized people can use the device and they have to be present at the place. So if you want to minimize password breach, then the biometric device is a good option.

In some models, the USB flash drive can be divided into public and private partitions. So you can use the public partition for common standard data and private partition for your own secure data. When using public side you do not need to check your fingerprint. This part works like unencrypted USB drives.

Encrypted USB Flash Drive Products

Now you know what is encrypted USB flash drive. If you want to buy an encrypted USB drive, first you have to decide which encryption method you need. There is no certain way to select encryption that suits best you. But as a helpful article, you can check Hardware or Software Encryption post.

You can find a lot of different encrypted USB drive products in Amazon market. You can find some of them below. While depicting these products my criteria were the price and quality optimization assessment.

If you have any additional info or comment about ”What is encrypted USB flash drive?” topic please use the comment section below.


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