The term “USB Key” or “USB Flash Drive Key” has different commercial meaning and applications. This can be confusing when trying to figure out if a USB Key is what you are looking for.
Below are three common definitions that are commonly used when the terms USB Key.
Key Shaped USB Flash Drives
- Its just the shape of the drive: Many flash drive manufacturers provide a physical flash drive that is in the shape of a key. Its sole purpose is to function as a standard, un-protected flash drive that looks like a key. These can often be used as a promotional flash drive item that has data on it, say for example, software for a game. Once you have the key in your hand, you plug it into your computer, and commence to play the game. Hence, a clever delivery device to give you the “key” to fun playing the game. Of course there are many other examples where this could be a clever marketing or promotional idea, car companies, software companies, etc. When most are searching for a USB Key, this is typically not what they are looking for.
USB Key Dongle
- The flash drive provides security or encryption to protect or allow access to data, software, games or the drive itself. Here the usb flash drive or similar USB device may or may not look like a key, however, it does function as an electronic “key” of sorts. When plugged into a computer, the flash drive interfaces with installed software or cloud based software to give copy protection and provide authentication for use of software. Without the dongle, the software may only run in a limited fashion or not at all. Since it is harder to replicate the dongle that the actual software, it can provide significant protection for Intellectual Property for companies that wish to securely distribute software, data and games.
Encrypted USB Flash Drive
- Here a USB Flash Key is is a flash drive with content protection provided to secure the data on the flash drive. In some cases the design of the drive is made to fit on a key ring so the user can keep better track of it. To access data on the drive a password is used. When inserting the flash drive into a computer, you must have a password to see and use the data on the drive. This is one of the most widely used functions for USB Key flash drives. It has significant consumer appeal as many people use flash drives to move personal data around, and may loose the drive. If an unknown party finds the drive, they will not be able to gain access to the data on the drive without the proper password.
Digital Copycat provides products and support for all three versions of USB Key Flash Drive products mentioned above. For more information on how to purchase, please take a look at our USB Key Flash Drive pages or contact us. We are always eager to help connect clients with solutions.