Review of Kingston DataTraveler Series of USB Drives

Kingston DataTraveler USB drives are a little larger than most other USB drives on the market, and don’t have the fanciest of cases. All have USB 2.0 functionality, and some of the more advanced versions have a number of excellent features. However, they are limited in their operating systems for use of these special features, and some will not even transfer files to machines running anything other than Microsoft Windows. All of their products are backed by a 5-year warranty and are in general slightly cheaper than the average USB drive.

The Kingston DataTraveler is the basic USB drive of the Kingston DataTraveler family. It offers a simple and basic USB drive without many fancy features. However, if you are looking for cheap functionality it is a good choice to make, although the larger storage devices can occasionally run into problems.

The Kingston DataTraveler II is a simple upgrade from their basic (and most affordable) Kingston DataTraveler. It has essentially the same features, but also offers a password-encryption device for added security.

The Kingston DataTraveler II Plus Migo Edition is designed specifically for Windows machines (although it only supports Microsoft Windows 98SE, 2000 and XP. Other Windows versions such as 3.1, 95 and 98, NT and ME are not supported). The Kingston Migo software saves many of the settings of Microsoft Windows, including Outlook e-mails, Internet Explorer settings (along with favorites, cookies, etc.).

This allows you to move from computer to computer while still using the same base settings for everything that you do on the internet and with your e-mails. This can greatly ease your use of different machines by standardizing your settings and allowing you to keep changes made on a multitude of different Windows machines.

The Kingston DataTraveler Elite is designed for business users. It offers password protection and high-level encryption for the ultimate in data protection.

Unfortunately, like the Migo Edition this encryption only works on Microsoft Windows 98 SE, Windows 2000 and Windows XP. Any other operating system is unable to handle the data encryption, and thus if you are using another OS you will want to avoid the DataTraveler Elite.

Files can be transferred to a number of different operating systems such as Linux and Macintosh, however lower levels of Windows (3.1, 95, 98, ME and NT) are not supported for file transfer.

The DataTraveler Elite comes in a number of different storage space capacities, from 256 Mb to 4 Gb. 4 Gb is an impressive number, however high storage capacity DataTraveler products are known to have problems on occasion. While protected under the 5-year warranty, a more secure product might be better if you are searching for high amounts of storage.

The Kingston U3 DataTraveler is the most advanced of the series, and also the most expensive. Unlike the other DataTraveler products out there, this boasts U3 capability. U3 is a shared software system of a number of different USB products that allows software to be loaded onto and run from the actual USB storage device, without the software having to exist on the actual computer system.

The U3 DataTraveler has 512 Mb and 1 Gb sizes. Aside from the U3 capability, it also provides password protection to keep your data extra secure. But it is also the most limited of the DataTraveler products in terms of compatibility, not even offering file transfer to operating systems other than Windows 2000 SP4 and XP.

In summary, the Kingston DataTraveler series offers affordable prices, but lacks both a lot of glitz and major cross-platform support, being primarily focused on recent Windows operating systems. That said, if this is what you are looking for in a USB drive, then it is a good and affordable choice.

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