In 2010, USB Flash Drives have dropped in price per Gigabyte (GB) to a point where you can do some serious data backup. I recently began a data backup scheme for my small business which involves:
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1) Local Backup to both internal SATA drives and external USB Drives.
2) Online remote backup to Mozy. (I highly recommend this. Even its free 2GB storage is enough for critical data files)
3) Additional Off-Site backup using USB Flash.
I opted for the Patriot XT 4GB due to Patriots reputation for quality memory and for its ruggedized rubber exterior. I could have used the 8GB version as my entire critical data backup runs to about 5GB. I will move to the 8GB version later in 2010. I can fit the majority of my data, including many large Flash presentations and presentation graphics onto the 4GB drive. USB Flash is certainly cheap enough to offer added data redundancy. The 8GB version currently costs 21 dollars while the 4 GB version is 16. By 2011, these costs will no doubt be halved once again. Most business can easily back up critical data at these costs.
The Patriot XT was found instantly as a USB 2.0 device by Win 7. I set up a backup profile with 2BrightSparks SynchBak software. Data transfer was effortless. I now make a copy of my critical data every Thursday and bring the copy to my office on Friday. I feel secure knowing the XT is rubberized and tough looking! Call me paranoid, but my livelihood depends on the data on my computers. Having a super redundant backup scheme, including the use of ruggedized USB drives helps me rest easier. The Patriot XT was also instantly detected by Windows XP and file transfer was effortless.
The Patriot XT drives come with a lanyard which ties to a rubber loop built into the rubber housing. The lanyard helps make the drive less likely to be misplaced. As mentioned by another Epinions reviewer, the XT comes with a rubber cap which is not attached to the rest of the housing. This cap could be easily misplaced during use, so place it somewhere safe during use. When the cap is on the drive, it is fairly easy to detach. So again, take some caution during transport or the cap may be misplaced. This is a minor flaw, but it does detract from the overall rugged, tough appeal of this drive.
Physically, the drive itself has a nice little blue LED activity light and its black rubber exterior with red lettering looks decidedly rugged and high tech. I will do some testing with this unit once I migrate to the 8GB version. I want to try a few drop tests and water tests. I don’t plan of abusing any of my back ups, but it would be nice to know what it is capable of. It will be fun to torture test this little gem!