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Flash drives are easy to use and lose, potentially making your personal files anybody’s business. Verbatim tackles this problem with the Store ’n’ Go, a USB flash drive with password protection. But the drive’s security may be too inflexible for some users, and its software has annoying hiccups.
The 8GB drive is 2.5 inches long by 0.75 inches thick, and it sports a retractable USB plug. Its all-plastic body isn’t fragile, but some metal would be a welcome addition, especially in the key ring. A big, blinking light lets you know the drive is operating, making large file-copying tasks in dimly lit places kind of obnoxious.
In a Mac-only environment, the Store 'n' Go is a useful, if unspectacular, security tool.
Store 'n' Go Easily splits your USB drive into configurable Public and Private partitions.
Security is handled by V-Safe, an application that lets you split the drive into a Public and password-protected Private Zone of any size in Mac OS Extended (Journaled) or Windows-friendly FAT32 formats. Zones are individual volumes that don’t mount simultaneously in the Finder, so swapping data from one to the other takes several steps (the Public Zone appears when the drive is plugged in; the Private Zone mounts after its password is entered in V-Safe). You can make almost all 8GBs public or private (except for a mandatory 20MB Public Zone), but occasionally after doing so, we got errors that required reformatting the drive again before we could use it. We also ran into a problem where the V-Safe software won’t recognize 16-character passwords, and tech support’s answer was “Oh yeah, that’s a problem. Don’t use 16 characters.” Um, okay.
A V-Safe installer is always included in the Public Zone, so you can put the application on any supported Mac and access your sensitive data. But because the software is OS X–only, these important files are unavailable if you’re stuck temporarily using a PC. That’s too “secure” for us--the lack of cross-platform support puts a dent in the Store ’n’ Go’s usability.