Instead of using password protection, the thumb drive comes with an integrated biometrics security system, requiring you to scan your fingerprint before you get access to any of its contents. The whole biometrics system, by the way, is integrated into the thumb drive, so there’s no need to run any software on any computer you use it in – just stick it in to an open USB slot, put your finger on the scanner, and, once approved, use it like any memory stick.
The Lexar JumpDrive Fingerprint F35 looks like any ordinary thumb drive, save for an unusual square panel on the lower half of the USB stick, which looks more like a decorative panel than integrated electronics. That square panel, of course, serves as the fingerprint scanner, giving the erstwhile vulnerable storage a way to keep unauthorized users from accessing its contents. According to the outfit, the onboard security system can verify whether a scanned fingerprint belongs to an authorized user within one second (as soon as the LED lights up, you can remove your finger), so it won’t have any discernible impact on your standard workflow. Simply put, using it will be just as convenient as using any of your existing thumb drives.
Since you’re likely not the only one you’ll want to have access to your data (especially, in collaborative work forces), the drive can store fingerprints for up to 10 authorized users. Why not more? We’re guessing it will have to do with the speed of authentication, since storing more than 10 fingerprints will likely impact the length of time it takes to authenticate a user. An app that’s pre-installed in the drive allows you to set up passwords, enroll fingerprints, and manage the roster of authorized users.
Aside from the biometrics security, the Lexar JumpDrive Fingerprint F35 comes with 256-bit AES encryption, adding an extra layer of protection to ensure your data isn’t easily stolen. Simply put, this is about as safe as it can get when it comes to protecting data in the thumb drives you carry in your pocket. It’s compatible with Windows, OSX, and Linux PCs, although you will need a Windows machine in order to run the companion app.
As far as the storage itself, it’s a USB 3.0 drive that can transfer files at speeds of up to 150 MBps, which should allow reasonably fast transfers even when you’re working with large files. It’s available in four capacities, from 32GB to 256GB, so you can get the exact size you need for whatever uses you have in store for it. Dimensions are 2.5 x 0.8 x 0.3 inches length x width x height), so it’s not really bigger than your regular thumb drive, all while putting some really useful security protections at your disposal.
The Lexar JumpDrive Fingerprint F35 is available now.