When they first announced the product in India, soon after its global unveiling at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, earlier this year, we called it a “ short across the bow of disk and tape back up solutions” *
Now that we have got our hands on a unit of SanDisk’s Ultra Backup USB flash drive, we are inclined to stick with our verdict, with one caveat: The product’s USP is small size and convenience and it will appeal to lay users as well as frequently travelling professionals who want to back up their precious personal files, pictures and documents and – literally – carry it on a key chain. Megabyte per buck, the flash-based Ultra Backup cannot compete with and is not about to displace disk based portable back up alternatives – and nor does that seem to be the intention.
Having said that, the Ultra Backup is a canny repackaging of what is basically just a USB Flash drive – and it achieves this by throwing in some neat ( ie made for dummies) back up software, password protection and what to us seems like real icing on the cake: industry standard hardware encryption: 256-bit AES.
Once the device is installed ( it works on Windows XP or Vista for its back up functions; with other systems like Windows 2000; MacOS v 10.12+ or Linux it is only a store), it is easy to select files to be backed up and see it happening at USB 2.0 speeds, at the thanks to an LED indicator.
Sandisk’s U3 Smart technology allows you to run applications from the drive without having to install them afresh on a PC.
The 8 GB(Rs 1499) and 16 GB ( Rs 2499) versions are now available in India; the 32 GB and 64 GB will also be available and we do not as yet have the prices. We think the extra you pay ( over the basic cost of Sandisk’s USB Flash drives of comparable capacity) is not unreasonable – for the hard ware encryption and easy back up software you get.