The Amacom USB 2.0 Flash Key 256 MB is a handy way of storing small amounts of digital data in a portable format. The USB 2.0 Flash Key family of products are portable compact flash memory devices which allow exchange of information between systems via a functional USB port. This flash key is a useful means of securely storing, sharing and transporting your data. I find it most useful for storing word documents that need transporting between devices. Of course you could also use such devices as a simple means to share presentations, digital photos, video and MP3s with colleagues and friends or to carry files between work and home. I don't use it as a long term storage device. Long term back-up data should be stored on CDs or external hard drives.
The Amacom USB 2.0 Flash Key is now at the lower end of the market in terms of the data storage capacities now available. Memory keys that store up to 8GB and even 16GB of data are now on the increase and to some extent devices with only 256 MB capacity may be looked upon as rather redundant products. But they still have certain advantages. One is the fact that they keep you disciplined as to the amount of data you carry around. As we have seen with the huge data losses from government departments, it is never a good idea to carry around large amounts of personal data. If you do unfortunately lose a 256MB data stick, at least you know you won't be losing bucket loads of data. You should of course always have more than one copy of any data you store.
Like most technology, a memory stick will eventually become useless through wear and tear or be replaced by something more efficient and powerful. As they are still relatively new pieces of technology it is still difficult to judge how long they will last on average. Some manufacturers claim a lifespan of ten years others guarantee just two or three years - it all depends how often you use it of course. My assumption is that you are more likely to lose one before it wears out or some other new piece of technology will come along and replace it.
Amacon flash keys come in a range of capacities and designs. I have seen this key available online for around £16. In my opinion this is way over-priced and you should be able to pick up a 256MB flash key for less than a tenner.