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Sometimes placing files onto a USB stick / memory stick and carrying those files with you can be a risky and unnecessary operation. Sometimes all you need is a 'middle-man' to help transfer files (no matter how large) between PC and PC, or Mac and Mac, or even Mac and PC! This smart cable cuts out memory capacity issues when transferring files between systems in close proximity with each other - as the cable its self doesn't actually hold the data and therefore needs no memory. The device is simply constructed, and utilises the standard and universally understood 'drag and drop' method of transferring files - there's no software in need of installing on each PC / Mac. Alongside the simplicity in design revels the Startech USB to USB's high-speed 2.0 connection hardware which speedily moves data in a secure, trustworthy way.
Office use comes to mind - especially in organisations which want to prevent files from leaving a particular building (i.e. on a memory stick) but still need them properly transferred between computers in that building. I use mine to set up a permanent link between my laptop and desk-top PC so that I can access all the films, images, songs and documents from each machines limited hard-drive space. With a combined memory capacity of over 1 Terabyte (1,000 Gigabytes) I have all the space I need (for now) and can decide where I want my stuff with a succession of simple, easy operations... dragging and dropping!
Perhaps the main use of the cable is for backing up data - which can be done every time you press the save button within your document!
The system works just as easy between contrasting computers - i.e. PC and Mac, though other devices aren't catered for and I doubt this will work with portal products, like MP3 players and mobile phones.
As well as direct transfers however, the cable also supports Microsoft Outlook E-mail synchronization - so two computers with windows can instant email - I haven't used this particular feature as I'm a Hotmail man, but I've heard it works just fine!
Perhaps the cables greatest innovation is its ability to allow internet capability to a computer from another computer that isn't connected to the internet directly. So you can have two computers (one directly, and one indirectly) connected to an internet provider. The connection is relatively strong, but not the same as having both computers connected via Ethernet. Also, if you start moving files between computers whilst they are both connected to the internet, transfers will complete slower which is a hassle. In general though, this feature is exceptional and has saved me a couple of trips to the electrical store when I've needed another Ethernet and not been able to find one!
The build quality of the cable is fine. Enclosed in durable plastic, the internal workings are well protected. I think the white colouring of the product works well as well, giving the product a sleek feel. The USB heads are well housed / connected and won't bend or snap when pressure is applied to the bulk they are stuck. The main white plastic component is about the size of a standard memory stick, so it doesn't stick out too far from the PC / Mac's USB port. The cables are also set sturdily within the plastic surrounds and the whole cabling system seems well made and long-lasting.
I think overall there are few ITer's that would doubt the positives of this interesting innovation. It solves the issue of small memory capacities on USB sticks when close net data transfer is required, and offers just as quick a transfer rate as those sticks. With the addition of internet connectivity and email synchronization, all housed within a sleek / slim design of heavy durability, I see little opportunity for critical comments to be constructed.
PRICE: £19.99 (Amazon.co.uk)