Searching for Write-Protected Thumb Drives

You remember years ago when the first USB thumb drives came out? If you were lucky, you’d pick up one with a whole 10M capacity. As the years progressed, the capacity gradually increased to today where you can actually buy thumb drives that hold 1TB or more of data. But one of the things that I’m a little reminiscent about from the old days was that practically every thumb drive sold came with a physical write-protect switch. Somewhere along the line this great feature disappeared … probably because the average user doesn’t really have a need for that function however for those of us in the security field it’s a definite must.

I often cringe when attending security classes where the instructor nonchalantly passes around one or two thumb drives out to students so they can grab a copy of slides or other course material. And I almost can’t believe it when I see seasoned security pros happily inserting these well used drives into their computers without a care in the world.

Well for all the instructors out there, as well as others that regularly share their USB thumb drives with anyone, I have good news. Thumb drives with physical write-protect switches can still be found! You probably won’t find them in your local Best Buy or even at tech-god-centers like MicroCenter but there are several cost-effective brands for sale online. We did some research while writing about the Katana USB drive and came up with the following options for physical write-protected thumb drives.

Imation USB 2.0 Clip Flash Drive 4GB & 8GB Models

Kanguru Flashblu 2 4GB & 8GB Models


Have any other suggestions for read-only USB thumb-drives? Let us know in the comments below. Today’s post pic is from See ya!

2 comments for “Searching for Write-Protected Thumb Drives

  1. January 23, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Hello, Kanguru offers a wide range of USB drives with physical write protect switches. You have already listed the FlashBlu2 (unencrypted USB2.0 model). There is also the Kanguru SS3 (high performance USB 3.0 line with 4-8 channel support). Kanguru also offers 2 models of encrypted devices with physical write protect switches (Defender Basic+ focused on commercial/consumer and the Defender Elite/Elite 200 with FIPS 140-2 certification for Gov/Enterprise use).

  2. January 27, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    Nate: Thanks for the update! This post is a bit older so it’s really nice to see some of their newer offerings.

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