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iOS VPNs and portable storage for Apple devices

Mark Gibbs | April 11, 2013
Gibbs discusses how Apple just lost an enterprise VPN feature to a judgment in the favor of a patent troll and reviews a portable storage device for iOS

Anyway, before my recent trip to the UK I was delighted to receive a new gadget, the PhotoFast i-FlashDrive HD to test. The device allowed me to effectively expand the storage on my iPad so I could take my entire digital book collection with me.

The i-FlashDrive comes in 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions, but with two differences from other flash drives: The first difference is the i-FlashDrive has a regular full-sized USB plug on one end and an Apple 30-pin connector on the other. It also comes with an adapter that converts the 30-pin connector into a Lightning connector for newer Apple gear. This combination of connectors allows you to add, delete and read files on the drive from all USB-equipped computers and PCs and all Apple devices, including laptops, iPads, iPhones and iPods.

The second difference is the free iOS app that you can download from the Apple iTunes store. This app mediates copying files to and from the i-FlashDrive as well as deleting, moving, copying and renaming files. It also allows you to backup and restore your iOS contact list, view documents, paste the clipboard content to or from a file on the drive, encrypt files on the i-FlashDrive, record audio direct to the drive, and it links directly to Dropbox.

The software is pretty good, though I've had it bork a few times and unexpectedly quit.

All the same I like this flash drive because, unlike some other portable storage devices, it doesn't need batteries, can be used in-flight (wireless storage devices, of course, cannot), plugs directly into any USB or Apple connector, and has better features for managing files.

For the princely sum of $99 you'll get 8GB of storage while, for the considerably more princely sum of $329 you get 64GB. This pricing makes the i-FlashDrive way too spendy, but for now it's the only cross-platform solution I've found that is quite so simple to use and a good solution to in-flight boredom. The Photofast i-FlashDrive gets a Gearhead rating of 3.5 out of 5.


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