What to look for when buying a pen drive?

Outlander

Regular
Messages
152
Location
NA
ISP
BSNL
I want to install the OS onto the pen drive so that I can carry it around, and boot the computer from it, and this should effectively kill keyloggers, as I won't be running the OS from the computer's hard disk which might be infected (in a cyber cafe for example).At present, I don't have any pen drive. What I'd like to know is what all stuff you have to look for when you are buying a pen drive. Is there a limited number of times you can read / write to a pen drive?Second, if there is malware in a computer, and you do not boot from the pen drive but just connect it to an already running computer, will the pen drive immediately get infected or is there some sort of protection so that nothing can be written to the pen drive without permission?And there are external hard disks available these days; anyone on the forum has any? What do they cost and would they be a better option given the need to install an OS? I just want to install the OS and antivirus, and check mails, that's all - not download stuff and all.Thanks.
 

Sushubh

Admin
Staff member
Messages
381,471
Location
Gurgaon
ISP
Excitel
Airtel
here are some things that come to mind...a pen drive can be used for loading an operating system. linux editions are available. i think even windows xp can be made to boot from a pen drive with some effort. any pen drive 'should' work as long as it has enough capacity.as for viruses. i have not seen any pen drive that have locking mechanism just like we had with floppies. you might find some model that comes with it.locking might cause problems as the OS running from the pen drive might need swap space for temporary data while loading and operating.you might not be able to use the pen drive as your OS at cyber cafes... some potential problems:cyber cafe might have crappy computers with older hardware that might not allow booting from the pen drive. cyber cafe owners might now allow you to use that pen drive. cyber cafe uses a mode of connectivity that might not work from your pen drive... for example... you might need a proprietary driver or an application. external hard drives are available. some work with just the usb port like pen drives, other requires power supplies through an adapter. they are as usable as pen drives but consume more space and are more prone to failure if not carried around safely. and of course...on a network, a smart guy can still catch your password or other form of data while it is being transfered on a network.
 

Outlander

Regular
Messages
152
Location
NA
ISP
BSNL
Thanks a lot for the quick reply.I am aware that the cyber cafes may have old computers which do not support USB boot. Other than that, I won't take anyone's permission to boot the computer - just get into the cabin and press the reset button!Okay, what you said later, about the connectivity - that means I have to install the drivers of the LAN card or whatever in each and every different cyber cafe? :SI don't know much about sniffing passwords, but I thought that Yahoo and Gmail both use encryped mails so that the passwords cannot be caught in transit.
 

Sushubh

Admin
Staff member
Messages
381,471
Location
Gurgaon
ISP
Excitel
Airtel
of course. LAN drivers would be different for every LAN card out there. Linux shine here coz it is likely to detect more cards out of the box compared to a typical windows xp installation. you are forgetting systems where cafes have internal login mechanism like sify cafes. they require a web based login from individual consoles for them to get internet access. :)
 

Outlander

Regular
Messages
152
Location
NA
ISP
BSNL
By the way, suppose you don't boot from the pen drive, but go to a cyber cafe and plug it in and open a portable browser from the pen drive, and that browser has your username and password saved in itself, then no keyloggers on the cyber cafe computer would detect anything, isn't it?
 

Sushubh

Admin
Staff member
Messages
381,471
Location
Gurgaon
ISP
Excitel
Airtel
that is likely to work. :)but the data would still be transmitted on the local network. nothing is 'absolutely' secure my friend.also... some cafe's system might have firewalls which might not let you run applications not authorized by the owner. i am not trying to scare you. but just discussing the possibilities. :)
 


viralbug

tR0ll bUg
Messages
2,791
Location
NA
ISP
MTNL Triband 1333 2mbps night 1mbps day
i dont think there would be any problem regarding security. it would be the same thing as using at home since the OS you would be using would be from your pen drive. but remember to install a good AV for your OS or even better use linux. since you will be using their pc, you will be able to read the files on the hdd of pc. so any viruses could try to infect your os as well. you may try to disable hard disk in bios though (just remember to turn it back on :p).many cyber cafes have a software where they can restrict the network usage of specific pcs. so you may not be able to use the net on your OS. however i think most cyber cafes allow you to use their net on your laptop if you bring one. so i guess there wouldnt be a problem with using the os on your pen drive. you may have to ask the person there that you would be using your own OS on pen drive so that they can allow net access if any restrictions are in place.