USB sticks are known and used by all, allow us to store large amounts of data, are easy to transport and are becoming smaller and cheaper. But with the growing popularity of storage services in the cloud many we have left in oblivion, however, these small devices are so versatile they can give different uses beyond simple storage.
Lock the computer
We can use an old USB memory as “locked” to prevent unauthorized access to your computer through an interesting application called Predator, whose operation is incredibly simple.
- You turn on your computer and insert the USB memory.
- You start the Predator application. Although it is best to start automatically when the operating system.
- You begin to work normally.
- If you intend to be away from your PC for a while, simply remove the memory port. This will lock the keyboard, mouse and screen.
- To unlock the computer you just have to re-insert the USB flash drive into this port.
The application has a totally free personal version you can download from their website.
Save profiles of Wi-Fi connections
Windows offers an option to save the profiles containing the settings of our Wi-Fi in a USB memory supported either for them or to facilitate the process of sharing access when a new computer joins the network.
When copying the profile of a connection and share a memory, the other user must insert the device only in your computer and run the file that Windows has created. This will make the new profile appears in our list of available networks without the need for a search, since the listing includes the SSID of the network, such as your password. This method also works to quickly set up a connection to an Xbox 360 that we want to include in the network, for this we must select the “option Windows Connect Now” options in Wi-Fi console.
To add a Wi-Fi profile on a USB memory simply right-click the icon of the connection you want to share (by selecting it from the list of connections in the Windows taskbar), and then click “Properties”. In the new window that opens go to the “Connection” tab, and in this, click on the “Copy this network profile to a USB flash drive.”
Personally we find this method very useful to connect to networks that are configured to not broadcast its SSID through broadcast.
Increase Computer Speed
The latest versions of Windows include an interesting feature called ReadyBoost that allows us to increase the speed of your computer by simply connecting a USB memory. Enabling this feature will use the Windows space available on the USB flash drive as a cache for applications that are running. This, thanks to which, in some cases, Windows can read a USB memory much faster than the hard drive itself form.
The increase in speed is amazing especially if the hard drive of your computer is running at 5400 rpm or less. Change does not note whether your hard drive is 7200 rpm. On the other hand, if you’re lucky and scores with an SSD, forget about Ready Boost, because Windows will not even show the option, of course, because these drives are much faster.
If accounts with enough USB memory quickly and with at least 256 MB of free space, you just insert it into your computer, right click on its icon in the device list and choose the option to activate ReadyBoost, the respective tab within the properties.
Configure a portable web server
Days ago, our colleague shared with us a list of useful and interesting portable applications, but beyond these we would like to share with you one that will be particularly useful for web developers.
The application in question is called Server2Go. This small utility allows us to always carry with us a complete WAMP server fully working for free, so we can carry our projects and demonstrations everywhere even if we do not have Internet access or need to work on a computer that does not have one WAMP server installed.