Almost everyone uses USB flash drives nowadays and the amount of data that these drives can store has increased tremendously. Typically, they can hold millions of pictures, thousands of songs and several HD movies. Although data storage is the primary function, flash drives have more to do beyond that. You may find the roles to be quite unusual:
Expanding SBC Storage
There are several Single Board Computers on the market today, with Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone being the most popular. Most come with limited amounts of storage in the form of SD, MMC and SDIO cards. Large capacity flash drives are a good substitute for expanding the memory.
A Secure Wallet for Holding Bitcoins
Nowadays, people financially endeavor to mine for Bitcoins and similar coins. Unless the data is securely held, this digital currency can be easily lost or stolen. If you are trading every day, an online wallet is fine, but if it is a savings account, it is preferable to secure the data offline in a flash drive, set up as a secure digital wallet.
Data Collection from an Embedded Host Controller
Nowadays, micro-controllers are available with host controllers that can use USB flash drives. Therefore, data logging and recording with such micro-controller based embedded host systems becomes simple as USB flash drives can be used to store data instead of a PC. That makes data recorders portable and simple.
Run a Website from A Flash Drive
Using automated templates and software, it is very simple to set up a website or a server running on a PC. However, if you want the site to be portable while allowing for changes and updates to it, put it on a USB flash drive. Of course, you may need some additional packages such as Server2Go, WAMPP and PHP 5.x.
Enhancing a PCs Virtual Memory
That one can boost the capabilities of aging PC systems by adding more RAM, is common knowledge. However, in most cases, RAM has already been added to the maximum possible capacity and no further addition is possible. Adding a USB flash drive and using it as extra virtual RAM is very simple for Windows users.
Carry Your OS and Apps with You
With the dramatic increase in the capacity of flash drives, you can conveniently carry your OS of choice and your apps wherever you travel. Along with the OS, you can carry diagnostic tools, virus scanners and different games for testing and repairing computers without installing anything on them.
Lock and Unlock A PC
If you have sensitive data on your networked PC, there are many ways perpetrators can access the system physically and bypass the system password. However, security software such as USB secure or Predator combined with a USB flash drive can keep your system from being hacked into.
Users need to attach the USB flash drive and enter the password when starting the system. The PC checks the presence of the drive every 30-seconds, and if it does not find the drive, it simply goes into lockdown.