The optical drive is almost extinct from modern computers. A DVD drive is too heavy, bulky, and consumes too much energy to run. One company is looking for a replacement.
Let’s face the fact, that DVDs and CDs are too large and fragile. You may be worried about scratching the disc, or if you have recordable media, that UV light could cause damage to the data.
Disks measure nearly five inches in size, which is a lot when compared with other storage media. Read speeds and write speeds are slower than those of other mediums. The optical drive has been optimized to be the smallest and lightest possible size. However, this is still not enough to allow for it to be integrated into laptops.
Laptops are small and light in size today. An optical drive allows for the storage of more useful components. You could store larger batteries to improve performance or use the space for graphics cards with higher performance to please graphic designers or gamers. Laptops should achieve the highest level of performance possible within the smallest form factor.
Despite all this, an optical drive is an obsolete technology.
The optical disc, CD or DVD, has some unique characteristics that cannot be forgotten. One company is trying to preserve those memories and their features.
Nexcopy, a California-based company, specializes in high-quality USB flash drives with advanced configurations and features. This company’s primary objective is to offer flash drives that are nearly identical to optical discs, but with flash.
Five Solutions Are Offered By The Company
The auto-run and read-only features are two of the most common features on an optical disc.
All love the auto-run feature on an optical disk. This feature allows companies to offer software that will automatically install on the optical disc when it is accessed. A standard USB flash drive does not have auto-run capabilities and it doesn’t mount on a system like an optical disk.
#1 Disc Licence
Nexcopy solved this problem and developed a product that addresses the auto-run function. When connected to a host computer, the USB device which appears as a USB CD-ROM device. Any ISO file can be written to the Disc License flash drive by a product owner. The resulting drive will then function as a CD-ROM. The device functions exactly like an optical disc and has full auto-run functionality.
A disc duplication company can, for example, use the ISO files from their ISO library that were used to create CD and DVD duplicates. The optical disc may be going extinct, but that doesn’t mean it will disappear completely.
Another popular feature of an optical disk is its read-only function. This ensures that data on an optical disc is indestructible, unalterable, and permanent.
A standard USB flash drive doesn’t offer a read-only feature. It is not possible to make all Flash drives read-only (write protected) using universal. This makes it difficult to locate the feature. Flash memory behaves like a mini-hard drive. The default nature of flash memory is to read and write. It takes some technical knowledge to get this “mini-hard drive” configured to prevent data modification.
Many companies find themselves in a difficult position because optical drives are harder to find in computers. This means that they cannot provide optical discs for their clients as their clients can’t read them. Because the read-only function is just as important as the content, these companies are looking for alternative solutions to optical media.
#2 Lock License
Nexcopy created a unique product to solve the USB drive read-only issue. The Lock License drive, a USB flash drive that is read-only by default, is manufactured by Nexcopy.
The Lock License USB is different from all flash drives because a user can’t write to it, but only read and write to it. To make the Lock License drive writable, the user must force it.
Lock License drives are unique in that the content cannot be modified or altered. A virus can’t also jump onto the drive since the USB is always read-only. Combining these two features makes the Lock License USB drive an ideal solution for those who write protection with a USB stick.
It is important to mention that it is possible to remove the write protection and make the USB writable. This is a secure process that requires the content owner for specific write access privileges.
The Lock License drive’s subtle beauty is that even after it is unlocked and written when the USB stick disconnects from the computer, its default status reverts to read-only status. The Lock License drive can’t remain writable. This is a secure way to make permanent content on a USB flash drive.
#3 USB Copy Protection
It was easy to share the video using optical media. Although some tools can “rip” the video from a disc, it is a complicated process that most people won’t bother with. What options are there to place a video on a USB that is secure and can’t be copied, now that the optical drive is gone?
We previously established that a USB flash drive functions like a mini-hard drive. This is by default a read/write device. The question is, then, how can you share a file that cannot be copied on a USB flash drive?
Nexcopy provides USB copy protection using their Copy Secure flash drives. The flash drive allows the user to view the file but not more. The flash drive does not allow the user to save, copy, share, screen grab, stream, or delete the file.
Copy Secure drives are like encrypted files, but you don’t need a password to view them.
Copy protection was possible with optical media when the DVD Copy Control Association protocol was used. This system synchronized the playback chipsets of a DVD player with the encrypted content on a DVD. This enabled major studios and software firms to buy into a system that protected their intellectual property. There is not a universal security system for USB flash drives.
Nexcopy solved this problem by allowing file types like HTML, MP3, MP4, PDF, and MP4 to be copied and protected while being played back from a flash drive. This solution allows content to be seen and played on both an Apple and Microsoft Windows computer. The copy-protected content can be played back on both Apple and Microsoft Windows computers, although it is not an ideal solution for all devices like TVs or car stereos.
The Copy Secure drives are, like the Lock License drives, and can only be read (write protected). Users cannot claim that a file has been deleted. To get a second copy, all you need is a free email address.
#4 Encryption Of USB
Copy Secure drives work in the same way as encryption but don’t require a password. Copy protection is not the same as encryption. Encryption is a way to protect data. Once a password has been entered, the content will play. A password is only good for honest people. The file can be decrypted so that the user can print, copy, share and stream the file.
What about people who have the password but still share the information? This is why copy protection is so valuable.
The encryption solution is for those who wish to secure data on drives so that nothing can be viewed unless a password has been entered.
Nexcopy is a great choice. The USB flash drive will store encrypted data. Only after the password has been entered will the content be displayed.
A large corporation’s accounting department may store financial documents on a flash disk for easy transport. The circle of users can be trusted but the USB must be protected in case it is left in a parking lot and is stolen by someone else. The files cannot be seen because of the encryption.
The device is not formatted or deleted, just as with the other products. As you can see, someone who discovered the drive could not install a virus (or hack into the company) on it and then return it to the company.
#5 Secure Disk
A hidden partition that holds data is a feature CD and DVD did not offer. An optical disc stores data in a linear fashion. Data writing begins on the inside of the optical disc and ends on the outside.
Notice: Mass-produced CD and DVD media are “stamped”, so the preceding sentence refers to writable DVD and CD media.
Secure Disk is a clever little device that hides most of the USB memory from anyone who connects it to a computer. The device’s capabilities are not known to the user so they can’t discover the hidden memory.
When the Secure Disk is connected with a Windows computer system, the only partition that is available is a small 20MB one. The 20MB partition can be read and written and all types of information can be put there; however, if the user can access it, there is hidden memory area space.
Let’s say that the USB flash drive is 32GB. The 20MB partition will not be visible to the user. If a login.exe file is opened and the correct password entered, the public partition (20MBs) is removed and replaced by the 32GB hidden partition.
This 32GB private partition can be accessed by anyone who logs in. This private partition doesn’t provide any additional security, such as copy protection or encryption. It is only accessible by the user who knows how to log in to the hidden area.
Secure Disk was initially designed as a HIPAA-compliant flash disk. HIPAA compliance demands that there be a safe area to store patient medical records, histories, and other information. Secure Disk fulfills HIPAA requirements because the protected area of memory is secured by a password. It is impossible to access the password without the correct password.
Secure Disk appears to have many more uses than HIPAA medical records. This is an excellent solution for anyone traveling internationally with sensitive data.
The Secure Disk is not intended to replace any optical media technology but it does demonstrate Nexcopy’s forward-thinking company.
It was crucial to develop efficient data load products that could be mass-produced, given the number of flash drive products. Nexcopy’s original offering, the USB200PC Duplicator (which is a PC-based, 20 target USB flash drive duplicator), was introduced to the market in 2004. Many other products were developed from that initial offering, including standalone USB systems and a USB flash drive printer system.