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USB2U News

Kingston Technology USB flash drives by USB2U

Posted by USB2U on 4th July 2016 | Permalink

We are proud to announce our new partnership with Kingston Technology. Kingston is the world’s largest independent manufacturer of memory products with its global headquarters in Fountain Valley, California. Kingston serves an international network of distributors, resellers, retailers and OEM customers on six continents.

We now offer a specially selected range of Kingston USBs as part of our range of high quality USB flash drives. Great co-branding opportunities are available for our customers with Kingston USB flash drives. The USB flash drives can be printed digitally or laser engraved depending on the chosen USB style.

Encrypt your USBs to secure data

Many companies deal with sensitive data and require the best possible protection for their information. We offer three Kingston USB flash drives which are hardware encrypted and ideal for secure use: 

1) Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G3

Kingston’s DataTraveler® Locker+ G3 secures receipts, bank statements and other sensitive documents with hardware encryption and password protection for a double layer of data security. The drive locks down and re-formats after 10 failed login attempts, so users can rest assured that their data is safe even if the drive is lost or stolen. It features a durable metal casing to protect the drive from drops, bumps and knocks plus its built-in key loop makes it convenient to take your data anywhere. The cap fits on the back of the drive so it won’t get lost.

SuperSpeed™ (USB 3.0) delivers faster performance and it is backward compatible to previous generation. DataTraveler Locker+ G3 is easy for anyone to set up and easy to use. With no application installation required all the software and security needed is built in. It works on both Windows systems and Macs so users can access files from multiple systems, without installing a program on every computer used.

DataTraveler Locker+ G3 also offers cloud backup as an optional feature. Users can choose to automatically back up data from their DataTraveler Locker+ G3 to Google DriveTM, OneDrive (Microsoft®), Amazon Cloud Drive, Dropbox or Box, so if the drive is lost or stolen, their data is in a safe place. This feature is available for Windows only.

2) DataTraveler 4000 G2

DataTraveler 4000 G2 is FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certified and provides a tamper-evident seal for physical security to detect and respond to attempts to access, use or modify the cryptographic module. Data is protected by hardware-based 256-bit AES encryption in XTS mode and the drive casing is made of titanium coated stainless steel. The drive is designed to reduce the possibility of successful brute force attacks as it locks down and reformats after 10 failed password attempts.

SuperSpeed (USB 3.0) technology means that users don’t have to compromise transfer speeds for security. Companies can add the drive to their standards list with confidence since its industry-leading NAND and controller design allow for NAND to be interchanged without requalification and certification of security features. The DataTraveler 4000 G2 is TAA compliant, to meet a frequently requested corporate and government IT requirement.

3) Kingston DataTraveler Privacy 3.0

Kingston’s DataTraveler® Vault Privacy 3.0 (DTVP 3.0) USB Flash drive provides affordable business-grade security with 256-bit AES hardware-based encryption using XTS block cipher mode, which offers stronger protection than CBC and ECB modes. It protects 100% of stored data and enforces complex password protection with minimum characteristics to prevent unauthorised access. For additional peace of mind, the drive locks down and reformats after 10 intrusion attempts. It also features a read-only access mode to avoid potential malware risks.

DTVP 3.0 is available with optional, easy-to-deploy anti-virus protection from ESET* that protects the drive’s content from viruses, spyware, Trojans, worms, rootkits, adware and other Internet-borne threats. The ESET NOD32® anti-virus engine provides instant alerts, requires no installation and comes with a five-year pre-activated licence.

Anti-Virus

The DTVP 3.0 Anti-Virus model features easy-to-deploy anti-virus protection from ESET2 that protects the drive’s content from viruses, spyware, Trojans, worms, rootkits, adware and other Internet-borne threats. The ESET NOD32® anti-virus engine provides instant alerts. This anti-virus protection requires no installation and comes with a five-year pre-activated licence.

Kingston-SE9

 

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Branded Technology Products for Student Recruitment

Posted by USB2U on 21st April 2016 | Permalink

At USB2U we appreciate how much time and resources Universities spend attracting new students to their courses. Open Days and University Fairs play an important part in the conversion process, and branded promotional products can help support the success of your events. Young people form their opinions quickly and your promotional products need to be of good quality and well presented in order to stand out and to ensure that your brand has a positive impact.

Promotional branded gifts offer the perfect opportunity for you to keep your institution’s name in front of your target audience. Tech products specifically are an essential part of our everyday lives and it is therefore no surprise that they are fast becoming some of the most sought after branded gifts. USB flash drives, Power Banks or Bluetooth Speakers for example – together with your branding – make great promotional products for the Higher Education sector.

Right now we have an exclusive offer for Higher Education: save 10% on all branded tech gifts and Power Banks. This offer is available until 31st May 2016. Call us to find out more: 0800 008 7079.

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We are ready for the 2016 UK Photography Show

Posted by USB2U on 14th March 2016 | Permalink

USB2U is exhibiting at the popular UK Photography Show at Birmingham NEC again this year. This is the third time we have been part of the show and we are looking forward it kicking off this Saturday!

USB2U offers the most popular USB sticks for professional photographers. Our creative memory stick concepts work particularly well when presented in bundles; these are combinations of memory sticks and stylish presentation boxes suitable for any occasion such as weddings, baby photos, anniversaries and more. They are becoming highly popular amongst modern day Photographers.

The presentation boxes are of high quality and vary from high gloss white presentation boxes to eco-friendly wooden boxes. All of them can be personalised with your logo or special message. Thanks to the large print area on the boxes they can be fully branded and additional design features can also be added in.

Here at USB2U we hold a large amount of stock of USB sticks and boxes in the UK making it possible to print or engrave items in as little as 24 hours. The memory sticks are Grade-A, high specification flash chips offering superior performance.

Be sure not to miss our daily competition

We also have some exciting show offers and competitions not to be missed. Each expo day we will do a prize draw and the winner will receive 10 8GB Woodland USB sticks and Photo Slide Boxes personalised with their logo. So four chances to win! The winners will be announced at the end of each exhibition day on Twitter  and and on Facebook.

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Get Pregnant, Break a Bone or Block your Drains – All ways to get a USB Stick

Posted by USB2U on 16th October 2015 | Permalink

Over the last decade or so we’ve seen USB sticks used for all manner of things but to be fair the majority that we sell are used for promotional purposes. However as CD’s and DVD’s become less and less popular we’re seeing USB sticks used as a direct replacement for them and the breadth of their use is fascinating. Every day we seem to get enquires from new clients who have a new twist on how they plan to use their USB memory sticks.

Some of the more interesting and unusual ideas include the supply of 4D baby scans on a USB stick. Prospective parents used to be happy with a black and white Polaroid photo of their baby scan but now the demand is for a digital copy of the scan is rocketing. Companies like Babybond, the UK’s first ISO Quality Endorsed ultrasound provider are now offering their 4D Bonding Scan results on a USB Memory Stick.

As pioneers of 4D Bonding Scans (and the supply of the scans on USB sticks) they remain at the forefront of innovation in their field. Babybond are strong advocates of the service because they argue that the scans, which are a combination of still and moving images promote levels of early mother and child “bonding” that were simply unattainable prior to the introduction of their service.

BabyBond USB Memory Stick

BabyBond USB Memory Stick

It’s a similar story with broken bones, torn ligaments and fractures – we’re now seeing companies that offer private MRI scans using USB memory sticks rather than CD’s/DVD’s. A digital copy of the MRI scan is supplied at the end of the assessment. Supplying a copy of the scan is not new but the supply of it on a USB Stick is. With less and less PC’s and Mac’s now shipping without a CD/DVD player it’s become important for many businesses to make the shift to USB sticks

Companies dealing with blocked drains are the latest to use USB Sticks instead of CD’s and DVD’s – its typical of these companies to send a CCTV camera into the drains to carry out a “survey” of the drains before they start digging them up! The subsequent digital “video survey” is then copied onto a USB sticks and supplied to the customer with a quote for the remedial works needed. Again the arguments for the use of a USB stick are the same; ease of use, size, cost and of course they can be printed up with a logo, brand and contact details.

The common thread running through all of these examples is the need to provide “customers” with high quality digital images – if you work in a sector or profession that might benefit from making the move from CD/DVD to USB Sticks then please give us a call. We’d love to hear from you.

 

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Promotional USB Battery Shaped Memory Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 13th October 2015 | Permalink

Power up your marketing and promotional campaign with our battery shaped USB memory sticks. These brilliant little USB sticks are a great idea and whilst they’re an obvious choice for any battery manufacturer they’re also a good choice for anyone looking for something a little bit different from the standard range of flash drives.

Even if you’re not the manufacturer of Duracell or Energizer batteries you could use them creatively to support any campaign that talks about “power”, “energy” “recharging” or “boosting” – there are lots of creative ways in which USB battery memory sticks could be used and they certainly make a powerful impact!

Our battery USB memory sticks are just slightly bigger than a standard AA battery (they need to be a little bit bigger to accommodate a standard USB connector), they’re manufactured from metal and they have a robust screw cap to protect the USB connector. In our opinion they’re one of the toughest flash drives on the market.

Available in memory sizes from 128MB all the way up to 32GB they can be printed in full colour with any graphic or design on the full surface area of the batter. They can even be supplied with an attached keyring and in a presentation box or “blister pack” just like regular batteries you’d pick up in the shops!

Whether you buy these cute little battery USB sticks from us or indeed any of our promotional drives we strongly recommend that you use the memory storage space you’re buying and pre-load data onto them before you hand them out. With up to 32GB of storage going begging it’s criminal not to use it. You don’t necessarily have to create new content if you don’t have the time or resources. Just send us digital copies of your marketing brochures, your PowerPoint slides, prices lists, press releases, video, TV adverts etc. and we’ll pre-load them onto your USB sticks for you.

In many cases we can offer the data loading for no additional charge but even when we do charge the fees are normally only pennies.

The more marketing collateral you can load into your drives the easier it is to build a business case to fund their purchase and arguably the more desirable they become when you hand them out.

So if you’re looking to give your marketing campaigns a bit of a boost then put our USB batteries on your short list.

USB Batteries

USB Batteries

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About as Much Fun as Pulling Teeth – Loading Data onto USB Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 5th October 2015 | Permalink

Millions of promotional USB memory sticks get bought and then get given away every year. Go to any exhibition, show, seminar, conference or university open day and the chances are you’ll get offered at least one USB with a logo printed on the side of it.

Why are they so popular? Well, USB memory sticks, as far as top-end promotional products are concerned are not that expensive (albeit they have a high perceived value), they’re small, they’re easy to carry and they come in a wide range of styles and colours which makes them ideal for branding up with a logo.

The majority of the millions that will be given away in 2015 will have a memory capacity of around between 4GB – 8GB. This is a huge amount of digital storage! It’s about the same as you get on many of the top selling smart phones on the market today. 8GB will support hundreds of thousands of documents, thousands of photos and hundreds of media (video) files.

If you bought a PC a couple of years ago the Hard Disk Drive on the PC would have been smaller (in terms of storage capacity) than that “given away for free!” on a USB stick. Crazy isn’t it but that’s how the digital storage market moves.

The winner from this on-going availability of cheap digital storage in a simple device like a USB stick is the companies that buy them BUT they only benefit if they put the growing storage space to good use.

It’s amazing how many of the millions of promotional USB sticks sold every year are handed out with NO data on them, NADA. ZIP, NOTHING, ZILCH. It’s criminal as a company to buy promotional USB sticks (a product designed specifically to carry data) and not use the memory you have paid for.

One of the primary objectives of giving them away is to build awareness about your organisation, what you do, what your values and what differentiates you from others in your sector. To do this you really should build enough time into your plans to load onto every USB stick documents like your sales brochures, your presentation slides, videos, price lists etc. Load anything that allows you to show off what you’re about and how the recipient of the drive can get in touch with you. Include all your social media links to encourage on-going engagment.

Of course the downside of loading data onto your branded USB memory sticks is actually doing it – it’s the most tedious, mind numbing, soul-destroying job ever! Don’t forget your need to “stop and eject” each USB stick before you can remove them from your PC!

If you have to manually load each and every stick yourself one at a time it will take hours and hours. If you’ve got lots of data (and with 8GB of space you’re likely to) then to load each stick can take 5-10 minutes. So if you’ve got hundreds to do you can end up writing off an evening or two and sometimes a whole weekend!

A much, much better option is to get your USB stick supplier to do the data loading for you. They’ll have the latest state of the art bulk data-loading kit. These machines not only copy lots of USB sticks at the same time but they run algorithms at the end of each run to make sure the data has been copied properly!

Often data-loading will be free but it’s always best to ask but unless you have no social life we’d strongly recommend leaving data-loading of USB memory sticks to the professionals.

USB Data Loading Services from USB2U

USB Data Loading Services from USB2U

 

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Political Party Conference Time – USB Sticks at the ready

Posted by USB2U on | Permalink

The political party conference bandwagon rolls on this week with the Conservatives holding their annual conference in Manchester. The anti-austerity protesters have grabbed the early headlines with a reported 60,000 people showing their unhappiness at a broad range of measures that the Conservatives are looking to introduce.

On the plus side for the Conservatives last years ban on Champagne has been lifted and the resounding victory they achieved during the last election will no-doubt ensure that the overriding mood during the conference will be hugely positive.

Of course during any conference (political or otherwise) there is much serious business to attend to and lots of information to disseminate to the attendees. The main stages and theatres at any conference tend to be surrounded by lots of “pop-up” stands organised by lobby groups, commercial organisations and groups that want to promote and sell their ideas or promote and sell their products and services.

Many of these, including at the main parties at the political conferences, will use branded USB sticks as the vehicle to disseminate their message. Historically you might have been handed a CD or DVD but today with less and less PC’s and Mac’s being sold with a built in CD/DVD reader USB sticks have become the de facto alternative.

Branded Memory Sticks for Conferences

Branded Memory Sticks for Conferences

The beauty of a USB stick is that they look great branded up with a logo and strap line and they typically have loads of digital storage (8GB is the norm these days for a give-away USB stick). This amount of storage means you can pre-load onto the stick all of your conference slides, speaker notes, video clips, marketing brochures and any press releases you might have prepared for the event.

By putting all of this information onto a USB stick there is no need to print the material, there’s less paper used and printed, less stuff to lug around in boxes, less petrol and transport costs and less waste! All these savings mean that the cost of the USB sticks can be more than offset and as a company or organisation you look much more professional, you can play the “eco card” and of course everyone loves being given a “freebie” like a USB stick!

If you’re a conference organiser you’ll find that USB sticks can be a real saviour. By digitising your content and loading it onto a USB stick you can extend your copy dealines, you can give your speakers a little more time and you can make last minute changes that you simply can’t do with printed material.

Whatever your political leaning branded USB memory sticks at a conference make sense! Order them now from USB2U – please.

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Oh Dear – Perhaps we could interest the Welsh RFU in some USB Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 4th October 2015 | Permalink

It was never supposed to end like this. So much was promised, so much was expected and so much was invested in it but in the end the English rugby team failed to deliver. Dumped out of the 2015 Rugby World Cup in the Group Stages, a World Cup that they are hosting and they are setting records in but for all the wrong reasons!

For England there is just the dead rubber game against Uruguay to go but let’s face it even a thumping great win against Uruguay will do nothing to paper over the huge cracks that have developed in the English game, its management and its structure over the last few weeks.

The commentators, journalists, pundits and armchair experts are of course having a field day and most expect the Head Coach Stuart Lancaster to either fall on his sword or face the ignominy of being fired at the end of England’s short lived participation in the competition.

From a purely selfish point of view, as a supplier of branded USB memory sticks to the English RFU, we wanted them to progress, we wanted them to challenge all the way and we wanted them to make it to the final and ultimately to win – A win would almost certainly have lead to an increase in the marketing and advertising budget available to the RFU and this in turn would most probably have lead to a requirement for more England RFU branded USB sticks – sadly this is now unlikely to be the case.

As a Northampton based company we’re also worried. Northampton is a “Rugby Town”. Many of us at USB2U are life long Northampton Saints Rugby Club supporters. We’ve been a club sponsor and a supplier to Northampton Saints and we care passionately about our team. It’s a team that under the stewardship of Jim Mallinder and Dorian West has become one of the best teams in the Premiership and it’s no secret that Jim and Dorian were being strongly touted as candidates for England when Lancaster was appointed. If Lancaster should, as seems likely, go then once again Jim and Dorian are likely to be on the short list to replace him and his current coaching team.

Losing to Australia and going out of the Rugby World cup was bad enough, losing the opportunity to supply more branded USB sticks to the RFU is equally bad but losing Jim and Dorian to the English RFU would be catastrophic

And no, supplying USB sticks to the Welsh RFU would not make up for it!

 

England World Cup USB Sticks

England World Cup USB Sticks

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What Happens to Your USB Stick Order Before we send it out

Posted by USB2U on 14th August 2015 | Permalink

When you order promotional USB Memory Sticks from USB2U you need to be confident that what you’ve ordered is what actually arrived. Before we even start the production of your order we’ll have taken you through a comprehensive mock-up and proofing process because it’s easier for everyone to make sure things are right before any production takes place.

Despite these rigorous pre-production checks we also put every single order through a very comprehensive set of post-production checks before it leaves us. To be fair it’s not a popular job because it can be a bit tedious but in a crowded and highly competitive market it’s incredibly important to us. After all, we want our customers to come back to us and we want them to be delighted with their order from USB2U.

Around 50% of our customer orders are “finished” (printed, engraved, data-loaded and packed) before they leave our factory in China and because of this lots of QA checks are done in the factory. BUT, in addition to the QA checks that our factory make our own Operations and Fulfilment team carry out the following additional checks before any order (including the other 50% of orders that are finished in the UK) leaves our hands:

  1. Every carton of USB sticks that arrive from our Chinese factory is thoroughly checked to make sure nothing has been damaged in transit. We look for anhy obvious signs of “crushing” and photographs are taken to record any damage or loss. If anything is found to be damaged or missing (it does happen albeit rarely) then we’ll alert the factory and ask them to prepare and ship replacements and we’ll notify the customer of any potential shortfall in their order. Where we can we’ll replace any damaged sticks from our UK stock so our customers are not inconvenienced.
  2. Every printed or engraved USB stick is checked visually against the signed off proof to make sure that it’s the right colour, that its printed correctly (the right colour, in the right place, in the right orientation and finally that there are no spelling mistakes). If accessories have been ordered, e.g. key rings or lanyards then we’ll also make sure these are attached.
  3. A random sample from each order (several samples if it’s a large order) is checked using the latest Trend Micro anti-virus software – this is particularly important where we have been provided with data to pre-load onto the USB sticks.
  4. A sample of each order is checked to ensure that the internal flash memory is the correct size. If a customer has ordered 8GB USB memory sticks we check to make sure the drives are 8GB.
  5. Assuming all of the above tests and checks are passed we record who undertook the various checks and then we carefully box up the order in a robust USB2U box. Whilst doing this we’ll count the USB sticks to make sure the correct number are being sent out and finally we’ll pop into the box a packet of sweets by way of a “thank you”!

We’ve been supplying branded and promotional USB flash drives since 2002 and these processes have been put in place and refined over the last 13 years to ensure that our customers can be confident that they get exactly what they have paid for every time.

QA Checked By USB2U

QA Checked By USB2U

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Best Artwork for Printed USB Memory Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 13th August 2015 | Permalink

If you want to order some USB memory sticks with your logo printed on them then expect one of the first questions from your supplier(s) to be about the quality and format of your artwork.

Whilst printed USB sticks can look amazing and there are some brilliant examples of them all over the USB2U website they’ll only look this good if you can supply decent artwork for your supplier to work with. The phrase “garbage in, garbage out” is commonly by computer programmers as a mantra to remind themselves that a computer will process whatever data you load into it – the quality of the result however depends almost entirely on the quality of the code/data used.

Garbage in and garbage out can be applied just as easily to the printing of promotional USB memory sticks. Print them using low quality artwork, particularly artwork that has been digitally compressed (JPEG’s) then on the whole the results will be very poor.

So, before you think about ordering USB sticks with your logo printed on (or any promotional item for that matter) it is strongly recommended that you first make sure the logo or design you want printed can be supplied in one of the following formats:

  • EPS (Encapsulated Postscript)
  • TIFF (Tagged Image File Format)
  • RAW (Raw Image Formats)
  • Vector File Formats

Artwork in this format will allow your logo, design or artwork to be rendered properly, printed correctly and printed to a sharpness you would expect. What you cannot do is take a JPEG image (that you have for example simply “grabbed from a web page”) and convert it to an EPS file. You need the original high quality image.

If in any doubt talk to the suppliers designer or get your designer or design agency to talk directly to the suppliers designer. It’s worth spending the time in the early stages of your order to get it right rather than be disappointed with the results when the printed memory sticks arrive on your desk!

We know that JPEG are popular and a common way of saving images from cameras (even top end cameras tend to default to JPEG images rather than RAW files) but, JPEG images (named after the Joint Photographic Experts Group who created the standard) are typically compressed to a ratio of 10:1 so you lose as much as 90% of the image content during the compression process.

This process is known as “lossy” and as the name implies when an original image is converted into a JPEG file many of the original elements of the image cannot be recovered. To the naked eye, particularly when viewed on a web page, there will be no perceptible difference to the image pre and post compression.

Compressed JPEG image files are ideal for web pages because they are smaller and therefore load more quickly but they’re rarely suitable for print, which is why we always ask our customers to supply artwork in any of the 4 image types listed above.

USB Buttons from USB2U

USB Buttons from USB2U

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