So how does the drive perform? Better than you might think.
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The top line is the operations per second for a given file size when the drive is plugged into USB 2.0. The second, lower line is for the same test with USB 1.1. The graph is a little misleading since the scale of the graph is logarithmic. In other words, there is a huge difference between the numbers of the two lines. I should also note that there are really 4 lines being plotted rather than just 2. I tested with both the security features turned on and with them turned off. I figured there would be a slight drop in speed with them turned on, but strangely enough, there was a small boost in speed with them on. Nothing dramatic, and as you can see by the graph, it's not even big enough to show up.
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The speed difference is illustrated here. The top bars are USB 2.0 secure, the second set are USB 2.0 unsecured, third are USB 1.1 secure, and the final set are USB 1.1 unsecured. For USB 1.1 SiSoft gave the drive a combined index of 866 operations/min. Using USB 2.0 boosted that number to a blistering 7377 operations/min. When moving 64MB files on and off the drive, the DataTraveler Elite had an average reading speed of 22938 kB/sec or 130x. It was able to write at 9830 kB/sec or 55x. Compare that to 1092 kB/sec or 6x speed that I was getting for both reading and writing when used with USB 1.1 and it's not hard to see why it's worth upgrading to USB 2.0.
If you are looking for a new removable USB drive, or if you just want a little more security, I highly suggest you check this USB drive out. The security is substantial but is not difficult to understand or obtrusive. The drive itself is well designed and performs extremely well. Kingston also makes the same drive up to 2GB in size, so if you need more than 512MB of space, they can accommodate you.