Sunday, June 08, 2008

Ultimate travelling kit

I've been doing some research lately on how to better protect my data when traveling and how to be able to carry my favorite software and use it from a USB flash drive.

I'm a strong adept of the saying "Paranoia keeps me alive".

First, I looked for a flash drive that provided encryption without having to install additional software... I found something even better coming with hardware encryption provided by a cryptochip that prevents encryption keys from being transferred and stored onto PCs:

IronKey flash drive available in 1,2,4 and 8GB capacities, waterproof, with metal casing, self destructs after 10 failed password-guessing attempts.Data will be completely unrecoverable after that.Ships with Firefox installed and optionally a user can use IronKey's dedicated TOR network for anonymous surfing.

IronKey's official website:

I then wanted a hardware firewall on a USB interface.

I found several ones from Yoggie. Prices from $119 to $249 depending on the device's ability.

These are the main benefits of using a hardware firewall over a software one:

* no extra CPU resources are consumed if you use a hardware firewall
* no extra RAM used
* does not affect bootup times
* no nasty popups or all sorts of warnings (think of a default config Zone Alarm that can drive you crazy sometimes)
*minimizes overall system performance loss
*physical separation from the network

These things have way too many features to be mentioned here.Visit Yoggies site and pick the one suitable to your workflow.

Yoggie official website:

Next I wanted to be able to carry my software with me and use it from a usb flash drive.

There's the (illegal) option of making your own portable software using the Thinstall virtualization suite...I'm saying illegal because you have to be crazy to pay more than 5k for an official Thinstall license just to make your software portable.

I then found Ceedo which together with the addon Argo allows you to make your own portable software.I already successfully made my MS Office suite portable using this, so chances are most apps are portable.A license for Ceedo Personal + Argo costs just $39, very affordable.

I found out about Ceedo by taking a closer look at Lexar's PowerToGo drives and found out the "magic" software they come with is in fact provided by Ceedo.

The trial version I used is available for 45 days so there's plenty of time to test it before you decide to buy.

Ceedo's official website:

Another option: MojoPac

Tried to make portable another software this time with MojoPac, unfortunately it failed and because it took such a horrible amount of time to start I decided against attempting one more time.

However, you might have more success and patience than me. Btw, MojoPac Personal is free.

MojoPac's website:

3rd Option: Prayaya V3

Seems to work on similar principles, however I did not test it myself.

Prayaya official site:

4th option: MokaFive

For complete desktop virtualization, based on VMWare.This is a bit overkill because you can basically create a complete "pc" using have to install an OS first, I chose Win Xp and then you can install any apps you want inside the virtual machine you created.

If you frequently need a sandbox, then MokeFive will probably be very useful to you.
Obviously, you need lots and lots of RAM not to feel any serious performance loss when running a "LivePC" as they call it.

Their ExpressSolution I tried is completely free.

Although based on VMWare, it comes with many other extra features, find out more at MokaFive's official website:


Anonymous said...

Good post. I arrived at the same conclusion. I am a huge fan of Ceedo and Argo. The two big decision factors for me were:

1. Ceedo does not require Amin Privs so I really can use it on the road. Who knows what kind of machine you will stumble upon or the access privileges that you will be granted. It's a pretty good bet that they won't what/enable you to install drivers on their machine. MojoPac requires a driver be installed on every computer that you use - not realistic.

2. Ceedo works between XP and Vista - mojo does not. You need to choose in advance. Like I am going to know what kind of ad hock environment I am going to get!!

Yes, Mojopac is free - it needs to be (IMHO) at least what I need it to do on the road.

If you have admin on every machine you use and only run into XP machines, Mojo is pretty good - otherwise Ceedo is a better bet.

I like the idea of a hardware encrypted drive, but that seems a bit pricey. Anything else anybody recommends?

Keith said...

I have to agree with the author on what he says about Ceedo.

With Ceedo and Argo, you can make a huge amount of software portable. I am currently running everything I need on my Ceedo drive, including MS Office 2003, FrontPage 2002, Photoshop CS3, Firefox, SnagIt and lots more.

In fact, I don't even have any software worth mentioning installed on my PC any more.

Ceedo's programs directory has over a hundred useful apps to download and install on your Ceedo drive. .MSI support is improving. Apparently .NET support has been slated for the next release of Ceedo due out shortly.

When it comes to application virtualization, Ceedo is my first choice without a doubt.

Anonymous said...

The URL to MokaFive is incorrect. It should be

Peintros said...

Thanks for that, I corrected the URL.