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Lexar JumpDrive TouchGuard review: Lexar JumpDrive TouchGuard

Once you've installed the software--a snap, thanks to an installation wizard--and registered your fingerprint, which involves swiping your finger several times, the TouchGuard icon appears in your browser's toolbar. Swiping your finger correctly takes some getting used to because the scanner is small and a bit finicky. To add a Web site to the Auto Login list, navigate to the Web site, type in your username and password, and click the icon. This stores the biometric information on the JumpDrive, and on each successive visit to the site, you can plug in the JumpDrive and either manually navigate to the Web site or access it through the JumpDrive's Dashboard. For users with multiple e-mail accounts from the same Web mail provider, you'll need to access the accounts from the Dashboard; otherwise you may not access the right account. When you navigate to a saved site, the TouchGuard seems to ponder for a moment, then almost magically, your username and password are filled in, and you're logged in. Some sites, particularly those of financial institutions, have coded protections that render the Auto Login feature unusable. For these sites, you can disable the Auto Login feature; the username and the password will be filled in automatically, but you'll have to manually click the login button.

Unfortunately, Mac users and fans of non-IE browsers are out of luck. System requirements include Windows 2000/XP and IE 6 or greater. Capacity is limited to 256MB so far, but Lexar plans to release larger capacities in the future. Lexar sells the drive for $80, which works out to about 31 cents per megabyte, quite inexpensive, especially considering the added biometric functionality.

Lexar supports the JumpDrive TouchGuard with a two-year limited warranty. Tech support is available 24/7 through live Web chat, and there's also support via e-mail and a toll-based phone line, available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT.

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