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Thread: USB Flash Drives - Temporary Internet Files

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    Arrow USB Flash Drives - Temporary Internet Files

    Hello all...

    I currently use Internet Explorer, and have considered moving my Temporary Internet Files folder location to my USB flash drive. I've heard that the benefits of doing this can decrease hard disk workload, thus improving browser and system performance.

    My question is...

    What are the pros & cons of using this method, in a security-minded sense?

    I know that this would add an extra layer of privacy, as internet data is not written to the hard drive, right?

    What other pros are there? Are there any cons?


  2. #2
    The hard disk workload is minimal, and I wouldn't waste any time on it. If you decide to move your temp files to another location, your browser would still read and write to it, making no difference when it comes to internet privacy. The only person you would be hiding it from, is people w/ physical access. A simple search would find it, making it security by obscurity.

    A better idea would be to turn off cookies completely, unless you need them. IE6 can be configured so sites you trust can accept cookies, everything else is blocked. Pretty much every browser has the same options, nowadays.

  3. #3
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington

    I think that Soda~ pretty much has it. Apart from physical security, there is no difference from using a flash drive and using a second HDD or a partition on your main HDD. Any nasties that are looking for the default access path won't find it, those that scan, will.

    As for performance, I would suggest that in theory, the connection speed to your HDD is your front BUS speed, which is probably 133MHz or better. USB has a limit of 66MHz maximum. So I guess it boils down to the data transfer rates supported by the flash memory and the HDD..........You could use a benchmarking tool to check this out, but my gut feel is that there will be no significant difference?

    Firewall, AV and clear the temporary files after each session.


  4. #4
    Regal Making Handler
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    I would think that as the temp internet file is a system folder. That it would be recreated in the default location if you had to remove the usb drive.

    I had a look at microsoft site, all i could find would suggest it is not possible to move temp internet files folder to a removable drive. But i could be wrong.
    What happens if a big asteroid hits the Earth? Judging from realistic simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we can assume it will be pretty bad. - Dave Barry

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    1) Speed to USB flash drive is slower than HDD
    2) Your USB flash drive will wear out sooner

    Explanation of #2:
    Good flash media usually can only be written (erased, written is the procedure) to about a million times before degrading and wearing out. With all of the reading/writing to it, it will eventually wear out, and much sooner than it otherwise would have.

    1) You can take your history anywhere

  6. #6
    @ÞΜĮЙǐЅŦГǻţΩЯ D0pp139an93r's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    St. Petersburg, FL
    If you are really interested with setting up something like this, a ramdisk would probably be your best option.

    It clears every reboot, has good access speed, and is far more fun to configure...
    Real security doesn't come with an installer.

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