In my day job as a computer technician… one of the things I work with is computer data, moving files from one place to another. Depending on the situation, there is more than one way to move said data.� It could involve using, USB flash drives, making DVD-R’s, USB external hard drives, taking apart the computer and removing the hard drive to connect to another computer as a secondary hard drive. All these methods vary in length of time needed to complete the transfer. And as always, a direct A to B is the quickest way to get it done. This where‘s� comes to the rescue. It is a file transfer tool that plugs into the USB ports of two computers and bridges a direct connection, so that one can copy files from one computer to another.
The device is a oval like 4.47″ x 3.21″ x 0.85″ silver case with openings on two ends to allow the retractable USB cables to be pulled out.� On the face is a chrome button, when pressed will retract the deployed USB cables. To deploy the USB cables, you just pull on the USB plugs until hearing a click from the device, depending on how close the two computers USB ports are, you can leave the cable at one, two, or three clicks.� The instructions say not to pull the cables beyond the red tape, which is the fourth click. With the USB cables fully deployed, there is a length of about 4 feet to reach from computer to computer, so the two computers will have to be setup near each other.�
Upon first plugging The Tornado into the host computer, Windows automatically detects the USB device and sets it up and then it launches the file transfer program which is stored inside the The Tornado body on its circuit board. The same happens on the remote computer and you get on both computers a File Manager type window that has a split view, one of the computers you are looking at, “THIS COMPUTER” and the remote computer is shown as “OTHER COMPUTER”.
On some computers, which I think the autorun feature has been turned off, the The Tornado file transfer program will not automatically launch. This happened on one computer I used for testing. If this happens, you would have to manually start it by going to “My Computer” and clicking on the CD-ROM icon labeled “The Tornado” and then the “StormF1.exe”.
A green LED lights up when the data connection is made with the PC. Etched into the casing�are arrows pointing to the corresponding USB cable. There is an LED for both sides; the LEDs blinks to indicate that a data transfer is taking place.
Copying files is as easy as dragging and dropping, like you normally do with typical removable media on your computer. Drag the folder or highlighted folders from the “THIS COMPUTER” window to the “OTHER COMPUTER” window. It’s that simple.
[Ed. note: I used The Tornado to move files between my Toshiba laptop and Fujitsu Tablet, and as I noted in the Fujitsu unboxing article, having it made data transfer�a cinch.]
How quick is The Tornado? To find out, I tested it between two Windows XP computers with USB 2.0 ports. To copy 713 MB of DVD VOB files it took 1 minute, 25 seconds. To copy the same 713 MB of files to one of my USB flash drives took 2 minutes and 6 seconds. Figure in that unplugging the USB flash drive, moving it to the other test computer, and plugging it in and having it detect will take under another minute and add to that another 2 minutes 30 seconds to copy the files off the USB flash drive. Proof that having an in-between, takes longer than the direct A to B.
I don’t have the timing numbers, but under additional testing with two Windows 2000 computers, The Tornado came through with similar time results. Even USB 1.1 to USB 2.0 transfer was quick too.
The Tornado is a easy to use device, as it is plug and play. If you can drag and drop folders and files, you can copy your files from one computer to another using The Tornado. I recommend The Tornado to people who have both a desktop and a portable computer. It is the quickest and easy way to have your important files on both of your computers. You can also use The Tornado to backup your laptop to your desktop, provided that you have a large hard drive in your desktop computer. Lastly, you can use The Tornado to transfer your data to a new computer before you wipe the hard drive of your old one.
is available from the manufacturer.
MSRP: $ 59.95
What I Like: Easy to use and quick.
What Needs Improvement: Nothing