What’s a portable app?
A portable app is software that you can carry around with you on your flash drive (or other portable device such as a compact flash card, iPod, USB hard drive).
Characteristics of portable apps include:
- No installation on the Windows PC is required, the software runs directly off of the portable drive
- Leaves no files behind on the PC (such as browser cache and other sensitive data)
- All your software settings come with you
Portable apps are easy to install and are usually smaller versions of Windows software. For example, one useful portable app is Foxit PDF reader. It loads very quickly (unlike Adobe Reader!) and is only 1 file to copy to your flash drive taking up a measly 2 Mb.
Leave No Files Behind
Whenever you plug your flash drive into a PC, such as the portable version of FireFox for browsing the web, nothing is left behind on the PC. For example, if you do your banking online on a public computer, you don’t have to worry about clearing the cache.
Take Your Settings With You
Imagine the convenience of browsing the internet and having your bookmarks with you all the time and your saved login information from favorite websites or of being able to IM all your contacts (using the portable version of Trillian) wherever you are! You can have quick access to your favorite templates, macros and calendar. There are portable apps for FTP, email, RSS, media playing and a host of others and being able to keep your settings with you is practical and a time saver!
Tons of Apps to Choose From
Besides the conveniences mentioned above, there is such a large collection of apps available that you can really carry around everything you need on a little drive when you want to travel light. There are a lot of tiny utilities and diagnostic tools and there are even operating systems available (such as a portable version of Linux)!