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Definition: USB key

(1) Another term for a flash memory-based USB drive. See USB drive.

(2) A USB drive used to identify and authenticate a user. See authentication token.

(3) A hardware key that plugs into a USB port on the computer in order to identify a registered user of software. See hardware key.

(4) A receiver, transmitter or transceiver for wireless signals that plugs into a USB port on the computer. Including a built-in antenna, it is used to communicate with wireless mice, keyboards, media hubs and other devices.

A Wireless Receiver
This USB key receives signals from a Microsoft wireless mouse. It juts out from the port so little that it can be left plugged in all the time.