That presents a problem when you need to write to such a drive, for example an external drive used primarily with Windows.
It's not usually an issue for thumb drives, which are usually FAT rather than NTFS.
But if you need to store files larger than 4GB on a higher-capacity thumb drive, you'll need to use NTFS. This is most likely to occur when handling large video files or databases.
One such product is Paragon Software's Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X. The newly released version 10 is compatible with Mountain Lion.
Performance is said to be comparable with the native HFS+ drivers, making it "the industry's fastest NTFS driver" according to Paragon officials.
"We are very excited to be among first cross-platform software developers to offer the most up-to-date NTFS for Mac OS X 10 to Mac users," said Paragon CEO Konstantin Komarov.
"Now all Mac users who switched to Mac OS X 10.8 Lion can continue to use Paragon's NTFS driver safely and with no difficulties.
"Moreover, we are happy to provide all owners of Paragon NTFS for Mac X OS 9.5 with a free upgrade."
Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X 10 costs $US19.95.