Best USB flash drive 2021 • 7 USB flash drives Reviews
USB flash drives offer data storage space in a portable package. Their popularity is on the rise as people amass countless documents, photos, songs, and more. Luckily, this device fits right in your pocket. It’s always a good idea to have one on hand—you never know when you might need it!
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What is a USB flash drive and how does it work?
Universal Serial Bus (USB) flash drives are portable data storage devices. They use a technology called flash memory to save data. This type of technology dates back to the year 2000 when the first units of this kind were released publicly. Flash drives may be referred to as pen drives, USB sticks, or memory sticks.
Using a USB flash drive is very simple. When using a desktop computer or laptop, just insert the flash drive into the designated USB slot on the side or back of the device. You can then access the drive from your computer in order to copy and move files or run and install applications. For smart TVs or game consoles, follow the on-screen instructions or check the manual.
What types of USB flash drives are there?
The USB 2.0 is the standard USB stick. The transfer speed is up to 60 megabits per second (Mbps).
This type is the fastest one today; it can deal with data of 625 Mbps, which is more than ten times faster than its predecessor.
Advantages and Disadvantages of USB Flash Drives
- Allow information to be exchanged from one device to another in a quick and easy manner
- Practical and versatile
- Fast and secure information exchange
- Vulnerable to voltage fluctuations, blowouts, and shocks
- May experience issues after extended use
- Easy to lose due to their small size
- Vulnerable to voltage changes
Shopping Criteria for USB Flash Drives
Before you buy your new flash drive, there are some important criteria to bear in mind in order to make the right choice. We certainly don’t want you to be disappointed with your new USB stick after just a few days or months. Some notable criteria are discussed below.
When purchasing a USB flash drive, you should be clear about the intended use. Maybe you need one for something specific, such as installing an operating system. Or maybe you plan to use it for transferring documents between computers. Whatever you decide, some clarity regarding usage will be helpful in the shopping process.
The capacity of a USB flash drive is fundamental. Luckily, today’s flash drives offer a relatively large amount of storage space for a reasonable price. You can find a 64 GB USB stick for under thirty dollars. Think about how much space you need and remember that a bit more can never hurt!
Data transfer speed can be a critical factor to consider if you need to copy a lot of information in a short amount of time. On that note, you should be familiar with the difference between USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and, most recently, USB 3.1 standards. While a USB 2.0 has a theoretical transfer rate of 482 Mbps, a USB 3.0 has a rate of 5 gigabits per second (Gbps), and a USB 3.1 of 10 Gbps. Gigabits are one thousand times that of megabits.
Please note that these are theoretical values. The real speed can vary. Some manufacturers advertise peak data rather than average speeds. Also, be aware that there’s a difference between read and write speeds.
The format, or file system, is the way a memory unit organizes the content or information it stores. Usually, before using a flash drive or any similar storage device, it needs to be formatted.
Be sure to choose a drive that will function with your computer, or look into different utilities available that allow you to format the USB flash drive easily and quickly.
There’s nothing worse than losing your important files because a flash drive suddenly stops working. Even though there are some methods of recovering data, they don’t always work. So, as the saying goes, prevention is better than treatment.
A fairly common problem with flash drives is their low resistance to voltage changes. Additionally, USB flash drives are often subjected to shock and vibration. Because of this, you should look for a drive made from quality materials that can withstand some wear and tear.
These days, you’ll find drives in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some are retractable, some have caps, and some have nothing. They’re often made of plastic or metal and are sometimes attached to a keychain. Whichever design you prefer, just be sure that it’s durable.
If you’re planning to save very sensitive data, you may want to look into drives with a hardware encryption system. That way, if you lose it, no one will be able to access the stored data.
The brand of a flash drive is often closely related to aspects such as quality, warranty, durability, and price. The most recognized USB flash drive brands include SanDisk, Lexar, Samsung, Novoo, and Kingston.
Alternatives to USB Flash Drive
Both alternatives—flash drives and pen drives—are interchangeable. Both have the same functions as well as the compact form factor.
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What are the primary applications of USB flash drives?
Although there is a growing trend to store data in the virtual cloud, USB flash drives still offer a number of important applications. They can be used to install operating systems, back up files, and transfer documents.
USB drives can also be used to play audiovisual content on a smart TV or to record programs, series, or movies on TVs that allow for it. Similarly, USB drives can be used with game consoles to save games.
How long will a USB flash drive last?
Generally, a flash drive lasts an average of about 3,000 – 5,000 writing cycles. That equals about four to five years of life if you use it about twice per day. That’s pretty good, considering you’ll probably lose it or loan it out before it dies on you!
Who should buy a USB flash drive?
These devices are so practical that really anyone can benefit from having one. Flash drives are perfect for transferring documents and other files, such as movies or songs, from one computer to another. Some companies even put their logos on flash drives and give them away as promotional gifts.
What care does a USB flash drive require?
It’s very important not to drop your flash drive or expose it to other harsh impacts, as this may cause it to stop functioning. Similarly, try to avoid keeping a flash drive in a humid environment or exposing it to very hot or cold temperatures. Also, be sure to eject your flash drive properly before removing it from any device.
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