Things to Consider when Buying USB Flash Drives
Today most file transfers are being done through cloud servers, but USB flash drives are still widely used for: data backups, OS installation and as the main file transferring unites in places without internet access. In this article we will explain some key characteristics, on which USB flash drive buyers should focus.
Flash drive’s capacity is usually the thing, which determines its price. The drive with the biggest amount of storage space would probably be the best solution for every user, but companies that buy hundreds or even thousands of these gadgets need to choose an appropriate storage size in order to get an affordable deal. These are some of the most common USB flash drive capacities:
- 4 or 8 GB- This flash drive can hold few thousands of text documents, a few hundred photos and from 1 to 4 movies, depending on their resolution. These flash drives are mainly used for transferring business documents, or as an accessory for your key chain, just in case you bump into a free file worth saving;
- 16 GB- It can carry several hundred HD photos and documents with heavy graphics. It is also good for MP3 files and it can take as much songs and albums as a solid MP3 player. When it comes to movies, this drive can store up to 16 movies in MKV file format.
- 32 GB- this is usually the largest USB flash drive in the store and it can carry several movies with 4K resolution, thousands of documents, MP3s and complex graphics.
- 64 and 128 GB- These are the most expensive USB flash drives that can carry as much information as a small desktop hard disk. People use them for backing up their desktop computer or smartphone files.
File transferring speeds
Nobody wants to wait for eternity to transfer a large file, which is why file transferring speed is another important USB flash drive characteristic. These speeds are usually designed in MB/sec and they show how fast the unit can write and retrieve data from its storage. Most USB flash manufacturers are listing two separate speed figures, one for retrieving and other for writing data.
Three separate generations of USB flash drives have been released, since the introduction of the first production models in the early 2000.
- First generation models- had a storage capacity of only a few MB and they were the first commercial USB flash drives.
- USB 2.0 models- had much bigger storage than first generation models, and some of them could store up to several GBs of files. Their transferring speeds were 20% higher than the ones in the first USB flash drive models.
- USB 3.0 models– come with an increased storage capacity. They are 10 times faster than USB 2.0 models and they can store several dozen GBs.
USB flash drives often feature unique designs. Purpose of some of these designs is to make USB flash drives more useful, while others make them shock-resistant or improve their promotional value. Many different companies sell custom promotional USB drives, which represent a great present for loyal customers, employees and business partners.
In order to make USB flash drives more practical, manufacturers often introduce various extra features. These include:
- Aluminum casing- which improves flash drive’s durability and makes it shock-resistant;
- Retractable USB plug- which keeps the port safe and clear from dust and debris;
- Micro USB plugs- which makes an USB flash drive cross-compatible with desktops and mobile devices;
Like most other gadgets USB flash drives usually come with 2 or 5 years warranty. Warranty doesn’t protect you from failures caused by human factors, but the fact that you can make a warranty claim for regular product failure definitely makes the use of these drives more relaxed and enjoyable. The best drives with 64 and 128 GB capacity usually cost from $20 to $40 and they can be bought online, as well as in regular location-based tech stores.