How To Choose a USB Flash Drive

USB memory stick

A USB flash drive is now a widely used data storage device for computer users. It is a removable, rewritable piece of flash memory storage device that comes with a Universal Serial Bus interface. It is has replaced the floppy disk. Faster, smaller, durable and reliable, this device can store more data than its earlier predecessor.

The market is flooded with USB flash drives with different storage capacities and eye catching designs. With this overload of choices, how can you choose the best USB flash drive for your data storage requirements?  Simply follow the tips below.

  1. Storage capacity. Decide on how much data you need to store in your USB flash drive. If it is merely for word processing documents or small worksheets, 1 GB should suffice. But if you are storing music, movies or images, the higher capacity, the better. Most USB flash drives start with a capacity to hold 1 gigabyte (GB) of data to as high as 100 GB. You can still find USB flash drives that store less than 1 GB but with the size of files nowadays, you can easily run out of storage space.
  2. Encryption. Data security is an important consideration when looking to buy a USB flash drive. If you plan to keep sensitive information in your portable data storage device, make sure you buy one that can be password protected. Once inserted into the computer, a password will be necessary in order to access the data in the flash drive.
  3. Design. USB flash drives are now fast becoming fashion accessories for the younger computer savvy users. This storage device comes in a myriad of colors and designs featuring likeness to movie, television and comic book characters from Star Wars, Simpsons, Mangga books and more. Some are even shaped like animals, food, cars and others. You can buy flash drives that can be hung around your neck with a lanyard. Some flash drives come with a protection cap or one with a retractable USB connector.
  4. Brand. There are well known brands and no name brands of USB flash drives. Expect that named brands like Kingston, Sony, Verbatim, Memorex, Scandisk Cruzer (to name a few) will cost more. However, these are reliable manufacturers that you can count on and their products come with a warranty. Read user reviews and forums to find out the pros and cons of the various USB flash drive options currently in the market.
  5. Price. The cost of the USB flash drive will depend on a number of factors including the storage capacity and the manufacturer. There are inexpensive USB flash drives in the market but these may be unreliable and eventually cost you thousands of dollars due to lost or damaged data.
  6. USB port compatibility. Most flash drives are compatible with different personal computers and laptops. But just to make sure, check what type of USB port your computer has before you purchase your USB storage device.
  7. Pre-installed software. Some USB flash drives come with pre-installed software. If you don’t need the software that comes with the device, then choose one without.

The USB flash drive has many names:  memory stick, jump drive, thumb drive, pen drive, to name a few. You can choose from a variety of colors, shapes, designs, and storage capacities. But the number one factor in choosing your USB flash drive should be based on your storage or data backup needs.


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