Types of Flash Drives by Capacity
The storage capacity of these disks has increased a lot in recent years, as costs have dropped and users demand more adequate sizes for the files they create today. Many models have already disappeared from the market, most of them being smaller than 1 GB.
Indispensable device to store information of all kinds: Documents, Programs, Photos, Music, Videos and any other file, whether for permanent storage or to transport it to another device as long as it has a USB (Universal Serial Bus) reader.
What is the World’s Best Flash Drive?
To get our feet completely wet, we have decided to give our version of the best USB flash drive on the market today. If you are in a hurry and this is what you are looking for, after testing several alternatives and making the necessary comparison we answer the million dollar question: What is the best USB Flash Drive? The best USB flash drive is SanDisk Extreme Pro.
Why Sandisk Extreme Pro is the best price-quality Pendrive? Because of all the benefits and features, especially its transfer speed thanks to its SSD technology.
Analysis of the Best Flash Drives
Need more space to store your photos and files on your smartphone? Want to share files between USB Type-A and Type-C devices?
- With the Pendrive Ultra Dual Drive Go you can do this and more, moving files between smartphones, tablets and Macs with USB Type-C and computers with USB Type-A has never been easier.
- Frees up space on your mobile device so you can continue taking photos, recording videos or downloading what you need. Designed in a rotating format to protect the connectors from shocks.
- With SanDisk Memory Zone you can automatically make backups by simply inserting the drive, preventing data loss in case you lose your phone.
- Its read speed of up to 150 MB/s for faster access to your data.
Kingston DataTraveler MAX is a sleek USB drive with enough capacity to transfer movies, photos and personal or work files wherever you go. The drive supports the USB 3.2 Gen 2 (USB 3.0) specification, allowing you to do more transfers of videos, photos and other large files. The metal casing is shock and water resistant, so you can carry your data with confidence.
Want a portable SSD in the form of a flash drive? With ultra-fast performance of up to 420MB/s, SanDisk Extreme PRO USB 3.1 solid state flash memory delivers the performance of an SSD in a Flash Drive.
With a fast transfer capability and a throughput of up to 420 MB/s, you can transfer a 4K movie in less than 15 seconds or 1000 photos in less than 25 sec.
Fully backward compatible with your previous USB ports, so you can connect to any USB 2.0 or 3.0 port.
previous versions, so you can connect to any USB 2.0 or 3.0 port.
For added security the SanDisk SecureAccess software creates a private folder on your drive, you can easily protect your important files with a password.
The Kingston IronKey Basic S1000 offers a rugged and reliable solution for today’s work environment.
This 128GB Flash drive has a 128GB capacity, with 512-bit AES encryption to protect your data from unauthorized access with the added layer of physical protection through its rubber overmolding.
The device features automatic locking during periods of inactivity to help prevent accidental data loss.
5 SAMSUNG USB Flash Drive Type-C
USB-C storage for those on the go: this sleek drive supports Samsung’s NAND flash memory and is incredibly compact, so much so that it fits in the palm of your hand; expect reliable performance and high transfer rates while remaining compact.
You don’t have to choose between performance and reliability. Experience a fast and powerful flash drive that transfers 4 GB files in just 11 seconds with a read speed of up to 400 MB/s USB 3.13 and is USB 3.0/2.0 compatible.
Modern meets iconic: the ultra-sleek USB-C drive looks as beautiful as it is functional; thanks to the reversible connector, the Type-C drive fits perfectly on your devices at any time; transfer large files with style and ease
What are the Best Flash Drive Brands?
There are many brands of Pendrive in the market, but basically there are two that dominate the market. For their trajectory in the creation and improvements to this type of storage technology, for the innovation in their products and the quality of the same: Sandisk and Kingston are the best brands and dominate the market.
Best Flash Drive Brands
What is a USB Flash Drive?
The USB Flash Drive is a small storage device that contains a flash memory and uses the USB communication protocol to connect to a computer or other electronic device.
It allows storing and transporting information in the form of files, whether data, images, videos, music or any other.
The USB Flash Drive has revolutionized the way of storing and transporting information, completely displacing the use of the old floppy disks, CDs and DVDs. Its success lies in two main elements: its storage capacity and its size. Their cost, which has been reduced at an accelerated pace, is another variable that contributes to the use of these devices.
Pendrive is a word composed of the words Pen and Drive in English. Pen means pen or pencil and Drive refers to storage device. Therefore it is also known as USB stick, also called USB key, thumb drive and flash drive.
Depending on the specification of the unit we will have a Pendrive 1.0, Pendrive 2.0 or Pendrive 3.0 and so on, each time a new version is released. The newer, the faster and the more features.
What is a Pen Drive called in Spanish?
In Spanish it is usually called Memoria USB, which is the most commonly used form. USB stick is also used, although to a lesser extent. The terms related to technology, in this case computers, are used as they are in English, in this case the word Pendrive is widely used.
What are the Components of a Flash Drive?
These are the basic components of a flash drive.
1. One USB type A male connector.
Allows the connection of the Pendrive with the computer or other device.
2. USB mass storage controller.
This is the microprocessor that controls the USB device. This controller has a small RISC microprocessor and a small number of RAM and ROM circuits.
3. Bridges and Test Points.
They are used for testing during unit manufacturing or for loading code into the processor.
4. NAND Flash memory circuit.
Controls data storage and retrieval.
5. Crystal oscillator.
Allows control of data output.
They are indicators of data transfer between the device and the computer.
7. Write-protect switch.
It functions as a switche and is used to protect data from write or erase operations.
What is a USB device?
The first thing is to define that it is a USB – Universal Serial Bus device which is a protocol that allows a standard connection of various peripherals and units to other electronic devices, be they computers or other similar ones.
Its purpose is to create a connection standard between a computer and other devices. Created in the 90s by several large companies in the sector (IBM, Intel, Compaq and Microsoft among others.
Among the peripherals and other equipment that can be connected to a computer through a USB connection, the most common are: keyboards, mice or mice, printers, modems, cameras, mobile phones, flash drives, external hard drives.
Generations of USB devices
Generations of USB devices can be classified in this way including the new USB4 standard:
Let’s first define some terms:
What is a specification ?: It is a document that indicates all the elements of a technology and how it will be implemented. For example USB 1.0 is a specification. These specifications are agreed by an organization or by a group of companies that develop these technologies.
(low speed). Created in 1994, the maximum speed at which information could be moved was 1.5 Mbps, a sufficient connection for devices such as the mouse and keyboard.
(full speed). Increased transfer rate to 12 Mbps.
(high speed). It is launched in the year 2000 and in the year 2001 it became standard. It transfers data at a speed of 480 Mbps, although its actual maximum rate is 280 Mbps. Its cable has four lines: two for data and two for power.
USB 3.0 – USB 3.1 Gen 1
The third major revision of the Universal Serial Bus (USB) standard received the name change to USB 3.1 Gen 1 by The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF). However, there are no changes to the technical specifications. USB 3.1 Gen 1 (USB 3.0), with 10 times higher performance (4.8 Gbps) and better management of power consumption. It is compatible with the previous ones and includes five additional contacts. Live together with 2.0.
USB 3.1 Gen-2
USB-IF has introduced the SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps specification, called USB 3.1 Gen 2. This specification extends the data transfer rate to a theoretical rate of 10Gbps (or 1.2GB / sec).
The USB-IF has introduced the specification for the new USB standard with a speed of 20 Gbps, called USB 3.2. This specification extends the data transfer rate to a theoretical speed of 20Gbps. Available now in 2019.
The new standard introduced in March 2019 is based on Thunderbolt 3. It uses the reversible USB-C port. It is expected to be available by 2021.
Types of USB Connectors
There are different types of USB connectors on the market, one for each need and for each type of device, from a mobile to a printer. In this gallery of images taken from https://conusb.com/ we can appreciate the different types of USB Connectors
What is the storage capacity of a Pendrive or USB memory?
One of the most important benefits or characteristics of these devices is the storage capacity, which has grown almost exponentially in recent years. Currently there are 2 TB (TeraBytes) capacity flash drives, much higher than the hard drive of any desktop or laptop computer.
Many times we wonder how many files we can save on our flash drive, how many photos, songs or videos. We consulted the official page of Kingston Tecnology (https://www.kingston.com/latam/flash/storage_chart) and we found this comparative table of one of the largest manufacturers of USB flash memory devices, which we allow ourselves to reproduce to have a best idea that we can store on our flash drives.
Table with the storage capacities of the USB memory or pen drive
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Hay que tomar en cuenta que parte de la capacidad de un dispositivo es utilizada para el formateo y otras funciones, es decir que no toda la capacidad esta disponible para el almacenamiento.
Uses of the USB Flash Drive or Pen Drive
The possibilities of uses that a USB Flash Drive offers us are very varied and range from the storage of encrypted files, to the installation of an operating system from this device, to external storage for portable devices and applications.
It is one of the most common uses and one of the main ones for which these devices arose. Its storage capacity has increased permanently since they appeared on the market, which has allowed storing large amounts of information in the form of files of all kinds: documents, spreadsheets, images, videos, music, programs, among others.
In addition to the storage of information, the transport of it between different host devices (computers, tablets, cameras, etc.) is another of the widespread uses of USB flash memory or pendrive. Its storage capacity, the possibility of using them in different devices and their size contribute to this use.
Portable programs or applications:
There are programs or applications that have versions that do not need to be installed on the computer and can be run from an external drive and a USB memory is very suitable for this, allowing you to carry any application with you and run it where you need it.
Booting or charging operating system:
We can install in our pendrive an operating system with option to boot from this unit, which allows us to start a computer, either to test a different operating system or to perform some test of the computer. For example we can test Linux on our Windows computer.
Backup or temporary backups:
Due to their storage capacity, they can be used to store a large number of files temporarily or as a backup.
Keys or passwords:
There are applications that allow you to use a USB memory as a key or password to enter it.
We can save our favorite music and play it just by inserting the pendrive into a music player.
Most antivirus have portable options for virus detection and removal from a USB memory stick.
Operating system recovery units:
Operating systems have options for creating recovery drives in case of problems and USB flash drives are ideal for this.
Creating a photo album and giving it to a loved one is one of the options for using the USB flash drive.
How long does the data last on a USB Flash Drive?
Is it possible to store data in a flash memory indefinitely ?. The answer is no. And it is one of the few disadvantages that can be found to these devices. The lifetime of a flash memory is long but finite.
The main manufacturers of flash memory indicate that its useful life is 10,000 to 100,000 write cycles, that is, it depends on the use we make of the device. For most people, they don’t even come close to some of these values in everyday use.
How to choose a USB Flash Drive?
If we are going to buy a USB Flash Drive or Pen drive we have to take into account certain aspects to make the best decision. Everything will depend on our requirements and the amount of money that we are willing to invest.
Guide to Buying a Pendrive. 5 Aspects when choosing a USB Flash Drive:
1.- What storage capacity do we need:
There are different types of files that we can store on a USB memory:
Documents: they are files that contain information elaborated in word processors, spreadsheets, presentations, pdf files, among others. Generally its size does not take up much space.
Images: photos, presentations, infographics among others.
Videos and / or audios: music recordings, movies, presentations. They are the heaviest.
Programs and applications: software of any kind.
According to the type of file that we are going to store, we must select the size of our pendrive. Here we can see the Storage Capacity Table.
2.- Transfer speed:
It determines the speed with which we can read and save the data in the unit. We recommend a unit that is Generation 3.0. onwards (see USB Generations table)
3.- Quality of the device:
It is given by the security provided by the device that our data will not be lost due to any failure of the same. For this it is necessary to choose between the best brands among which we have: Sandisk, Kingston, Toshiba, Verbatin among others.
It refers to the access to the data in our USB memory, how to protect that access can be very important and depends on the content of the unit. There are units that have device security integrated, either by software or hardware. We can also add security ourselves by setting passwords to access the data. You can see Pendrive more secure
5.- Unit Cost:
How much does a USB stick or memory cost? This depends on all the above elements and on what we are willing to invest. There is to choose between colors and shapes.
What is better a USB Flash Drive or External Hard Drive?
When selecting a product and deciding which one is the best, we must be very clear that this will depend on our needs. In other words, depending on what requirement we have, a USB flash memory or an external hard drive may be better.
We must also take into account that we may have a certain requirement, but the solution to this requires a budget, that is, it implies a cost that we must evaluate if we are going to assume it or not.
Let’s analyze certain parameters to compare a flash drive with an external hard drive.
1.- Size (physical): If what we need is to store and transport information in a small unit because it has to be transported frequently from one place to another, the answer is better a Pendrive or USB Memory. The Pendrives are very small units that we can carry in our pocket or even in the form of a keychain, against external hard drives, most of them have a larger size, so they are not so comfortable to transport.
For this feature it must be taken into account that we have certain novelties on the market such as SanDisk Extreme – Portable SSD drives, very small and highly resistant SSD hard drives.
2.- Storage capacity: If our storage need does not exceed 2 TB, our option may be a USB flash drive, since this is the maximum capacity available on the market. Of course, pendrives of more than 512 GB (that is, 1TB or 2TB), have a fairly high cost and more if we compare it with any external hard drive of the same capacity.
If our storage need is greater than 2TB, chances are we need backup storage and for this an external hard drive is the best. In this case, another variable must be analyzed: traditional external hard drive or external SSD hard drive.
3.- Price or investment to be made: From what was previously analyzed, if our need does not exceed 512 GB or if it is less than this, we can get countless models and brands, colors, sizes and of course prices. The decision is easy to make since there are many options and the cost is not so high.
4.- Transfer speed: it is a very important variable when making a decision. Fortunately, in most drives, both pendrive and hard drives, it is a feature that has evolved a lot and we have available speeds according to their storage capacity. That is, the greater the storage capacity, the faster the read and write speed. From the USB 3.0 format, new standards have appeared with higher speeds.
What is Bootable USB Flash Drive?
The first thing we have to define is what it means bootable. This word comes from bootear which tries to be a verb of to boot which means Start. When we turn on a computer, the computer starts executing a series of «initial» instructions that, among other things, allow it to detect the hardware of the computer and the actual load of the operating system. This is called starting or booting the computer.
This boot or boot process is normally carried out with the operating system that is installed on the computer, whatever it may be: windows, linux, etc. When we are going to install the operating system for the first time or when we are going to repair the current one by formatting the hard disk, it is necessary to start or boot from a DVD that contains the operating system to be installed, which is the most common way of doing it.
But since there are many new computers or laptops that no longer have a built-in dvd player, this process needs to be done differently.
One of the ways to boot a computer without a DVD drive, is by means of a USB stick or bootable memory, it is simply a USB memory that contains a certain operating system and is recorded in such a way that allows a computer or computer can boot.
Where to buy a USB flash drive?
Buying a USB Flash Drive or Pendrive online is a good option taking into account the following elements:
Variety: You can find the most complete selection of USB flash drives of all brands, capacities and shapes.
Prices: find the best prices, the best offers even with free shipping.