USB Memory Sticks
USB Memory Stick
A USB Memory Stick or Flash Drive is a small device that is capable of holding massive amounts of data. To use a USB memory stick, simply plug the drive into a spare USB port on the computer then it shows an available drive to copy information to. They are perfect for storing and sharing documents, pictures, music and pretty much any other data needed to transfer.
Benefits of a USB Memory Stick over an external hard drive
The main benefits of using a USB Memory Stick over an external hard drive are the increased portability, higher resistance to shock that often causes data loss in external hard drives and no need for an external power adapter like some larger external hard drives require.
Drawbacks of a USB Memory Stick over an external hard drive
USB Memory Sticks relies on flash memory for storage which can be expensive depending on brand and storage space required. Like any data device, there is a small risk of data corruption so keeping a backup is essential. With USB Memory Sticks also being so small has to consider the risk of losing the drive, which is easily the biggest cause of data loss in USB Memory Sticks.
How to choose your USB memory sticks?
- It’s not worth looking for memory sticks with capacities smaller than 64GB simply because the price premium you pay for twice or four times the storage is tiny.
- Make sure you include delivery price when doing the numbers as quite often you end up paying more for the postage than the drive itself, particularly for low-cost models.
- USB 2.0 is sufficient for smaller capacities but not for bigger ones where write speeds can be sluggish. Larger flash drives (128GB or more) often come only with a USB 3.0 connector.
- If you plan to move files to and from portable devices (tablets or smartphones), consider a memory stick with a micro USB connector and a full-size USB one.
- Avoid buying your memory sticks from vendors with few feedbacks on auction websites as these drives might turn out to be fake. All the vendors listed below are tried and trusted ones.
- Above 128GB, you might want to consider an SSD if you want ruggedness, portability, versatility and better performance without the cost.
Note that all the capacities are likely to be much less than stated when they are formatted and when mounted on an operating system.