Last updated: August 19, 2021

Our method

14Products analysed

22Hours spent

26Evaluated articles

79User reviews

Today we will talk about what you should know about USB flash drives and which are the best devices you can get on the market. USB flash drives are devices that allow us to store information and transport it everywhere, quickly and securely, from the comfort of our pocket.

In a world where information and data management is vital, USB flash drives have become a very practical and useful device for us. The freedom that these devices offer to transport and share files, photos, videos, music, among others, we did not have with the old computer floppy disks or CDs.

That's why we are interested in giving you all the information you need to select the USB flash drive that best suits your budget and, especially, your needs. We will go beyond the technical details to show you all the elements to take into account so that you can choose the best USB flash drive for you.




Summary

  • USB sticks are portable storage devices that work by using flash memory to store data and information. The acronym USB is short for "Universal Serial Bus". Because they are portable, small and rugged, they have become popular devices for transporting information.
  • The different versions of USB devices largely define their speed and capacity. So far there are USB 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 and 3.1 flash drives, which vary considerably from each other. It is exciting to think that this is a list that is open to new innovations.
  • Buying a USB flash drive is not just about choosing the best price, there are also several things to consider. Storage capacity, speed and brand are things you should always keep in mind.

The best USB Sticks: Our Picks

The variety of USB flash drives on the market is overwhelming. To help you get a clear picture we have listed here the 4 best USB flash drives available on the market. Take a look and secure your purchase.

Buying Guide

USB flash drives are particular electronic devices, which you need to know well in order to choose the right one for you. To help you, we've put together this buying guide, where we tell you about the pros and cons, budget and even where to find a variety.

USB sticks are ideal for carrying important information in a practical and safe way. (Photo: Brian Jackson / 123rf.com)

What are USB Flash Drives?

A USB Flash Drive is a storage device that uses flash memory and connects to electronic equipment such as computers, televisions and video game consoles. Unlike external hard drives, USB flash drives do not require a power source.

USB flash drives vary in storage capacities, ranging from 2GB to 2TB capacity, and their speed depends on whether they are 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 or 3.1. In addition, they offer a lot of additional variables such as ports or fingerprint readers for added protection, among other features.

What are the advantages of USB flash drives?

USB flash drives have one advantage over other storage media on the market, and that is the ease with which they allow us to transport the information. On the other hand, USB flash drives only need to be connected to a computer and in this way we can access our information without any problem.

Currently the market offers a wide variety of brands and models of USB flash drives. Each one with different capacities that adapt to the needs of the users. Depending on the brand, model, speed and storage capacity, the cost will vary.

Advantages
  • Easy to carry
  • No installation required
  • Rugged
  • Can be written, erased and rewritten up to a million times
  • Come in various shapes, sizes
  • Have a variety of storage capacities
Disadvantages
  • Can be easily misplaced
  • Susceptible to viruses
  • Can fail

USB 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 or 3.1 - What to look out for?

Thanks to the implementation of USB technology in the world of computing, we have been able to simplify and unify the input of our devices into a single model. Thus we have the ease of being able to connect to a universal port our external equipment such as hard drives, cameras, printers, USB sticks, among others.

USB 1.0 memory. The first USB ports (USB 1.0) were created to work with keyboards, mice and other devices that used a small bandwidth. USB 1.0 worked at a speed of approximately 1.5 MB/s.

USB 2.0 memory. In 2000 USB 2.0 came along and allowed us to multiply the speed. This upgrade provided a speed of 480 MB/s. USB 2.0 is likely to be the port we have in our homes and computers.

USB 3.0 memory. By 2008, the technology we have today appeared: USB 3.0. This version allows a speed of up to 4.8 gigabits per second, which is 10 times faster than USB 2.0. For a USB 3.0 device to work at the speed it offers, we need to connect it to a port that also has USB 3.0 technology.

USB 3.1 memory. Today we can find equipment with the acronym USB 3.1 GEN 1 which is the next generation USB technology. This technology has a transfer speed of 10 gigabits per second or 1250 MB/s. USB 3.1 is relatively new as it was launched in 2013.

USB 1.0 USB 2.0 USB 3.0 USB 3.1
Speed 1.5 mb/s 480 mb/s 4.8 gb/s 10 gb/s
Cost Low Medium-low Medium-high High
Compatibility Low Medium Medium High High

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate different models of desktops

When looking for a USB stick, we often don't differentiate between USB 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 or 3.1. We only pay attention to its storage capacity and price. But a USB flash drive is much more than that. That's why we want you to know everything you need to consider when buying a USB flash drive.

  • Read and Write Speed
  • Brand
  • Storage Capacity
  • Size of the USB Flash Drive

Read and Write Speed

When buying a USB flash drive, the first thing to consider is the read and write speed of the device. This is mainly defined by the type of USB flash drive you buy, as each version has a reference transfer rate.

This is why we should pay attention and check the read and write speed of the USB flash drive before we buy it. This can be seen by the rate of megabytes per second (MB/s) or gigabytes per second (GB/s) at which it works. The higher the read and write speed, the better the performance you will get.

The brand

It may seem obvious, but knowing which brand you are buying is very important when choosing your USB flash drive. There are a multitude of brands on the market today; some generic and unknown brands can have poor performance and durability.

If we opt for well-known brands such as Kingston, Sandisk, Verbatim, Transcend, Samsung, among others, we can be sure that the performance and durability of our USB flash drives will be more than satisfactory for us.

Storage capacity

Finding out the capacity of the USB flash drive you are buying is another of the most important things to consider. You need to be sure that the device you select meets your storage needs.

Nowadays you can get USB sticks with a minimum capacity of 4GB, while larger ones can have up to 2T of memory. So there is a wide range of options to choose from. And we must consider that the higher the capacity, the higher the cost.

USB sticks are portable and easy to use. (Photo: Olha Solodenko / 123rf.com)

USB flash drive size

For some, size matters when it comes to USB flash drives, but it is something everyone should consider. Size is not only an aesthetic aspect, it also defines the portability of the device, and in some cases it interferes with the performance of the flash drive. We tell you about these.

Small USB flash drives. It is advisable to buy USB flash drives that are small in size as they are easier to carry. Additionally, they will not create problems when plugged into USB ports, such as obstructing any other available ports. But they can be easily misplaced.

Medium or large USB flash drives. Large USB sticks (over 5 cm long) have the great advantage that they are unlikely to be misplaced, and you can always get them quickly. But it is a disadvantage that it loses part of its benefit: portability.

(Featured image photo: rawpixel / 123rf.com)

Reviews