USB sticks, or pendrives, offer a large storage capacity while being small, fast, and portable. Thanks to these advantages, their popularity is not surprising. Furthermore, their jobs do not stop growing. And, all of this, in a device that fits in your pocket and can also be used as a keychain.
It’s always handy to have one on hand. How many times has it happened to you that you didn’t have it just when you needed it most? Or have it, but without space available? Whatever your reason for buying one, in this practical guide we will reveal everything about USB sticks.
They are very light and versatile. Perfect for an increasingly scaled-down world. You can carry them in your pocket, hang them on a keychain or carry them in your backpack.
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Their storage capacity has not stopped growing since the first models appeared.
They have multiple uses: from installing an operating system to backing up important documents. Some models have security systems to prevent their content from falling into the wrong hands.
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The best USB flash drives on the market: our selection
Below, we will show you our complete ranking with the five best USB sticks currently available on the market. Each of them is distinguished above all by some particularities. Of course, all of them are very good value for money. This way, you can choose the one that best suits your needs.
- SanDisk Ultra Fit, USB 3.0 Flash
- Toshiba Hayabusa Pendrive 32GB, USB 2.0
- Kingston DTSE9H / 16GB
- SanDisk Cruzer Fit
- Lexar P20 32GB, USB 3.0 JumpDrive
SanDisk Ultra Fit, USB 3.0 Flash
An authentic bestseller that also receives excellent ratings from its buyers. An extremely small, yet high-speed USB 3.0 flash drive. It is perfect for notebooks, game consoles, or car audio equipment. It has a capacity of 64GB and offers a read speed of up to 150MB / s.
It is an ideal USB stick for non-professional use, with a fairly low price and good features. Plus, it’s presented in an elegant silver design, backed by a brand like SanDisk. And if you prefer, it’s also available in 16GB, 32GB, and 128GB versions.
Toshiba Hayabusa Pendrive 32GB, USB 2.0
Among the USB sticks with the best quality/price ratio is the Toshiba Hayabusa (available from 8 to 128 GB). The 32GB version costs less than € 10 and is compatible with all USB 2.0 ports. The write speed goes up to 5 MB / s, while the read speed goes up to 18 MB / s.
According to the reviews, it is not very fast in data transfer, but it is still a perfect stick for all daily uses. Someone reports that it is not possible to format it in NTFS.
Kingston DTSE9H / 16GB
One of the cheapest USB sticks on the market, the Kingston DTSE9H has several versions up to 64GB. The read speed is 10MB / s, the write speed is 5MB / s. It is compatible with all USB 2.0 ports.
It is not among the fastest sticks, but it does its job, also guaranteed by the Kingston brand which is one of the most authoritative for USB memories. Small and practical, usable in any available space, it must be tied to something or it gets lost easily.
SanDisk Cruzer Fit
If you want a USB stick at an affordable price, then SanDisk Cruzer Fit is what you are looking for. It has a memory capacity of 16GB and USB 2.0 connectivity technology. Includes SanDisk SecureAccess software to protect files stored in it.
Thanks to its design with a super small size, it goes completely unnoticed. It is smaller than a one euro coin. Thus, it is suitable for use as continuous storage of notebooks, netbooks, tablets, or other small devices. And all this, for a price of fewer than ten euros. It is also available in 32 and 64 GB.
Lexar P20 32GB, USB 3.0 JumpDrive
Excellent value for money with the guarantee of a brand like Lexar. It has a capacity of 32GB. It offers read speeds of up to 400 Mb / s and writes speeds of up to 270 Mb / s. You can transfer a movie in HD format in less than 40 seconds. In addition, it is compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0.
It has a stylish black design that you will love. It is made with a metal alloy base, although the top has a glossy mirror finish. In addition, it has a secure encryption system to protect the files. You won’t have to worry about them falling into the wrong hands.
Shopping guide: everything you should know about USB sticks
Before buying a USB stick or a Pendrive, it is worth considering some factors. Not all USB sticks are created equal. For this reason, in this section, we address the most frequently asked questions asked by buyers. This way, you will be more confident in your choice and be satisfied with it.
USB sticks (Universal Serial Bus) or pendrives are small storage devices in which you can save any type of information. To save the data, they use flash memory. Their origin dates back to the year 2000 when the first units were sold. They are also known as pendrives, USB sticks, or memory sticks.
Faced with the growing trend of information storage in the cloud, USB sticks continue to have a multitude of applications. They can be used to install an operating system or to back up important files or documents.
They are also very practical for moving very large files. Another interesting use is the installation of portable applications. They can also be used to play audiovisual content on a smart TV or to record a show, series, or movie if the TV allows it. Likewise, they can be used in video game consoles to save games or even videos.
Undoubtedly, the main advantage is that they are portable and take up very little space. They fit in a pocket, inside a backpack, and can also be used as key rings.
In addition, they allow for a quick and easy exchange of information between devices. And all this at a usually not high price. However, their use can have some drawbacks. They are very vulnerable to changes in voltage and shocks. Also, older ones tend to experience problems after prolonged use.
Using a USB stick is very simple. In computers and similar devices, simply connect it to the equipment. Once this is done, you can copy and move files or run and install applications. In smart TVs or video game consoles, you will only have to follow the simple instructions that appear on the screen.
In general, the life span of flash memory is usually around 3,000 – 5,000 write cycles. It is about 4/5 years old if you use them twice a day. It seems more than enough. You will surely lose it before it completes its life cycle.
Below, we’ll look at some important factors that you need to keep in mind before buying a USB stick. This way, you will surely be satisfied after the purchase. We don’t want you to regret your USB stick after a couple of months.
- Storage capacity
- File format
- Factory format
- Sensitivity of the data to be saved
When choosing a USB stick, it is very important to know what you intend to use it for. It may be required for a specific use, such as installing an operating system, or for frequent use, such as saving documents that will be used on different computers, or for saving and playing high-quality videos.
Capacity is a fundamental factor in choosing the key you intend to buy. We live in a world where we increasingly need to store more and more information. Fortunately, current pendrives offer ever higher values.
The time of 128 MB pendrives is long gone. Today, USB memory capacity is measured in GB. You can find a 64GB USB drive for under twenty dollars. However, there is no point in buying a flash drive with a larger storage capacity than you need.
The data transfer speed can be an important factor to consider if you need to copy a large amount of information. In this regard, it is appropriate to distinguish between the standards of USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and, more recently, USB 3.1. You can consult the following table to know the transfer speed of each of them.
File format or file system is the way a memory unit organizes stored content or information. In general, to use a flash drive or any other storage device, it must be formatted in advance. In general, the file system is already standard in the pen drive.
However, if not, then you need to choose the correct one for the device where you intend to use it. To do this, several services and application companies will allow you to perform an easy and quick format. It may also happen that the factory format is not suitable for the equipment in which it will be used.
There is nothing more frustrating than losing your saved information because suddenly the USB stick stops working. It is also true that there are programs that can help you recover this information, but they are not always effective. So, as they say, prevention is better than cure.
Since USB sticks are designed to travel, they must be durable. A common problem with pendrives is their low resistance to voltage surges. In addition, USB sticks are often subject to shocks and vibrations.
Currently, there are different types of formats of USB sticks. There are retractable ones, with or without caps, made of plastic, metal, key rings, etc. It is therefore advisable to choose one that offers a solid structure. It is better than the plastic is rigid and rubberized.
For USB sticks, size matters. Don’t forget that one of their great advantages is that they take up little space. These devices are designed to be easily transported. Very large and thick pendrives can cause space problems when connecting to the computer, especially in laptops.
In general, it may seem that a smaller USB stick is better than a larger one. This is not always true, as this will depend more on the quality of the components. Of course, it will be easier to transport, since it will take up less space. And of course, depending on how you use it, this can be a key factor.
Sensitivity of the data to be saved
The data saved on the USB stick can be very sensitive. If so, you may want to purchase one with a security hardware encryption system. This way, if you lose it, no one will be able to access the information stored in it and the only thing you will have to regret is the loss of the key.
The choice of brand is one of the most important factors when buying a USB stick. The brand of a product is closely related to certain aspects, such as quality, guarantee, duration, and price. Some of the best-known brands are SanDisk, Lexar, Transcend, Toshiba, Corsair, Verbatim, and Kingston.