The flash drivesalso known as flash drives, they are a very useful storage medium for making backup copies or transporting data between devices, among many other uses. They are a more "standard" alternative to memory cards to make backups or simply play multimedia content on your Smart TV or other players. But if you are wondering, which USB should I buy? My answer is: it depends what you need it for.

In this article we will give you a brief review of the types of flash drives or available flash drives and what you should keep in mind before buying a USB flash drive.

Índice

    history of pen drives

    Before getting down to business, let's look at a brief overview of the history of pen drives, and that is that these small flash memory units have been with us for almost 20 years. In it year 2000the companies IBM Y Trek Technology They were the first to launch the first USB flash drives on the market. On the one hand, Trek Technogy presented a USB memory called thumb driveand IBM put out for sale a pendrive model that received the name of DiskOnKey.

    DiskOnKey-primer-usb-m-systems
    DiskOnKey: the first pen drive in history

    The company that designed the first memories was an Israeli company called M-Systems. The first USB model they created had a capacity of 8, 16 Y 32MB. Nowadays talking about megabytes sounds ridiculous, but back then USB drives were a revolution and put an end to the use of 3.5″ floppy disks and their 1.44 MB capacity.

    As a curiosity, these first USB storage units had a small battery inside, since they still did not use the electrical current of the USB port to be powered.

    USB memory capacity

    There is no correct or recommended size for a flash drive, you simply have to find one whose capacity meets your needs based on the amount of data you want to store. The capacity of the first USB flash drives ranged from a few hundred megs, to more than 1 TB today.

    evolution-capacity-usb-memories
    Evolution of pen drive capacity
    As you can see, throughout the article I am talking about flash drives with low capacity, such as 512 MB or 1 GB. Today these capacities are obsolete and it is already difficult to find units of less than 8 GB for sale, even all USBs of less than 16 GB are beginning to be scarce.
    Let's take an example, if you only need to store a few Word or Excel files, a 512 MB or 1 GB USB stick is more than enough. However, if you need to back up all your files or save large amounts of data like photos or movies, you might need a few GB.

    On the other hand, if you want to store larger or heavier content, such as photos and videos or movies, you may need several tens or hundreds of GB.

    Transfer speed

    Another factor that you should take into account when buying a flash drive is the Transfer speed. There are currently two types of USB flash drives:

    • USB2.0: is the older standard of the two. The maximum transfer speed for a USB 2.0 is 480Mbps.
    • USB3.0: the most modern standard. The maximum transfer speed for a USB 3.0 is 4,800Mbps either 4.5Gbps. This means that the USB 3.0 is approximately 10 times faster than the USB 2.0 standard..

    usb-timeline-standards-speed-transfer

    The type of USB you choose depends to some extent on the device you are going to use it on. If your PC only has USB 2.0 ports, even if you connect a USB 3.0 pen drive, the maximum transfer speed of the pen drive will be that of the USB 2.0 standard.

    Security

    Without a doubt, flash drives or pen drives are a storage solution economical, fast, comfortable and reliable comfortable. But this comfort presents some risks that you should be aware of:

    • Pen drives are usually small in size. This makes them very convenient to carry, but it also makes them easy to lose or misplace.
    • An infected flash drive can spread viruses or malware from one computer to another.

    When the data you need to transport is especially sensitive, you can opt for a professional-grade pen drive, with the possibility of being encrypted at the hardware level with 256-bit AES encryption.

    Common problems with flash drives

    To minimize the risk of data loss when a USB stick is lost, you can use software and hardware encryption. When you encrypt a flash drive you help prevent the transfer of malware and unauthorized access to your data.

    fix-disk-in-windows-10

    USB device is not recognized

    On certain occasions, the operating system does not detect or recognize the USB stick that you just connected, and the truth is that it is a more common error than it seems.

    The most common faults are problems in the data table, format problems or in a driver failure that handle the USB device.

    If when connecting your pendrive, Windows shows the dreaded message that the USB device is not recognized, try to carry out some of the solutions proposed by the guys at tutecnopro.

    How to fix formatting issues

    Let's see two methods to correct the format problems in the flash drive:

    Scan the drive for errors

    Windows comes with a utility to check your flash drive for errors. The application will try to fix errors and problems as well as bad sectors on the disk.

    Follow these steps to get to this tool:

    1. Open My PC
    2. Right-click on the USB drive icon and select Properties.
    3. At the top of the window Propertiesclick on the tab Tools.
    4. Click on the button Check inside option error checking
    5. After this, select the option "Automatically fix file system errors" Y "Attempt to repair bad sectors".
    6. Once the process is finished, try to format your flash drive again
    Use the command line
    If the first method doesn't fix your USB stick issues, you can try to fix it from the command prompt.
    diskpart
    1. Connect the flash drive to the computer
    2. Open the start menu and writes cmd
    3. Right click and tap on Execute as an administrator
    4. The next thing will be to write in the console the command 'diskpart' and press enter
    5. The list of all devices connected to the computer will appear on the console
      Identify the number that corresponds to your USB drive and type 'select disk_ (pendrive number)' and press enter
    6. write the command clean and immediately afterwards
    7. Format the device

    The price of pen drives

    The price of flash memory is directly related to its size. Generally, the more memory, the more expensive a flash drive is. It will also cause the price to vary the type of standard. USB 3.0 is faster and also more expensive. Depending on the use you are going to give it, a USB 2.0 may be enough.

    cheap-amazon-pendrives-best
    Click to see the list of the best-selling flash drives on Amazon

    The best flash drives 🥇

    From this point, and now that you have some basic notions to choose a flash drive, we are going to see which are the best USB, the fastest, the safest or simply the best valued.

    The fastest flash drive ⚡

    usb-pendrive-sandisk-extreme-go

    The fastest flash drive is the SanDisk Extreme GO. This USB drive offers blazing fast performance in a compact sized body. This pendrive with USB 3.1 standard reaches read and write speeds of 200MB/s and 150MB/s respectively. With these speeds, it becomes the ideal USB memory to expand the storage of ultraportable computers with small eMMC units, because with these figures, the performance of this USB can exceed that of a simple SSD drive.

    with a flash drive SanDisk ExtremeGo you can copy a 4K movie in less than 40 seconds, that is, almost 35 times faster than it would take to copy it with a USB 2.0 pen drive. The measurements of this flash drive are 70.86 x 21.33 x 11.43 millimeters, it weighs only 136 grams.

    USB_SanDisk_Extreme_Go_review
    SanDisk ExtremeGO 3.1

    It features a retractable connector for easy storage when not in use and is compatible with any port, be it USB 3.0 or USB 2.0.

    Includes SanDisk SecureAccess software so you can password-protect the private files you choose, while leaving the rest of your memory available to share with anyone.

    USB SanDisk Extreme GO

    pros

    • High transfer speed of up to 200MB/s read and up to 150MB/s write
    • Up to 35 times faster than standard USB 2.0 drives
    • Transfer a 4K movie in less than 45 seconds
    • Compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0

    Cons

    • Size
    • Price
    • It is not the cheapest USB (although it is worth it for its great performance)

    See price of SanDisk Extreme GO USB on Amazon

    The safest flash drive 🔐

    Review-Kingston-Data-Vault-Privacy-3

    They may not be the best known and are not even available in many physical stores, but the pen drive with encryption either high security USB flash drives they are not something new.

    Ever since companies used pen drives to share information, there has been concern about keeping confidential information safe. In this aspect, the Kingston Data Traveler Vault It is, from our point of view, the safest and most economical flash drive.

    DTVP30-Kingston-Data-Vault-Privacy-3

    This USB 3.0 thumb drive has a hardware system with 256-bit AES encryption. It is available in 4, 8, 16, 32 and 64 GB versions.

    It has a weight of 9 g. and dimensions of 80x13x25 mm.

    USB Kingston Data Traveler Vault

    pros

    • 256-bit AES encryption
    • High speed

    Cons

    • The largest model is 64 GB
    • Price

    See prices for the USB Kingston Data Traveler Vault on Amazon

    The smallest and lightest flash drive

    I must admit that I love this type of memories or mini pen drives. The small size of these USB drives allows them to be permanently connected to a laptop, even when carrying it in a bag or briefcase. With a pendrive of conventional size it is not possible.

    usb-mini-pendrives

    These USB flash drives are ideal for increasing the capacity of ultrabook. Many car multimedia equipment have a USB port to play music. These pen drives are ideal for these scenarios, where always having a very large USB connected becomes annoying.

    The biggest drawback of this type of memory is that it is very easy to lose it.

    The best valued mini-pendrives are the SanDisk Cruzer Fit and the Samsung Fit Plus.

    The Samsung Fit Plus 128 GB is called Samsung muf-128abis of version USB3.1 and weighs only 3.1 grams.

    usb-pendrive-samsung-fit-plus

    USB Samsung FitPlus

    pros

    • Size
    • High speed

    cons

    • easy to lose

    See price of USB Samsung Fit Plus

    Because of its band, the SanDisk Cruzer Fit is also a version USB3.1reaches reading speeds of up to 130MB/s and it is available in a capacity that goes from 16 to 256 GB.

    usb-pendrive-sandisk-cruzer-fit

    USB SanDisk Cruzer Fit

    pros

    • Size
    • High speed up to 130MB/s

    cons

    • easy to lose

    See price of SanDisk Cruzer Fit USB

    The 10 best-selling flash drives on Amazon

    Finally, to finish this article, I leave you the list with theThe 10 best-selling flash drives on Amazon this week.

    As expected, pen drives from the main brands such as SanDisk, Kingston, Samsung or Toshibaamong other.