A USB flash drive, sometimes referred to as a USB stick, thumb or pen, is a convenient and ultra-portable storage device that you can use for backing up or transferring files. It replaced the old floppy drive and almost replaced CDs and DVDs for storage as it can be written and rewritten almost unlimited times.
While cloud storage seems to be becoming a form of file transfer that can be accessed from any device or from anywhere, USB stick is still incredibly useful, so it’s not going anywhere for now.
USB flash drives come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and manufacturers, so it’s difficult to determine which one is best for your needs. Whether you want to take vacation photos, HD movies or spreadsheets of sales with you wherever you go, we compare the best USB drives to help you find the right one.
Samsung Bar Plus
Best USB Flash Drives
Samsung Bar Plus
If you are looking for a USB drive with a lot of storage and above average transfer rates, the Samsung Bar Plus is up to the task. It’s durable, good-looking, and offers 32GB, 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities.
In addition, it is resistant to elements such as water, shock, high temperatures and X-rays. Its tiny size means it can be easily lost, but you can attach it to your key holder or keychain with a lanyard loop to keep it from getting knocked out.
SanDisk Extreme PRO
The SanDisk Extreme Pro USB Drive features a sleek design and durable aluminum housing. It delivers incredible read and write speeds of 420MB / s and 380MB / s respectively, which is pretty fast compared to what a standard USB drive offers.
It also protects your sensitive files with built-in 128-bit AES encryption using SanDisk SecureAccess software and comes with a full lifetime warranty for peace of mind. Unlike other USB flash drives, SanDisk PRO offers a file backup system called RescuePRO that you can download and use to recover your lost files.
Kingston DataTraveler Vault
Kingston is a longtime leading brand in the USB flash drive market, renowned for quality components and industry-leading warranties. This DataTraveler Vault Flash Drive provides enterprise-grade security with 256-bit hardware encryption and comprehensive password protection to protect your data.
It offers storage capacities ranging from 4GB to 64GB and incredibly fast transfer speeds thanks to SuperSpeed ??technology. It also has additional antivirus protection from ESET to avoid trojans and tracking programs. You can also customize it to suit your organization’s specific corporate IT requirements.
PNY Turbo 256GB
The PNY Turbo USB Flash Drive doesn’t have the sleek design of the others on this list, but it’s one of the best options if you don’t need too much storage space.
It has capacities up to 256GB and uses the USB 3.0 standard to deliver the fastest transfer speeds possible so you can offload files from your computer and free up your precious space. It lacks features like data encryption, wireless connectivity, or file recovery software, but you get a great price per GB.
Samsung 32GB Metal Flash
The Samsung Bar Metal Flash Drive is housed in a high-quality metal casing for durability and can withstand impacts such as water, heat, shock and magnets.
Other benefits include NAND Flash technology and USB 3.0 architecture, which deliver 130MB / s read speed and 100MB / s write speed for fast data transfers. It also has a key ring to keep from losing it, and comes with a five-year warranty in case of emergency.
Silicon Power C80 Flash Drive
The Silicon Power C80 swivel dual flash drive has a Type-C port and a Type-A 3.9 port on opposite ends to switch between any connector as needed.
It’s perfect for old and new MacBook laptops that require a Type-C device, so you don’t have to sacrifice compatibility and don’t need any special software or drivers to get it working. Its read and write speed is fast enough, and you can use the optional file management application to organize your files into their respective folders.
Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth USB Flash Drive
The rugged Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth is crafted from anodized aircraft-grade aluminum to withstand shocks and long drops. It also has a waterproof EPDM seal that allows it to withstand immersion up to 200 meters.
The drive has capacities ranging from 16GB to 256GB and speeds of around 85MB / s. It may not be the fastest on our list, but its durability is unmatched in extreme conditions and is backed by a five-year warranty, so you can spin it and see what it can do.
Serpent Fang Patriot
Patriot is a relative newcomer to the memory player segment, but its Viper Fang flash drive is one of the best on the market.
It is affordable, has a durable aluminum body and large capacities ranging from 128GB to 1TB. Transfer rates up to 400MB / s ensure you work quickly and reliably without delays. Plus, it’s backwards compatible with USB 2.0 so you can use it on any computer, and it’s backed by a five-year warranty.
Kingston DataTraveler 100 Generation 3
The Kingston Digital DT100 G3 is a compact and affordable drive that offers impressive USB 3.0 speeds and capacities ranging from 8GB to 256GB. This allows you to easily store files and carry them with you wherever you go.
It also gives you customization options so you can add your logo and / or digital files to promote your brand, and comes with a five-year warranty with free tech support.
What to consider before purchasing a USB flash drive
Most people check flash storage capacity first, but storage capacity drives up the price more than any other feature. Before purchasing a flash drive, check your budget and compare your storage requirements with the amount you really need.
There is no ideal size for a USB drive, but capacities typically range from 1GB to 2TB. The correct size for your USB stick depends on the amount of data you want to store. For example, if you want to store pictures, movies, music, and other high-resolution media files, you might need 128GB to 1TB or more.
If speed is important to you, look for a flash drive with newer USB 3.0 technology or higher. USB 3.0 provides faster file transfer speeds than USB 2.0, which is an older standard. However, the choice of drive will depend on the device you want to transfer data from and the port you are using.
Flash drives are small devices and can be easily lost. They are also more vulnerable to the spread of malware and viruses because they are very portable.
To prevent data loss or theft, choose a flash drive with high security features such as full disk encryption, fingerprint authentication, or digital touchpad. This is especially true if you are transferring sensitive and highly sensitive data at your workplace. This will increase the cost of the disk, but it’s best to know that your files will be protected even if the disk falls into the wrong hands.
Longevity may or may not be a priority depending on your type of work, but it’s still worth considering when looking for a flash drive. There are several flash drives available with a sturdy and durable case that resists drops, shocks, magnets, high temperatures, and even waterproof.
Other flash drives have an enclosed design to protect against physical damage. Some flash drives even have hinges through which you can attach the drive to a key ring, key chain, or other connector to prevent loss or theft.
Store your files safely
If you need to carry your files with you, a durable and reliable USB stick is one of the most important things you’ll ever buy. The above list of the best USB drives should satisfy the needs of anyone looking for a safe and reliable way to store their most important files and make them portable.
If you’re looking for more articles on the best drives, check out our guides on the best Micro SD cards and the best external hard drives for Windows and Mac
What USB stick are you using? Share with us in the comments below.