5 Best USB Flash Drives (2021): Pen Drives, Thumb Drives, Memory Sticks

There are a few things to keep in mind when you shop for USB flash drives, and we also have some tips on using them.

Capacity: To determine the capacity you need, first check the size of the folders or files you want to copy. Each USB drive in our guide has a stated capacity, but the available storage you can use is less than that because the device’s firmware requires space.

SPEED: USB standards are evolving all the time, and we recommend USB 3.0 as a minimum, although higher is better. While USB standards have different theoretical speeds, it is important to check the read and write speeds stated by the manufacturer for each drive. If you are primarily transferring data, you will want to find a drive that is tall writing speed. If you plan to launch software on a computer via drive (such as a video game), then you want a model that is taller. read speed.

compatibility: Many flash drives can be used with any device with a connected port, but it is worth checking compatibility to avoid disappointment. If you want to use a drive with an Android device, it will require USB on-the-go (OTG) support. Most Android devices support USB OTG. You will get a notification when you insert a flash drive with options that need to be included File Transfer. You can try USB OTG Checker app to confirm support if you are unsure. Apple’s iPhones and iPads don’t support USB OTG, but you can install a companion app for the drives, like SanDisk’s iXpand series.

Connectors: Most flash drives have USB-A connectors, but you can also get drives with USB-C, MicroUSB, and Lightning connectors. If you plan to use a flash drive with your smartphone and computer, the easiest solution is to get one that has the same required connector types. You can also buy USB hubs with multiple ports or adapters, but pay close attention to the supported standard or you may limit your data transfer speed. it Anker USB-A to USB-C adapter, for example, is USB 3.0.

Security: Remember that USB drives can cause security issues, especially in businesses, and you should not really plug in the random drive you find lying around. If you plan to hide sensitive data on your flash drive, then consider biometric or passcode protection and look at the level of encryption it offers. There are software services that offer encryption and allow you to password protect your files on any USB flash drive.

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