What flash drive to choose

When choosing a flash drive or USB-drive, you should be guided by the planned use of the device.

What flash drive to choose: the criteria for evaluation

which flash drive to choose

Flash drives differ not only in volume, but also in other parameters:

  1. The standard, aka form factor;
  2. Read-write speed;
  3. Capacity;
  4. ergonomics;
  5. Additional features.

Standard (form factor)

The standard is the most important parameter for flash drives. It’s what determines how this drive can be used.

Standard USB drives are made in a USB stick format and are designed to store and transfer information from one computer to another. They plug into a regular USB Type A port and are cross-compatible between devices from different manufacturers, with different operating systems and specifications.

But if you need a flash drive for your DVR, camera or a similar “mobile” device, then most likely you will need SD or microSD. You can read the specific specs on the device documentation or on the marking on its case.

Read-write speed

flash drive read/write speed

This parameter depends on how fast the data will be copied to and from the flash drive. In the vast majority of mid-range models it depends directly on the standard of the drive. That is, flash drives with USB 2.0 provide an average read/write speed of 480 Mbit/s, and with USB 3.0 – about 5 Gbit/s.

Note that the write speed is always slower than the read speed. This is due to the nature of USB drives. In addition, the write speed of one large file is much faster than writing a lot of small files, but having the same volume – for the same reason. So if you plan to “add” to a flash drive large files – it is worth choosing a drive with a high write speed. If it will be used to store documents, photos or music – this parameter can be neglected.

Volume (capacity)

The volume of the USB drive is one of its most important parameters. It determines how many files can fit on it. In addition, the capacity directly affects the price of storage.

The relationship of price and storage capacity is non-linear. For example, flash drives that are less than 8-16 GB in size have a higher cost per gigabyte. The most economical 32 GB drives. Stick for 64 GB and more are again noted for the high cost per gigabyte.

It is also worth remembering that the volume indicated in the specs of the stick is different from the actual. This is due to the specifics of counting megabytes. For example, a USB stick which is marked as 16 GB on its packaging will have an actual capacity of about 14.7 GB. A “32 GB” flash drive has about 29.5GB.


The ergonomics of flash drives

This parameter determines the ease of use flash drive. It comes down to materials, shape and size of the device.

The best option for the body of flash drives – plastic (or polycarbonate). Metal drives, of course, are more resistant to mechanical effects – such as bumps, scratches, etc.d. – but can cause static electricity breakdown on a poorly grounded chassis of the system unit, which, in turn, will lead to data corruption or complete loss of functionality of the device. Flash drives, whose case is made of wood, leather or other materials, look attractive, but they are expensive enough.

The shape of the device greatly determines the ease of his connection. Large flash drives made in the form of funny little animals, cars, etc.d. have only one advantage – an attractive appearance. However, they are difficult to insert into a laptop, and in a system unit, whose back panel is occupied by connectors of other devices.

The size of the stick determines how easy it will be to remove. Tiny drives are very difficult to get out of the slot on the back of the system unit. And they pop out of wet fingers. Buy “extremely compact” flash drives only makes sense if they will be used to speed up your computer using the ReadyBoost technology.

Additional features

Additional features make using USB flash drive more convenient or increase its functionality. However, these devices are a little more expensive than usual. Among these features:

  1. MicroUSB connector or
  2. ghtning for use with a smartphone technology OTG (On-The-Go, viewing the contents of the drive and operations with it directly on your mobile device). It’s convenient if you often have to transfer files into smartphone memory;
  3. Protection against dust, moisture, X-rays. The first two parameters are very practical for all users, the third will only be needed for travelers;
  4. Hardware and software encryption. Convenient if you want to store confidential data on the flash drive. Uncomfortable if you often have to plug the flash drive into a public computer (like a print shop) or give it to friends.


Among the manufacturers of conventional flash drives can be distinguished SanDisk and

anscend. If you need OTG-drive, it is better to pay attention to the products of the company Leef. If we are talking about SD or microSD, then one of the best manufacturers of flash drives is the company Samsung.
  1. Transcend – one of the largest manufacturers of flash drives for the budget level. Its USB drives are low in price. In addition, the
    There are programs that help to fix the flash drive in case of failure, or at least to restore the information from it.
  2. SanDisk is best known as a high-end flash drive manufacturer. If you need a USB 3 storage device.0 or higher capacity (over 128 GB), you should pay attention to the products of this company.
  3. Leef – manufacturer OTG-flash drives. The latest models work even with iOS and support USB 3.0.
  4. Samsung makes the fastest, most reliable microSD/SD flash drives. But they cost more than the competition.


In the following articles our experts tell you which operating system is better for your computer and laptop, and the secrets of choosing a card reader.

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