When shopping for a USB stick, the first things that come to mind are the capacity and the selling price. However, as we mentioned before, there are many characteristics that must be taken into consideration before purchasing.
The capacity of the USB stick is the storage space available in a particular model of USB stick. In the market there are cheap USB sticks with a memory of 8GB while other professional models are able to contain a much larger memory up to 256 GB. Our advice is to evaluate this factor well, because often the most capacious keys are also faster in terms of data transfer speed.
Transfer speed and USB standard
The transfer speed is the real speed with which you can transfer files from PC to pen drive and vice versa. The USB standard, on the other hand, is the theoretical maximum speed that a device can achieve. The two do not always match because the actual speed is also affected by other factors such as the type of flash memory included in the stick and its controller.
Today, most devices and sticks support the USB 3.0 standard, which is characterized by a theoretical maximum speed that can vary from 5 Gigabit / s, which is equivalent to 640 MB per second. Let it be clear, however, that no pen drive currently is able to reach this speed in reality. Clearly, the higher the standard supported, the higher the data transfer rate (and the selling price). The 3.0 standard ensures 10 times faster speed than the 2.0 standard.
Finally, it is especially important to always keep in mind that all standards are backwards compatible.
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Although most USB sticks use a type A connector, i.e. the standard rectangular and rather large one, in reality in recent months other types of pen drives are spreading, capable of being used in the latest generation USB-C ports. There are also some models equipped with a microUSB or Lightning connector, which can be used and connected directly to Android smartphones and iPhones and iPads. There are also models that integrate two types of connector, in order to be used both with computers and with smartphones and tablets.
Size and shape
The one related to size and shape is the richest and most varied factor in the world of USB sticks. In recent years, manufacturers have literally indulged themselves and have produced models with the most disparate shapes and sizes. This factor basically depends on the needs that each of us may have. But remember: when you go to buy USB sticks that are too small, you really risk losing them. Also, generally, larger keys are faster in reading and writing.
The security factor is important considering that some keys can also be used to save sensitive documents that we do not want to be read by other people. In fact, it is not difficult for a pen drive to be lost, so it is better to prevent it by using a security system. There are many ways in which data can be secured: in some cases the companies themselves provide free software to encrypt the contents of the key, in other cases, however, it is possible to take advantage of open source programs available on the net. If you are unfamiliar with these things, you can simply set a password to the single content so that it cannot be opened by third parties. Finally, it is recommended that you scan your USB stick with antivirus software because it is not uncommon for various devices to transfer viruses and malware.
Quality of materials
Pen drives must be made of good quality materials to keep your files and documents safe as long as possible. In fact, it is important to prevent the key from being damaged as a result of falls or simple wear. Another important aspect is the resistance to water and dust. Even if it is not a useful factor for everyone, it is important to know that they exist and, in technical jargon, they are called rugged. These devices can even be immersed in water.
Ease of use
Ease of use is very important because there are some keys that require the installation of particular software, most of the time very complex, to be used. Therefore, the advice is to choose a pen drive that works after being inserted into the PC, without having to carry out complex actions that sometimes are not within everyone’s reach.
USB sticks for iPhone and Android
As we have already mentioned, in the market there are particular models of USB flash drives equipped with a double connector and able to be connected not only to the computer, but also to iPhones, iPads and all Android devices. These are the so-called 2-in-1 models and are highly appreciated especially by those who work on the move. With the same performance and capacity, however, the sale price increases significantly.
The price of a USB stick may vary based on various factors such as materials, capacity and data transfer speed. On the market it is possible to find models at a very low cost, starting from 150 INR, up to very expensive pen drives, which can exceed 4000 INR. The choice of one model over another depends on the type of file you need to save: if it is very important documents, it is better to opt for a more expensive and safer device. If, on the other hand, you need a support to transport video or momentary files, you can rely on a medium-low range model.
In recent years, moreover, a new type of WiFi USB stick is spreading a lot, which, not having to be physically inserted into the device, is compatible with all PCs, tablets and other media. This type is much more expensive and is not always functional for everyone, therefore, it is better to evaluate its purchase in advance.
The best selling brands of USB flash drives are SanDisk, Toshiba, Kingston and Transcend. It is true that there are hundreds of pen drives produced by less famous brands that can still satisfy everyone’s needs, however, relying on large companies equates to greater reliability. In fact, even in the event that, after the purchase, problems or defects in the invoice are encountered, it is important to be able to count on a customer assistance service that, in general, is offered by the most famous, and even more expensive, brands.
The USB flash drives, also known as Pen Drive, are storage systems easy to use and carry, which allow you to save files and documents to transfer them to a PC or, simply, to have them always at hand even when they can be used on the move. Unlike cloud services, they are less expensive and do not require an internet connection to work and, often, they are also used as real external hard drives to save documents for long periods.