The best USB flash drives are useful for transferring large files not only between computers but also between printers, routers, and smart TVs. When you have a USB drive with a lot of storage space, you can use it to perform partial or even full backups of your system. As a general rule, all you have to do is plug the drive into a USB port and drag and drop the files that you wish to back up. In the current technology, USB memory sticks are capable of storing more data and are able to read and write data more quickly than just a few years ago, largely due to faster protocols and cheaper storage. (If you have a lot of data, you may want to consider our guide on the best cloud backup services.) With just a few dollars, you can keep all your personal files at your fingertips. Nevertheless, selecting the right USB drive is not always as straightforward as it seems. The reason for this is that there are at least four USB connection protocols - USB 2.0, USB 3.0, USB 3.1, and USB 3.2 - and each is several times more speedy than its predecessor. When copying large files, fast read and write speeds can save you quite a bit of time.
Samsung Fit Plus (MUF-128AB)
Those looking for a flash drive that offers both features and affordability may find the Samsung Fit Plus (MUF-128AB) to be an excellent choice. As a result of the device's small size, it is easy to carry. It's available in 32GB, 256GB, and 128GB sizes and supports USB 3.1 connectivity with 300 MB/s data transfer speed. A USB memory stick with this speed is significantly faster than a USB memory stick with a slower speed. The Samsung Fit Plus is water-, shock-, magnet-, temperature-, and X-ray-proof, which means you can bring it anywhere and not have to worry about damaging your data. Almost any device will be able to use this memory stick because it is backward-compatible with USB 2.0. Note, however, that it is relatively expensive, making it not the best choice for those looking to save money.
SanDisk Cruzer CZ36
A popular USB drive on the market, the SanDisk Cruzer CZ36 has been on the market for several years. The reason for its popularity is its solid design, encryption capabilities, and, most importantly, its extremely affordable price. With a black finish and a red slider, the Cruzer CZ36 is equipped with a USB connector that can be extended or retracted to protect it from damage. In terms of connectivity, the drive is limited to USB 2.0, which is an older standard. This SanDisk flash drive offers 128-bit AES encryption and SanDisk SecureAccess Software, making it one of the best flash drives available. From music and photos to videos and business documents, the SanDisk Cruzer CZ36 is an excellent choice.
Kingston DataTraveler G4
Kingston is one of the best USB flash drives on the market for those who do not wish to spend a great deal of money. The company's DataTraveler G4 USB drive is priced at under $10 for 32GB of storage and USB 3.0 compatibility. By spending only a few dollars, you can have a device that stores your content, transfers it easily and quickly, all without putting your data at risk. A DataTraveler's connector cap keeps the drive safe from damage when not in use, and a loop at the end makes it easy to attach to a keychain to reduce the chances of losing it. As a result, the Kingston DataTraveler G4 is limited to 128 GB, which is less storage capacity than some of the other options available. It is recommended that you purchase this drive only if you will not be transferring a large amount of data.
PNY's Turbo flash drive is a popular choice among travelers who do not want to take the risk of losing their data. It features both a rugged design and ample storage capacity. With the USB 3.0 device, you can transfer files at speeds up to ten times faster than with a USB 2.0 device. Combined with Turbo's maximum storage capacity of 256GB, you should be able to store nearly 48,000 songs on the device - and transfer them seamlessly. It features a sliding collar that protects the connector when not in use, which is especially useful for road warriors. The integrated loop on the PNY Turbo makes it easy to attach the device to a keychain or backpack to reduce the likelihood of it being misplaced while traveling. As one of the best USB flash drives, the PNY Turbo offers a nice blend of features, storage, and travel-friendliness.
SanDisk Extreme Pro SDCZ880
One of SanDisk's most capable USB devices is the Extreme Pro, but you will have to shell out some serious money to acquire it. There is at least 128GB of storage available, and the drive can be upgraded to 1TB, with USB 3.2 connectivity to ensure fast data transfer rates. In accordance with SanDisk, the memory stick has a read speed of up to 420 MBps and a write speed of up to 380 MBps. Due to its excellent performance, the Extreme Pro is one of the best USB flash drives on the market. Due to the aluminum finish, the Extreme Pro should be able to withstand shocks and other damage, and you should not have to worry about your data being lost. In addition to its USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 compatibility, SanDisk offers a lifetime limited warranty on its drive.
Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth
Corsair's Flash Survivor Stealth protects your data wherever you go. The device is designed with a cylindrical design and an anodized, aircraft-grade aluminum housing to prevent damage in the event of a drop. This USB flash drive also features a water seal in order to prevent liquid intrusion. There is a shock-dampening collar surrounding the ends of the device to ensure the data remains protected in the event of a drop. The Flash Survivor Stealth from Corsair provides USB 3.0 connectivity. Furthermore, the memory stick is capable of storing 256GB of data without experiencing any damage. However, you should be aware that this USB drive is more expensive than some of its competitors. The device is also covered by a limited five-year warranty. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does limit your options for replacement in the future.
SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive USB-C SDDDC2
A slick-looking flash drive that offers fast data transfer and plenty of storage, SanDisk's Ultra Dual Drive USB-C has plenty of storage. It is the best USB drive for newer laptops that have only USB-C ports, such as the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. Due to its dual-port design - there is a slide to expose either USB-A or USB-C - the SanDisk Ultra USB-C offers a nice combination of fast data transfers and future-proofing, so you can be assured that it will be compatible with a range of devices in the future. As well as supporting data transfers between a wide range of devices, such as Macs and Android smartphones, the memory stick offers up to 256GB of storage. Data-transfer speeds of up to 150 MB/s are claimed by SanDisk. Whenever you are not using the USB flash drive, you can retract both connectors in order to minimize the chances of damage. As a result, your data will remain safe and easily accessible. The price of this USB-C drive is a bit higher than that of other USB-C drives.
Kingston Digital DataTraveler Elite G2 DTEG2
With USB 3.1 connectivity, Kingston Digital's DataTraveler Elite G2 USB drive offers ultrafast read and write speeds and allows you to store your content with ease. Moreover, it features an LED light that indicates when the device is connected and when data is being transferred, so you will never have to guess what is happening at any given time. There are versions of the memory stick available in capacities ranging from 8 GB to 256 GB, allowing data-transfer speeds of 180 MBps. This drive can also be used to transfer data at USB 2.0 speeds if you do not have USB 3.1 ports. There is a very affordable model that comes with 64GB of storage, which is a sufficient amount for the majority of users. There is, however, a difference in price depending on the version you choose. While the manufacturer's warranty, which is limited to five years, is not the best, this USB flash drive is among the best on the market.
Samsung 32GB Bar MUF-32BE3/AM
Samsung has provided one of the most attractive USB drives on the market with the 32GB Bar. It is possible that Samsung's option is the best flash drive available for those seeking a head-turning device. The device, which is made from high-quality metal, has a ring that you can use to attach the drive to so you don't lose it. Not only is it waterproof, but it is also shock-, magnet-, temperature-, and X-ray-resistant, reducing the risk of damage. As this flash drive supports USB 3.1, you can expect fast data transfer rates. This device is also compatible with USB 2.0, so you can use it with a wide range of devices. It used to be pricey compared with many other USB flash drives, but the Samsung Bar's price has dropped. Using this device, you will have the convenience of taking your data with you wherever you go, and it will also look great.
Verbatim Pinstripe USB flash drive
Antimicrobial product protection Microban® combats the growth of bacteria; Microban® is a registered trademark of Microban Products Company. When not in use, the USB connection is protected by a push-and-pull slider, eliminating the need for a separate cap which may be lost Lightweight, slim design, perfect solution for all storage needs Verbatim PinStripe USB 3.0 drive allows you to share files and transport them easily. There is a Limited Lifetime Warranty on this USB Thumb Drive provided by Verbatim, a brand that has been trusted since 1969. A variety of colors are available, including Sunkissed Yellow, Eucalyptus Green, Hot Pink, Caribbean Blue, and Volcanic Orange.
Patriot Supersonic Rage 2 USB flash drive
For those seeking both an ultra-portable form factor and the high performance of USB 3.2, Gen. 1, the Patriot Supersonic Rage Patriot USB is the ideal solution. The Supersonic Rage features a custom retractable USB enclosure and a slide-to-connect design for best-in-class protection from wear and tear. For excellent performance when working with large files, the Patriot Supersonic Rage Patriot USB features high quality NAND and IC controllers. With sizes of 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB, the Supersonic Rage is compatible with Windows® 8, Windows® 7, Windows Vista®, Windows XP®, Windows 2000®, Windows® ME, Linux 2.4 and later, and Mac OS9, X and later. Patriot's Supersonic Rage is backed by three years of award-winning customer support.
Kingston IronKey D300S
A rugged waterproof design and advanced security features make the Kingston IronKey D300 extremely safe to use. To comply with FIPS standards, it is password-protected and has hardware encryption using 256-bit AES encryption. To protect against brute force attacks, the drive locks down and reformats after 10 invalid attempts, after which the encryption and decryption are done on the drive and no trace is left on the host system. Physical protection is also provided by this flash drive. As a result, it has a rugged and waterproof design that meets the requirements of IEC60529 IPX833. The zinc casing and tamper-evident epoxy seal ensure that it is tamper-proof.
By Rashmi Goel