Best Flash Drive

With one of the best USB flash drives nearby, you can quickly move large files from one computer to another, printers, routers, or even TV sets. Depending on how big the drive is, you can use it for partial or full system backup. It takes just a couple of clicks to drag-and-drop files onto the drive once you plug it into a USB port.

Thanks to faster protocols and cheaper storage costs, USB memory sticks hold much more data and can read and write it much faster than they did just a few years ago. Your keychain can now store all the personal documents you will ever need for a few bucks.

However, choosing the right USB drive isn’t easy. Each of the four USB connection protocols – USB 2.0, USB 3.0, USB 3.1, and USB 3.2 – is several times faster than the last. When copying large files, fast speeds can save you quite a bit of time.

Your current devices cannot handle the fastest protocol, but future devices will. (Each new protocol also supports the earlier ones.) Some USB drives come with built-in encryption, which is a good safeguard in case of loss or theft.

Different connectors are also available. Many flash drives still have squared-off USB-A ports, which can be plugged into Windows PCs and older Macs, as well as most printers, smart TVs, routers, and other devices.

Samsung Fit Plus (MUF-128AB) is a great choice if you’re looking for a flash drive with a good combination of features and affordability.

Due to its small size, the device is easy to carry. The drive comes in various sizes, from 32GB to 256GB, and supports USB 3.1 connectivity with data-transfer speeds up to 300 MBps. Compared to other USB flash drives, this drive is much faster.

The Samsung Fit Plus is water-, shock-, magnet-, temperature- and X-ray-proof, so you can take it wherever you go without worrying about damaging your data. The USB 2.0 backward compatibility of this memory stick makes it usable with almost any device.

Samsung’s USB flash drive, however, is quite pricey, so it may not be the best choice for those looking to save a few bucks.

  • Compact design
  • Plenty of storage
  • Fast read/write speeds
  • May be easy to misplace

The SanDisk Cruzer CZ36 has been one of the most popular USB drives on the market for years. This popularity has been attributed to its solid design, encryption support, and, most importantly, its affordable price.

There is a red slider on the Cruzer CZ36 so you can extend or retract the USB connector so you don’t have to worry about damage.

USB 2.0 connectivity is available on the drive, which is on the older side. With its 128-bit AES encryption and SanDisk SecureAccess software, this is one of the best flash drives for the money.

The SanDisk Cruzer CZ36 is a solid option for transferring anything from music and photos to videos and business files.

  • Great price
  • Easy to protect
  • Universal compatibility
  • Works over USB 2.0
  • No 256-bit encryption

Kingston has one of the best USB flash drives in terms of value for those who do not want to spend a lot of money.

DataTraveler G4 USB drives start at under $10 for 32GB of storage and USB 3.0 support. Using just a few dollars, you can get a device that will store your content, transfer it easily and quickly, and do it all without putting your data at risk.

When the drive is not in use, a cap protects it from damage, and a loop at the end lets you hook it to a keychain to reduce your chances of losing it when you’re walking around town.

In addition, Kingston’s DataTraveler G4 only offers 128GB of storage, so you won’t have as much storage as some of the other options. If you aren’t transferring a lot of data, you shouldn’t buy this drive.

  • USB 3.0 support
  • Cap protects plug
  • Easy traveling
  • Standard read/write speeds
  • Less capacity than some other options

PNY’s Turbo flash drive features both a rugged design and ample storage, making it an ideal choice for those who travel frequently and don’t want to risk losing their data.

USB 3.0 devices offer ten times the transfer speed of an equivalent USB 2.0 device. In combination with Turbo’s 256GB of storage, you should be able to store nearly 48,000 songs on the device – and transfer them easily.

The drive features a sliding collar that protects the connector when not in use, which is especially useful for road warriors. By attaching the PNY Turbo to a keychain or backpack, you can reduce the risk of misplacing it when you are traveling.

PNY Turbo offers a nice mix of features, storage, and portability, making it one of the best USB flash drives.

  • USB 3.0 support
  • Plenty of storage
  • Sliding collar for protection
  • A little pricey
  • Limited color options

SanDisk’s Extreme Pro is one of its most capable USB devices, but you’ll have to shell out some serious cash to buy one.

The drive offers at least 128GB of storage, going up to 1TB, and comes with USB 3.2 connectivity, guaranteeing fast data speeds. The memory stick can deliver read speeds of up to 420 MBps and write speeds of up to 380 MBps, according to SanDisk. The Extreme Pro is therefore one of the best USB flash drives for pure performance.

The aluminium finish of the Extreme Pro should make it resistant to shocks and other damage, so you won’t have to worry about losing your data. SanDisk offers a lifetime limited warranty on the drive, which is also USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 compatible. Data that you do not want others to steal can be safeguarded with 128-bit AES encryption.

  • Ultrafast performance
  • Great design
  • Lifetime limited warranty
  • Pricey

Corsair’s Flash Survivor Stealth is all about one thing: keeping your data safe no matter where you are or where you go. Device features a cylindrical design and an anodized, aircraft-grade aluminum housing to limit the risk of damage if dropped.

The best USB flash drive also features a water seal to prevent liquids from entering. In addition, it has a shock-damping collar around the ends to prevent data loss if you drop it.

With USB 3.0 connectivity, the Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth will support plenty of content without damage. Thanks to a maximum storage capacity of 256GB, the memory stick will store plenty of content without damage. Despite all that, you should be aware that this USB drive costs more than some competing devices.

The device also comes with a limited five-year warranty; that’s fine, but it reduces your options for a replacement several years down the road.

  • Great design
  • Outstanding protection from damage
  • Works cross-platform without drivers
  • A bit pricey
  • Limited warranty

SanDisk’s Ultra Dual Drive USB-C is a sleek, stylish flash drive that can store plenty of data and transfer it quickly. Easily the best USB drive for newer laptops with only USB-C ports, such as the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro.

Since it has both USB-A and USB-C ports – there is a slide for exposing either one – the SanDisk Ultra USB-C offers fast data transfers and future-proofing, so you can be sure it’ll work on a variety of devices.

Memory sticks can hold up to 256GB of storage and can transfer data to and from a wide range of devices, for example, from your computer to an Android smartphone or Apple’s latest Mac. SanDisk claims that the drive delivers data-transfer speeds up to 150 MBps.

To limit damage and keep your data safe and readily accessible, you can retract both connectors when the USB flash drive is not in use. Compared to other USB-C drives, you’ll have to pay a bit more for this one.

  • USB-C and regular USB support
  • Fast read/write speeds
  • Mobile storage for Android phones
  • Relatively pricey
  • Limited manufacturer warranty

Kingston Digital’s DataTraveler Elite G2 is a popular USB drive with USB 3.1 connectivity that delivers ultrafast read and write speeds and lets you store content with ease.

Best of all, it has a LED light that lets you know when it’s connected and when data is transferring, so you don’t have to guess what’s going on.

Memory sticks are available in capacities ranging from 8GB to 256GB and feature data-transfer speeds of 180 MBps. This drive can transfer data at USB 2.0 speeds if your computer does not have USB 3.1 ports.

The model that comes with 64GB of storage, which is a good amount for most uses, is very affordable. Prices will vary depending on which version you choose. Although the manufacturer’s warranty of five years isn’t the best, this is one of the best USB flash drives available.

  • Great design
  • Fast read/write speeds
  • Plenty of storage options
  • Could be easy to misplace
  • Limited manufacturer warranty

Samsung has produced one of the better-looking USB drives with its 32GB Bar. In addition, if you’re interested in a device that stands out, Samsung’s option might be the best flash drive, period.

The metal device has a ring that you can use to attach the drive to so you won’t lose it. Moreover, it is not only waterproof, but also shockproof, magnet-proof, temperature-proof, and X-ray-proof.

With USB 3.1 support, you should be able to transfer data quickly. Furthermore, it has USB 2.0 compatibility, so you can use it with pretty much any device. Compared to other USB flash drives, the Samsung Bar was initially a bit pricey, but its price has come down since then. It is a device that will allow you to take your data anywhere and still look great while doing so.

  • Great design
  • Fast read-write speeds
  • Damage-proof
  • Limited warranty of only 30 days

Check out the SanDisk iXpand flash drive if you’re looking for one of the best USB drives available and you’re ok with spending some cash on it. iXpand comes with 32GB of storage, but you can configure it up to 256GB. A metal finish makes it more durable, and thanks to its USB 3.0 connectivity, it allows for fast data transfers.

The iXpand flash drive’s most important feature is its Lightning connector, which allows you to connect to an iPhone or iPad and transfer data between the devices. That feature alone could make the iXpand a major selling point, considering how difficult it can be to transfer data without Apple’s help. To get all that, however, you’ll have to shell out: The SanDisk iXpand USB flash drive is pricey.

  • Works with iPhone, iPad
  • Plenty of storage options
  • Can free up space on Apple devices
  • Pricey
  • Adapter costs extra

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The first thing you should look for when purchasing USB flash drives is storage. A USB drive with at least 64GB is a must if you have a lot of files, videos, or songs you want to carry around with you. Most versions are available up to 256GB, and a few now have 1TB versions.

In contrast, if your main concern is getting a cheap memory stick for carrying fewer files, you will probably be able to get by with 16GB or 32GB of storage space.

Aside from that, you should consider other critical features, such as read and write speeds. The faster the speed, the more you can write to the drive and access what you’re looking for. Therefore, if performance is a concern, we would recommend USB 3.1 support or, at the very least, USB 3.0 support.

In USB-A drives that support USB 3.0 or higher, the plug’s inside is blue. USB 3.0 is the default standard on USB-C drives.

Design should also be taken into account. Despite not being the most sexiest of devices, flash drives come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Look for USB drives that are shock-proof, waterproof, and have other features that limit chances of damage.

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