Everything You Need To Know About USB Flash Drives

by Alex Miller - Date: 2008-09-16 - Word Count: 444 Share This!

Flash drives are handy personal devices that serve as a convenient medium for storing and transporting your files wide storage capacity. These devices are very durable since they have no moving parts to malfunction or become damaged due to dirt. They are also known as ThumbDrives, key drives, jump drives and pen drives.[1] Flash drives are more for transporting data, while hard drives are more oriented to long-term storage.

Most flash drives are actually moisture-proof, though only a few vendors claim that their drives are actually waterproof. There is generally a 5-year warranty for these devices, but this type of memory is normally rated for memory retention for 10-plus years.

USB flash drives are small, plastic devices that connect to your computer via a USB port with the capacity to write and copy data from an internal flash memory chip. They are similar in function to your computer's hard drive, but provide you with the freedom of portability. Use flash drives as you would zip or floppy disks, however they are much smaller, lighter, faster, and more durable.

It is important to say that not all flash drives are the same. Some may require extra drivers to be installed on a computer in order for them to function properly. In the arcade game In the Groove and more commonly In The Groove 2 , flash drives are used to transfer high scores, screenshots , dance edits, and combos throughout sessions. As of software revision 21 (R21), players can also store custom songs and play them on any machine on which this feature is enabled.

These storage devices are available with different storage capacities. The 'sweet spot' (now updated to March 2007) seems to be for a 2GB device, costing, at online discounters, about $25. While they are quite durable compared to floppy disks, they should still be treated with care.

At $300 and up, 32 GB flash drives are radically more expensive than portable hard drives, which can have much greater capacity.

They have a few advantages: speed, better reliability and better portability. Also, unlike the fragile and scratch prone floppy discs of yesteryear, flash drives are solid-state devices which make them impervious to scratches and durable enough to survive moderate physical abuse such as being dropped or stepped on. As a safety measure, some models allow the data on the device to be encrypted so that it could not be read by another individual in the case the drive was lost.

Flash drives are also being used as an alternative to CDs and DVDs to send e-brochures, data packs, or other types of files. However, flash drives' limited capacity and slow data transfer speeds can stymie a user's patience.

Related Tags: usb flash drives, usb memory sticks

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