A Complete Guide for Flash Drives

In a world of smartphones and handheld cameras, storing data has an important role. The devices are made compact and lightweight and therefore, the memory devices used in such electronic devices have to be lightweight too. Thus developed a trend of small memory drives. Flash memory drives went through a lot of changes over the decades in terms of size, speed, and interface. There is a wide range of memory devices in use today and many discontinued. 

All Types of Flash Drives and Their Usage

Memory Stick

It is a removable memory card. The format was launched by Sony in 1998. Sony uses the memory stick as a storage device for digital cameras and other electronic devices which needs memory storage.

CompactFlash Cards

CompactFlash cards are used in electronic devices to store data. The CF cards were first made by Sandisk in 1994.

CFExpress cards

Nikon and Sony were one of the first companies to bring out this fast guy in the market. CFExpress is a new generation memory card with a faster speed. Speed is an important factor in cameras with 8K picture quality and uncompressed video recording. These devices can’t work without a high-speed memory card.

XQD card

XQD card is a memory card format designed for faster speeds than traditional memory cards. These cards are used in high-resolution devices with a PXI data interface. The XQD cards rolled out in December 2011.

Smart Media Card

The most popular use of a smart media card is in digital cameras to store photos and videos. Examples include Toshiba PDR M70, game machines, voice recorders, and mp3 players.

Secure Digital Card

SD cards are de facto standard memory cards for cameras and other portable devices such as smartphones, personal computers, and car navigation systems. They have a higher capacity for memory storage.

xD-Picture Card

xD means extreme digital. The cards were first designed in 2000 by two companies namely Olympus and Fujifilm in a memory range of 16 MB to 2 GB. The cards were discontinued a decade after they first rolled out.

USB Flash Drive

USB flash drives have become the most common way to store and carry data in the modern world. A USB flash drive is a flash memory device with a USB interface, most commonly a USB C interface.

A World of USB Flash Drives

Everyone is using an insertable pen drive today. Gone are the days when you needed to carry a bulky CD or a floppy disk around. But a smaller size is not the only feature a USB flash drive has.

Features of a USB Flash Drive 

Out of all kinds of flash drives in use, the USB flash drive( also called a thumb drive) is everyone’s favorite. Here’s why –

  1. A USB drive is lightweight and pocket friendly.
  2. The USB interface makes it easy to insert and play.
  3. Easy to detach, it is a go-to for transferring data.
  4. It is much smaller than a compact disk and more durable.
  5. A USB stick has no fragile parts whereas other memory cards need a lot of care in replacing or storing them.

These benefits over the other options for memory storage are clearly why there is a huge demand for USB flash drives in the market. If you’re considering buying a USB stick, a 64GB USB drive is an ideal choice. For the use of transferring data or storing a backup, or just to keep your important files handy 64 GB is enough storage. The 64GB USB Flash Drives are ideal for everyday use.

2.0 USB Flash Drives and 3.0 USB Flash Drives: A Comparison

The third generation of USB drives is designed to give ten times faster speed than a USB 2.0 theoretically. While the primary difference between the two generations of USBs is the speed, there is a list of things that sets them apart.

Higher Speed

Speed is the most important factor in the universe of data transfer. A USB 2.0 gives a speed of 480 Mbps while a USB 3.0 delivers a speed of 4800 Mbps. 

However, this theoretical difference is reflected in various ways in the real world. The speed depends on the specific product and USB 3.0 is witnessed to deliver a 28 times faster speed than a USB 2.0. In the worst-case scenario, a USB 3.0 provides the speed of the best 2.0 USB drives.

Backward Compatible

A USB 3.0 behaves as a USB 2.0 in a USB 2.0 port. However,  when a USB 2.0 is used in a USB 3.0 port, it gives the same speed as it does in a 2.0 port. The USB 3.0 is backward compatible.

More Current Flow and Power Saving

The maximum current a USB 3.0 can carry is 900 mA while a USB 2.0 can carry 500 mA. Also, the USB 3.0 is designed to save more power when idle. 

Change in the Look

A USB 2.0 has a black block inside the port while USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 have a blue block and a red block respectively.

Two Way Information Flow

This is a revolution in data transfer in daily life. While a USB 2.0 offered only one-way information flow, USB 3.0 has a wider bandwidth. There are two different channels in a USB 3.0 for sending and receiving data separately. Now it is possible to send and receive files simultaneously.

The reason is that a USB 3.0 has 9 visible wires while a USB 2.0 has just 4. This is why a USB 3.0 delivers a higher amount of current flow and provides a wider bandwidth.


No wonder a USB flash drive 3.0 is two or three times more expensive than a USB 2.0. However, thankfully for the worth it has, it still is in the affordable range.

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