Cloud storage is the latest and most popular type of storage currently available, but when an Internet connection goes awry or something in cyberspace goes amiss, few storage devices can compete with the reliable USB flash drive. USB drives have been around for a while, though this technology just keeps getting better. Shopping for a USB drive is a different story, however, since shopping for devices hasn’t changed all that much.
There are hundreds of different USB drives available and all of these drives come with larger than life exclamations from manufacturers. What should you look for when buying a USB drive? Make sure to take a look at this basic guide before you set out to buy your next USB.
Password-Lock and Encryption
Plenty of USB drives come with a password locking feature and password encryption. These drives are perfect if you have a lot of files to keep from prying eyes (or if your name is James Bond). Even if you aren’t a super spy, locking files is a great idea if you happen to work in a sensitive environment or if you work with people who do not want their identities exposed in case a file is leaked. One great USB drive with encryption capabilities to consider is the Corsair Flash Voyager 3.o (currently retailing for around $19.99). The Flash Voyager not only comes with password encryption, but it’s also surrounded in heavy-duty rubber, so it will stay intact while traveling.
A USB drive should be easily portable. Drives that are on the larger size are ideal for storing in a desktop drawer or on your desktop. If you want something smaller that you can simply slip into your pocket or stuff into an even smaller container, look for a mini-drive. These drives still act the same as regular drives, but they are much easier to carry around when you are on the go. If mini is something that appeals to you, the Verbatim TUFF ‘N TINY is about as small as drives get (currently retailing for $19.50).
Of course, how many GBs a drive has is also vital. If you plan on storing a ton of data on your newly purchased UBS drive, look for one that has 64GB or so. If you just need something that you can use to store a few simple data files, a drive that’s around 8GB will work perfectly. As a general rule of thumb, you can expect to pay more for a drive with additional GBs. In addition, a drive that has some valuable features (such as password encryption or a solid casing) can be on the pricey side.
Consider the size of the actual drive, the number of GBs included, additional features, and whether or not you need password encryption before you purchase a USB drive. There are lots of decent USB drives on the market, but it helps to know what you need (and what you really don’t need!) before making a decision.