What Is A USB Flash Drive? Learn How To Use It!

My affair with small electronic devices began when I got my very-first Kingston USB Flash Drive in the summer of 2007. That small device was no less than a magical thing for me. I would always keep it in my pants pockets and show it to my friends as a symbol of privilege. Its external body looked so cool that I couldn’t stop myself from touching it over and over again.

what is a usb flash drive
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I was kind of obsessed with the concept of USB Flash Drive and that too of the ones sold by Kingston. It’s about the time when Kingston was throwing new USB Flash Drives every other month. In a matter of a year, I built a collection of all-sized USB Flash Drives, which cost me a lot.

Now, I can write a book completing each and every aspect of USB Flash Drives. Years passed, but I am still in love with these small yet futuristic devices.

Today, USB Flash Drives are as common as mobile phones. But despite being a commonly used device, there are tons of misconceptions attached to the USB Flash Drives. I am sure, by the end of the article, you will be able to flush all the misconceptions out of your mind.

What Is A USB Flash Drive?

A USB Flash Drive or a Pen Drive is a thumb-sized device capable of storing data such as media files and software. Backed by flash memory, it is a removable device that offers re-writing of the data. A USB Flash Drive features a male connecter that allows it to connect with the computer using the female connector of the latter often called the USB Port. 

It is specifically built for the purpose of transferring data from one computer to the other. USB Flash Drives are handy devices with more or less no weight at all. Unlike Hard Disk Drives, USB Flash Drives take no effort to be removed from the computer. It’s an instant plug-and-play device. 

What Are The Sizes Of USB Flash Drives?

A USB Flash Drive comes in various sizes determining its storage capacity. For the light-use, the sizes start from 2GB to 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB storage capacity. If you plan to go for heavier use, you can pick up USB Flash Drives offering 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of storage capacity. 

But if you are obsessed with ultra-big USB Flash Drives for elite-level data storage, you can choose from any of these sizes starting from 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and ending with jaw-dropping 2TB. 

Yeah, these are some really big numbers considering the thumb size of USB Flash Drives. Sometimes, It takes a lot of effort to believe that we are living in such a technologically advanced world where extremely sophisticated technology could be locked up in a small device.

How to Use A USB Flash Drive?

For the experts, using USB Flash Drive is like ” Walk In The Park ”. But for beginners, it is like their final year thesis. Nevertheless, I am going to help you use a USB Flash Drive in a few simple and short steps.

Step 1

Your first job is to locate the USB port on your computer. Typically, there is a set of USB ports for multiple devices on the back of the computer. In case, there is none, it should be on the front of the computer somewhere close to the Power-On button. An average computer carries a couple of sets of 3-4 USB ports each for the back and front.

Step 2

After the USB port is located, insert the USB Flash Drive into it. If it doesn’t go in, you can switch it upside down. A tip to remember! Don’t wrestle with the USB port as it could be damaged it permanently. Once the USB Flash Drive correctly gets into the USB port, wait a few seconds for the computer to add the new device into its system.

Step 3

Now, as a signal of acceptance, a notification box will appear on the right corner of the computer screen with a few options to choose from. Since you want to use the USB Flash Drive, you would opt for the option of ” Open Folder ” or ” View Files ”. This action would take you into the USB Flash Drive where you can find all the stored data ranging from the media files to the software and anything that you have saved there.

Step 4

You can navigate through the USB Flash Drive to look for the specific files that you want to delete or transfer to the computer. If you want to delete a file, right-click it and choose ” Delete ”. If you have to transfer the file to the computer, right-click it to choose ” Send To ”. The ” Send To ” option would allow you to select the desired location within the computer you want to move the file to. Alternatively, file transfer could also be done using the ” Copy ” and ” Paste ”. It is an also easy process and involves no rocket science. All you have to do is, right-click a file, choose ” Copy ”, navigate to a specific folder on the computer and choose ” Paste ”. This way, the file would be instantly dropped into that folder.

Step 5

After completing the file transfer operations, close the folder of USB Flash Drive. Now navigate downwards through the taskbar to spot the USB Flash Drive icon on the right corner. Right-click the icon, choose ” Eject ” and remove the USB Flash Drive from the USB Port. Hurra, the mission accomplished!

Types Of USB Flash Drives

Based on technology, there are a few types of USB Flash Drives in the market. Speed, power management, and updated features are the key points that differentiate the USB Flash Drives from one another. Since 1.0 and 1.1 USB Flash Drives are almost obsolete, I will not be talking about them in the following table.

USB 2.0Transfers data at a good speed of 480 Mbps with less power consumption
USB 3.0Provides 5Gbps of data transfer speed at the cost of high-power consumption
USB 3.1Outruns its predecessor by offering 10Gbps uninterrupted speed
USB 3.2Runs at the blazing speed of 20Gbps for unmatched user experience

Top USB Flash Drive Manufacturers

There are thousands of brands offering USB Flash Drives worldwide. The number of brands selling the ultra-popular handy storage device is uncountable. But hey, let’s talk of quality instead of quantity! Below, I have compiled a list of the industry leaders that are known for delivering the best to the consumers. The USB Flash Drives offered by these brands are some of the finest of all. Memorize their names and would not never end up getting your hands on a low-class USB Flash Drive.

SanDiskIt’s one of the real bosses of the global market of USB Flash Drives
KingstonProvides matchless USB Flash Drives powered by the latest technology
ToshibaJapanese company offering multi-feature USB Flash Drives
SonyThe name behind the in-demand MicroVault series of USB Flash Drives
UskymaxIt has been introducing USB Flash Drives for over a couple of decades
ApacerBuilds greatly designed metallic body USB Flash Drives
imationComes with highly-protected 2.0 and 3.0 USB Flash Drives
AigoMarkets advanced-purpose USB Flash Drives for a fair price
TranscendOffers one of the best high-storage USB Flash Drives
NetacProvides high-speed USB Flash Drives for professionals
Lexar MediaIt sells exceptionally engineered 3.2 USB Flash Drives
Silicon PowerIntroduces USB Flash Drives featuring explosive speed
PNYGo for this brand if you like heavy-sized USB Flash Drives
iBALLSells dual plug USB Flash Drives
HPOwns a fleet of affordable futuristic USB Flash Drives
VerbatimIts USB Flash Drives come in all sizes starting from 4GB to 128GB
SuperTalentIt enjoys a long list of 3.0 and 3.1 USB Flash Drives

Frequently Asked Questions

Wrap Up

For a tech-enthusiast like me, It takes no time to realize that USB Flash Drives are an epic addition to the rapidly expanding digital world. Isn’t it unbelievable that a single USB Flash Drive can store the amount of data that once required hundreds of boxes spanning over an area the size of a hall? That’s why I am into USB Flash Drives more than other same-sized devices. 

Unlike years ago, today I have a limited collection of ultra-fast USB Flash Drives for my own comfort. Since I am a big fan of Kingston and SanDisk, I do keep an eye on their latest products featuring the 3.2 version. Let’s hope my obsession would not take me too far. I hope you have something valuable to pick up from the post. Keep learning!

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Bilal Khan
Bilal Khan

Bilal might look like a Bearded Caucasian right out of a Viking movie but trust me he's a native Pakistani. He has a long list of hobbies among which staying updated on the Latest Technology and Hardware happens to be on the top. If you are looking for detailed hardware explanations through no tricky terminologies, follow him to read Tech Content curated perfectly for the human brain.

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