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A beginners guide to USB Memory Sticks

This guide gives a very brief introduction in how to select your first USB Memory Stick

What is a USB Memory Stick?

A USB Memory Stick or Flash Drive is a small device that is capable of holding massive amounts of data. To use a USB memory stick you simply plug the drive into a spare USB port on your computer then it shows as an available drive for you to copy information to. They are perfect for storing and sharing documents, pictures, music and pretty much any other data you need to transfer.

What are the benefits of a USB Memory Stick over an external hard drive?

The main benefits of using a USB Memory Stick over an external hard drive are the increased portability, higher resistance to shock that often causes data loss in external hard drives and no need for an external power adapter like some larger external hard drives require.

What are the drawbacks of a USB Memory Stick over an external hard drive?

USB Memory Sticks relies on flash memory for storage which can be expensive depending on brand and storage space required. Like any data device there is a small risk of data corruption so keeping a backup is essential. With USB Memory Sticks also being so small you have to consider the risk of losing the drive, which is easily the biggest cause of data loss in USB Memory Sticks.

What do I look for in a USB Memory Stick?

When looking at a USB Memory Stick there are relatively few attributes to consider. Initially you should decide on what capacity you need and with sizes starting from 1GB going up to several hundred gigabytes.

The next major consideration is the design and quality of the drive, do you like the look of the USB drive? Does it have a removable cap that you might lose or is this an advantage for you?

There are different speed drives available ranging from basic use drives that transfer at a speed of around half a megabyte a second right up to high performance USB 3.0 Memory Sticks which have transfer speeds of 50MB/Sec+.

It is simply a case of choosing your capacity and speed, matching it up to your ideal USB Memory Stick design and you have your dream product.