The USB sticks are fantastic devices, in a very short space allow you to save lots of files and documents. It is now possible to find on the market pendrives with truly impressive capacities at a very attractive price. However, when buying a USB stick, you have to be very careful, especially if you plan to save important files on the flash drive.
We assume that USB sticks are not suitable for storing very important documents and files. Being flash memories their writing capacity is limited. You can also lose them easily because of their small size. So, if you plan to save important files for a long time I recommend using an external hard drive.
In the next paragraphs of this article, I will first explain how to choose the USB stick that best suits your needs.
How to choose a USB stick
When you decide to buy a USB stick, in addition to the price and the capacity you must also evaluate other very important aspects, such as the USB standard used by the device, the writing and reading speed and finally the shape and any special features.
USB sticks can adopt different USB standards, the latter determining the maximum data transfer speed from the PC to the USB stick and vice versa. Small, but important premise: if you buy a USB stick with standard 3.2, but your PC only has USB 2.0 ports, the transfer speed will be adequate for the USB port on the PC.
The latest USB sticks support the USB 3.2 standard. This is divided into three categories: USB 3.2 Gen 1, USB 3.2 Gen 2, USB 3.2 Gen 2 × 2, USB 3.2 Gen 3 × 2.
- The USB 3.2 Gen 1: maximum transfer rate of 5 Gigabit/s (625MB per second);
- USB 3.2 Gen 2: maximum transfer rate of 10 Gigabit/s (1250MB per second);
- The USB 3.2 Gen 2 × 2: maximum transfer rate of 20 Gigabit/s (2500MB per second);
- USB 3.2 Gen 3 × 2: maximum transfer rate of 40 Gigabit/s (5000MB per second);
Speed of reading and writing
As previously written, the USB standard determines the maximum transfer speed. To get a clearer idea of how fast the USB stick can be you have to read the data in the device packaging. It is usually found on the back under the heading ” Read and write speed.”
The speed of reading and writing is in fact determined by three factors: the USB standard used, the type of flash memory, and the controller of the USB key.
The capacity is most likely the feature that immediately catches the eye. It is available in GB and indicates the capacity of the USB stick. That is the space available to store files, folders, documents, etc.
Nowadays you will hardly find pendrives with a capacity of less than 8 GB. The most sold are 16 or 32 GB. You can also find devices of 128 GB or more.