Buying a USB Flash Drive

It's never been easier to take all the files, data or media you want with you wherever you go. Generally about the size of a stick of gum, a USB flash drive lets you store any file from your computer so you can save it, transport it, and load it onto another computer in seconds. You simply plug the flash drive into your USB port and drag any files you want onto its icon on your desktop. Best of all, flash drives have no internal moving parts, so they're very resistant to breaking by being bumped or dropped.

USB Drive Types

Many types of USB drive, sometimes referred to as a thumb drive, also have handy features like a key chain ring or a small LED flashlight. Some can even transmit your data wirelessly for the ultimate in digital convenience. And as with any fun accessory, there are plenty of novelty versions of flash drives designed to show your personality, display your sense of humor, or broadcast your team loyalty.

There's a lot to choose from when it comes to buying a flash drive. The most important thing to consider is size. The whole point of a USB drive is to store lots of data in a small space, so think about what kinds of files you'll want to house on your flash drive. Movies and music take quite a bit of space, so if you're carrying your whole entertainment library with you, you'll want a big thumb drive – at least 16GB. Books and other text-based documents require relatively little storage space, so people like students and working professionals using Microsoft Office would be happy transferring Word documents or Excel files with as little as 1GB of space. On the other hand, if you are using photo or music editing software, you'll want a USB flash drive with lots of storage capacity to transfer graphic and music files.