The USB 3.0 flash drive is one of the best ways to carry your information, photos, media, and documents. They tend to be tiny. You can slip one into your smallest pocket with no problem, making them really easy to carry around. You can even attach it to your key-holder! And they are quite spacious. You can pick up a USB flash drive that has 512GB of storage capacity
These days cloud storage is starting to take USB flash drive place and has been a great competitor. However, you always have to have an internet connection and often cloud storage is quite limited and can’t exceed a current amount of space. Flash Drive still is the best way to carry your data, it’s fast, portable, and almost, indestructible, and offers tons of space. Keep in mind that we picked flash drives not only by performance, but also by price. We have created a Top 8 comparisons list of best USB 3.0 flash drives out there, take a look!
Our Top 8 USB 3.0 flash drives
SanDisk Extreme CZ80 64GB
One of the best USB flash drives out there. It has everything – solid design, lifetime limited warranty, password protection and it’s very speedy. SanDisk claims that Extreme CZ80 has a write speed that can reach 190 MB/s and read speed of 245 MB/S. This flash drive is not only our top pick but also storage review has given this drive an Editor’s Choice Award. You can get this flash drive in four capacity variations – 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB. If we have to pick one of them, we would take 64GB because of its affordable price and storage capacity, most people don’t need anything more than 64GB.
Samsung 64GB BAR
Some say Samsung is the king of NAND Flash Technology, and it’s hard to doubt it. First the design – it’s superb regarding quality, metal case always makes things more durable and gives you the feel of well build product. But that’s not all, this flash drives durability lies not only in the casing but also it’s features. Samsung 64GB BAR is water proof, shock proof, temp proof, magnet proof, and X-ray proof. Yeah, it can stand it all. And all previously mentioned in combination with 5-year warranty (we are sure it will last much, much longer) and integrated key ring in casing makes it a great buy. Price is a bargain for such a product.
Kingston Digital 64 GB
Kingston Digital is a very straightforward and basic USB 3.0 thumb drive, but it still offers you a lot. It has a stylish metal casing with a sturdy key ring, making it easy to carry around. You also get an impressive Five-year warranty and speedy USB 3.0 gets all your data transfers done in no time.
Corsair Flash Voyager Slider X1 128GB
Flash Voyager Slider X1 has a good build and smart design. It features USB retracting connector so you can’t damage it while you carry it from one place to another. Another great feature is a blue activity LED. You can tell if your data is transferring only by looking at LED. Perfect thumb drive for those who carry large amounts of data – countless photos and videos. With a price around 30$ for 128GB, we think this is a great deal.
This flash drive is ultra-slim. There is basically only USB 3.0 connector with a small plastic chunk on top of it. SanDisk Ultra Fit is an ideal flash drive for laptops, and if you have limited space for plugging your thumb drive. Usually, thinner flash drives are a bit slower than full sized ones, but Ultra Fit 128GB seems to be really fast (compared to other ultra-thin thumb drives). To transfer an average full-size movie, you need like a 30 seconds. It also comes with a SanDisk SecureAccess software, that keeps your data private.
Absolute bargain deal! You get a USB 3.0 flash drive with plenty of memory for under 9$! Don’t want to think much about which flash drive to pick and just want something cheap that will work well? If so, you have found your dream thumb drive. Sliding connector cover and cap-less design with integrated loop makes this flash drive very practical.
PNY Pro Elite 512GB
Well, this is High-end USB thumb drive, but to your surprise it’s relatively cheap. Because of the affordable price tag, this thumb drive is out of stock quite often. Not only PNY Pro Elite 512GB is spacious and has more storage than you would ever need on your flash drive, but it’s also very fast. We have chosen 512 GB versions because it’s the fastest of all. Write speeds can be as fast as 250 MB/s and write speeds whopping 400 MB/s. Premium gunmetal finish gives this drive a premium feel, and capless design protects your USB connector when it’s not in use.
Patriot 512GB Supersonic Rage 2
The Patriot Supersonic Rage 2 is made for those who seek ultra-portable form factor and the fastest transfer speeds out there. All the high-performance hardware combined with a rubber coated housing makes an awesome that is water and tear proof. Read speed reaches fantastic 400 MB/s and write speeds can be as high as 300MB/s. Compatible with all operating systems you can think about.
How to choose your USB flash drive?
As we often need to jump from one device to another, you need a USB flash drive that fills all your specific needs. Cloud storage isn’t always a good choice – it has a pretty limited capacity and what if there is no internet connection? or maybe it’s so slow, that you would had to wait for ages to transfer your data. When you want to carry your data with you from one place to another, there is nothing better than a basic USB flash drive, it’s simple, reliable and fast.
Whether you want to store your homework presentations, show your friends photos from your last travel destination or share private data with particular people. These small storage devices will always be the best choice. They’re very simple, easy to use and they don’t cost a fortune. Another plus is a variety of designs, you can find the one that suits you the best. But how to choose the right USB flashdrive?
Most people doesn’t need anything more than a basic USB 3.0 drive with a capacity of 16GB. They come really cheap and are speedy to transfer data with no long waiting. Next reasonable pick is USB 3.0 with 64GB capacity, their price is very considerable, and capacity is enough to carry bunch for large movies and photos with you. Of course, there are USB flash drives with even more GBs. You can always pick a 512GB flash drive. However, it’s really pricey (150-200$).
You can also get a USB flash drive that you can use as portable operating system. For example, the IronKey Workspace W500 lets you have a bootable Windows and has the protection of 256-bit AES hardware encryption and a built-in password protection. You don’t worry so much about digital threats but physical damage is the real concern? You can always get a rugged flash drive, that can handle about everything – water, dust, drop, you name it!
All USB flash drives are small, but there some extra tiny models. They look like a basic USB 3.0 connector with a small chunk of plastic on them. And if we are talking about connectors, You can get a flash drive with Both – USB 3.0 and USB micro connectors. Perfect for those who do use their smartphones a lot.
Things you need to know before getting a USB flash drive:
- Similar Specs Can Be Deceiving You can often find two very similar flash drives. Specs seem to be identical. Both have USB 3.0 have 64GB. So why should you pay extra? The price difference lays in the quality of components, meaning that performance isn’t the same. Let’s look at our top pick – SanDisk Extreme 64GB that has a write speed of 200MB/s. Most competitors with the same specs reach no more than 120MB/s. There goes the cheaper price.
- USB flash drives backward compatibilityAs we all know USB 3.0 is way faster than USB 2.0, but what happens if we plug USB 3.0 into USB 2.0 port? Simple – data transfers will happen at USB 2.0 speeds.
- Smaller and ultra-thin flash drives, not always the best choice A Smaller USB flash drive is more desired, means easier usage, and it’s more stylish. However, everything comes with a price and in this case it’s the performance. Building an ultra-thin device require compromises, in this case, speeds. Thin flash drives tend to be slower.
- MicroUSB Ports If you want to use your flash drive with Android smartphone, make sure you check whether it supports USB OTG. If it doesn’t, it’s pointless to get a drive with microUSB port.
- Confidentiality If security is important for you, and it’s important that only you can access the data on your flash drive, you can choose a password-protected, with an actual keyboard on it!
Taking care of your flash drive
USB flash drives are very reliable devices as they don’t have any moving parts. Magnets, dust, and scratches have zero impact on these drives, making them very durable. The truth is, they don’t require any special care. However, we wouldn’t advise you to drop them, crush them or treat these drives with negligence. You can damage the port and if you crush your flash drive hard enough its data may become unreadable. Models with metal casing look way more robust and durable than plastic ones. There is a way higher chance to lose your flash drive than break it.
One thing that can affect your data is a proper ejection of USB drive. If you just pull it out whenever you want to, there is a chance to corrupt the data on it. So we advise you to eject or unmount feature of your operating system before you remove it physically. There is usually a visual indicator. If you’re using Mac OS, choose File -> Eject. On Windows 10 use Safely Remove Hardware option in the Taskbar. It’s displayed as a green check when it’s safe to remove your USB hardware.