What Size USB Flash Drive Should You Buy?

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What Size USB Flash Drive Should You Buy?

USB flash drives are one of the smallest and simplest ways to store and transfer digital files. Also referred to as jump drives or thumb drives, a USB flash drive is only few centimetres long and fits into your computer's USB port. Files can be dragged and dropped between the flash drive's storage folder and the computer's hard drive. USB flash drives are often used to hold copious amounts of music, video, photo, and document files; they can also be used to hold software and apps.

Prior to shopping for a USB flash drive, you should have an idea as to how much and what kind of data you want to store. Since many USB flash drives are inexpensive, there is little difference in price between 16GB and 64GB. Often, other features increase the price. In addition to knowing how much room you want, there are several factors to consider, such as security, durability, and appearance. USB flash drives can be found at local electronics stores or online at retailer websites or auctions such as eBay.

USB Flash Drive Capacities

When it comes to picking out USB flash drives, one of most important criteria to consider is how much space you need. There is nothing wrong with buying too much space, since physically they are all the same size, but too little space can leave you carrying multiple drives. Since USB flash drives are often used to store media files, which can be large, the smallest one should buy these days is 2GB. With technology improving rapidly, USB flash drive capacity is constantly increasing. The sections below outline scenarios and users that require various amounts of USB flash drive memory.


Although there are USB flash drives available in smaller sizes, they are hardly worth the expense, and therefore excluded from this guide. 2GB flash drives are best utilised by people who transfer small document files or a few large media ones. 2GB of memory allows you to store over 50,000 documents and over 500 minutes of music. 2GB is not big enough to hold large .MP4s and other video format files.


A 4GB USB flash drive,, having double the storage of a 2GB card, is suited for moderate use. Students who like to keep a backup copy of their documents and projects can get by with 4GB of storage for their entire school career. If you are transferring a small amount of music, photos, or video files, a 4GB USB flash drive should get the job done.


With an 8GB USB flash drive,, users can store a moderate amount of information. Since the price difference between 4GB and 8GB is marginal, if trying to decide between the two, go ahead and opt for twice the memory. You can store thousands of photos and thousands of minutes worth of music. 8GB is ideal for business people, students, or those who like to organise years' worth of records and back them up in a single location.


If you are into transferring large media or data files, then it is time to bump up to double digit storage capacity. 16GB USBs allows users to move thousands of songs between computers. 16GB of space is plenty of memory to hold and transfer large chunks of information.


Purchasing a 32GB USB flash drive is getting into some serious storage space. You can hold several full length movies, thousands of songs and photos. With 32GB of space, you can store several programmes and applications.


A 64 GB USB flash drive can hold an incredible amount of information. At this storage capacity, you can safely store millions of documents, thousands of hours of music, or up to 25,000 photos. If 64GB seems like a lot of space, many manufacturers are now producing 128GB and 256GB USB flash drives marketed towards those who need to transport massive amounts of media and files. The chart below approximates how much information can be stored on a various sizes of USB flash drives.


Minutes of Music

Photos (5 megapixels)


.MPEG4 Videos









































USB flash drives are fairly inexpensive, so if you find you are in between sizes, you might as well move up to the next storage capacity. Whether 1GB or 256GB, the flash drive takes up the same amount of physical room.

Other USB Flash Drives Features

Besides storage capabilities, there are several other features to consider. Most USB flash drives have some level of encryption security for sensitive documents. In addition to protecting what is stored on the flash drive, it is important to buy one protected on the outside; some have rubberised coatings or other safety features to keep the flash drive from getting damaged. Lastly, many retailers have been producing coloured or decorative USB flash drives, so appearance is also a consideration. The sections below outline other criteria USB flash drive buyers should consider purchasing.


USB flash drives are convenient and small, and also easy to lose. Security for the USB flash drive continues to improve with each generation; most have a certain level of encryption security built into them. You can password protect individual word documents and PDF files, or secure the entire contents of the thumb drive. The USB flash drive can have password protection or be as complex as fingerprint recognition.


Protecting the data contained on the USB flash drive is only half the battle. You must also choose one that protects the outer shell of it. Some models have a retractable USB connector to keep the tip from breaking; others have protector caps. The rest of the flash drive needs to be made out of a durable material. Plastic is a common material and often the easiest to break. Rubber covers make for shock resistance.


People who only care about functionality only need a USB flash drive that is durable, secure, and meets their capacity requirements. In addition to increasing storage space, many companies are offering an array of colours and designs. Many of the more decorative USB flash drives have lower storage capacities and are generally more expensive than basic models. Shoppers can find flash drives shaped in an array of animals, video game characters, cartoon themes, and more.

SD and Micro SD cards

USB flash drives are great option for storing and transferring data from one computer to another. Tablets' popularity is on the rise, and many of which do not have USB ports to share data. However, many tablets do have other portable storage options that can be accessed via a USB or built-in card reader. These tablets have SD and microSD cards slots. If your computer does not have a built-in card reader, you can purchase a USB card reader for an insignificant amount of money. Most of these cards hold up to 32GB, which is plenty of space for music, photos, apps, video, and more.

Buying a USB Flash Drive on eBay

eBay has thousands of USB flash drives to choose from. So whether you need something basic or festive, it is important to know what you want prior to searching. Storage capacity is one of the most critical factors to include when searching on eBay.. Including keywords in your search eliminates unwanted results. For example, a search for a "16GB flash drive" gets rid of all other options, making it easier to find exactly what you want.


Once you have a satisfactory amount of USB flash drives to choose from, eBay lets shoppers custom sort results by what matters most. To find eBay's best deals, arrange options from lowest to highest price. eBay factors in shipping to ensure you get the absolute lowest cost. If you are searching for flash drives in bulk, highest to lowest price should produce good results. You can also sort items by time left in auction, distance from seller, and condition.


Shopping for a basic looking USB flash drive is simple enough. They all look similar, and as long as you choose a reputable brand, they all function the same. When choosing the flash drive's storage capacity, consider how much you intend on using it and how much data needs to be stored or transferred. Also, if the flash drive's primary function is to store data, you may want to get a larger one. However, if you are using a flash drive as a quick method of file transfer between computers, then you can get by with a smaller one.

USB flash drives are great for computer to computer transfer, but with the rise in popularity of tablets, many of which to not have USB ports, there are other options that allow you to share data between the two devices. You need a USB card reader compatible with an SD or microSD to transfer data. Whether you need to store or move data, a USB flash drive is an easy, convenient way to go about it.

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