Sunday, December 30, 2007

Purchases Guide to USB 2.0 Flash Drives

What is USB 2.0?

USB 2.0 is a modernize to the Universal Serial Bus input/output bus protocol, which permit much higher speeds than the older USB 1.1 standard.
USB 1.1 allowed a maximum transfer rate of  the data of 12Mbits/second.  This standard is usually labeled by makers as "Full-Speed" or "USB".
USB 2.0 allows 480Mbits/second.  This new standard is labeled as "High-Speed" USB.  Please note that these throughput rates are deceptive and are not actual speeds that the devices achieve.


USB 2.0 Flash Drives Vary

USB flash drives vary by storage capacity of the data (noted as 256MB, 512MB, 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 8GB etc.).  But they also vary by read and write speeds.

Read speed - the speed at which the USB flash drive retrieves information (retrieve data).
Write speed - the speed at which the USB flash drives can record the data (save data).

If you will be transferring large files or moving several gigabytes of music around or are a stickler for performance, then these are highly important attributes to you.


Common Features

USB flash drives usually come with common features, accessories and extras.  These can include items such as:

  • Neck strap with quick release - for those fear of loosing their USB drive
  • USB extension cable
  • Write-protect switch
  • Security/password protection (software feature)
  • Low power support, boot support, and warranty


We would recommend buying a memory drive with at the least a 8 MB/Sec read speed, or more.  It saves a respectable amount of time waiting for large amounts of data to transfer.

USB flash drives share some other entertaining characteristics, too:

  • USB flash drives weigh about the same as a car key – practically, some USB flash drives are so lightweight that theoretically it could take 14 ants to carry one!
  • USB flash drives are about the size of a stick of gum.
  • USB flash drives currently can hold up to two gigabytes of data – that's over 650 three-minute songs (33 hours) recorded as format MP3 or about three times the content of a standard CD.
  • If you share a computer, a memory of  USB flash drives are a great way to store personal information – use them instead of the computer's hard drive.
    According to some manufacturer's specifications, USB flash drives can maintain data for 10 years – in that same period you’ll very likely have to replace your computer’s hard disk three times.

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