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USB Flash Drives

USB Flash Drives: highly portable storage devices

From the Sandisk Cruzer to Sandisk Ultra and units from a variety of other manufacturers, USB Flash sticks (also known as pen drives, thumb drives, USB keys or just memory sticks) are ubiquitous often being an important part of users' Every Day Carry. First appearing in the early 2000's, they offer an easy, convenient way to store and transport data. They are simple devices, consisting of just a USB connector and another section housing the unit's PCB were the USB flash memory is contained. Many flash sticks allow the USB connector to fold into the bottom section for protection or have a separate cover for the USB connector. Some also feature LEDs to visually indicate when data is being transferred. Generally pen drives weigh no more than 60g, making them easy to carry around, and with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB memory sizes being common, and relatively cheap, they are great option for your storage needs.

The basics of flash memory and common use cases

USB flash sticks were made possible due to the development of NAND flash memory and the fact they can be powered entirely by a PC (or today tablet or even mobile phone).

While cloud solutions for storage and transportation of data do exist, USB flash sticks remains popular, at least in part, due to their simple drag and drop interface. Just attach a USB key to any PC (or Mac or Linux system for that matter) and it will appear as a new drive ready for you to drag files into. Hence pen drives offer a simple way to store multiple data types (photos, documents, video and audio) and move this data across systems.

Since most flash sticks have moved on from USB 2.0 to use a standard USB 3.1 Type A connector they more or less work universally. Although type C flash drives are now available, these models are intended for use with laptops, mobile phones or tablets where this connector type is more common.

Long term backup is possible with with USB flash sticks. Modern USB 3.1 connectors allow for data transfer and read speeds at rates up to 140 Mbit/s and drives now have storage capacity up to 2 terabytes of data, which should be plenty for most use-cases. However, with small form factor external SSDs becoming more common the best use for USB pen drives remains transfer of files between PCs.

Uses for less common form factors

While most USB Flash sticks are fairly small, there are some models that are extremely tiny, no bigger than a thumbnail. These variants are particularly effective for laptops, smart TVs or other devices where the priority is to maintain a firm connection to the device rather than portable transfer of data. Normal size USB sticks are much easier to remove and carry around than these small models. However, when regular sized USB flash drives are plug into a laptop for instance, the connection with the device can be broken if the USB stick is even slightly disturbed. Whereas with the smaller ones, the connection can be maintained even if the laptop itself is moved or put into a case for transport.

Other pen drive variants do not contain memory themselves but have slots for micro or standard SD flash memory cards. These offer a very convenient way to transfer data particularly between PC and cameras, or other devices such as mobiles or tablets, that write data directly to memory cards. This is extremely helpful with large DSLR cameras since most cameras of this type save RAW footage to standard size SD cards and relatively few modern laptops, and even PCs these days, have card readers for that size (although mini-SD card readers are fairly common). Of course it's always possible to link the camera and PC together but this requires messing around with wires and often it is just easier to just pop the SD card out of the camera, put it in the card reader and then connect the flash drive to your PC.

Running your PC on a flash drive?

Another useful application is using a USB drive as a system installer for Windows. Thus flash drives can serve as a backup install file, just in case something goes wrong with your PC and your hard drive is wiped.

With Linux, however, you can go a step further and not just install your preferred Linux variant via a USB drive but you can actually run many Linux versions directly from the USB Flash Drive. This is a good way to test out different 'flavours' of Linux to find your preferred one.

Less common uses

v Back when MP3 players were popular, they often took the form of a flash stick with added controls for playing music, skipping tracks etc. It is still possible to buy such units, they remain a nice alternative to mobiles for use in the gym or outdoor workouts such as running where you'd want to use a solid and inexpensive device that you're not worried about dropping. However you are limited to the music or podcasts you store on the device so with the rise of streaming music this use case has declined significantly.

Overall though, if you are looking for an easy way to transport and store data, flash sticks are a great option.

  • ADATA UV128 USB 3.1 Flash Drive 32GB

    On sale! (normally $12) The sleek ADATA UV128 features a sliding USB connector, which smoothly extends from the drive at the push of a thumb. Offering a 32GB capacity and USB 3.1 connectivity, the capless mechanical design eliminates the hassle of lost drive caps. The U…

    $11

  • ADATA UV128 USB 3.1 Flash Drive 64GB

    The sleek ADATA UV128 features a sliding USB connector, which smoothly extends from the drive at the push of a thumb. Offering a 64GB capacity and USB 3.1 connectivity, the capless mechanical design eliminates the hassle of lost drive caps. The USB connector can be made…

    $17

  • ADATA UV350 USB 3.2 Flash Drive 32GB

    The UV350 flash drive has a clean, capless design that does away annoying caps. A hanging hole at the end makes for easy attaching to keychains and lanyards for excellent portability. The drive comes with 32GB of storage and USB 3.2 Gen 1 for hassle-free storage of all…

    $15

  • Corsair Flash Voyager GTX USB 3.1 Premium Flash Drive 128GB

    The Corsair Flash Voyager GTX USB 3.1 premium flash drive puts SSD performance in your pocket, with up to 440MB/sec read and 440MB/sec write speeds. Optimised for USB 3.1 Gen 1, USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 for future-proof and backwards compatibility.…

    $99

  • Corsair Flash Voyager GTX USB 3.1 Premium Flash Drive 256GB

    The Corsair Flash Voyager GTX USB 3.1 premium flash drive puts SSD performance in your pocket, with up to 440MB/sec read and 440MB/sec write speeds. Optimised for USB 3.1 Gen 1, USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 for future-proof and backwards compatibility.…

    $139

  • Corsair Flash Voyager GTX USB 3.1 Premium Flash Drive 512GB

    The Flash Voyager GTX USB 3.1 premium flash drive puts SSD performance in your pocket, with up to 440MB/sec read and 440MB/sec write speeds. Premium rugged zinc-alloy housing with aluminum accents protects your data in style. Backed by a 5 year Corsair warranty.…

    $219

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  • Corsair Flash Voyager USB 3.0 Flash Drive 128GB

    The Corsair Flash Voyager USB 3.0 Flash Drive 128GB features read and write speeds of up to 190/60 MB/s, USB 3.0 interface that is backwards compatible, durable and shock-resistant due to its all-rubber housing, and is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X and Linux without…

    $59

  • SanDisk Extreme Pro USB 3.1 Flash Drive 128GB

    The SanDisk Extreme PRO USB 3.1 Solid State Flash Drive delivers super-fast solid state performance in a USB flash drive. A game-changer in the USB storage category, this flash drive offers read speeds of up to 420MB/s and write speeds of up to 380MB/s that let you tran…

    $69

  • SanDisk Ultra Dual Go USB 3.1 Flash Drive USB-C 128GB

    The SanDisk Ultra Dual Go is a 2-in-1 flash drive for USB-C and Type-A devices. It features a read speed of up to 150MB/s, swivel design to protect connectors and a key ring hole to keep it convenient and secure. Backed by a 5 year limited SanDisk warranty.…

    $35

  • SanDisk Ultra Dual Go USB 3.1 Flash Drive USB-C 256GB

    The SanDisk Ultra Dual Go is a 2-in-1 flash drive for USB-C and Type-A devices. It features a read speed of up to 150MB/s, swivel design to protect connectors and a key ring hole to keep it convenient and secure. Backed by a 5 year limited SanDisk warranty.…

    $59

  • SanDisk Ultra Dual Go USB 3.1 Flash Drive USB-C 32GB

    The SanDisk Ultra Dual Go is a 2-in-1 flash drive for USB-C and Type-A devices. It features a read speed of up to 150MB/s, swivel design to protect connectors and a key ring hole to keep it convenient and secure. Backed by a 5 year limited SanDisk warranty.…

    $13

  • SanDisk Ultra Dual Go USB 3.1 Flash Drive USB-C 64GB Green

    The SanDisk Ultra Dual Go is a 2-in-1 flash drive for USB-C and Type-A devices. It features a read speed of up to 150MB/s, swivel design to protect the connectors and a key ring hole to keep it convenient and secure.…

    $19

  • SanDisk Ultra Dual Type-C 3.1 USB Flash Drive 128GB

    Easily free up space on your smartphone or quickly transfer files between devices at USB 3.1 high speeds of up to 150MB/s. With a reversible USB Type-C connector and a traditional USB connector, the SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive USB Type-C lets you quickly and easily transfe…

    $39

  • SanDisk Ultra Dual Type-C 3.1 USB Flash Drive 256GB

    Easily free up space on your smartphone or quickly transfer files between devices at USB 3.1 high speeds of up to 150MB/s. With a reversible USB Type-C connector and a traditional USB connector, the SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive USB Type-C lets you quickly and easily transfe…

    $69

    ETA: 25/09/20 This item is expected to arrive into our warehouse around 25/09/20
  • SanDisk Ultra Dual Type-C 3.1 USB Flash Drive 32GB

    Easily free up space on your smartphone or quickly transfer files between devices at USB 3.1 high speeds of up to 150MB/s. With a reversible USB Type-C connector and a traditional USB connector, the SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive USB Type-C lets you quickly and easily transfe…

    $15

  • SanDisk Ultra Dual Type-C 3.1 USB Flash Drive 64GB

    Easily free up space on your smartphone or quickly transfer files between devices at USB 3.1 high speeds of up to 150MB/s. With a reversible USB Type-C connector and a traditional USB connector, the SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive USB Type-C lets you quickly and easily transfe…

    $19

  • SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.1 Flash Drive 128GB

    Thanks to its compact design, you can plug in the SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.1 Flash Drive and leave it in, making it the simple way to add extra, high-speed storage to your device. It offers a 128GB capacity and delivers performance that lets you move a full-length movie…

    $29

  • SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.1 Flash Drive 16GB

    Thanks to its compact design, you can plug in the SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.1 Flash Drive and leave it in, making it the simple way to add extra, high-speed storage to your device. It offers a 16GB capacity and delivers performance that lets you move a full-length movie u…

    $8

  • SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.1 Flash Drive 256GB

    Thanks to its compact design, you can plug in the SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.1 Flash Drive and leave it in, making it the simple way to add extra, high-speed storage to your device. It offers a 256GB capacity and delivers performance that lets you move a full-length movie…

    $59

    ETA: 28/09/20 This item is expected to arrive into our warehouse around 28/09/20
  • SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.1 Flash Drive 32GB

    Thanks to its compact design, you can plug in the SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.1 Flash Drive and leave it in, making it the simple way to add extra, high-speed storage to your device. It offers a 32GB capacity and delivers performance that lets you move a full-length movie u…

    $9

  • SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.1 Flash Drive 512GB

    The SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.1 Flash Drive 512GB features a compact plug-and-stay design, high-speed USB 3.1 performance with sequential read speeds of up to 130MB/s, 128-bit AES encryption with SanDisk SecureAccess, and easy file recovery with RescuePRO deluxe.…

    $129

  • SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.1 Flash Drive 64GB

    Thanks to its compact design, you can plug in the SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.1 Flash Drive and leave it in, making it the simple way to add extra, high-speed storage to your device. It offers a 64GB capacity and delivers performance that lets you move a full-length movie u…

    $18

  • SanDisk Ultra Flair USB 3.0 Flash Drive 128GB

    The SanDisk Ultra Flair USB 3.0 flash drive moves your files fast. Spend less time waiting to transfer files and enjoy high-speed USB 3.0 performance of up to 150MB/s. Its durable and sleek metal casing is tough enough to handle knocks with style. And, with password pro…

    $35

  • SanDisk Ultra Flair USB 3.0 Flash Drive 16GB

    The SanDisk Ultra Flair USB 3.0 flash drive moves your files fast. Spend less time waiting to transfer files and enjoy high-speed USB 3.0 performance of up to 130MB/s and a 16GB capacity. Its durable and sleek metal casing is tough enough to handle knocks with style. An…

    $9

  • SanDisk Ultra Flair USB 3.0 Flash Drive 32GB

    The SanDisk Ultra Flair USB 3.0 flash drive moves your files fast. Spend less time waiting to transfer files and enjoy high-speed USB 3.0 performance of up to 150MB/s and a 32GB capacity. Its durable and sleek metal casing is tough enough to handle knocks with style. An…

    $12

  • SanDisk Ultra Flair USB 3.0 Flash Drive 64GB

    The SanDisk Ultra Flair USB 3.0 flash drive moves your files fast. Spend less time waiting to transfer files and enjoy high-speed USB 3.0 performance of up to 150MB/s and a 64GB capacity. Its durable and sleek metal casing is tough enough to handle knocks with style. An…

    $19

  • SanDisk Ultra Luxe USB 3.1 Flash Drive 128GB

    Combine the necessity for a convenient way to store and move your data with your desire for a protective, elegant device. The all-metal Ultra Luxe USB 3.1 Gen 1 flash drive delivers fast transfer speeds up to 150MB/s. Transfer a full-length movie to drive in less than 3…

    $39

  • SanDisk Ultra Luxe USB 3.1 Flash Drive 16GB

    Combine the necessity for a convenient way to store and move your data with your desire for a protective, elegant device. The all-metal Ultra Luxe USB 3.1 Gen 1 flash drive delivers fast transfer speeds up to 150MB/s. Transfer a full-length movie to drive in less than 3…

    $11

  • SanDisk Ultra Luxe USB 3.1 Flash Drive 256GB

    Combine the necessity for a convenient way to store and move your data with your desire for a protective, elegant device. The all-metal Ultra Luxe USB 3.1 Gen 1 flash drive delivers fast transfer speeds up to 150MB/s. Transfer a full-length movie to drive in less than 3…

    $65

  • SanDisk Ultra Luxe USB 3.1 Flash Drive 32GB

    Combine the necessity for a convenient way to store and move your data with your desire for a protective, elegant device. The all-metal Ultra Luxe USB 3.1 Gen 1 flash drive delivers fast transfer speeds up to 150MB/s. Transfer a full-length movie to drive in less than 3…

    $12

  • SanDisk Ultra Luxe USB 3.1 Flash Drive 64GB

    Combine the necessity for a convenient way to store and move your data with your desire for a protective, elegant device. The all-metal Ultra Luxe USB 3.1 Gen 1 flash drive delivers fast transfer speeds up to 150MB/s. Transfer a full-length movie to drive in less than 3…

    $24

    ETA: 25/09/20 This item is expected to arrive into our warehouse around 25/09/20
  • SanDisk Ultra Trek Rugged USB 3.0 Flash Drive 64GB

    The SanDisk Ultra Trek Rugged is a USB 3.0 flash drive that has a capacity of 64GB, a read speed of up to 130MB/s, is shock and water resistant and can handle extreme temperatures (0°C - 100°C). Backed by a SanDisk lifetime warranty.…

    $22

  • Team C201 USB 3.2 Flash Drive 128GB Blue

    The Team C201 USB 3.2 Flash Drive 128GB Blue features read and write speeds of up to 90/35MB/s, and a ergonomic, unibody design that is waterproof, dustproof and shockproof.…

    $32

  • Team C201 USB 3.2 Flash Drive 64GB Green

    The Team C201 USB 3.2 Flash Drive 64GB Green features read and write speeds of up to 90/35MB/s, and a ergonomic, unibody design that is waterproof, dustproof and shockproof.…

    $15

  • Team Group C143 USB 3.2 Flash Drive 128GB Brown

    The Team C143 USB 3.2 128GB USB drive features a seamless integration rotation design, a non-drop and strap hole, hot swappable and plug & play, backward compatible to USB 2.0/1.1 transmission interface, no external power required and supports power saving mode. Bac…

    $29

  • Team Group C143 USB 3.2 Flash Drive 16GB Blue

    The Team C143 USB 3.2 16GB USB drive features a seamless integration rotation design, a non-drop and strap hole, hot swappable and plug & play, backward compatible to USB 2.0/1.1 transmission interface, no external power required and supports power saving mode. Back…

    $7

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  • Team Group C143 USB 3.2 Flash Drive 32GB White

    The Team C143 USB 3.2 32GB USB drive features a seamless integration rotation design, a non-drop and strap hole, hot swappable and plug & play, backward compatible to USB 2.0/1.1 transmission interface, no external power required and supports power saving mode. Back…

    $9

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  • Team Group C143 USB 3.2 Flash Drive 64GB Brown

    The Team C143 USB 3.2 64GB USB drive features a seamless integration rotation design, a non-drop and strap hole, hot swappable and plug & play, backward compatible to USB 2.0/1.1 transmission interface, no external power required and supports power saving mode. Back…

    $12

  • Team Group C157 USB 3.1 Flash Drive 64GB Zinc Alloy

    With its rectangular and compact body, C157 USB drive is not only a space saver on a car, it also supports various types of car audio systems with built-in USB ports, allowing you to easily enjoy a wonderful musical feast even while you on the move. Through plug and pla…

    $12

  • Team Group C183 USB 3.1 Flash Drive 128GB

    The C183 128GB USB 3.1 Flash Drive features a simple and stylish appearance, a usable strap hole design, plug and play interface, supports hot swap and power saving mode and backed by a Team Group lifetime warranty. Backed by Team Group's lifetime flash drive warrant…

    $25

  • Team Group C183 USB 3.1 Flash Drive 16GB

    The C183 16GB USB 3.1 Flash Drive features a simple and stylish appearance, a usable strap hole design, plug and play interface, supports hot swap and power saving mode and backed by a Team Group lifetime warranty.…

    $7

  • Team Group C183 USB 3.1 Flash Drive 32GB

    The C183 32GB USB 3.1 Flash Drive features a simple and stylish appearance, a usable strap hole design, plug and play interface, supports hot swap and power saving mode and backed by a Team Group lifetime warranty. Backed by Team Group lifetime warranty.…

    $8

  • Team Group C183 USB 3.1 Flash Drive 64GB

    The C183 64GB USB 3.1 Flash Drive features a simple and stylish appearance, a usable strap hole design, plug and play interface, supports hot swap and power saving mode and backed by a Team Group lifetime warranty. Backed by Team Group lifetime warranty.…

    $15

  • Team Group C186 USB 3.2 Flash Drive 32GB

    The Team Group C186 USB 3.2 Flash Drive 32GB features an retractable capless design, and sequential read and write speeds of up to 5GB/s.…

    $8

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  • Team Group C188 USB 3.1 Flash Drive 128GB Indigo

    Team Group C188 128GB USB 3.1 Flash Drive is a simple, portable solution to back up and share your valuable files, photos, videos, and more. The drive offers a premium look and feel, a retractable capless design that enables easy operation and eliminates the possibility…

    $25

  • Team Group C188 USB 3.1 Flash Drive 256GB Indigo

    Team Group C188 256GB USB 3.1 Flash Drive is a simple, portable solution to back up and share your valuable files, photos, videos, and more. The drive offers a premium look and feel, a retractable capless design that enables easy operation and eliminates the possibility…

    $45

  • Team Group T171 USB 3.1 Flash Drive 128GB Metallic

    The T171 128GB flash drive is the 20th-anniversary limited edition USB drive from Team Group. It features USB 3.1 Gen1 (USB 3.0) high-speed transfer with a read/write of up to 100MB/s/60MB/s, military grade waterproof and dust-proof and pressure resistance up to 1,000Kg…

    $45

  • Team Group T183 USB 3.1 Flash Drive 128GB

    The T183 combines the digital world with a practical, handy tool design to make the perfect companion for every day life. Featuring a multi-function unibody design, in addition to high-speed USB drive's storage function, it also has bottle opener, ruler, keychain and ca…

    $39

  • Team Group T183 USB 3.1 Flash Drive 32GB

    The T183 32GB USB 3.1 Flash Drive features rust and corrosion protection, is waterproof, dust-proof and shockproof. It comes with multifunctional and practical features including a bottle opener, straight ruler and keychain, is made of environmentally safe materials, su…

    $12

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  • Team Group T183 USB 3.1 Flash Drive 64GB

    The T183 combines the digital world with a practical, handy tool design to make the perfect companion for every day life. Featuring a multi-function unibody design, in addition to high-speed USB drive's storage function, it also has bottle opener, ruler, keychain and ca…

    $17

  • Team T193 USB3.2 Multi-functional Flash Drive 128GB

    The Team T193 USB3.2 Multi-functional Flash Drive 128GB features sequential read and write speed of up to 90/35 MB/s, USB 3.2 Gen 1 interface, a practical and multi-functional design involving a ruler, magnifying glass, magnet, protractor and drawing compass.…

    $35