10 Facts about USB Flash Drives You May Not Know


A USB drive is a little versatile storage device that is used in every industry in the world. Surprisingly despite its popularity and ease of use, the common USB flash drive remains a mystery to most people who use them. Exactly how durable are flash drives, how secure are flash drives, and how long do they last are just a few mysteries surrounding the USB flash drive. So with that in mind, below are some interesting facts about flash drives that you may not know.

1. USB Flash Performance: Capacity isn’t the only thing to look for when deciding on which USB drive to purchase. Performance should be just as high on your list as the capacity itself. Many flash drives have the same capacity and different body style, but exactly how fast can the drive transfer information? Look for varying data transfer rates when determining your next flash drive purchase; higher the better!

2. Origin of “Drive”: Despite having the word “Drive” in its name, a USB drive actually has no moving parts. The reason it is called “Drive” is because it uses the same system commands to read and write data as a traditional mechanical disc drive.

3. Wi-Fi Connectivity: Having difficult running an internet cord to your computer and sick of having to walk over it every time you enter your computer room? Why not get a Wi-Fi USB drive and solve your internet problems instantly. Wi-Fi USB drives are able to pick up the signal from a wireless router and connect any computer to the internet as long as the Wi-Fi signal is good. These also work great for laptops or other portable devices.

4. Portable Applications: You can load up your flash drives with Portable Applications that allow you access to your favorite software without having to have it installed on the host computer. Applications include Firefox, Mozilla, Java, and many more. Even some games are available to play and will keep you busy for hours.

5. Bootable Operating System: It is possible with a USB flash drive to create a bootable operating system. What a bootable operating system does for you is it creates a working version of your operating system in the event that your system crashes. This is particularly useful for netbooks or laptops as not all models have a CD/DVD drive.

6. Extreme Durability: USB drives as stated above have no moving parts; this makes them very durable. The average flash drive can survive falls, pressures, and temperatures that other devices would fail under. For example, there are some highly robust flash drives out there can survive being run over by 10 tons of pressure and survive temperatures of -122 through 394 degrees Fahrenheit!

7. USB and eSATA compatibility: There are some flash drives out there that that are USB and eSATA combo flash drives. By being a combo drive, you can plug the device in either a USB slot or an eSATA slot; which allows faster transfer rates via eSATA, and universal compatibility via USB.

8. Lifespan: The average flash drive will survive anywhere between 10,000 and 100,000 uses. What this means is that for every time you write or read something from a flash drive, it takes up a “use”. Typically flash drives will fail from manufacturing defects of quality issues before they fail from being used too much.

9. Security: USB drives have a variety of security options to keep your information safe. Your common flash drive will have no security, but you can install some programs that will give you password security. For the more adventurous you can get flash drives with 265 AES hardware encryption. This level of security goes well beyond just password protecting your information; it encrypts all the files on the drive so that even if someone would be able to bypass your password security, they couldn’t view your files.

10. PC Lock: Protecting a flash drive is one thing, but what about protecting your computer from unauthorized users. Well flash drives can help you there too! It is possible to use a USB flash drive like a key to your computer and that while this key is plugged in, you can access your computer. However if the USB is removed, your computer will automatically lock itself and will not allow access until the flash drive is plugged back in.