America's #1 USB Company!
Call us 877.992.3766

USB Glossary of Terms

Accutower FLASH
The industry's only expandable USB duplicator, available from CDROM2GO.

Auto run/Auto launch
A special file or program that runs automatically when a CD, DVD, or USB is inserted into a computer. Learn more about our Auto-Launch services here.

Capacity
The capacity of a USB drive refers to how much storage space it has available. Drives typically have between 128MB and 32GB of storage space on the retail market, however larger drives are becoming increasingly available.

Chip
The chip retains data and is the backbone of a USB drive. Not all chips are made equal. Chips are divided up into tiers, with Tier 1 being the most top quality available and Tier 3 and below indicating lower quality. The grading depends on where the chip comes from in a silicone sheet or wafer during the manufacturing process. Tier 1 chips have the best performance, long life spans, and come with lifetime warranties. Tier 3 and below graded chips often come from the edges of the silicone product and are therefore more prone to issues.
To learn more specifics about chip quality, check out our blog!

Compatibility
See “Operating Systems.”

Custom Icon
A unique picture icon that is displayed in place of the standard "disk drive icon" in a computer.

Data Lock
A service which prevents unintentional deletion of files and data. Data is locked onto the drive and cannot easily be erased. Check out our Data Lock services here.

Data Retention
Data retention is the ability to hold onto data for extended periods of time. This is a specification that you can find on a product listing. It explains how long you can expect your flash drive to retain data and continue to function as a data storage device.

Driver
Also known as a device driver, this can be one or more software files that must be installed on a computer system before a new hardware component (such as a printer, scanner, or USB drive) can be used. If your flash drive requires you to download a driver, the product listing specifications will note this.

Duplicator (USB)
A computer connected device that quickly allows you to duplicate multiple USB drives at once without manually copying information drive by drive.

Entrapment
A custom printed insert sheet that wraps on the outside of a case; it is inserted between the clear vinyl sleeve and the case itself.

Express Service
A high priority duplication job for USB drives with a turn time of 24 to 48 hours. Available on select drive models only.

FLASH
The rewritable and erasable memory chips commonly found in USB flash drives.

Gigabyte (GB)
A storage capacity equal to 1 billion bytes. Please see How Much Data Fits on a USB drive for a better idea of what this means.

Heat Stamping
A thermal process where a die is heated and stamped into leather. It provides an appearance similar to embossing.

Hub
A piece of computer hardware that expands one USB port into multiple available ports.

Interface Options
Interface options refer to the connective technology that drives use to function. Flash drives use the USB industry standard and iterations include 1.0 to 3.0. Many retail USB drives use version 2.0.

Insert
A custom printed paper or sheet that can be inserted in packaging (ex. Entrapments, panels, additional content).

Jump Drive / Keychain Drive
These are other names for USB drives.

Laser Engraving
A permanent process where a high-powered laser is used to etch text or an image onto a USB drive.

Logo
Any artwork or text which is printed on a drive body. It can be single-sided or double-sided depending on the drive.

Megabyte (MB)
A unit of storage capacity of 1 million bytes of data. 1,000 MB equals 1 GB. For a better understanding of how much data you can store on your USB drive, check this out.

Multi-Level Cell (MLC) Memory
A slower and more popular type of flash memory chip that can be produced cheaply and easily.

NAND
A type of flash memory which can be written and erased about 100,000 times. Commonly found in USB drives, MP3 players, and other gadgets.

Operating System
This refers to what operating systems are compatible with a flash drive. Flash drives are typically compatible with most major OS’s.

Preloading
The option of having your data loaded onto a USB drive before delivery. This can be done in mass quantities. You can see our options for this service here.

Plug
The “male” protruding portion of a connector.

Receptacle
The “female” inverted opening portion of a connection; the space that you plug your device/cord into.

Shock Resistance
This is the ability to withstand physical vibrations. Interior components of flash drives are fragile and susceptible to blunt force trauma. The exterior of the drive body can be made to be shock resistant to reduce the possibility of breaking the device.

Single-Level Cell (SLC) Memory
A fast and accurate memory chip found in high performance USB drives; often identified by a higher price.

SuperSpeed
A new transfer rate for USB that transfers data up to 5Gbit/second (10x faster than USB 2.0).

Swivel
A USB drive that features a built-in rotating cap instead of a removable one.

Turn Time
The amount of time between placing an order and receiving the product.

USB
USB stands for Universal Serial Bus, which was designed in 1996. It is the industry standard for connective transfers between devices. These transfers can be for data or power supply.

USB 1.1
The original specification of USB with a maximum speed of 12 Mbits (or 1.5 Megabytes per second).

USB 2.0
A specification of USB with a maximum speed of 480 Mbits (or 60 Megabytes per second).

USB 3.0
A third major specification of USB created in 2008. The port has a blue interior and may feature the SS initials for its SuperSpeed technology. 10x faster than USB 2.0, it has maximum speed of 5Gbit/second.

USB 3.1
An update on USB 3.0 and now called USB 3.1 Gen 1. They are almost the same specification and it runs at 10Gbit/second. USB 3.1 Gen 2 is an upgrade on Gen 1, transfers data up to 20Gbit/second, and includes SuperSpeed+.

USB 3.2
Released in September 2017, this is the most recent specification of USB. It is backward compatible with USB 3.1 and 2.0. It was intended to update the USB specification for USB-C. It will reach up to 20Gbit/second (2.5GB/second) but averages 1.6GB/second upon demonstration in May 2018. It is supported by Windows 10 (default) and Linux Kernel 4.18.

USB-A
A flat and rectangular USB port. It was the original styling for USB connectors. Many USB devices continue to utilize type A ports and receptacles (where you plug in the connector) and they are especially common methods for connecting other devices which use other connector types (power cords and chargers, for example).

USB-B
Generally square in shape, these USB ports are most often used for large devices like printers or scanners. You may find them on external storage devices like hard drive enclosures, floppy drives, or optical drives. They are typically receptacle ports, meaning they are the part that you plug your connector to.

USB-C
A new type of connector for the USB system that offers high data transfer speeds, backwards compatibility, a slim port, and reversible connector. It doubles 3.0 speeds to 10Gbit/second and offers 20V and 5A which means faster transfers and charging. It is meant to become the industry standard connector over type A and type B models.

Volume Label
The title assigned to a drive, which will show up in your computer's disk manager (Such as "My Computer" on Windows platforms and the "Finder" on Macintosh platforms).

Write Protected
Special protections that keep some or all of the files on a USB drive from being erased or deleted by the end user.