What is a Flash Drive?

What is a Flash Drive?

What is a flash drive? For some this an easy question. But in that post, I tried to explain different dimensions of a USB flash drive. Universal Serial Bus (USB) flash drive is a device enables us to store data in it. It can be called in different names like USB drive, USB flash drive, USB stick, USB memory, flash disk, thumb drive or pen drive. In its structure, basically, there are two main parts. Flash memory and USB interface. Some encrypted versions can have also keypad. You can see a basic structure of a USB flash drive on below picture.


what is usb flash drive



USB flash drives are removable, rewritable and can be carried by the user. Standard weight is not much than 30 gr. on average. Generally, its capacity spans from 4GB to 1TB. In some special models, it can reach more than 1TB. For example, latest technology the biggest capacity Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate Generation Terabyte (GT) USB Flash Drive has the 2TB capacity. You can find this product at the following link. The capacity is related to the technology that is used for USB flash drive. So the capacity does not change the shape of a USB flash drive. The shapes are more or less the same but capacity can change dramatically.



USB flash drives can be used with computers, smartphones, printers or scanners. They can also be used as a boot drive for different operating systems like Windows, Linux or Mac. The USB flash drives don’t require any additional software to be used in that environment. The user just plugs into the system and can use it easily.



You can find thousands of different shapes or models of USB drives. They can be in classic shapes or in custom shapes. Credit card, pen, lighter or toy shapes are some examples. You can see a credit card shape example on the below picture.


what is usb flash drive

Encryption Method

Besides that, USB drives can be separated into two categories like encrypted and unencrypted. And encrypted USB drives category divides into two sub-categories, hardware or software encryption. Hardware encryption encompasses keypad or biometrically encrypted USB drives. On the other hand, software encryption encompasses software-based security encryption programs which enable a password protection for USB drives. You can see a keypad hardware encrypted USB flash drive model on below picture.


what is usb flash drive


The interface of USB drives can differ according to its model. USB Type-A (the one we familiar with) and USB Type-C are different USB interface types. USB Type C is the latest version of USB technology. In some USB models, you can find both USB-A and USB-C interfaces on the same device. You can see a dual interface USB flash drive model on the below picture.


what is usb flash drive



USB specifications are USB-1.0, USB-2.0 and USB-3.0. These specifications are related to USB drive’s data transfer speed. USB-3.1 is the Type-C connection speed and deemed as the new generation of USB connection and can be seen on every new technological device spanning from computers to smartphones. For example, the latest technology in terms of speed is SanDisk Extreme PRO USB 3.1 Solid State Flash Drive. This USB flash drive has made up with Solid State Drive technology and this technology offers up to 420MB/s read speeds and up to 380MB/s write speeds which are great. To illustrate the speed you can transfer the 4K movie to drive in less than 15 seconds. You can find this product at the following link.


In that post, I tried to explain the topic ”What is a USB Flash Drive?”. I have mentioned the basics of USB flash drives. Shortly USB flash drives are very common and useful assets. The primary problem for the USB flash drives is the security problem. If you can use them securely, they are really practical for your daily life.


If you have additional info or comment about What is a Flash Drive topic please use the comment section below.



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