Despite cloud-based storage options for users, USB flash drives are still important in 2018. If fact, they’re irreplaceable for some people’s operations.
A brief history of USB flash drives
Prior to computers, people had to carry printed materials and countless pages of hand-written notes for work and personal projects. Many professionals had what seemed like libraries of books and notes, and filing cabinets were huge.
Then, in the 1980s and 1990s, desktop computers became affordable for the mainstream public. Data storage transitioned to digital. 3.5 inch floppy disks and compact discs became the storage devices of choice, and people no longer had to rely on paper to keep important information. Data simply became easier to manage.
In the early 2000s, USB flash drives were introduced. With them, protecting, accessing, and transferring information was even easier. They could hold a thousand times more data than a floppy disk, and some USB flash drives also offered security features like password-restricted access and encryption.
Fast forward to today and USB flash drives are dynamic pocket-sized devices that can be customized for branding and marketing as well. In addition to being more eye-catching, their storage capacities are enormous and they come with all sorts of powerful capabilities to manage data.
To learn more about what users commonly use them for in 2018, follow this link: Top Ways To Use USB Flash Drives
Pros of USB flash drives in 2018
USB flash drives are still highly purposeful. Computer repair technicians use them regularly, and tech-savvy individuals use them for added security and privacy.
The following are some of the pros of using USB flash drives:
- Ease Of Use. USB flash drives are handheld and lightweight. They can fit inside the smallest of pockets, purses, and bags, and they don’t have to be charged or require an internet connection. Only a computer is required to access the data on them. Effectively, they are the perfect alternative to carrying a laptop, tablet, or any other device that takes up space or needs to be charged. Accessing their data is as simple as inserting the connector into a USB port on a computer or mobile device. They are platform-independent, and files can be located on them using a keyword search in a document finder window.
- Versatility and Speed. USB flash drives are versatile and efficient. They have the ability to run several different types of applications and operating systems, and they can transfer files quickly.
- Branding and Marketing Benefits. USB flash drives are affordable, portable, and can be customized for effective branding and marketing. Their compact size makes them ideal for business, and they can be excellent promotional gifts. After viewing the original content, recipients can install their own content and use them for their own purposes. However, the giver’s company logo and branding will still remain on the exterior to help recipients remember them.
- Security and Privacy. USB flash drives come with advanced security protection. Many are designed with password-restricted access, and data on them can be protected through encryption applications. Some USB flash drives even have separate zones for password protected files and files that are accessible without passwords.
- Affordability. Most USB flash drives are affordable, with individual prices as low as $5 for 16 GB of storage space or multi-packs of five for as low as $25 for 32 GB of storage space. With advanced features like password protection and encryption, they can be more expensive. However, even then they’re much less expensive than most external hard drives.
Cons of USB flash drives in 2018
Despite their benefits, there are negative aspects of using USB flash drives. Here are examples:
- Risk of Malware and Viruses. Although USB flash drives aren’t vulnerable to hacking the way cloud storage is, they are not completely immune from attacks. If a flash drive is connected to a device infected with malware, then that puts the data stored on it at risk of corruption or theft. Even worse, hackers create viruses specifically designed to be transmitted through USB flash drives to launch attacks so they can secretly take over computers, modify files, or install malware on other devices.
- Loss or Damage. USB flash drives are excellent for travel because they’re small, but that same benefit makes them easier to lose. They’re also easier to steal without being noticed, and sometimes they get dropped or damaged when left in extremely cold or hot environments. Unless the data on them is backed up on another source, then the information on a lost, stolen, or damaged USB flash drive is permanently lost and unrecoverable.
- Limited Lifespan. USB flash drives can last as long as 10 years. However, if used often enough, the lifespan can be much shorter. Often, low quality USB flash drives have defects that cause them to die only after a couple of uses, and certain components of USB flash drives in general are highly sensitive and easily damaged if not protected well. Furthermore, the connectors to USB ports can only withstand about 1500 insertions and removals on average. For these reasons, USB flash drives are not ideal backup storage devices intended to last for long periods of time.
Get outstanding USB flash drives from MediaFast
Quality and customer satisfaction matter most to us. We are committed to remaining on the cutting-edge in our industry, and our motivation and connections allow us to do so.
From our experience, cheap USB flash drives will break down or wear out much faster than well made, competitively priced units. We believe USB flash drives will remain relevant for many years to come, and ours are built to last.