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Transferring large files to a flash drive is a huge convenience. It allows small businesses to be more efficient in an increasingly mobile ecosystem. And as the storage price continues to fall, it is affordable and convenient to carry large amounts of storage in a small form factor.

The key to getting the correct flash drive for your business is to find out what you will be storing and transferring in them. While documents without images are easy to transfer to any flash drive, media files can take some time. Flash drives with the latest transfer rate specifications are the way to go because you can use them on any computer and are backward compatible.

 

Choosing the right USB Flash Drives

When considering a flash drive for business or work purposes, there’s more to take into account than just its capacity. A flash drive can be a linchpin in safeguarding important files, transferring data between devices, or even running software on different systems. Here’s what you should look for when making your decision:

Key Features to Consider in a Flash Drive:

  • Data Transfer Speed: This determines how fast you can copy files to and from the drive. For professionals who often move large datasets, faster speeds (like USB 3.0 or 3.1) can make a significant difference in efficiency.
  • Durability and Build Quality: If you’re on the move, select a drive with a sturdy casing resistant to physical damage. Metal or hard plastic casings offer added protection.
  • Security Features: Given the nature of business data, security is paramount. Seek out drives with built-in encryption or biometric access, like fingerprint recognition.
  • Compatibility: Ensure the drive works seamlessly with all the operating systems and devices you regularly use.
  • Retractable Design: This eliminates the need for a cap, which can be easily lost.

Real-world Scenarios:

  • Presentation Carriers: If you’re often presenting to clients or at conferences, you’ll need a reliable and fast drive to store your presentations and promotional materials. You wouldn’t want a technical glitch to mar your pitch.
  • Remote Workers: For those who shift between office and home or are frequently on the road, a durable and secure flash drive ensures work files are always accessible and safe.
  • Tech Specialists: IT professionals might require flash drives that can boot an entire operating system or specific software tools for troubleshooting.
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Flash Drive: Great Options for a Small Business

When it comes to choosing flash drives for your small business, several key factors should guide your decision. This criteria is also what we use to curate our recommendations to ensure you get the best options available. Here’s a rundown with a scale of importance from 1 (least important) to 5 (most important):

  • Storage Capacity (5/5): The size of the drive should match your needs for transferring and storing data.
  • Transfer Speed (5/5): USB 3.0 or higher is recommended for faster data transfer, saving time and boosting efficiency.
  • Durability (4/5): Look for flash drives with sturdy construction and strong materials that can withstand daily wear and tear.
  • Compatibility (5/5): Ensure the drives are compatible with the operating systems you use in your business.
  • Security Features (4/5): Options with encryption and password protection are vital for protecting sensitive business information.
  • Brand Reliability (4/5): Trusted brands are often more reliable, which means less risk of drive failure and data loss.
  • Cost (3/5): Balance cost with features and durability—cheaper drives might fail more often, leading to higher replacement costs.
  • Design (2/5): Compact and capless designs can be more user-friendly, but the aesthetic should not override functionality.
  • Warranty (3/5): A good warranty can provide peace of mind and protect against defects.
  • Customizability (2/5): Customized flash drives can be branded for your business, which is a bonus for marketing but not essential.

SAMSUNG BAR Plus 256GB

SAMSUNG-BAR-Plus-256GB-400MBs-USB-3.1-Flash-Drive.png

Samsung is a leading manufacturer of technology and makes some of the best USB flash drives on the market. This USB 3.1 drive has 256GB of storage and backward compatibility. It uses V-NAND technology with enhanced read/write performance and transfer speeds of 400MB/s.

The drive has a rugged metal casing to safeguard your data. And it is waterproof, shockproof, magnet-proof, temperature-proof, and x-ray proof.

SAMSUNG BAR Plus 256GB – 400MB/s USB 3.1 Flash Drive Champagne Silver

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SanDisk 256GB Ultra Dual Drive USB

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Like Samsung, SanDisk is also a leading manufacturer of flash drives. This USB flash drive features a retractable design with a reversible USB 3.1 connector and a traditional USB connector, allowing you to use it on PCs and smartphones. It is backward compatible with USB 3.0 and 2.0.

You get high-speed transfer speeds of up to 150MB/s and transfer files easily and quickly between smartphones, tablets and computers.

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

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PNY 1TB Turbo Attaché 3

PNY-1TB-Turbo-Attache-3-USB-3.1-Flash-Drive.png

PNY offers some of the best value in the market. This is a 1TB USB 3.1 flash drive with read speeds up to 200MB/s and write speeds up to 100MB/s.

It is compatible with the current USB 3.1 Gen 1/USB 3.0 PC and Mac laptops and desktops. Likewise, it is backward compatible with USB 2.0 host devices at USB 2.0 speeds.

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PNY 1TB Turbo Attaché 3 USB 3.1 Flash Drive

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SanDisk Extreme PRO 1TB

SanDisk-1TB-Extreme-PRO-USB-3.2-Solid-State-Flash-Drive.png

This SanDisk uses Solid State Drive technology in its flash drives to store your data. And in this case, you will get read speeds up to 420MB/s and write speeds up to 380MB/s. This will require a USB 3.2 Gen 1 or USB 3.0 port.

SanDisk includes its SecureAccess encryption software to keep critical files safe. And it also offers RescuePRO Deluxe data recovery software, which recovers accidentally deleted files. This drive has USB 2.0 and 3.0 backward compatibility and comes with a Lifetime limited manufacturer’s warranty.

SanDisk 1TB Extreme PRO USB 3.2 Solid State Flash Drive

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Corsair Flash Voyager GTX 512GB USB

Corsair-Flash-Voyager-GTX-512GB-USB-3.1-Premium-Flash-Drive.png

This Corsair uses a high-speed 3D NAND memory to deliver read speeds up to 440MB/second and write speeds up to 440MB/second. The drive uses USB 3.1 Gen 1 protocol, but it is USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 backward compatible.

The drive is CORSAIR SSD Toolbox ready, so you can format, partition, and optimize drive performance. And the universal operating system compatibility lets you work on Windows, macOS, and Linux without installing a driver. This is a rugged flash drive with a zinc-alloy housing and aluminum accents.

Corsair Flash Voyager GTX 512GB USB 3.1 Premium Flash Drive

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iStorage datAshur PRO² 128 GB Secure Flash Drive

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Increasing the security of your data is always a good thing. And the iStorage datAshur PRO² allows you to secure your drive with a physical and software encryption solution. This 512GB device has PIN-authenticated hardware – you have to enter a 7-15 digit PIN to authenticate and use it as a normal USB flash drive.

You also don’t need any special software; the datAshur PRO2 USB flash drive will work on any device with a USB port. As soon as you disconnect the drive, it encrypts your data using AES-XTS 256-bit hardware encryption. It is also FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certified to help you stay compliant with data regulations such as HIPAA, GDPR, and CCPA.

The USB 3.2 provides up to 168MB/s read speeds and up to 116MB/s write speeds as well as backward compatibility with previous USB versions. It is dust and water-resistant.

iStorage datAshur PRO² 128 GB Secure Flash Drive

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Lexar JumpDrive S47 128GB

Lexar-JumpDrive-S47-128GB-USB-3.1-Flash-Drive.png

This USB flash drive has a very small factor but still manages to provide 128GB of storage with USB 3.1. It has read speeds of up to 250MB/s and is compatible with PC and Mac operating systems and is backward compatible with USB 3.0 and 2.0 devices.

Additionally, Lexar provides DataVault Lite software, an advanced security solution with 256-bit AES encryption to protect your data.

Lexar JumpDrive S47 128GB USB 3.1 Flash Drive

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Kingston DataTraveler Max 256GB USB-C Flash Drive

Kingston DataTraveler Max 256GB USB-C Flash Drive

The Kingston Datatraveler Max is a type-C USB flash drive using the latest USB 3.2 Gen 2 standard to offer up to 1,000MB/s read speeds and 900 MB/s write speeds. Running out of storage space is never a problem with this USB flash drive – it has capacities of up to 1TB.

This USB flash drive also features a durable and convenient design – a unique ridged casing and keyring loop for the ultimate in portable devices.

Kingston DataTraveler Max 256GB USB-C Flash Drive with USB 3.2 Gen 2 Performance

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Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth 256GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive

Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive

The Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth isn’t like most USB flash drives – it is a military-style memory stick with USB 3.0 and USB .2.0 compatibility. The anodized aluminum housing is waterproof to 200 meters, vibration-resistant, and shock resistant.

The Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth USB 3.0 offers read speeds up to 4 times faster than traditional USB 2.0 drives. Transfer data and large files with speed and ease, and rest assured your information is safe. No software is required to use this USB flash drive.

Corsair CMFSS3B-256GB Flash Survivor Stealth 256GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive

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Gigastone Z60 256GB USB 3.1 Flash Drive

Gigastone Z60 256GB USB 3.1 Flash Drive

With read and write speeds of up to 120/60 MB/s, the Gigastone Z60 is one of the better USB flash drives out there. It uses a USB 3.1 interface and is compatible with USB 2.0 USB 3.0 for Windows PC and Mac computers.

Gigastone offers a 5-year limited warranty on its USB drives.

Gigastone Z60 256GB USB 3.1 Ultra High Speed Pen Drive

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SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive USB Type-C

SanDisk 256GB Ultra Dual Drive Luxe USB Type-C

Another of SanDisk’s flash drives, the Ultra Dual Drive is a 2-in-1 flash drive with a reversible USB Type-C and a traditional Type-A connector. Having dual USB drives means you can seamlessly move content between your USB Type-C smartphone, tablets, Macs and USB Type-A computers.

Read speeds on this USB flash drive are up to 150MB/s; write speeds vary by capacity.

SanDisk 256GB Ultra Dual Drive Luxe USB Type-C

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USB Flash Drive for iPhone

Flash Drive 256GB for iPhone USB Memory Stick Thumb Drives High Speed USB Stick

This memory stick for Apple devices has 256 GB of storage space. It has a multi-port design to easily transfer files and data between devices.

USB Flash Drive 256GB for iPhone USB Memory Stick Thumb Drives High Speed USB Stick

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USB Formats

Even though USB 2.0 (60MBs transfer rate) is still around, USB 3.0 is now the standard manufacturers are using. Technically, 3.0 is supposed to have top speeds of 5Gbps, but many factors come to play in achieving those numbers.

Now there are 3.1, 3.2, USB 3.2 Gen1, and Gen 2×2 with max speeds of 20Gbps. There is also a USB 4 on the way with 40Gbps. Again, it is worth mentioning, your computer must be compatible in order to achieve these high transfer rates. There are also flash drives with USB-A and USB-C connectors so you can hook them up to phones, tablets, and laptops with these ports.

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