Friday, January 11, 2013

Buying a USB Flash Drive

I have mentioned a number of times in this blog how I suggest people buy USB Flash Drives as a simple device to back up their key PC files. I bought another one for myself the other day and thought I would share my choice and my logic:

When I shop for a USB Flash drive today, it has to:
  • Support USB 3.0, not just 2.0.  Anything that can talk using the much faster USB 3.0 specs will use that, as long as the other side does as well.  If not, it just reverts to the slower USB 2.0 so there are no worries about compatibility.  All new PCs support USB 3.0 so even if you have an older PC, step up the extra few bucks to a faster flash drive and you will be happier over the long run.
  • Nothing smaller than 32GB.  Almost everything you want to save is getting bigger, including photos, videos, and Americans' fat butts. OK, maybe you only want to save the files. Still, the price advantage to anything smaller isn't worth it.
  • A decent size and safe.  Some models are cheaper because they are huge, made with less expensive parts.  Others are so focused on being small, they are fragile and easy to lose.
  • They work.  Nothing like reading lots and lots of reviews.  Something that seems as simple as a Flash Drive can be a quality disaster and a lot of those are out there.

My choice for today, the Patriot Memory Supersonic Rage XT 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive.  Medium sized. Sturdy. Fast. Reliable.  I really like that it protects the connectors without one of those stupid caps that I always lose.

Like so many things, I tend to buy from Amazon. The local stores, like Best Buy and the office supply stores mark these accessories up so much it irritates me.  The 32GB version is about $40 and the 64GB version is $65.  

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