Data storage has made leaps and bounds from where it was 20 years ago. It’s crazy to think that in the early 2000s, we only had floppy disks that could barely accommodate a single megabyte worth of files. Today, however, it’s a totally different story.
We now have access to storage that is literally thousands of times more effective thanks to new innovations in technology. What started as a small accessory for computer users has become a tool that is heavily relied upon for file storage or transfer. This especially has played a giant role in offices in almost any industry you can think of!
Flash memory products are there to keep things light and convenient. This way, your files can remain safe in your pocket and you can move around with ease. Also, most portable file storage are reasonably priced and reliable choices are not hard to find! Below are the top 50 flash storage products you mustn’t miss out on.
Small as they are, flash drives have an incredibly limited amount of surface area. As such, it’s particularly impressive whenever a brand is able to create intricate designs. The elegant curvature along the head of the drive, combined with its white gold finish, results in a luxurious look overall. Apart from that, the curves make the product very nice to grip. You can’t go wrong with its 256 GB capacity and 300 MB/s transfer speed!
A lot of us have probably wished we could easily transfer something from our phone to our computer (or even vice versa). This one is definitely for Apple users who’ve encountered this dilemma before. Double-ended flash drives are ideal for people who work mainly via their phones. Our phones can function as portable hard drives as well, so why not take advantage of this function?
Probably the most compact form of USB type flash drives, this thumb drive design is literally the size of your thumb. It’s hard to believe it can carry up to 64GB worth of your files! Just remember to keep this somewhere easy accessible because it could easily get lost.
Remember when a 1 or 2 GB micro SD card cost a fortune? We’ve certainly encountered our fair share of faulty ones in the past. It’s awesome that those with large capacities (such as this one from PNY) are so affordable and accessible today. You could use this to expand your phone’s internal memory, or attach it to an adapter for whatever else you might need it for.
If you’re the type to have your things just strewn all over your desk, you might want to consider getting a waterproof flash drive just in case you knock over your food or drinks by accident. Plenty of people have lost their backup files because they mishandled their flash memory devices, so think ahead by getting a drive that’s waterproof!
Type-C ports are increasingly popular today because of their ability to process data incredibly fast, charge your devices quickly, and their general ease of use. Luckily, double-ended flash drives also come with Type-C plugs today, so you won’t have to fret about getting your hands on the latest phones.
Sometimes, just buying any flash drive can be scary because you really want to be sure that it’ll last. If you don’t mind spending more money upfront, Corsair has premium drives that are durable and deliver great performance. Getting this flash drive will no doubt give you all the confidence you need to perform any task.
Work may require you to travel around a lot. Maybe you’re a salesman that goes from company to company to promote your products. In situations like those, it helps when your files can be worn literally around your wrist. Just unclasp this flash drive bracelet and get the show on the road. Afterwards, put it on again before you head to the next destination.
Samsung is well-known for being a giant in the smartphone industry, but what many people may not know is that they actually produce accessories that are equally fantastic to use. These range from wireless headphones to appliances to even memory cards. Your file transfers will run smoothly and you know you have a micro SD card that’s built to last.
Credit card flash drives personal favorites of ours because they’re incredibly sleek and chic. You can keep them stowed neatly away in your pockets or even in a small compartment in your bag, or put them in your wallet for quick and easy access. It’s compact enough to fit anywhere, but large enough that it won’t get misplaced easily!
A portable hard drive is the next step up from a flash drive. Here, it’s the norm to have upwards of 1 terabyte of storage, which is usually enough to back up all of the files of the average computer user. You’ll never know when your computer will start acting up, so it’s good practice to back up your files in a portable hard drive on a regular basis. The light gold tone color on this product is pretty to look at and is not nearly as stern/formal-looking as an all-black drive.
If you want something minimalistic that you can easily move around with, consider opting for a flash drive design that comes with a wrist strap. You have your standard flash drive in a cute and poppy color while you can walk around in a carefree manner.
Flash drive bracelets are probably the best way to make your flash drive “incognito”, especially if you have confidential files to carry around. This leather bracelet design with a metal charm is so unsuspecting, people will be surprised when you pull the charm apart to reveal the drive that’s hidden inside. Bonus: this will also probably go with most of your outfits as well.
When it comes to digital storage, SanDisk is as big a giant as Apple is with smartphones. For years now, they’ve been well-known for their high-quality and affordable data storage solutions. If you’re looking for a good middle ground between 128GB and 256GB, try their 200GB micro SD card option.
Another product for Apple users out there, this flash drive from SanDisk offers a hefty 128GB worth of storage to back up all the contents of your iPhone or iPad. The flexible tip (where its lightning cord is located) can also double as hook loop to hang the drive wherever you deem fit.
Arguably the grand daddy of flash memory products, external hard drives can take a large strain off your CPU. They’re usually actively used and are almost never disconnected from your actual computer. This is particularly ideal for those who require their files to be constantly backed up, or just anyone who requires a large amount of file storage space.
Flash drives have a tendency to be fragile and with their compact sizes, they’re quite easy to drop. I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of letting such a small item slip from our fingers. GORILLADRIVE produced a product with an armored design that not only gives it extra protection, but also makes it easier to grip.
Security can be a large issue with flash drives as a lot of them can be accessed easily. Rest assured that your documents will be safe and secure with this flash drive, as its number code lock denies access to files if the correct code isn’t keyed in. This will come in handy if your line of work involves the transferring of confidential documents on a regular basis.
Many us today divide our time between two or more devices. It isn’t just 2 camps – iOS vs Android purists – anymore, and people are becoming more open to owning devices from less established brands. However, it does become a struggle when all these devices require different kinds of cords. Worry no more with this multi-ended pick by Sunswan! With this product, you’ll be able to easily transfer your files from your Samsung Galaxy Phone to your iPad, iPhone to Google Pixel and more.
Today, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us are cooped up at home and one way to pass time is to play video games. Older portable hard drives don’t provide support for consoles like the PS4 or the Xbox. Not only can you use this to store your work files, it can also be used to expand the limited memory capacity that a PS4 has.
Having a flash drive with multiple ends is great because they offer flexibility regarding the types of devices that can be stored. However, having so many exposed plugs can be scary as they might get damaged or snap right off. If you tend to be a bit clumsy, you could opt for a flash drive that utilizes a sliding body design, where only the end you need will be visible and exposed.
Is it a smart watch or a wristband? No, it’s a slick flash drive bracelet! If you’re not a fan of shiny finishes and just want something basic, Civetman has a black 64GB option that we’re sure you’ll find useful for storing your documents while on the go.
Portable hard drives are super useful because they can carry such a large volume of files, but the stakes are high because accidentally dropping them can mean losing all your important information. One way to prevent this is by opting for a hard drive with an integrated armor design, such as this one from Silicon Power. It’s also worth noting that the armor even features a nook for you to store the cord in neatly!
With its sexy transition of materials from the glossy plastic to the ridged matte black portion, this large desktop external hard drive by WD could well be mistaken for a PS4 at first glance. It’s a flash memory product that is every bit as stylish as you and your office!
Something simple and gets the job done? Sounds like Samsung’s FIT line! Compact thumb drives like this will never cease to amaze with large capacities that are packed into small metal bodies. You would never think this little thing could hold 128GB worth of files, but it does.
Another great example of an integrated shell design is from ADATA where you can stow your cord away, along the ridge of its edges. They’re also quite affordable in the realm of portable hard drives, so it wouldn’t hurt to check them out.
If you’re a filmmaker or photographer, it can be tricky to pick the correct SD card, not to mention that they tend to be expensive. Often, it isn’t just about getting a large-sized memory card – you’ll have to take upload speed into consideration as well. Professionals may often have to deal with photos or videos that are 1 GB or larger. This option by SanDisk has a solid transfer speed of 160 MB/s in a 64 GB capacity. It is great for people who film or photograph semi-professionally (e.g. bloggers and vloggers).
Attention to detail is probably the key theme in this flash memory product, because everything about it is compact but still incredibly chic! Its geometric design gives this flash drive a premium feel, while providing you with enough traction for easy gripping. The USB end can also be quickly transformed into a Micro USB for compatibility with Android devices.
The studded design that’s used on the surface of this portable hard drive is reminiscent of Valentino’s iconic studs in most of their footwear (proving that fashion really does influence many things in this world). Your hard drive definitely doesn’t have to be in plain, boring black. Let your personality shine through with small details like this!
Attention professional photographers and filmmakers out there: you might just fall in love with this memory card that has excellent read speed and write speed of 300 MB/s and 250 MB/s respectively. That means the a 1GB raw photo will need only about 4 seconds to be transferred, thus helping to streamline your workflow!
Make your file storage look extra precious with this gemstone-inspired design by LaCie. Here, you have a simple white portable hard drive that’s been made more interesting and luxurious with the use of multiple facets. Pretty on the outside, but don’t be fooled as it packs a 5 TB punch inside.
This minimalist flash drive design is waterproof and has a 256 GB capacity. Design-wise, it feels like a lifeguard’s whistle, which complements its waterproof characteristic perfectly. It’s sleek, functional, and easy to carry around with you wherever you go!
Take your flash drive protection to the next level by going for products that integrate a protective cap in their designs to keep the plug from getting scratched or bent. The rugged design of this drive helps to soften the blow if it’s ever dropped.
Incorporating transparent components is a great way to make the design cooler and lighter. Thanks to its slightly glossy surface, this thumb drive by SanDisk will be easy to find if ever you were to misplace it.
This looks like the younger brother of the desktop external hard drive mentioned earlier on. However, don’t underestimate its compact frame because it packs a whopping 5 TB of storage space!
Give your flash drive a beautiful Asian makeover by getting this option from Netac! In the sea of black, white, and gray thumb drives, identify your drive more easily by choosing a unique design, so you can avoid losing it wherever you may be.
At first glance, this flash drive looks like a toy or a souvenir, but it is actually a fully functional data storage device with a generous 4 GB capacity. You can definitely sport this like how you would any other cute keychain!
For an affordable camera memory card option, don’t miss out on this product from PNY. Although its processing speed is slightly slow than some other products at 95 MB/s, it should be more than enough for use in everyday life. If taking photographs/videos is your hobby, you don’t need the bells and whistles that come with a professional-level memory card – you’ll be more than happy with this.
Ever wondered what happens when you marry a Swiss knife and a flash drive? Look no further! A Swiss knife is known around the world as a compact tool where you can switch between different utility tools in one compact body. The same can be said for this flash drive. Its multi-functional body makes it an incredible companion for all occasions. Not only is it super cool and stylish to look at, it can also serve as a ruler, cutter, and a bottle opener!
Sometimes, we want some sort of visual indication that our flash drives are functioning as they should. Since most flash drives take a while to be read by your computer, an LED feature can help keep your anxiety and patience at bay while it’s loading. When it starts being processed by your computer, the light will start to flash. This will prevent you from having to repeatedly plug in and unplug the device, which can damage your drive in the long run.
Protect your portable hard drive from unauthorized access by opting for a design that consists of an encrypted number lock. Your back-up files might require greater protection, so you can rest easy with options such as this one.
“Wow” is what the people around you will think whenever you whip out this portable hard drive! With its Transformer-esque design and vibrant colors, you’ll be forgiven for thinking that it’s a toy. Equal parts pretty and functional, it can actually accommodate up to 2 TB worth of files. You’ll never lose your hard drive since it sports such an iconic design.
Another unsuspecting flash drive bracelet design, this one by Kepmem can definitely pass off as a smartwatch or fitness watch thanks to its discrete appearance. We like how an element of surprise is included: you can pull it apart to reveal a flash drive that’s been cleverly concealed inside.
Take the word “luxury” to a whole new level level by picking this desktop external hard drive that features a studded texture design . Your computer station can look extra stylish and yet be super functional with this 4 TB drive by Seagate!
Inject some personality into your flash drive game with this cute wooden leaf design. Apart from preventing your device from getting mixed up with other typical flash drives, it is useful to have around thanks to its 32 GB storage capacity.
ADATA has plenty of portable hard drive designs that feature interesting designs. Here, the integrated cord storage isn’t as subtle as the others but instead contributes to the form factor of the drive. It almost looks like the drive is wearing the cord like a headset. Its blue plastic accent also gives it an a robot-like aesthetic.
A separate physical lock is a great way to keep your flash drive secure without the risk of an incorporated number keypad which could malfunction and prevent you from accessing your own files. This design is simple but incredibly effective and safe.
A compact and adorable plastic body can make your flash drive look extra cute and unique. You won’t ever lose your files because all you have to do is look for that “bunny drive”. Allow your personality to shine through with this little 32 GB package.
As illustrated by this flash drive, your storage device can actually be a cute and sparkly part of your outfit. Not only is it a good-looking piece of jewelry, it also keeps your files hidden from those with evil intent. Convenient 32 GB file storage on your neck? Why not, we say.
If you are going for a security keypad right on your portable hard drive, go for a product from reputable brand such as Apricorn. You can take your file security to another level by setting up your own personal passcode. With 2 TB of storage, you can back up your entire work computer (and then some)!
What You Need to Know About Flash Memory
Flash memory is a non-volatile memory chip used for storage and for transferring data between a personal computer and digital devices (such as digital cameras, televisions and solid-state drives). Flash memory is widely used for storage and data transfer in consumer devices, enterprise systems and industrial applications. Flash memory retains data for an extended period of time, regardless of whether a flash-equipped device is powered on or off.
How Does Flash Memory Work?
The architecture of a flash memory includes a memory array stacked with a large number of flash cells. Flash memory uses electrical circuits to log data. Here’s the process:
- Current flows through the transistor between each cell’s source (electric input) and drain (electric output).
- The transistor controls the current path of by acting as an on/off switch, or a gate.
- An ‘on’ transistor allows the flow of electrons across the cell, which stores a 1 in binary code.
- An ‘off’ transistor blocks electrons and stores a 0.
Volatile memory such as random access memory (RAM) returns all the gates to the 0 state when the power source turns off, thus erasing all stored data.
What are the Uses of Flash Memory?
Flash memory is used for many forms of electronic data storage. Its convenience of use has meant that in recent years, its use has increased significantly and is available in many formats. Everything from the familiar Flash USB memory sticks and camera memory cards right through to the solid state hard drives that have replaced the older disk technologies.
What is the Importance of Flash Memory?
You’d be surprised that flash memory lives among you – It’s in your smartphone, GPS, MP3 player, digital camera, PC and your USB drive. Flash drives require no batteries or other power to retain data which makes it incredibly convenient and relatively foolproof for users.
Imagine if you woke up every single morning and didn’t remember a thing. That’s exactly what computers would have if it wasn’t for flash memory. An ordinary computer chip ‘forgets’ everything (i.e. it loses all content) when the power is switched off, however, large computers today get around this by having powerful ‘memories’ called hard drives, which can remember everything whether the power is turned on or off. More smaller, portable devices such as digital cameras and MP3 players need smaller and more portable memories – These chips are called flash memories and it’s used to store information permanently.
In today’s environment and the rapid rise of the use of technology, flash memory becomes even more important to our everyday lives. Flash memory allows you to take your data anywhere and gives you the ability to access files and programs wherever required.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Flash Memory
Based on the variety of flash memories on the market, it shouldn’t be a surprise that they come in varying degrees of quality from the inside out. With USB flash drives for example, the quality starts at the chip. Every flash drive is originally cut from a large silicon chip built with mazes or circuitry. The location of where the chip was cut from the original piece will determine its quality.
Tier 1 or Grade A chips are considered superior and manufacturers from this tier will always mark their name and serial number on each one. They have very few to zero glitches and are backed by lifetime warranties. Brands such as Samsung, Intel, Micron and Hynix are considered Tier 1 chips.
Tier 2 or Grade B chips will show the manufacturer’s signature on the majority of its chips. They offer similar reliability as Tier 1 chips but will have the occasional failure to the fact that they can’t endure as rigorous of standard measures . Tier 2 chips are also made for smaller capacity flash drives.
Tier 3 or Grade C chips are made from discarded fringe parts. Third-party vendors buy these from manufacturers and assemble them into flash drives to sell to consumers at inexpensive costs. They are characterized by large failure rates, no warranties and limited life spans.
Types of Flash Memory
There are two basic types of flash memory. Although they use the same basic technology, the way they are addressed for reading and writing is slightly different. The two flash memory types are:
NAND Flash Memory
NAND flash memories have a different structure to NOR flash memories. This type of flash memory is accessed much like block devices (e.g. hard disks). When NAND flash memories are to be read, the contents must first be paged into memory-mapped RAM. This makes the presence of a memory management unit essential.
NOR Flash Memory
NOR flash memories are able to read individual flash memory cells which allows it to behave like a traditional ROM in this mode. For the erase and write functions, commands are written to the first page of the mapped memory as defined in the ‘common flash interface’ which was created by Intel.
Flash memory is a particularly important form of semiconductor memory. Today, it’s widely used and is possibly one of the most important forms of medium term storage.
How Important is a Flash Memory Card for Your Computer
Flash memory is known as a computer memory that is not volatile. This means that you can have unconditional support for memory whether you have powered the device or not. There are plenty of memory cards in the market that users can now choose from. These types of flash memory cards have strengthened the data recovery industry as users today can now store, save and transfer data more easily. Users can find these memory cards in a wide selection of capacities and storing strength.
Listed below are four different types of flash memory and how they are most commonly used:
Where to Buy Affordable Flash Memory
With plenty of flash memory options to choose from, it can be incredibly confusing and daunting with the amount of information made available online. Storables fortunately have made it easy for users to find the most affordable flash memory in the market.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Flash Memory
As with any technology, there are various advantages and disadvantages. When considering the use of flash memory in any particular application, it’s necessary to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages.
Flash Memory Advantages
- Non-volatile memory
- Easily portable (e.g. USB memory sticks, camera flash cards, etc.)
- Mechanically robust
Flash Memory Disadvantages
- Limited number of write/erase cycles
- Data typically erased and written in blocks
- Typically a higher cost per bit than hard drives
What are the Limitations of Using Flash Memory?
While there are plenty of advantages of using flash memory, it does come with a few limitations. One limitation of flash memory is that although it can be read or programmed a byte or a word at a time in random order, it must be erased a ‘block’ at a time. Flash memory (specifically NOR flash) offers random-access read and programming operations, but cannot offer random-access rewrite or erase operations.
When compared to a hard disk drive, a further limitation is the fact that flash memory has a finite number of erase-write cycles so that care has to be taken when moving hard-drive based applications, such as operating systems, to flash-memory based devices. Also, the cost per byte of flash memory remains significantly higher than the corresponding cost of a hard disk drive, and that has prevented flash from becoming a solid state replacement for the hard disk drive on normal desktop and laptop computers.
It’s also important to note that flash memory cells have a limited number of write and erase cycles before failing. Most flash drives do not have a write-protection mechanism. Flash memory may also require a special version of a program to run on a flash-based drive to protect from prematurely wearing out the drive.
How to Reformat Your Computer Using 32GB Flash Drive
Reformatting your computer can be done in a few clicks. The process of reformatting your computer using a 32GB USB flash drive on a PC (non-MAC) computer is outlined below:
Install USB Disk Storage Format Tool on your computer. Next, create a USB flash drive that has a boot sector. Insert the blank USB flash drive and run HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool.
On the format tool platform in the Device tab section, select the flash drive that you want to create as bootable. Make sure that it’s the right device – This makes it easy to reformat your computer using a USB flash drive.
Change your USB storage disk into a bootable USB disk. To do this, you have to empty your flash drive. You will also need Windows 98 MS-DOS files and HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool.
To reformat your computer using a USB flash drive, download Windows 98 MS-DOS system files. It’s free to download. After downloading, extract the zipped file into a folder that you can easily explore.
Download HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool. This software is free to download.
Go to the File System tab and change settings into FAT 32.
Under Format Options, check the Create a DOS startup disk option. Next, click the ‘…’ button to browse the folder where you have extracted Windows 98 MS-DOS files earlier.
Select the folder and click ‘OK’.
On the format tool, click the ‘START’ button. A pop-up message will prompt you before proceeding that the data on the drive will be lost. Click ‘Agree’ to continue. Instantly, your bootable USB flash drive will be ready. You can now reformat your computer using a USB flash drive.
Start reformatting your notebook, laptop or desktop computer using your bootable USB drive.
Before turning your computer on, plug in your bootable USB.
As the screen display starts, press either ‘Del’ or F2 or F10 to display the BIOS setup. Go to the Boot menu to change the Boot order. Make the USB flash drive to be on the first boot order.
Press F10 on the keyboard to save changes. As the computer restarts, click ‘Enter’ when asked to boot from a USB flash drive or wait until the flash drive loads automatically.
If you have made a Windows 7 installer on your bootable flash drive, the installation will automatically start. The installation will take several minutes. Wait until the installation is completed. Now you’re done!
Is Flash Memory Rewritable?
Flash memory is a type of non-volatile memory that can be electronically erased and reprogrammed. Unlike RAM, which is volatile, flash memory retains the information stored in the chip when the power is turned off. This makes it ideal for use in digital cameras, laptops, network switches, video game cards, mobile phones and portable multimedia players. Also, unlike ROM chips, flash memory chips are rewritable so you can update programs via software.
Frequently Asked Questions About Flash Memory
1. How Important Is A Flash Memory Card On Your Computer?
Having a flash memory card on your computer is extremely important as it acts as a storage medium for your computer. It is used to store data such as texts, pictures, audio and video. It is mainly used on small, portable and remote computing devices. Flash memory cards will help data to remain stable on the card.
2. What Are The Top 10 Models Of Memory Sticks?
Memory sticks are aplenty these days: so many models, variations and types are available that it can get overwhelming for the buyer. We’ve made the task easier for you by whittling the list down to the top 10 memory stick models.
3. How To Use A Flash Drive On Your Computer?
To use a flash drive on your computer, follow the below steps:
- Insert the flash drive into a USB port on your computer. You should find a USB port on the front, back, or side of your computer (please note that the location may vary depending on whether you have a desktop or a laptop).
- Depending on how your computer is set up, a dialog box may appear. If it does, select ‘Open folder to view files’.
If a dialog box does not appear, open ‘Windows Explorer’ and locate and select the flash drive on the left side of the window. Note that the name of the flash drive may vary. Once you’ve connected the flash drive, you can work with it just like any other folder on your computer, including moving and deleting files.
To safely remove a flash drive from your computer, follow the below steps. Please note that you will need to disconnect your flash drive properly to avoid damaging files on the drive.
- Right-click the flash drive, then select ‘Eject’ or ‘Disconnect’.
- You can now safely remove the flash drive from the USB port.
For a more detailed guide, head on over to our article on flash drives.
4. What Is The Best Flash Memory Card Created By Intel?
The Intel® Compute Card is just slightly longer than a credit card, but it’s ready to power anything from entry-level to full featured devices. The modularity and flexibility of this computer on a card allows compute integration via card slot into devices such as digital signage, kiosks, smart TVs, appliances, and more.
5. How To Save Big Files Using Your Flash Storage?
To save large files using your flash storage, a solution around this is formatting your documents in exFAT. The exFAT file system allows a single file larger than 4GB to be stored on the device. The great thing about this solution is that it’s also compatible with Mac.
Windows 7 and Mac OS 10.6.6 and higher are compatible with exFAT, however, older operating systems may need a patch installed for exFAT compatibility. Please note that the exFAT file system is NOT compatible with some host devices such as TV, game systems, older operating systems, car stereos, etc. To format a drive in exFAT, you can follow the below steps:
- Double-click on ‘My Computer’
- Right-click on the flash drive or memory card, then select ‘Format’
- In the ‘File System’ list, click ‘exFAT’
- Click ‘Start’
- Click ‘OK’ to start formatting