The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide To Secure Digital (SD) Cards

Male Fingers Holding A Micro SD Card With Tablet And Smartphone In Background, Extent Disk Space Concept

Photo by devenorr from Adobe Stock

 

SD cards have existed for more than two decades. These little card-like structures have been around for quite some time. But, do we understand what it’s for? Toshiba invented and commercialized flash memory in 1987. Which later on, was the technology used to create the SD Card. The big amount of literature on the topic causes confusion on the use of SD cards. Our guide inquires into this in-depth.

 

Things You Should Know About Secure Digital Card

Have you been meaning to get a Secure Digital Card for your tablet, phone or camera? There are different types of SD cards out there, so we know how it can get tricky. With a lot of jargon, and information on the topic, it can get tricky to understand. Here are the few things you should consider before you get your SD card:

 

Size

SD cards come in three different sizes. The original SD card measures 32x44mm. Meanwhile, the later developed mini SD measures 21.5x20mm. The smallest of the group is the micro SD card which is the standard used card today. It measures 11x15mm, which is compatible for recently released gadgets.

 

Capacity

When we talk about capacity, you think about how much data you can store into your device. That means what kind of files you need stored, and how much space these occupy. For files such as music or photographs, you may need to consider the capacity. This depends on the volume you want to save.

 

SDHC or SDXC

These abbreviations may seem unfamiliar but it’s pretty straightforward. There are two types of SD cards today which lie in the high capacity spectrum. One is the SDHC, which stands for High Capacity SD Memory Card. While the other is the SDXC which stands for SD extended capacity memory card. The SDHC can hold capacity up to 32G, while the SDXC capacity ranges between 32GB and 2TB.

 

Speed Class

Do you want a SD card that processes information quickly? Then, speed class is an important factor to consider. These are classified into C2, C4, C6 and C10. Hence, the slowest is C2 and to which the fastest is C10. The speed class refers to the minimum serial data speed. Also, these speeds are defined by how fast they can write video streams. The lowest rating (C2) can manage the standard definition. While the fastest one, C10 can manage even the highest of definition quality. Some are marked UHS, which stands for Ultra High Speed, and are limited for the use of some devices.

 

Wifi Enabled Cards

Some SD cards allow you to connect to the internet. Hence, this is especially useful for when you want to make frequent data transfers. Do take note that this may drain your battery as the device does consume power. But you need not worry, it only utilizes a certain amount.

 

What To Store In Secure Digital Card (SD Card)? 

 

Data SD card vector

Photo by Rawpixel.com from Adobe Stock

 

You can store almost any kind of file or document on an SD card. So long as the file size does not exceed the storage capacity, then you’re good to go. Some people make use of this device to store documents, music, photographs, videos and even applications on your gadget or phone. Thus, you have to consider the quality of the files you’re storing, in order to know if these will fit in your chosen device. For example, if you’re looking to store high definition (HD) quality videos, then your best bet is to get memory that is from 32GB above and with a speed class of C10 or higher.

 

Compatibility

 

Some devices work perfectly with certain variants, while others may not. Hence, compatibility is another factor to consider when you think of SD card storage. Such is the case for bus speed. This is the speed which measures how fast your gadgets send data to your card. The same can be said for storing music, photographs and documents. The higher the file size, the more it will require to read and store it. For example, when you save high resolution photos, you do have to consider the speed class and capacity of your card. Multiple high resolution photos stored on a smaller capacity card might slow down the write speed.

 

5 Signs Why You Should Buy Secure Digital Card (SD Card)

You may still be in conflict about why you should buy a secure digital card. Not many people find the need to be savvy with information on memory storage in general. Yet, here are a few signs that may point to the overlying fact that you need memory storage. As the advent of technology trends develop, there will be a demand or a need sustained. Hence, as the rise of emergent trends rapidly change, we need to adapt. Here are a few signs you might want to reconsider as to why you should get an sd card for your device.

 

Shortage on Space

When you start to experience lagging on your device, then you may want to rethink putting on hold getting additional storage. The only way to do that is to look at your options. If you own a camera, a nintendo switch or smartphone, storage capacity and speed class highly affects performance. So if you’re looking to get anything done at a faster pace, then you might just have to get a storage upgrade.

 

Gearing Up For A Special Event

When you’re preparing for a special event, you need more space for it. The same concept applies for when you document weddings, a baby’s first steps, or even your college yearbook. If you want to be able to save those snapshots, voice clips, video recordings and more, then you’re going to have to invest in more space.

 

Old Technologies Become Obsolete

When you switch to the latest gadgets and gizmos, It’s not really about being ahead of the game. Technological advancement is on the rise, and more so will it experience a quickening change in the years to come. That having said, old ones will eventually be replaced with new ones. In the case of the SD card, capacity and write speeds are constantly becoming bigger and faster, to meet consumer demands. 

 

Wear And Tear

It is a matter of fact that matter deteriorates. Depending on your usage, frequency of use, and durability of your device. Thus, it will succumb to wear and tear. Once you find that your device is no longer running the way it used to, it might be time to check on your device. You might just need to get a new host, with a SD card depending on your needs.

 

 

Keeping Data Secure

Everything nowadays is password protected. Hence, we are always looking to secure our information. That being said, we take measures to encrypt our precious data. This is also because of the rise of intellectual property theft. Another way to secure data is to save it on a SD card as a backup. So that in the event that your data is compromised, you have the peace of mind that you have a copy of it saved on your device. After all peace of mind, in times like these is priceless.

 

Where To Buy Secure Digital Card (SD Card)

You can find secure digital cards almost anywhere, ecommerce websites, retail shops and electronic stores have them available. However, you do have to be extra careful when you make your purchase. Make sure that when you purchase a device, it’s from an accredited seller or retailer. This is to prevent you from getting counterfeit products or faulty items. Here are some of our suggestions for you to choose from:

 

Ecommerce Websites

Before selecting your product of choice, you do have to check reviews and ratings first. Customers do provide feedback for excellent and quality products. Also, some of them will mention which sellers and products to stay away from. Hence, you will get a good grasp of what you’re going to be getting before you order, from the experiences of other users.

 

Facebook or Social Media

Brands and almost every tech shop have social media accounts. Otherwise, they at the least have a Facebook presence. These companies make use of social media to sell and promote their products. You can find varied tech products on these platforms. But of course, you do have to make sure of their validity before making a purchase. The best way to check if a shop is a credible one, you can reach out to a seller, or look for the famous check mark. In order for a shop or account to have verified status requires a lengthy and strict process. If your seller has verified status, this would mean that he has submitted documents. These documents will then go through authentication to prove his identity and credibility.

 

The Facebook Platform

Social media platforms make use of biometric ID technology to authenticate. For example, Facebook purchased famous start up company Confirm.io. The company would provide a means for users to easily submit documents. Whether it be a valid ID, fingerprints or facial recognition software. Since the acquisition in 2018, Facebook incorporates this technology.

 

Authorized Sellers

There is a way for you to identify authorized sellers. As they usually carry verified status accounts from the brand they represent. You may opt to purchase from an authorized seller if there are no physical shops in your area. Also, you can reach out to a retailer if the brand does not offer shipping or provide services to your location.

 

Electronic Shops

These are regular physical stores you may find in the mall or an outlet. The best way to look for a local one nearby is to use a shop locator. This is mostly available on any brand’s website. In addition, purchasing your wares from a shop will give you the advantage to personally check it for damage or defect. Some shops offer limited warranties, so it’s important to ask to test your device before you make your purchase.

 

What Are The Different Uses Of Secure Digital Cards (SD Cards)?

 

It’s common knowledge that the primary use of an SD card is for storage. But, is there more to it than just a device to store your writing portfolio or graduation photos? At Storables, we compiled a list of other uses for your SD card.

 

Your Nintendo Wii Can Use A Softmod

You can use an application called Letterbomb to softmod your Nintendo Wii. So that your device can allow homebrew applications to run on your gadget.

 

GPS Expansion Card

 

You can add an expansion slot for your GPS so you can add more maps to it. If you’re the sort to make use of one for travel instead of your average applications, an SD card will serve its purpose for this.

 

Portable Media Storage

 

The traditional use for SD cards are for your typical photos and documents. So, you can use your SD card as a means to access all those media on your phone or tablet.

 

Print from SD

The advantage of an SD card is that you mainly just have to insert it to a card reader slot. Once you do, you can turn on your printer and start printing straight away!

 

Emergency Boot Device

 

You can always always use a USB to boot your computer with a thumb drive that has an SD card slot. Simply download the software and follow instructions based on your computer’s specs and operating system.

 

Types of Secure Digital Card (SD Card)

 

Earlier, we discussed the different types of SD cards you may typically find on the market. We’ve also established that the sort of card you’re looking for depends on what you’re going to use it for. It’s not important that you purchase the fastest or the most expensive, what matters is that you know how to maximize your card’s efficiency based on usage. 

 

The Sandisk 32GB Class 4 rating speed SDHC device is perfect for your point and shoot camera. Like most Sandisk cards, this one is equipped with device security, so that you have the peace of mind that your information is safe. Also, it comes with a five-year limited warranty.
SanDisk 128GB Extreme SDXC is perfect for shooting 4k UHD videos and sequential burst mode photography. Also, it is built and tested to withstand harsh conditions. So it’s temperature proof, shock proof, waterproof and even x ray proof! The device comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
We have yet to find an SDUC in the market. The closest one we can find is SDXC 128GB, with its whopping 270 MB/s read speed and 260 MB/s write speed. It’s bus speed is at Class UH-II, which makes it perfect for the use of shooting 4k and 8k videos.
This is your standard capacity flash memory card, one that has been developed before the bus speed rating. This is perfect for recording footage with relatively low resolution, such as nanny cams or some security cameras. It’s also good for gadgets that require extra memory but are not compatible with SDHC rating or higher.

 

The Secure Digital Card (SD Capacities)

The SD Association is an American non-profit organization that sets memory card standards. SanDisk LLC, Toshiba and Panasonic Corporation established it in 2000. According to them, there are four types of SD cards. These are the SD Standard, SDHC Standard, SDXC Standard and the most recent SDUC standard.

 

Capacities and File Formats

First, is the SD Standard or SDSC, which is a memory card that has a capacity of 2GB or below. This memory card variant follows FAT 12 and 16 file systems. Following this, is the Secure Digital Card High or SDHC. It has a greater capacity than its predecessor, that ranges between 2GB to 32GB. Further, the SHDC uses the FAT32 filing system. The FAT32 format stores information in your SD card in 32-bit chunks. With the rise of more advanced filing systems, this has no longer been in common use. Third, is the SDXC or Secure Digital Card Extended Capacity. The variant’s capacity lies somewhere between 32GB-1TB. SDXC makes use of the exFAT format. Microsoft produced the exFAT format in 2006.

 

To this day, most SD cards and flash drives make use of this. In June 2018, the SDUC added another format, created to suit newer gadgets to be released in the market. The “UC” creates more space for a typical SD card or average sized card. It’s capacity ranges from between 1TB to 128TB. In addition, a UC card transfers information at a rapid speed of 624MB per second to a whopping 985MB per second. This format has yet to be released in the market.

 

Tips To Make Micro SD Card Last Longer

You can use a Micro SD card almost on any device that can host a full sized slot. Just slip it into an adapter, and quickly transition it from a Micro SD to a full-sized card. A Micro SD card often behaves like most full-sized cards. In terms of longevity, most last up to over 5 years, certainly echoing the shelf life of it’s full-size counterparts. Of course that life-span is based on how you use your card. We’ve come up with a few tips and best practices on how to make your Micro SD card last longer. So read on, if you want your card to live long, and prosper.

 

Handling Your SD Card 101

 

The key is, remember that no matter how manufacturers claim how sturdy the unit may be, that it is in the end, destructible. In order to ensure that you’re treating your SD or Mini SD cards well, make sure to:

 

  • Never push and force a card into a slot
  • Avoid bending or shimmy your card in or out of a device
  • Avoid touching the metal contact pins, hold it using the outer shell

 

Also, it’s important to remember that if there is difficulty to fit a card into position, then there may be a compatibility issue. It’s best to always be gentle when inserting a card into any slot. Then, you must also remember that when the lock mechanism falls off, that the card will no longer be able to write data, rendering it unusable.

 

Keep Your Cards Clean As You Go

 

Certain electronic, SD cards and Micro SD cards work under different conditions. It’s also important to keep your cards in a safe place and dust, grime and dirt-free place. Any sort of build up and debris can compromise a card’s pins and eventually cause performance issues. Also, it’s important to remember that, how you store your card matters. Hence, you should keep your card in a protective case, even when it’s stowed away in your bag or desk. This will prevent dust from collecting, and will provide extra protection for your card.

 

Safety From The Great Outdoors

 

When you check product SD card and Mini SD card descriptions online, they talk of how resilient cards are. No matter what the material, and how these claims may be true. It’s best to be safe than sorry. In this case, if you’re having doubts whether your card is water, dust, shock or element proof, go get a protective case. If you’re planning on going outdoors, or a wet climate, it’s always best to keep your card in a protective case. Meanwhile, if you’re looking to visit a very humid and dry place – be aware that your card is susceptible to static electricity. There are other factors too – such as everyday hazards that you have to be on the look-out for. Spills, exposure to steam or even accidental drops into water or liquid can cause irreparable damage. While accidents can happen, it’s good to remember that data–more often than not, can be recovered.

If The Shoe Fits: #Compatibility

 

No matter how complex SD cards or Micro SD cards are, we can always keep it simple. Device compatibility to a card is essential. Thus, it’s important to take measures in order to prolong the card’s lifespan, and in top-shape in terms of performance.

 

  • Always use a card specific to one device
  • Do not share cards with other devices
  • Don’t share SD cards with other users
  • If you must share cards with other devices, make it a point to save it on another medium and reformat with each use

 

It’s important to follow these measures as viruses can spread from one card to a device. Furthermore, different cards have different read and write speeds. Thus, keep in mind that your card won’t be compatible with all devices. While you keep a card exclusive to a gadget, you extend its lifespan because you prevent compatibility issues and virus infections. Thus prolonging the lifespan and health of your card.

Technical Specifications

 

No matter what device you use, it’s important to be careful with how you use your card with it. When you follow a set of instructions on how to correctly use your unit, the longer you can use it and optimize its performance.

 

  • Gently eject and remove your card from it’s slot. The same applies when inserting.
  • Download data, and remove cards before you edit it.
  • Always reformat the card after data is downloaded and saved to another device.
  • Never remove the card from its slot while data is being written or read.

 

It’s important to safely eject your cards may it be a regular sized SD or Micro SD. Furthermore, editing photos or making changes to files while on the card itself, will reduce the life expectancy of your card. These are simple gestures that will go a long way. It is said that almost all modern day memory cards can withstand 100,000 program and erase cycles. This is the number of times data is written in the card. Which bears more weight than it’s physical durability.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Secure Digital Card (SD Card) 

We’ve compiled the most asked questions on the world wide web on SD cards. How important is a Micro SD card, and how do you rofmrat it? We lay down the basics for you, and more. 

 

1. How to recover a file in SD Card?

Have you ever deleted a photo, video or media file accidentally? This predicament may cause you unnecessary panic and stress. So we came up with some of the easiest tips to address this. While we believe that there are no long-term fixes when using band-aid solutions, we do believe that there are quick-fixes that provide effective results. Here are five data recovery software for your SD and Micro SD. This will give you the results you need, just in the nick of time. We hand-picked and consider these the best of the best in the market.

 

Disk Drill

Disk Drill is an example of free data recovery software you can download for your SD card. What’s so great about it is that it makes use of three methods to recover your accidentally deleted files. It is compatible with different devices, from SanDisk to Samsung devices. It can also recover up to 500MB of files. In addition, the software makes use of the deep scan feature that allows recovery of older files.

 

Iobit Undelete

This recovery software focuses on ease of use. It’s free to use regardless of how much data you need to store. If you’re looking for a data recovery software that is quick and user friendly, then Iobit Undelete is for you. Another plus is that it’s free no matter how much data you load into it. Thus, you can restore large files as opposed to using other software that requires payment when you go beyond the file-size limit.

 

Piriform Recuva
This one offers a free and a premium version. However, you don’t need to worry if you just need basic functions. One advantage of getting the premium version allows you to create a virtual hard drive. Thus, this allows you to reverse any changes that you may have done by mistake.

 

Recoverit Data Recovery
The advantage of getting the Recoverit is that you get a deep scan and clean design in the free version. So, for those of you looking for a professional recovery software, Recoverit Data Recovery may be just for you. It’s for those who have a lesser grasp of technical skills as it has a seamless and simpler interface. Plus, if you do get the full version, you will have access to full features such as high rate of file restoration, professional interface, ease of use, among others. Also, if you have a lot of files, the software lets you retrieve them easily through searching it by file extension.

 

EaseUs Data Recovery Wizard
The EaseUs software lets you target a set of file types with the use of a thorough scan. Thus, this will allow for a shorter scan period. However, if you do go beyond the 500MB limit, you will need to pay for the license. The Flipside software is among the best in the market in finding deleted and corrupted files.

 

 

2. What is the maximum capacity of a SD Card?

The SD Association in 2018 announced a new standard format for the SD and Micro SD variants. The file capacity SDUC or Secure Digital Ultra Capacity is at 128TB. Thus once out will be the largest capacity format for SD cards in the market. But, as of late, the largest capacity for SD cards in general is 2 terabytes.

 

3. How To Format SD Card?

Formatting an SD card is easy, however you must be precise with each step. But make no mistake as it can get tricky. Make sure that you’re knowledgeable of the different file allocation table (FAT) formats.

 

Step 1: Insert your card into the computer.

First, you must ensure that the card slot is compatible with your computer, do not try to insert a Micro SD into a full sized card reader as it will be difficult to get it out. Hence, you should always make sure that you use a full-sized adapter when you use a Mini SD card.

 

Step 2:  Start the formatting process.

Then, once inserted, open file explorer and look for the drive letter for your card. Right click on the drive and click on format.

 

Step 3: Check your card’s capacity and set it to the correct FAT.

Next, you should check your card’s file capacity. If your card is somewhere below 32 gigabytes, then you should set the file system to FAT 32. If the card is 64 gigabytes or higher, you should set it to the exFAT format. After, click start to begin.

 

Step 4: Make sure that you’re using a new card.

When you’re formatting a card, you are giving your computer instructions to wipe it clean. Make sure that once you use your card, that you’re using a new one. Otherwise, backup important files on it on a cloud, or a drive. Once reconciled, go ahead and click on “ok” to continue with the process.

 

4. How Important Is An SD Card?

A memory card is a small medium for storage. We all know by now that the memory that we make us of cards to store data such as text, pictures, audio and video. Thus, it is primarily used on portable devices and remote computing devices due to it’s small size. A memory card is also called a flash memory card. We use these cards to store important information in a computer. Thus, most recently released products in the market use flash memory. Technologies continue to develop. However, the flash memory card has remained to be the dominant key product in the market. There are different types of memory cards. Namely, SD Card (secure digital card), CF card (compact flash card), the Smart Media Card, Memory Stick, and Multi Media Card (MMC). These cards, much like the SD card come in different sizes and capacities, so you have a lot of options.

 

Non Volatile Memory

Memory cards make use of non volatile memory. Thus, this will keep the data secure, such in the case of a power surge. Hence, when you lose power on your computer, you have the peace of mind that your data stays intact. Another advantage is that you don’t need to constantly refresh your card. Since these usually take the form of solid media, they usually don’t have loose or moving parts. Thus, you don’t have to worry about any future technical issues or mechanical failure. The much newer ones released in the market are more compact and have faster data processing.

 

User Preference

There are different kinds of SD cards on the market and how much weight they have varies from person to person. As the demand for memory storage becomes greater, the more users flock to it. Thus, the need for the production of cards grows exponentially. In effect, consumers from different sectors have created a pressing demand for the product to this day. For example, those of video game design companies make use of proprietary solid state memory cards. In addition, they make use of these for the storage of data. The memory card has virtually taken the place of the hard disk, as it is portable and easier to use. As a consequence, to have this kind of technology gives you a more durable and long-term option, making it a concrete competitor to the hard disk drive.

 

Other Benefits

Secure Digital cards allow a seamless transfer of information. The transfer from one device to another is quick and easy. If you’re the sort of person that enjoys reading, you can make use of it to build your e-libraries. A SD card will allow you to store multiple ebooks and EPUB files. These can form in part a rich source of references for a theoretical paper or research. Thus, you won’t need to pay for access to a membership for an online library.

 

In addition, You can also use SD cards to store different kinds of utility software. This is usable straight out of the card. You don’t need to install EPUB files or ebooks, you can simply read from the card once inserted in the computer. SD cards are spacious, thus you have freedom to put multiple files in it. It can make a fabulous gift as you can store ecards to send encouraging letters to friends and family. Thus making it an incredible gift for a loved one. Another important thing is that there are plenty of affordable and quality ones in the market. So, you don’t have to worry about overpriced products or settling for cheap counterfeits.

 

5. What Are The Top Cheap SD Card Brands For Your Smartphone? 

We compiled the best brands on the market to purchase cheap SD cards from. Don’t let the title mislead you, cheap doesn’t mean a compromise on quality. Here are the top 10 brands of SD cards for your Smartphone. So you can get all the features you need and want, for the right price. Of course, you can’t put a price on quality, but there is a premium for well made products. So, these brands are certainly not cheap, but we truly consider them economical. 

 

6. What is a MiniSD Card?

A MiniSD Card is essentially a (much) smaller version of a MicroSD card: in fact, it is 37% smaller than the latter, making it extremely easy to carry around (but also, unfortunately, to lose). 

 

 

7. What is a MicroSD Card? 

Commonly used to store information, a MicroSD card is the smallest type of SD card available: it measures 15 mm × 11 mm × 1 mm, and is about the size of a fingernail. Here are the top 20 microSD cards your money can get you right now

 

8. How to maximize your Sandisk SD Cards? 

Sandisk SD cards are typically of good quality and value-for-money. Check out this article for some quick and easy pointers on making the most out of your Sandisk SD card.

 

9. What Are The Different Types Of SD Cards Speed? 

When it comes to SD cards, there are 5 different speed classes, namely: NS mode, HS mode, UHS-I mode, UHS-II mode and UHS-III mode. Which one to choose for your unique set of needs? Find out more in this article.

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