What to watch out for when buying a USB stick


  • TECH
  • Monday, 01 May 2017

These days USB sticks come with ever-increasing storage capacity. But these drives aren't the best bet for every kind of backup. 

The advantages of USB sticks are clear: they fit snugly in your pocket and can hold large volumes of data. Some models offer up to 2 terabytes in storage. But USB sticks aren't always the best choice for everyone's storage needs. 

Here's what to consider when shopping: 

– Plugs: USB-A plugs fit into almost every computer, making memory sticks very versatile. For higher speeds, the sticks should be USB 3 or 3.1. You can normally tell these higher-speed connectors by the blue plastic in the plug. 

– Capacity: Memory sticks with up to 2 TB are available on the market. However, only one producer (Kingston) is making sticks with this size and at a price of around 1,500 dollars. A more realistic choice would be versions with 256 GB priced at between 100 and 200 dollars. 

– Fakes: It's not hard to find a USB stick online with 1 terabyte or more for an incredible bargain prices. But you'll likely be ordering a fake. These rarely actually have more than 8 or 16 GB space. To check the capacity of your stick, you can use the free testing programme H2testw

– Backups: Sticks are not well-suited for regular backups of lots of small amounts of data, according to tech experts. Why? Carrying out many small individual writing operations causes the stick's speed to plummet. For such cases, experts recommend an external SSD drive. They cost about the same amount when compared GB for GB. — dpa


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