USB flash drives provide a large storage capacity while being small, fast and transportable. With this being the main selling point, its increasing popularity is not surprising. To add more, their applications have not stopped growing. All this in a device that fits into your pocket and can even be used as a keychain. It certainly doesn’t hurt to always have one handy.

In fact, how many times have you not had one just when you needed it the most? Or you’ve had one with no more free space. Whatever the reason for buying one, this handy guide will tell you all about USB flash drives and the best available products on the Aussie market.

Key Facts

  • They are so small, light and versatile. Ideal for this technological world we live in. You can carry them in your pocket, on a keychain or in your backpack.
  • The memory capacity has not stopped growing since the first models were released.
  • They have multiple applications: from installing an operating system to backing up important documents. Some models have specialised security systems to prevent their content from falling into the hands of the wrong person.

Ranking: The best USB on the Australian market

Below we offer you our complete list of the five best USB flash drives currently available on the Australian market. Each one of them stands out for different reasons. They are all excellent value for money. With this guide you will be able to choose the one that best suits your needs.

No. 1: SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.1 Flash Drive

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The bestseller on the market that also receives great reviews from Australian consumers. An extremely small, low-profile but high-speed USB 3.1 flash drive. Perfect for notebooks, game consoles or in-car audio equipment. It has a capacity of up to 256 GB and offers a writing speed of up to 15x faster than the standard USB 2.0 drives.

This is an ideal USB for non-professional use, with a fairly low price and good performance. It also comes in a sleek black design that you’ll love. With the guarantee of a brand like SanDisk you won’t be disappointed. Also, if you prefer a different storage capacity, it’s also available in 16GB, 32GB, 64 GB and 128GB versions.

No. 2: USB C Hub, Novoo USB Type C Hub Adapter with 4K HDMI Port

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One of the most multi-functional products on the market that gives you complete flexibility. The Novoo USB-C Hub turns a single USB-C port into one HDMI 4K port, two USB 3.0 super speed ports and SD and TF card reader slots. What more do you really need?

With tested compatibility with almost every device, brand and operating system on the market, this multi-purpose will give you the opportunity to utilise screen sharing via a HDMI cable whilst utilising a USB at the same time. Perfect for new Macbooks or those laptops with only one USB port. With the added confidence of a 12-month guarantee, this product is the ultimate tech solution.

No. 3: SanDisk Cruzer Blade USB Flash Drive 32GB

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If you want an economical USB stick that is reliable and easy to transport, then the SanDisk Cruzer Fit is what you are looking for. It has 32 GB of storage and uses USB 2.0 connectivity technology for file transfers. It includes SanDisk SecureAccess software to protect the stored files and thanks to its innovative design with a super small size, its very easy to transport around.

Being a SanDisk product, this USB is pure quality and its small size is a real selling point . In fact, it’s smaller than a 50 cent coin, making it an ideal extra storage solution for notebooks, netbooks, tablets or other small devices. And all for just over 10 bucks. What a bargain!

No. 4: SanDisk Ultra 128GB Dual Drive USB Type-C

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Delivering USB 3.1 speeds of up to 150MB/s, the SanDisk Ultra 128 GB Dual Drive USB Type-C Flash Drive makes it so simple to free up space on your smartphone or quickly transfer content between USB Type-C enabled devices. The flash drive comes with access to the user-friendly SanDisk Memory Zone app for Android (available on Google Play) for easier file management and backup.

Being a well established tech company, SanDisk products are constructed to the highest standards and rigorously tested. You can be confident in the outstanding quality, performance and reliability of every SanDisk product. Also available in 16 GB, 32 GB, 64GB and 256 GB, this sassy little USB is the future.

No. 5: Samsung FIT Plus Flash Drive 32 GB

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Looking for a different brand yet not willing to sacrifice quality or confidence? The Samsung FIT Plus Flash Drive redefines everyday file transfers without sacrificing quality. Designed with a key ring to prevent losing it and featuring fast and convenient read speeds up to 300MB/s*, you will have more time to work, play, watch, and create. Literally just plug it in and expand the storage of your devices with an unnoticeable, seamless fit.

Backed by a 5-year limited warranty (water proof, shock proof, magnet proof, temperature proof, x-ray proof), treat yourself and experience Samsung’s industry-leading V-NAND (64-layer) technology. At under $20, this USB is an all-round winner.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about USBs

When buying a new USB memory stick, it is important that you ask a series of questions. Not all USB flash drives are the same. With this in mind, we address the most frequently asked questions of buyers in this section. That way, you’ll be more likely to get your choice right and be happy with your purchase.

USB Flash Drives are storage devices that allow us to exchange data very easily.
(Source: Lassedesignen: 36588464/ 123rf.com)

What exactly is a USB Flash Drive?

USB (Universal Serial Bus) flash drives are small storage devices. Any kind of information can be stored on them. To save the data, they use a technology called flash memory. This technology origin dates back to the year 2000, when the first units were released to the public. They are also known as pen drives, USB sticks or memory sticks.

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Before USB sticks, CDs were used to transport data and information. USB flash drives quickly gained popularity thanks to their size, versatility and functionality.

What are the main applications of USB Flash Drives?

Even though there is a growing trend to store information in the virtual cloud, USB flash drives continue to have a number of applications. They can be used to install operating systems or to back up important files and documents.

Another interesting use is to install portable applications. They can also be used to play audiovisual content on a smart TV or to record programs, series or movies if the TV allows it. Similarly, they can be used in conjunction with game consoles to save games or videos.

Advantages and disadvantages of flash drives?

Undoubtedly, their main advantage is that they are transportable and take up very little space. They can easily fit in your pocket, in a backpack and can even be carried like a key ring. Moreover, they allow information to be exchanged between devices quickly and easily.

However, their use may have a couple of drawbacks. They are very vulnerable to voltage fluctuations and blowouts. In addition, older USBs often experience problems after prolonged use.

But of course, because they’re so small, it’s very easy to lose them. If you are an unorganised person, be very careful!

How to use a USB memory stick?

Using a USB memory stick is so easy. On computers and laptops, you just need to connect it to your computer by inserting the USB into the little slot on the side of a laptop or the front of a computer tower. Then you can copy and move files or run and install applications. On smart TVs or game consoles, just follow the simple on-screen instructions.

How long does a USB last?

In general, the duration of the flash memory is usually an average of about 3,000 – 5,000 cycles of writing. This comes in at about 4 to 5 years of life if you use it about twice a day. This seems pretty reasonable. In fact, you will probably lose it or loan it out before it reaches the end of its life cycle.

For whom is it recommended to buy a USB memory stick?

Their uses are so many and having one has so many advantages that it could almost be said that they are recommended for anyone. In particular, you may need a flash drive if you have to install Windows 10 on your PC.

It can also be useful if you often need to move a lot of documents from one computer to another. They are equally useful to transfer movies or song collections that you want to play on a different device. Some companies even use them as an advertising mechanism and give them away during different promotions.

Advantages
  • Small and light
  • Manageable and versatile
  • Moderate price
  • Fast and secure information exchange
Disadvantages
  • Easy to lose
  • Vulnerable to shocks
  • Vulnerable to voltage changes

What care does a USB require?

In the case of a USB memory stick, it is very important to avoid dropping them to exposing them to hard impacts, as they could stop working. Similarly, it is advisable to avoid humid environments and extremely hot or cold temperatures. Of course, it is important to remove them from the equipment to which they are connected by using the “Safely Remove Hardware” system.

Quality has a price and it is worth paying in the long run. The high end USBs can reach up to 100 dollars.
(Source: Guillem: 34176532/ 123rf.com)

Shopping Criteria

Now we’re going to study a number of important criteria that you should consider before purchasing a USB memory stick. This will hopefully make it easier for you to make the right choice and be satisfied with your purchase. We definitely don’t want you to be disappointed with your new USB stick after a few months. Here’s the buying criteria we will go through:

  • Intended use
  • Storage capacity
  • Speed
  • File format
  • Resistance
  • Physical construction of the USB
  • Size
  • Sensitivity of the data to be saved
  • Brand

Intended use

When buying a USB memory stick, it is very important that you are clear about what you plan on using it for. Maybe you need a flash drive for a specific use, such as installing an operating system. Or perhaps you plan to use it frequently, for saving documents that you are going to use on different computers. Or maybe you want one to save and play high quality video. Whatever the use, be clear about this to help with your purchase decision.

Storage capacity

Obviously the capacity is going to be a fundamental criterion when selecting the flash drive you are going to buy. We live in a technological world in which more and more of us need to store a whole lot more information. Luckily, today’s flash drives also offer increasingly higher space.

128 MB memory sticks are a thing of the past. Today, the capacity of USB sticks is measured in GB. It is possible to find a 64 GB USB stick for less than thirty bucks. However, it generally doesn’t makes sense to buy a flash drive with a much larger storage capacity than you are going to need.

They are very small and easily lost. If you’re a bit careless, it’s a good idea to choose a model you can carry with your keys on a keyring.
(Source: Kongkiatpaiboon: 61724272/ 123rf.com

Speed

Data transfer speed can be an important aspect if you need to copy a lot of information. With this in mind it is important to distinguish between USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and, most recently, USB 3.1 standards. You can refer to the following table to find out the transfer speed of each of them.

USB 2.0 USB 3.0 USB 3.1
Transfer rate (theoretical) 480 Mb/s 5 Gbps 10 Gbps

It is necessary to clarify that these are theoretical values and that the real speed can vary. Not all USB flash drives will actually reach these transfer speeds. Additionally, manufacturers sometimes advertise peak data rather than average speeds. It’s also important to note that a distinction must be made between read and write speeds.

File Format

The format, or file system, is the way a memory unit organises the content or information it stores. Usually, in order to use a flash drive, or any other storage device, the device must first be formatted.

However, if this isn’t the case, you must choose the correct USB for the device in which you are going to use it with. It may also happen that the factory format is not suitable for the computer with which you are going to use it. In this instance, there are different utilities and applications available that will allow you to format the USB easily and quickly.

Resistance

Nothing is more frustrating than losing all your important information because suddenly, the flash drive stops working. It is true that there are programs that can help you recover this information, however these programs are not always effective. So, as the saying goes, prevention is better than treatment.

Since USB sticks are designed for travel and moving around, it’s important that they are sturdy. A fairly common problem with flash drives is their low resistance to voltage changes. In addition, USB flash drives are often subjected to shock and vibration.

For this reason, you should choose one made of good quality materials.

Physical USB Construction

Today, there are many different forms of USB memory stick construction. They can be retractable, with or without a lid, made of plastic, metal or even in the form of a key ring, among other options. Whatever the design, it is a good idea to choose one that offers a solid construction. It is ideal if the plastic is hard and well sealed.

Size

With USB flash drives, size does matter. One of their great attractions is that they take up little space, so compromising on space is a real drawback. These are devices designed to be easily transported. In fact, very large and thick memory sticks can have issues when connecting them to the computer, especially laptops.

In general, it may seem that a smaller USB memory stick is better than a larger, bulkier one. However, this is not always the case, as this will depend more on the quality of the components and the file transfer speed of the USB. Of course, depending on how you plan to use it should derive the size that you need.

Sensitivity of the data to be saved

The data you’re going to save to the USB stick may be very sensitive. In that case, it might be interesting to look for one with a hardware encryption system. This way, if you lose it, no one will be able to access the information stored on the stick. If this happens, the only thing you will have to regret is the loss of the physical flash drive and not the important info.

Brand

The choice of brand is one of the most important aspects when making a purchase. The brand of a product is closely related to aspects such as quality, warranty, durability and price. Some of the most recognised USB manufacturing brands are: SanDisk, Lexar, Samsung, Novoo and Kingston.

Summary

Although we live in a hyper-connected world, the USB flash drives still add plenty of value and are here to stay for a long time to come. Their uniqueness is that they offer a series of advantages that no other storage medium can match. They are small, easy to use and versatile. In order to buy one, you should just ask yourself a couple of questions to determine the right one for you.

To pick the right one, price is a key factor, as is the storage capacity and the transfer speed. However, resistance and branding should not be forgotten either.

We really hope this guide has been helpful to you. If you think so, we would be very grateful if you would share it with your friends.

(Source of featured image: Intaravichian: 57531878/ 123rf.com)

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