The answer to this question totally depends on what you are going to do and use the USB for. You can get a 2GB or 4GB flash drive if you just want to move some files or text documents from one computer to other computer. If you are looking to archive your entire music library or your photo albums then stick with a 256GB drive. Similarly, for archiving big videos and media files you can get the biggest flash drive you can find.
What Size USB Flash Drive Do I Need?
USB Flash Drive Consideration
The minimum capacity of a flash drive available is 2 gigabytes and the maximum capacity is 1 terabyte. Though you can expand storage with these drive in affordable prices but as the size increases the price increases as well. So while you look for a USB flash drive make sure you consider the transfer speed as well like USB 2.0 or 3.0 interface plus the security point of view.
Storage Space of USB drives
You cannot directly estimate storage needs, because depending upon the type of media and quality of files the size of photos can vary in the USB flash drives. For instance, if one of your image size if 6 megapixels then you can easily store 1000 of these images in your 2GB drive and 16,000 images in the 16GB drive and similarly 128,000 images in a 256GB drive. But this number varies as the size of photos increases of decreases. In case of higher resolution photos which can be of 24MB each you will only be able to store 250 of these images in a 2GB drive, and 32,000 images in a 256GB drive.
Same is the case for music of video files. But to get a quick idea of all these files you can put all these files in a folder and you can take the right estimate of files you are going to transfer and space you will need. If you deal with HD videos then be prepared for some larger size drives. You could only store one minute HD video in a 16Gb flash drive and about 224 minutes video in a 256GB drive.
Similarly there are documents and files like spreadsheets and word documents which can be stored thousands in number in a 2GB drive for students.
What’s USB 2.0 and USB 3.0
For storage drives these are the interfaces which allows the data to move in and out of the drive. Depending upon the speed your computer supports you can get the USB drive for yourself. If your machine is capable to support USB 3.0 then you can get same speed drive. The difference between USb 3.0 and USB 2.0 is that the USB 3.0 transfer files 10 times faster than the USB 2.0 drive.
Security of USB drives
Well, everyone want a drive that is secure enough to protect the data. But it’s not necessary in all cases as sometime we only Use thumb drives for transferring files from one location to other so there’s no as such security threats involved. But if you are using the drive for archiving files for longer period and data is proprietary then security is a major concern. Different security issues can be:
- Smaller size of drive makes the USBs prone to loose
- Difficulty of tracking physically is restricted by companies
- They can easily transfer malware from one machine to other
Small size can be problem for some people but there’s no solution for that as they are made for portability, but software encryption on Windows and Mac computers and from security companies and hardware encryption makes the USB drives secure to insert malware or unauthorized access.