Best USB sticks 2022: buying guide

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Lluis Enric Mayans
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A buying guide on best USB sticks on the market to easily and quickly store your data at a relatively low price.

Even if you have a desktop or laptop PC with the most powerful SSD or NAS device out there, sooner or later you will also need a computer.portable and convenient USB flash drive. There are thousands in circulation today to choose from and they differ in dimensions, level safety, speed and other features that we are going to see.



Keep in mind that a USB flash drive smaller than 64GB is not worth buying, simply because if you plan to move files to and from notebooks, you'll need speed and a USB 3.0 connector (128GB or larger flash drives come supplied with USB 3.0 connector only).

If in addition to laptops or desktop PCs, you also need to move files to and from portable devices, such as tablets and smartphones, consider memory sticks with a microUSB and a full-sized USB connector.

How to choose a USB stick

Let's see what features a USB stick must have to be suitable for your needs taking into account that when you buy one of these devices the declared capacities are always lower after formatting.

Performances

One of the most crucial factors that you always pay for and that you should pay attention to when choosing a flash drive is its performance. The speed of writing and reading they will affect the amount of time you spend waiting while transferring your files. There is a big difference between 20 seconds and 10 minutes. Remember that flash drives that support USB 3.0 / 3.1 show better performance than those with USB 2.0. Usually they are 10-30 times faster.



Security level

If you care about the privacy and security of your files, choose a drive with security software. A good example can be flash drives SanDisk often supplied with the software SanDisk Secure Access. Includes the cryptography of the data and the protection with password. There are also flash drives that use the cryptography fingerprint. This technology is a combination of secure data storage space and biometric technology.

File recovery

Have you had a bad experience of accidentally deleting files from your flash drive? In that case, a 'file recovery option it is something that the pendrive must have for sure. But beware this is usually an additional option that you have to download yourself.

Memory capacity

Quite often the same flash drive with the same range of options can have different memory capacities ranging from 16 GB to 512 GB. But the choice of capacity depends only on your needs.

Build quality and dimensions

If you don't want to risk the data on your flash drive, you need to pay attention not only to the level safety, but also to the quality. Water droplets, X-rays, and even dust can damage a flash drive and this can lead to file loss. In order to prevent such dire consequences, many flash drives are impermeable, shockproof, dust, etc. In addition, many are made of very strong types of metal. Therefore, it is always better to have a metal casing instead of a plastic box.


OK, all flash drives are small, that's right. However, they all differ in size and shape and even the smallest difference can play an important role. The choice of size, in addition to memory, depends on your preferences, needs and special requirements.


Which USB stick to buy

Now that you have an idea of ​​what features a USB stick should have, here's one roundup of flash units tested for you divided by price. I hope you can find the one that suits your needs.

If the USB flash drives proposed below are too expensive or their space capacity is not large enough for you, do not hesitate to consult our list of best external hard drives.

Best cheap USB stick (max 25 euros)

Kingston Technology DataTraveler 100 Generation 3

Best budget USB stick.

Capacity: 64 GB | Interface: USB 3.0 | Dimensions and weight: 5.99 x 2.13 x 0.99 cm; 16 grams.

For

  • Offers a lot of space

Cons

  • Not as fast as other USB 3.0 flash drives

The best USB flash drives have shipping and packaging costs at a higher price than the same USB flash drive. However, this incredibly compact and affordable unit is worth more than the cost of shipping. Kingston Technology DataTraveler 100 Generation 3 is the cheapest 3.0GB USB 64 drive on the market with read / write speeds of 40 Mbps and 10 Mbps respectively. optimal effectiveness. Works on Windows, Mac and Linux.


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Verbatim Pinstripe USB flash drive

The best 128GB USB stick.

Capacity: 128 GB | Interface: USB 3.0 | Dimensions and weight: 2.9 x 1.5 x 0.5 cm; 7 grams.

For


  • High capacity
  • Convenient price

Cons

  • It is not the most robust
  • Not very fast

La Verbatim Pinstripe it is the cheapest USB 3.0 drive on the market per GB. Comes with a two year warranty and a hoodless / retractable hood design. It is worth noting that Verbatim, a well-known Japanese storage and memory manufacturer, sells it on its website and often offers good discounts as well. It is perfect foraccesso, backup and sharing of files when not connected to the Internet. It is compatible with Windows, macOS but also supports iOS 7.1.1 and above.

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Samsung BAR Plus

Best pendrive with good speed.

Capacity: 128 GB | Interface: USB 3.1 | Dimensions and weight: 4 x 1.56 x 1.17 cm; 10 grams.

For

  • Excellent writing and reading speed
  • Constructive quality
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Expensive
  • It overheats

Don't like small flash cards as they can easily get lost? Then you can consider Samsung BAR Plus. It has an elegant classic design in gray and silver colors. Its metal body also makes it durable and its integrated key ring won't let you lose it. This flash drive it is able to withstand 72 hours in sea water e to operate in freezing temperatures down to -25 ° C. In addition, it is not afraid of hot temperatures either: Samsung BAR Plus can work up to 85 ° C. It is also resistant to shock, To magnets and X-ray. Thanks to the latest USB 3.1 standard, Samsung BAR Plus offers performance with read speeds up to 300 MB / s. In addition, it comes with the innovative V-NAND technology which offers advanced read and write speeds.

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SanDisk Extreme Go

Best 64GB USB flash drive.

Capacity: 64 GB | Interface: USB 3.1 | Dimensions and weight: 1.14 x 2.13 x 7.09 cm; 18.14 grams.

For

  • Recover files
  • Password protection
  • Data encryption

Cons

  • The writing speed is slower than stated
  • Not small

Here is another example of a flash drive from the SanDisk family. Extreme Go has been included in the list of best USB flash drives thanks to its fast performance. This streaming device supports USB 3.1 which offers fast read and write speeds. Effectively, it is 35 times faster than USB 2.0 flash drives, so you can transfer 4K movies in less than a minute. SanDisk Extreme Go also has a beautiful design which aims not only to make the unit elegant, but also to protect it from shocks. Other than that, it comes with the software Secure access which presupposes the protection by password. Additionally, there is an option for downloading data recovery RescuePRO Deluxe.

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Best mid-range USB stick (25-50 euros)

Patriot Viper Fang

Best gaming USB stick.

Capacity: 128 GB - 1 TB | Interface: USB 3.1 | Dimensions and weight: 1.7 x 5.88 x 0.7 cm; 7.8 grams.

For

  • Cheap
  • Durable

Cons

  • Not very fast

Patriot Viper Fang is a USB 3.1 drive (compatible with USB 3.0 and 2.0) from one of the most established memory readers on the market, but relatively new to this segment. Has a zinc alloy body with aluminum accent and achieves read / write speeds of respectively 400 Mbps e 100 Mbps. Not only that, but it comes with a five-year warranty. It is backward compatible with USB 3.0, USB 2.0, USB 1.3 specifications and compatible and plug & play with Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 10, Mac OS 10.3 and later, and Linux.

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Samsung MUF-32AB/AM FIT Plus

Best waterproof USB stick.

Capacity: 128 GB | Interface: USB 3.1 | Dimensions and weight: 2.29 x 1.78 x 0.76 cm; 4.54 grams.

For

  • Solid build quality
  • Compact design
  • Price

Cons

  • Not very fast
  • It overheats easily

This flash unit has a compact design which prevents accidental damage in case of different impacts. There is also a keychain so as not to lose it. Except for the small size, AM FIT Plus comes with read speeds up to 400MB / s. The USB 3.1 standard makes data transfer always a quick process. Therefore, this Samsung flash drive can send several gigabits of 4K media files in under 20 seconds. By the way, it is also backwards compatible and supports USB 3.0 and USB 2.0. AM FIT Plus has a solid build quality. It can stay up to 72 hours in seawater and survive very low and high temperatures - 25 ° C to 85 ° C, when in operation, and from -40 ° C to 85 ° Cwhen not in operation. In addition, it is resistant to shocks, magnets and X-rays.

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SanDisk iXpand

Best USB stick for iPhone

Capacity: 64 GB | Interface: USB 3.0 | Dimensions and weight: 6.02 x 1.22 x 1.73 cm; 5.4 grams.

For

  • Perfect for iOS devices
  • Compact dimensions

Cons

  • Speed
  • Consume battery

SanDisk iXpand is one of best USB sticks for iPhone or iPad as it has been specially designed for this type of product. Has a connector flexible which can fit almost all iPhone cases. With such a flash drive you will be able to backup photos, videos and contacts from your camera. By the way, all the videos captured by the app iXpand Drive they will automatically be saved to the drive. However, please note that the SanDisk iXpand streaming device it is not compatible with older iPhone and iPad models equipped with 30-pin data / charging connectors. Also, compatibility with 30-pin lightining adapters is not guaranteed. S.anDisk iXpand is a useful pendrive to free up space on your device. AND compact, portatile e compatible with computers.

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Best high-end USB stick (over 50 euros)

Patriot Supersonic Rage Elite

Best high-end USB stick.

Capacity: 512 GB | Interface: USB 3.0 | Dimensions and weight: 0.99 x 5.3 x 2.1 cm; 9 grams.

For

  • Incredibly fast
  • Large capacity

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not perfect on Linux operating systems

La Patriot Supersonic Rage Elite con 512 GB it is the best USB stick. This flash drive transfers files with a read speeds up to 400MB / s it's a write speed up to 300MB / s. As for its construction, Patriot Supersonic Rage Elite has a reliable sled that protects the unit from shocks. Thanks to coating Rubber, this streaming device is not afraid of drops and losses. It is therefore a lasting unit that can serve you for many years. Also it is for Windows e MacOS but also for Linux. And if you don't need that big memory, you can buy version a 256 MB or the most popular flash drive Patriotic Supersonic Rag Elite da 128 MB.

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PNY Turbo 256GB

Best 256GB USB Drive.

Capacity: 256 GB | Interface: USB 3.0 | Dimensions and weight: 2.03 x 1.1 x 5.74 cm; 18.14 grams.

For

  • Huge capacity
  • Good speed
  • Free technical support

Cons

  • No built-in encryption
  • Plastic body
  • Expensive

PNY is another memory supplier that has become a player in the USB market. PNY Turbo 256GB it is one of the best USB flash drives, it has a limited design and read / write speed respectively 185 Mbps e 135 Mbps. These aren't the fastest speeds out there, so if you want something with more oomph then check out the other USB drives on this list. Its USB 3.0 technology allows you to transfer files much faster than version 2.0 (10 times faster). However you can rely on that drive even when using USB 2.0 ports, as it is backward compatible. It presents an elegant design with sliding lid and is also perfect as a keychain.

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Samsung T3 SSD

The best 1TB USB stick.

Capacity: 1 TB | Interface: USB 3.1 | Dimensions and weight: 7.39 x 5.79 x 1.04 cm; 51 grams.

For

  • Excellent performance
  • Very high capacity

Cons

  • Expensive

We are solidly in premium territory with one of the best USB flash drives, the Samsung T3. Not only does it offer fast read speeds of up to 450 Mbps, thanks to tecnologia 3D V-NAND di Samsung, but it also has one three-year warranty it's a USB type-C connector. Note that it is much larger than a traditional flash drive and costs about five times a traditional hard drive of similar capacity. Comes with V-NAND as the Samsung Portable T1 and boasts speeds of 530 Mbps and 520 Mbps in read / write mode respectively. Attention, you will need to have a separate enclosure to make it work with a standard USB port.

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SanDisk Ultra Fit CZ43

Best non-protruding USB stick.

Capacity: 16 GB | Interface: USB 3.0 | Dimensions and weight: 0.86 x 1.62 x 1.92 cm; 2.27 grams.

For

  • Compact and portable
  • Economica

Cons

  • Not very fast

If you don't want a USB stick sticking out of the side of your laptop or tablet while using it, then a low profile USB stick is a good choice, and SanDisk Ultra Fit CZ43 it is the best. It's enough small and light to be easily portable and when connected to the notebook it is not protruding. It is also very economical and is available in versions from 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB e 128 GB. It's not as fast as many of the best USB flash drives you find mentioned on this list, but if you want one USB stick with reduced shape, ne vale la pena.

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Lexar JumpDrive Fingerprint F35

Best encrypted USB stick.

Capacity: 128 GB | Interface: USB 3.0 | Dimensions and weight: 14 x 10 x 0.6 cm; 20 grams.

For

  • Good reading speed
  • Easy installation
  • Top notch security level

Cons

  • Fingerprint feature compatible with Windows only
  • Expensive

In case you need to protect your data in a safe place, I recommend that you take this into consideration Lexar JumpDrive Fingerprint F35. It provides a simple setup and offers one read speeds up to 150MB / s. However, its write speed is slightly lower. This flash unit is equipped with a combination of biometric technology e secure data storage integration. Means that you can choose 10 people whose fingerprints will be saved to access a secure partition of your flash drive. Lexar JumpDrive Fingerprint F35 uses the 256-bit AES encryption to protect your data. There is also super fast recognition which takes less than 1 second. The fingerprint enrollment software only supports Windows XP / Vista / 7/8/10.

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Corsair Flash Voyager GTX

The best flash unit with wide range of capacities.

Capacity: 128 GB | Interface: USB 3.1 | Dimensions and weight: 1.07 x 2.64 x 7.8 cm; 51.71 grams.

For

  • Solid build quality
  • Ultra-fast performance
  • Wide range of capacities
  • Compatibility

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Wide design

La Corsair Flash Voyager GTX is a USB 3.1 flash drive with impressive read and write speeds which reach both fino a 440 MB / sec thanks to the powerful memoria NAND 3D. Offers SSD performance, is backward compatible and supports devices USB 3.0 e USB 2.0. It can also boast a large capacity - this flash drive is available in 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB e 1 TB. So, you can keep as much data as you want. It also supports operating systems such as Windows (7 / 8.1 / 10), Mac OS and Linux. Keep in mind that you won't need any driver installation. There is also software CORSAIR SSD Toolbox to optimize flash drive performance.

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Silicon Power Blaze B30

Interesting Pendrive with flexible swivel design.

Capacity: 128 GB | Interface: USB 3.0 | Dimensions and weight: 1.8 x 5.37 x 1.03 cm; 14.8 grams.

For

  • Elegant appearance
  • Flexible swivel design
  • Good speed
  • Free rescue software

Cons

  • It does not support USB 3.1
  • It can overheat

Silicon Power Blaze B30 is a USB stick equipped with a swivel design, thanks to the four-point positioning technology. Its classic diamond motif makes it elegant and modern. Its special swivel cover protects this flash unit when not in use. While it's not the most compact flash drive on our list, it's definitely one that won't get lost easily. By the way, there is a red LED indicator to let you know that the drive is active and that it is reading or writing data. This flash drive is not the fastest model as it is designed with USB 3.0 speeds. However, its speed is good enough for fast file transfer. Furthermore, there is a file recovery option which you can use by downloading special software. Silicon Power Blaze B30 works with operating systems Mac e Windows.

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