The ability to transfer large files in a flash drive is a huge convenience. It allows small businesses to be more efficient in an increasingly more mobile ecosystem. And as the price for storage continues to fall, it is both affordable and convenient to carry large amounts of storage in a small form factor. The best flash drive for a small business in this list provides plenty of storage with the latest transfer speed specifications.
The key to getting the right flash drive for your business is to find out what you will be storing and transferring in them. While documents without images are easy enough to transfer in any flash drive, media files can take some time. Flash drives with the latest transfer rate specifications are the way to go because you can use them on any computer, and they are backward compatible.
Security is also an issue as some files are much too important to fall in the wrong hands. From transfer speeds to security, the flash drives on this list give you an idea of what is available in the market.
Best Flash Drive for a Small Business
- Top Pick: SAMSUNG BAR Plus 256GB
- Runner Up: SanDisk 256GB Ultra Dual Drive USB
- Best Value: PNY 1TB Turbo Attaché 3
SAMSUNG BAR Plus 256GB
Top Pick: Samsung is the leading supplier of memory in the world, and the company’s flash drives are the best in the world. This particular drive has 256GB of storage with the USB 3.1 specification. Samsung uses V-NAND technology with enhanced read/write performance and transfer speeds of 400MB/s. and it is backward compatible with USB 3.0, USB 2.0.
The drive has a rugged metal casing to safeguard your data. And it is waterproof, shockproof, magnet proof, temperature proof, and x-ray proof.
This drive is ?1.58 x 0.61 x 0.47 inches and weighs 0.04 ounces.
SanDisk 256GB Ultra Dual Drive USB
Runner Up: Like Samsung, SanDisk is also a leading manufacturer of flash memory. This flash drive has both USB 3.1 and Type-C connectors. This allows you to use it on PCs as well as smartphones with Type-C ports with a retractable design.
You get high-speed transfer speeds of up to 150MB/s across Type-C enabled smartphones, tablets, and PC/Mac computers.
This drive is ?1.5 x 0.81 x 0.37 inches and weighs 0.321 ounces.
PNY 1TB Turbo Attaché 3
Best Value: As a leading manufacturer of flash memory cards, PNY offers some of the best value in the market. This is a 1TB USB 3.1 flash drive with read speeds up to 200MB/s and write speeds up to 100MB/s. The transfer speeds are up to 30 times faster than standard PNY USB 2.0 flash drives.
It is compatible with the current USB 3.1 Gen 1/USB 3.0 PC and Mac laptops and desktops. Likewise, it is backward compatible with USB 2.0 host devices at USB 2.0 speeds.
This drive is 2.11 x 0.76 x 0.37 inches and weighs ?0.634 ounces.
SanDisk 1TB Extreme PRO
This SanDisk uses Solid State Drive technology to store your data. And in this case, you will get read speeds up to 420MB/s and write speeds up to 380MB/s. This will require a USB 3.2 Gen 1 or USB 3.0 port.
SanDisk includes its SecureAccess encryption software to keep critical files safe. And it also offers RescuePRO Deluxe data recovery software, which recovers accidentally deleted files. This drive has USB 2.0 and 3.0 backward compatibility and comes with a Lifetime limited manufacturer’s warranty.
This drive is 2.79 x 0.84 x 0.45 inches and weighs 0.64 ounces.
Corsair Flash Voyager GTX 512GB USB
This Corsair uses a high-speed 3D NAND memory to deliver read speeds up to 440MB/second and write speeds up to 440MB/second. The drive uses USB 3.1 Gen 1 protocol, but it is USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 backward compatible.
The drive is CORSAIR SSD Toolbox ready so you can format, partition, and optimize drive performance. And the Universal Operating System compatibility lets you work on Windows, macOS, and Linux without installing a driver.
This is a rugged flash drive with a zinc-alloy housing and aluminum accents coming in at 0.42 x 1.04 x 3.07 inches and weighing 1.82 ounces.
iStorage datAshur PRO² 128 GB Secure Flash Drive
Increasing the security of your data is always a good thing. And the iStorage datAshur PRO² gives you the ability to secure your drive with a physical and software encryption solution. With this 512GB device, you get a PIN authenticated hardware encrypted USB flash drive. All you have to do is enter a 7-15 digit PIN to authenticate and use it as a normal USB flash drive.
As soon as you disconnect the drive, it encrypts your data using AES-XTS 256-bit hardware encryption. Best of all you don’t need any special software, the datAshur PRO2 will work on any device with a USB port. It is also FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certified to help you stay compliant with data regulations such as HIPAA, GDPR, and CCPA.
It is compatible with: MS Windows, macOS, Linux, Chrome, Android, Thin Clients, Zero Clients, Embedded Systems, Citrix, and VMware. The USB 3.2 provides up to 168MB/s read speeds and up to 116MB/s write speeds as well as backward compatibility with previous USB versions. If that is not enough, it is dust and water-resistant (IP68 certified).
Lexar JumpDrive S47 128GB
Another manufacturer of flash drives, Lexar offers some great storage value. This drive has a very small factor but still manages to provide 128GB of storage with USB 3.1. The 3.1 (Gen 1) is backward compatible with USB 3.0 and 2.0 devices. It has read speeds of up to 250MB/s and it is compatible with PC and Mac operating systems.
Additionally, Lexar provides DataVault Lite software, an advanced security solution with 256-bit AES encryption to protect your data.
This drive is only 0.68 x 0.58 x 0.29 inches, weighs a mere 0.08 ounces, and comes with three-year limited product support.
Features of Flash Drives
When you are looking to buy a flash drive, choose one with a large capacity. One because you don’t want to run out of space when you need it, and two the price difference is not that significant up to 256GBs. With that in mind, here are some of the features you should look out for when buying the best flash drive for a small business.
- Portability: It is given flash drives are small and portable. However, make sure they are not so small you can lose them. Look for loops and clips so you can attach them to your keys, belt loops, bags, etc.
- Durability: The very design of a flash drive makes it durable. The key is to buy drives with a hard case made of metals, alloys, or very hard plastics.
- Capacity: You can get drives from hundreds of megabytes to terabytes. But storage capacity alone is not enough, transfer rate being another important factor.
- Transfer rate: When you connect devices with different USB specifications, the transfer rate is going to be limited by the slowest of the connected devices. If you have 500GB of data you want to transfer, you don’t want a 2.0 drive with megabytes per second rate. The latest specification in USB drives can transfer up to 20Gbs, which will zip through those 500Gbs in a breeze.
- Compatibility: Make sure your flash drive and computer are compatible when it comes to formats. If you have a 2.0 USB computer and a 3.1 USB flash drive, the transfer rate is going to throttle down to 2.0. And vice versa if the flash is 2.0 and the computer is 3.1.
Failure Rate of USB Flash Drives
Flash drives will fail as you write and delete more files. You can write over the standard USB flash drive between 3,000 to 100,000 before it fails. However, it can go as high as millions of write and erase operations. But technology being what it is, anything can happen at any given moment.
Other factors responsible for your flash drive failing include eject/mount and electrical component failure. This means you shouldn’t remove the drive while it is still accessing files or communicating with your computer.
As the drive starts to reach its limit, segments of the memory may start failing resulting in data corruption and even loss. That is why it is always wise to store your data in more than one place. And of course, the longevity of your flash drive will greatly depend on the quality of the manufacturer. Look for manufacturers using grade A memory and have ISO-9001:2008 certified factories.
First, the capacity of a drive is more likely to be lower than the stated amount once the drive is formatted and mounted on an operating system. But there is a larger discrepancy, such as seeing 7.48GB on an 8GB flash drive on a Windows PC.
This is because storage manufacturers use the 1KB = 1000 bytes denomination and RAM manufacturers use 1KB = 1024KB denomination. So, when you insert the 8GB flash drive, your PC is reading it in denominations of 1024. And while it reads less than 8GB, you still have 8GB of available storage, minus the formatting.
Flash Drive Security
If you are using your flash drive to store extremely sensitive information, you must look into more robust security measures. The good news is you can now get flash drives with physical pins to access the drive. Furthermore, there are additional encryption tools you can use to access the drive as well as the files within the drive.
Even though USB 2.0 (60MBs transfer rate) is still around, USB 3.0 is now the standard manufacturers are using. Technically, 3.0 is supposed to have top speeds of 5Gbps, but many factors come to play in achieving those numbers.
Now there are 3.1, 3.2, USB 3.2 Gen1, and Gen 2×2 with max speeds of 20Gbps. There is also a USB 4 on the way with 40Gbps. Again, it is worth mentioning, your computer must be compatible in order to achieve these high transfer rates. There are also flash drives with USB-A and USB-C connectors so you can hook them up on phones, tablets, and laptops with these ports.
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