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Learn About the Different Types of USB Flash Drives

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By Implant Media December 30, 2022

Learn about the USB Flash Drives

When we want to quickly transfer or share a file, we find ourselves reaching for the trusted USB stick. The USB flash drive was created in 1998 by IBM as a device for storing and sharing files. It soon became popular for personal and business use and continues to enjoy popularity despite the advent of other means of storage like the cloud. Over the years, the humble USB drive has evolved into many different types of USB sticks, each being suited for varied purposes. Let us have a look at some of these.

What is a USB drive?

A USB flash drive, also called memory stick, pen drive, thumb drive, etc., is a device that is used for storing, reading, and saving data. It is thumb-sized and so is extremely portable. It is designed to have universal compatibility which means it can be plugged into any computer for accessing or transferring data. This makes it a very versatile device.

Custom USB drives are widely used by businesses. The high utility value and customizability of USB sticks make them ideal as promotional products. Add in some creative USB packaging and you have a gift that no one can resist. Whether it be for business use or personal, there are different styles of USB drives available. Read on to find out more.

USB Flash Drives

What are the Different Types of USB Sticks?

This small device packs quite a punch. It is used for myriad purposes and there are different types of USB sticks to serve these purposes. USB flash drives can be categorized based on usage, speed, capacity, and appearance. Let us explore each of these further.

Based on Usage

  • Security flash drives – These are standard USB drives with an added layer of physical or logical security to ensure that the data is protected. The security could be in the form of a physical feature like a combination lock or it could be part of the interface software in the form of a password. Custom USB drives with a security layer are very well-suited for businesses dealing with confidential data.
  • Boot flash drives – Flash drives don’t just serve to store files like documents, media, etc. Boot flash drives can be used for installing an operating system on your computer. These USB sticks store all the OS files and can be used to start a computer in which the OS is missing or corrupted.
  • Music flash drives – As the name suggests, these USB sticks are used for storing or transferring music files. You can carry your music around in these handy devices. With some snazzy USB packaging, these make for fabulous gifts for friends and family.

Based on Speed

  • USB 2.0 – This is currently the most widely used one. The USB port provides the interface between the computer and the USB flash drive. Different specifications offer different speeds of data access and transfer. You get a transfer rate of 60 MB/ sec with USB 2.0.
  • USB 3.0 – The transfer speed in this type of USB drive is significantly better at 625 MB/ sec. Most new devices and computers being manufactured today support this standard. USB 3.0 is backward compatible with USB 2.0 but at the speed of the latter.
  • USB 3.1 and 3.2 – These are the latest and fastest types of USB sticks in the market today. They transfer data at speeds of 1250 MB/sec and 2500 MB/sec respectively.

Based on Capacity

Custom USB drives are available in capacities ranging from 128 MB to 2 TB. But, lower capacity USB drives like 128 MB and 256 MB are being phased out due to waning demand. You can opt for 2GB or 4 GB USB drives if your data space need is low and you are looking at low-cost options. USB sticks of capacity upwards of 4 GB can also come with 3.0 support. The 32GB to 128 GB USB drives are the most popular in the market as they offer a good balance of sufficient storage and reasonable price. Now, custom USB drives offering 256 GB upwards of storage are also becoming popular.

Based on Appearance

When it comes to printed USB sticks, Australia has many vendors offering these products. There are several styles of USB drives available for customization. Here are some of the popular ones:

  • Credit Card – These come in the shape of a credit card with a fake number printed on it. They are easy to carry around in your wallet.
  • Keychain – This style of USB drive doubles up as a keychain too so you won’t easily forget it or lost it.
  • Wristband – These look quite trendy when worn around the wrist. They come in many bright colors.


If you are looking for a USB drive for personal or business use, there is a wide selection of styles of USB drives that you can choose from. You can choose a type for your custom USB drives based on appearance, speed, capacity, or usage.

If you are confused about which type of USB drive you should opt for, it’s best to consult a team that can guide you based on your requirements. Our team at iusb has the experience and expertise to help you choose from the many styles of USB drives we offer and also to customize the design as per your need and preference. If you are looking at using these custom USB drives as promotional products, our creative team can help you design the USB packaging. We offer short runs too and have a stellar record in timely delivery of orders. So, why wait?

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