The Best USB Drives Make File Transfers Easier than Ever

Few electronic gadgets have been more useful than the best USB drives, which we now take for granted (also known as flash drives or USB sticks).

USB flash drives, the genuine successor to the floppy disc (sorry, CDs), have been available for almost 20 years, allowing us to save, transmit, and share documents, images, movies, and MP3s. USB drives became popular at a time when the average person didn’t have access to the cloud and couldn’t consistently upload and download terabytes of data in seconds.

While USB drives are no longer as important as they once were thanks to Google Drive and iCloud, they are still quite useful and, in some cases, more convenient than wireless file transfers.

Your beloved USB drives can still be put to a variety of tasks:

  • The best USB drives from Samsung or SanDisk can be the quickest and easiest way to transmit images or documents between two computers in the same room (or to someone who isn’t tech-savvy).
  • If you need to send files that are more than 100 MB.
  • A secure USB drive from Kingston or Apricorn is the best solution if you have documents containing sensitive data that you need to transport from point A to point B.

1. Samsung Fit Plus 128GB USB Drive

The Samsung Fit Plus, out of all the top USB drives on this list, provides the most bang for your dollars. You won’t find a more well-rounded and adaptable USB drive at this price than this one, with its 128GB capacity, tiny size, and USB 3.1 interface guaranteeing fast file transfers. You may attach it to your keychain, plug it into your computer, or tuck it into your pocket. It will be ready to use whenever you want it, no matter how you use it.

2. Kingston DataTraveler Elite G2 64GB USB Drive

The Kingston DataTraveler Elite G2 may have less space for a higher price than the Samsung Fit Plus, but it delivers transfer speeds that position it near the top of the pack, according to AnandTech’s testing. If you plan on doing more than simply storing PDFs and Microsoft Office documents — say, uploading gigabytes of images across devices — the DataTraveler Elite G2’s speed should be a top priority when deciding which of the finest USB drives to buy.

3. SanDisk Cruzer 128GB USB Drive

The SanDisk Cruzer isn’t the newest, fastest, or most advanced USB drive on the market. However, this is a tried-and-true storage device that has remained the best-selling USB drive on Amazon for years. This USB drive is popular not only because of its simplicity, durability, and reliability but also because it includes SanDisk’s 128-bit encryption software, which allows you to protect the contents on the disc. While we wouldn’t use it to keep state secrets, it’s a handy feature to have.

4. PNY Turbo Attache 3 1TB USB Flash Drives

In most cases, if you need more than a few hundred gigabytes of storage, you’re better off using an external hard drive or SSD, which is faster and less expensive. The PNY Attache Turbo, on the other hand, will give you a terabyte of ultra-portable storage to do whatever you want with if you really want a big-ass USB drive that can store everything under the sun. However, since no one makes a larger USB disc, that’s all you’ll receive.

5. SanDisk Extreme Pro 256GB USB Drive

The SanDisk Extreme Pro USB drive is one of the quickest USB drives available for people who frequently transfer huge batches of files and for whom time is of the utmost. The USB 3.2 interface, which is the latest and finest USB standard, allows for this speed. While you will pay a premium for this enhanced performance, it has the potential to save you hours of work if used frequently over time.

6. Apricorn Aegis Secure Key 30GB USB Drives

You’ll need a USB drive with hardware encryption if you’re managing or carrying papers that contain proprietary personal data, private corporate information, or the next great American novel. Not only does the Apricorn Aegis Secure Key include FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certification and 256-bit encryption, but it also has a physical keypad to unlock the drive, making it the ultimate secure USB drive. This eliminates the need to type your password into the computer to which it is attached, as well as the risk of a keylogger disclosing your password.

7. Kingston DataTraveler G4 32GB USB Drive

Kingston DataTraveler G4 32GB USB Drive

With the Kingston DataTraveler G4, you won’t discover any unique features or best-in-class performance. Instead, you receive 32 GB of storage for less than $5, which is the lowest price you’ll find for a respectable brand’s flash drive of any size. These are the best cheap flash drives for you if you need a few extra drives to give away or simply want to save as much money as possible.

8. Samsung Bar Plus 64 GB USB Drive

Samsung Bar Plus 64 GB USB Drive

The greatest USB drives are by their very nature utilitarian devices, but that doesn’t mean they have to look like them. The Samsung Bar Plus slims down the form factor to just the metal sheath of the USB drive and finishes it off with a geometric flourish. This not only provides it with a distinctive appearance but also makes it easier to hold while entering and retrieving it from a USB port.

9. SanDisk Ultra 64GB Dual Drive

SanDisk Ultra 64GB Dual Drive

If you have a laptop with solely USB-C ports (hello, MacBook Pro owners! ), the most handy USB drive is one that includes both a conventional USB-A and a USB-C connection. You won’t need an adapter, dongle, or hub to connect to a MacBook Pro, and you’ll be able to connect to legacy devices as well.

10. Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth 64GB USB Drive

Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth 64GB USB Drive

To varying degrees, most USB drives are water-resistant, shock-resistant, heat-resistant, and dust-resistant. The Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth USB drive, on the other hand, goes a step further by including an aircraft-grade aluminum housing that keeps the USB drive waterproof for up to 200 meters and resistant to hard impact from large objects. This is an excellent technique to ensure your USB drive stays in one piece if you find yourself uploading data in hard and extreme settings (we’re looking at you, photographers).

11. SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive 128GB for iPhone and iPad

SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive 128GB for iPhone and iPad

If you want to use your handheld device instead of a computer and need a quick way to back up your files or free up space, this gadget allows you to rapidly select the files you wish to download and upload—easy peasy. Most iPhone cases are compatible with the flexible connector, which allows you to physically get in and out faster. This selection also works with the iPhone 5 and newer models, as well as a variety of iPads, making it a solid alternative for folks who switch between devices frequently.

12. SanDisk 64GB USB 3.0 iXpand Mini Flash Drive

SanDisk 64GB USB 3.0 iXpand Mini Flash Drive

SanDisk’s iXpand compact flash drive is also a good choice for individuals who prefer devices to PCs if you need to figure out your external storage problem but are limited by a budget. The drive is equipped with a lightning connector designed exclusively for use with iPhones and iPads. The accompanying 64 GB of storage will free up space, but if you’re searching for a more cost-effective option, the 32GB model would suffice.

13. Corsair Flash Voyager GTX 256GB USB 3.1 Premium Flash Drive

Corsair Flash Voyager GTX 256GB USB 3.1 Premium Flash Drive

If you’re working with huge video files and need faster write speeds than typical, this device gives you the capability of a portable SSD in the compact form factor of a flash drive. The included 3D NAND memory supports rates of up to 440MBps and is compatible with a variety of USBs, making it ideal for a wide range of applications. Do you require more or less storage? It’s also available in capacities of 128 GB, 512 GB, and 1TB.

14. SanDisk 512GB Ultra Fit USB 3.1 Flash Drive

SanDisk 512GB Ultra Fit USB 3.1 Flash Drive

Don’t be fooled by the flash drive’s small size; it packs a powerful punch with 512GB of capacity. The little yet powerful device is supposed to be plugged in and left alone, providing quick storage for your computer. Even better, it’s a quick device that claims to write up to 15 times faster than ordinary USB 2.0 drives, meaning you can transfer an entire full-length movie in just 30 seconds. It also includes SecureAccess software, which allows you to password-protect your data and feel safe even when you’re not at home.

15. Kingston Digital 64GB Data Traveler Locker + G3

Kingston Digital 64GB Data Traveler Locker + G3

Because of its sturdy metal housing, a built-in key loop, and hardware encryption, this drive is secure from the inside out. That means you can rest easy knowing that your information is safe at all times. In fact, this device is so secure that it will lock down and reformat itself after 10 failed login attempts, so store your password somewhere safe.

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