USB drive

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USB drive

(1) An external hard disk drive or optical disc drive that plugs into the USB port. See portable hard drive.

(2) A solid state storage module that plugs into the computer's USB port. Using flash memory chips that hold up to one terabyte of data, the solid state USB drive emulates a hard disk. USB drives are extremely popular for backup as well as data transfer from one machine to another. They can also hold an operating system and be used to boot the computer (see bootable disk). Their ever-increasing storage capacities have mostly obsoleted writable CDs and DVDs. See sneakernet.

Known By Many Names
Debuting at the turn of the century, a USB drive is also called a "flash drive" as well as many other monikers. Any combination of the words "USB," "flash," "key," "drive," "jump" and "stick" are used (see USB drive names).

Transfer Speed
USB drive vendors use the data transfer ratings of CD-ROMs, where each "x" equals 150KB per second. For example, a 90x drive is 13.5MB/sec (90 x 150). See CD-ROM drives and solid state.

Long-Term Marketing Mileage
Vendors give away custom-printed USB drives preloaded with promotional material, because people keep using them for other purposes.

No Bigger Than the Plug
In 2010, Verbatim launched its Tuff-"N"-Tiny line, only two millimeters thick. Although the contacts are exposed (top left), the units are water and dust proof.

Steampunk Drives
A 19th century USB drive... of course. These drive cases are hand crafted. See steampunk. (Image courtesy of WillRockwell,

Fun and to the Point
Bevy makes personal photo cloud devices to hold a user's multimedia collection and this rather appropriate USB drive holds Bevy's promotional material.

One Terabyte
In 2013, Kingston Technology introduced the first terabyte USB drive. Imagine telling someone in 1993, when floppy disks were widely used, that in 20 years, a lightweight, handheld device would hold the equivalent of 650,000 floppies. By 2017, 2TB drives were introduced.
References in periodicals archive ?
New Capless JumpDrive Designs Offer Stylish, High-Capacity Storage Options for Today's Budget-Conscious Consumers
The large storage capacity afforded by the 16GB JumpDrive Secure II Plus gives users the ability to store and transfer large libraries of photos, music files, video footage, and more.
Lexar, the Lexar logo, and JumpDrive are trademarks of Lexar Media, Inc.
The 16GB Lexar JumpDrive FireFly drive is currently shipping for a suggested retail price of $99.
Lexar JumpDrive Solo Vault utilizes one of the world's most secure and proven software encryption algorithms.
0 Flash Drive II-49 Lexar Unveils Lexar JumpDrive M10 Secure USB 3.
The JumpDrive S70 offers stylish, secure portable storage, featuring a retractable connector design with a convenient thumb slide.
The JumpDrive TouchGuard, like other versions of the USB JumpDrives from Lexar Media, lets users store and transfer data between PCs.
and Lexar's JumpDrive, for example, are two such products.
The joint solution allows Washoe County to set a device-access policy that limits employees to connecting only Lexar JumpDrive SAFE S3000 encrypted drives to their office PCs and laptops with rule enforcement executed through DeviceLock's MMC snap-in interface to Active Directory[R] Group Policy.
announced the latest model in its JumpDrive line, the JumpDrive Trio USB 2.