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 ?
Firstly, organisations should always provide their employees with approved high-quality USB drives that comply with accepted security standards for use in the workplace.
says that the widespread use of USB drives has created a new way for attackers to socially engineer their way into corporate systems.
In addition the solution is protected from viruses, spyware and malware with a "Read Only" function on the USB drive.
The Auto USB drives are affordably priced at INR 399 for the 4GB version and go up till INR 799 for the Strontium 16GB Car USB Drive.
Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn III wrotethat a malware-carrying USB drive was used two years earlier to infect a laptop at a military base in the Middle East.
Easy to deploy, its unique SafeConsole allows administrators to track, manage and enforce acceptable use policy for every single secure USB drive, anywhere in the world.
Lockheed said its new "IronClad" brand USB drive would pack an entire operating system, software, settings and files onto a flash drive that could be used in just about any computer or laptop in the world.
Corsair GT USB Drive Provides Up To 4X Faster Transfer Speeds than Standard USB Drives
They can also store information on USB drive or CompactFlash memory card inserted into the projectors that advances slides using the supplied wireless remote.
The USB Drive market is growing at a phenomenal rate," said Lawrence Lo, vice president sales and marketing of Apacer.
Last August, the Ponemon Institute released a report, The State of USB Drive Security , which interviewed nearly 750 IT professionals and IT security practitioners from global companies based in the United States.
Main features include application encryption, hardware locking, USB drive locking, serial numbers, demo mode, demo extension, remote activation, limited license, license removal, license update, license transfer, license extension and much more.