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 a terabyte or more 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 all but 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.

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 devices that hold a user's photo collection, and this rather appropriate USB drive holds its promotional material.

One Terabyte USB Drive
In 2013, Kingston Technology introduced the first 1TB drive. Imagine telling someone in 1993 when floppy disks were widely used that in 20 years, a handheld device would hold the equivalent storage of 650,000 of them. By 2017, 2TB drives were introduced.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Ultra Dual USB Drive is available worldwide in 16GB to 64GB capacities.
Unlike other methods of transferring files that require wires, applications or a wireless set-up, the SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive simply needs to be connected to a mobile device supporting USB on-the-go (OTG)1 to access up to 64GB2 of 'plug and play' storage capacity.
About ZuzuDrive: ZuzuDrive is an eco-friendly manufacturer of custom designed USB drives.
power companies reported infections of malware during the past three months, with the bad software apparently brought in through tainted USB drives, according to the U.
According to Kingston's survey many organisations think that trying to control USB drive usage will impact their productivity and budgets.
The SanDisk USB drives with SecureAccess software offer an easy to use vault protected by AES encryption," he added.
The new version of the company's Trusted Access for Banking USB drive has been designed to detract hackers, and provides a self-contained secure environment for online financial transactions.
Courtesy the USB drive, the information in it can provide insight into what ailments could threaten the person's life - possibly allowing the person to take steps to minimize those medical risks.
Q On March 1st and March 2nd, you backed up your Pioneer Press laptop to your USB drive, did you not?
One evolving threat comes from programs such as USB Dumper, which, installed on a computer, will suck data off any connected USB drive without any visible sign, says Brian McCarthy, vice president of marketing with Centennial Software.
The Zaptag is a USB drive on a wristband that is available in a 256- or 512-megabyte version.
But it's probably easier to just consider allowing USB drive usage in the future as you replace older machines.