USB drive

(redirected from Thumb drive)
Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

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 ?
Find a more detailed description of Rohos Mini Drive in my PDF guide The Office Worker's 101 Guide to a USB Thumb Drive.
ly/lKm2tIC) Central New Mexico Community College officials say the thumb drive with students' birth dates and Social Security numbers was reported missing in July by someone from the school's health center.
The device also functions like a traditional thumb drive storage with its microSD card slot, allowing users to insert a storage card of up to 32 GB.
Tsarnaev's thumb drive also contained homework by some of his college friends.
We put in a thumb drive with our documents and photos and a PDF version of our (town history) book,'' she said.
The thumb drive contained pornographic images of about 90 boys who appeared to be aged 12 to 14.
The comedian said that NSA could be trusted, because without a doubt it was history's most powerful, pervasive, sophisticated surveillance agency ever to be totally pwned by a 29-year-old with a thumb drive, referring to Snowden.
Since the Kingston DataTraveler HyperX is a thumb drive that supports the USB 3.
Authorities seized an inkjet printer, a laptop computer, a desktop computer and two thumb drive units found at the house.
Thumb drive and password-stealing malware showed significant growth in Q2.
SharePort offers instant USB sharing capabilities with the free D-Link SharePort Mobile app, enabling users to share videos, music, and photos from an external hard drive or thumb drive to any iPad[R], iPhone[R] or Android[R] device.
The cost for the APH Talking Map thumb drive is $299.