USB drive

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USB drive

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

(2) A small solid state storage module that plugs into the computer's USB port. Using flash memory chips that can hold up to a terabyte and more of data, the ubiquitous USB drive functions like a hard drive. USB drives are used for auxiliary storage, backup, data transfer between computers and for disseminating product information. They can also hold an operating system and be used to boot the computer (see bootable disk). Ever-increasing storage capacities of USB drives have all but rendered writable CDs and DVDs obsolete. See sneakernet.

Known By Many Names
Debuting at the turn of the century, a USB drive is commonly 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, which increased to 2TB in 2017. Imagine telling someone in 1997 when floppy disks were still used that in 20 years, a handheld device would hold the equivalent of one and a half million of them.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Despite the protection of internally stored data using a secure USB flash drive which applies the above methods, there are still security problems related to data leakage to the outside due to such vulnerabilities as the leakage of a transferred password and authentication bypass or the exposure of the encryption/decryption key [2].
For more details: Please visit U650 USB flash drive product page.
Should the Toshiba Encrypted USB Flash Drive become lost or stolen, it is equipped with a Brute Force Hack Defense Mechanism that will render all stored information irrecoverable after 10 consecutive unsuccessful attempts to enter the secure PIN.
ADATA's UC330 Dual USB Flash Drive is backed by a lifetime warranty and will be available through authorized distributors and channel partners across India at a price of Rs.
USBVue helps minimize the risk of information leaving the organization through continuous monitoring and reporting on the use of USB flash drives.
The new Cruzer Facet USB Flash Drive has a stainless steel casing and comes in a variety of rich, vibrant colors, offering sufficient space from photo albums to office documents and even personal files.
The P340USB controller fully supports the popular USB flash drive. An operator's (or their customer's) memory stick can be simply plugged in to the controller to record, store or copy inspection videos, photos and observations.
Microsoft has released a tool that lets netbook owners install Windows 7 on their machines using a USB flash drive, sidestepping the usual requirement of a DVD drive.<p>The free utility, Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool, creates a bootable flash drive from a downloaded .iso file, or disk image, of Windows 7 that customers buy and downlod from Microsoft's online store.<p>"This tool allows you to create a copy of the .iso file to a USB flash drive or a DVD," said Microsoft in the instructions accompanying the tool.
Incredibly as thin as a credit card slim data is now available on a 4GB USB flash drive that enables user to carry important digital photos, videos, music, and documents in their wallets, according to toptech on Tuesday.
They've created a "wearable" wooden cross that holds a USB flash drive containing 72 hours of the King James Bible, recorded by actor Alexander Scourby (memorable for his role as Nigel Fargate in the soap All My Children).
The CE Vault Software allows customers to create encrypted areas on a hard or USB flash drive. The 'vaults' can be attached to emails, meaning users can send secure and encrypted information over emails.
The first commercial USB flash drive was sold in the U.S.