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The best USB flash drives on the market: Five most reliable and value for money

The purpose of this ranking is to select for you the best USB 3.0 key that satisfies you the most in several respects. The article, written two years ago, is constantly updated to offer a complete overview of the latest news on USB sticks that the market has to offer.

In terms of material quality, storage capacity, design and file transfer speed. I chose each pendrive based on the quality-price ratio it offers. You will find the most suitable for you!

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USB flash drives

1 # SanDisk Cruzer Extreme 3.1

The SanDisk Cruzer Extreme USB flash drive certainly deserves the podium with flying colors. The SanDisk Extreme Go USB 3.1 flash drive is up to 35 times faster than standard USB 2.0 drives for incredible speed.

It has been voted the best USB stick by hundreds of users worldwide. And for very good reasons. Read and write speed at 200MB / s and 150MB / s respectively. Really impressive.

Excellent for transferring HD videos, photos, software and any other file at incredible speed. Furthermore, thanks to the included SanDisk SecureAccess software, you can protect your most important files by encrypting them with a password. Safety at the highest levels. USB 2.0 backward compatible

Features:

  • USB 3.1 (Gen 1) high speed performance
  • It lets you transfer files to the drive at speeds up to 35 times faster than those offered by standard USB 2.0 drives
  • Transfer an entire 4K movie in less than 40 seconds
  • Transfer 1,000 photos in less than 60 seconds
  • Supports USB 3.1 / USB 3.0 (also compatible with USB 2.0)

2 # Lexar JumpDrive P20 3.0

The Lexar brand has always been synonymous with quality. The JumpDrive P20 is one of the fastest USB devices on the market and, official data, in the 128GB version it reaches 270MB / s in writing.

Based on the current price (it is almost 60% discounted on Amazon) many consider it the best USB stick in circulation.

It has proprietary software to encrypt your data in an absolutely secure manner:  EncryptStick ™ Lite. Aesthetically it is presented in a very elegant way and is made of aluminum.

The retractable USB interface is very resistant and no user has complained about the presence of read buffers. Even after many uses is snappy and an impressive speed.

3 # Kingston DataTraveler SE9 G2

The main feature of this key is the ultra-compact shape without a hood. The resistance of the satin-finished steel with which it is made is interesting, in addition to the elegant lines that adapt to any style.

The highlight is definitely the price. The warranty is 5 years. Definitely the best USB key in terms of solidity.

Really comfortable opening on the bottom that allows hooking to a key ring. In this way you can always have it close and never lose it.

The Kingston also offers the possibility to customize the device by adding a logo.

4 # SanDisk Cruzer Ultra Fit 3.0

The Sandisk Cruzer ULTRA FIT is characterized by a modern design and extremely small dimensions. Definitely the best USB stick in its category. The reading speed reaches up to 130MB / s to transfer music, photos and HD movies at high speed.

In terms of speed, it is fully compliant with the 3.0 standard. If you want to protect your data, SanDisk SecureAccess software is available that can encrypt your most important data with a password.

The quality of the materials with which it was made is excellent. Relevant features: X-ray resistance, impact resistance and waterproof structure. Excellent value for money.

5 # Kingston DataTraveler Locker + G3

The DataTraveler Locker + G3 is the most suitable and reliable USB stick to protect receipts, private files and bank and personal data.

The high level of protection is guaranteed thanks to a system based on a double level of security. In fact, it uses hardware encryption and password protection.

The unit is locked and formatted after 10 failed login attempts. In this way, users are assured that their data will always be safe, even if the drive is lost or stolen.

Features:

  • ClevX USBtoCloud automatic backup option: to access your data anytime, anywhere
  • Hardware encryption: the best personal security solution to protect data
  • Complex password protection: allows the user to set a password to avoid unwanted access to the unit
  • Versatile: compatible with Mac OS X and Windows operating systems
  • Safe: the drive is locked and formatted after 10 failed login attempts

There is also an optional backup function (automatic) on the cloud so you can be sure that your data is always safe even in case of theft or loss.

Compatible with all operating systems. 30MB / s read speed and 10MB / s write speed.

USB flash drives

The Features To Assess The Best USB Key: Speed, Performance And Added Value

There are several things to consider when analyzing a USB stick. If some have greater storage capacity than others, they may not be as fast and performing as you think.

So I would like to show you the features that I evaluated to choose each USB stick in this ranking with seriousness and rigor …

# Best USB Key Performance

To evaluate the performance of each USB stick I used CrystalDiskMark by performing 100MB, 1000MB and 4000MB tests.

For added security, I did each test three times for each USB stick.

When we talk about Pen Drive, the performance is certainly the most relevant datum. Fortunately, there are now many low-cost USB 3.0 keys available.

There is no reason to buy the previous generation of USB 2.0. The 3.0 models have an incredible data transfer speed.

Think that the best keys in this category are able to transfer files at a speed between 30 and 40 MBps. A good USB 3.0 key can reach 250 Mbps.

Furthermore, the 3.0 standard is also compatible with USB 2.0 ports, but with less speed in writing and reading.

Another thing you should know is that a USB stick from the same brand has different performance based on its storage capacity.

For example, the 32GB SanDisk Extreme has a read speed of 245MBps and a write speed of 100MBps.

The 64GB version has the same read speed, but a much faster write speed of 190MBps. In essence, the greater the cut, the faster the writing speed will be.

# Best Key USB 3.0 Design

Regarding the storage capacity, most of the USB flash drives I have examined are available in different sizes. From 8 GB to 128GB.

How to choose the ones that suit your needs?  Keep in mind that:

  • For transfers of simple files like pages in Word and some 8GB photos are certainly sufficient.
  • A 16GB or 32GB USB stick is ideal for storing or transferring a large amount of MP3 and RAW format images.
  • The main use of the pen will be to archive or transfer movies in HD quality? In this case you will have to save entire folders rich in images and files. Or do you have to use it to make a backup of your PC? In any case you will need a cut of at least 64GB.

In the ranking of the 5 best USB sticks of 2019 I considered only those without the cap (except for the SanDisk Cruzer Ultra Fit, which really deserves).

This is because the uncovered part is potentially exposed to dust and foreign bodies. These could easily compromise the operation of the device. Even an accidental impact would risk distorting the key and preventing regular access to the PC.

I have excluded some sliding keys because often the tape that allows the USB connector to slip, comes out of track. This happens even after a few uses and makes the device unusable. An unnecessary expense.

# Features Best USB Key

With normal use of the USB stick, the internal memory may deteriorate.  It happens when the data is always rewritten in the same memory cell.

Think of a waterfall that breaks on a precise point of a rock. In a relatively short time you will see the first signs of wear.

Some USB sticks have a technology called wear leveling. This helps reduce the premature deterioration of the NAND Flash memory by optimizing their exploitation over time.

As if the first waterfall broke on the entire rock, not on a specific point.

The final result? The units with wear leveling often enjoy a much longer life than the counterparts without.

But I guess you’re not just looking for a long-lasting USB stick. You also want to be sure that the data on that drive is best protected.

  • Some devices allow you to protect their content with a password.
  • Others have hardware encryption to make the data inviolable.
  • Some USB sticks also have cloud backup features. So you don’t have to worry about file loss anymore.
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