Top & Best Pen Drive: How to choose the best in 2021
Today’s topic is: flash drive, a useful device for different purposes: storing photos, videos and music, saving documents, movies, series episodes and presentations for college or work.
In addition to the basic functions you can use the thumb drive to optimize your computer’s memory, adapt it to function as a key to access the notebook, encrypt it with passwords, among other functions.
This accessory is compact, lightweight, practical and safe to use. You can find models with varied memory capacities: 8.16, 32, 64, 128, 156 gigabytes and even models with a limit of 1 terabytes of files.
In this complete Buying Guide you will learn everything you need to know to choose the right pen drive for you.
First, the most important
- The pen drive can have USB 2.0 or 3.0 data transmission and reading technology. The 3.0 model is multitasking (copies and sends files at the same time) and fast.
- You can find models with smaller memory capacities: from one to four gigabytes or higher models with 16, 32, 64 or 128GB.
- Some brands are a reference in the market when it comes to pen drives, such as Kingston, SanDisk and Multilaser.
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Ranking: The 5 best Pen Drive models
We will present the best models of pen drives. For this Ranking, we choose consumers’ favorite products, taking into account the resources, design and memory capacity of each one.
Nowadays there is not a person who does not have a pen drive on the desk or in the backpack, this is due to the fact that this device is cheap, easy to use and very useful for saving different types of files.
What is a flash drive and where to use it?
The pen drive, also known as USB Flash Memory, is a mobile drive for storing files that emerged around the 2000s and is still popular today, so much so that it is difficult to meet someone who does not have at least a pen drive.This device is for portable use, so you can charge it anywhere and connect it to computers, Smart TVs, radio stereo, video game or any other device with USB input.
The pen drive is a device that lasts a long time, so much so that some models even have a five-year warranty.
Accessing the information stored on the flash drive is easy, just plug the device into the USB port, open it and access the saved files. The pen drive behaves like a hard drive.
There are models so portable that you can, through a micro USB port (USB-OTG cable), connect it to smartphones and have access to files on the thumb drive in the palm of your hands.
If you are going to use it in environments with a large circulation of people such as college or work, it is good to buy a password protected model, which makes it impossible to access data without the code. That way, you don’t run the risk of having personal information leaked.
Check now the main advantages and disadvantages of the Pen Drive:
Which capacity is right for me on a thumb drive?
Pen drive models vary because of several factors. One is the memory capacity, which ranges from 1 GB to 128 GB. See which are the most suitable models according to your use of them:
- 8 GB pen drive : Compared to other models, it seems that the 8 GB pen drive has little memory, but this is a mistake as this model has the capacity to store 2 thousand 4MB photos, 400 videos or 2 thousand songs from around three minutes each.
- 16 GB Pen Drive: Pen drives with this memory capacity can store movies and series episodes as well. It can be used to save about eight feature films or about 32 hours of videos.
- 32 GB flash drive : This device has the capacity to save more than 9 thousand photos, 8 thousand songs or up to 64 hours of videos. For those who like to save seasons of series or collections of artists is a good choice.
- 64 GB flash drive: With the 64 GB flash drive you can load more than 168 hours of movies or up to 16,000 songs. It is a great option to take on trips, when it is not always possible to have an internet connection.
- 128 GB Pen drive: 128 GB pen drives are surprising, as they are almost an external HD in capacity, maintaining the differential of being a small, light and portable device. With it you can store everything inside the PC.
There are models with even greater capacities, from 156 GB, 512 GB or even 1 TB, but they are more rare to find. In addition to the pen drive, there are other external memory devices such as the memory card, SSD card and external HD.
What is the difference between flash drive, memory card, SSD and HD?
Many people question this when they are about to buy a thumb drive. Although they all have a storage function, they serve different needs.We have already talked about the flash drive, so you can be sure that you need one, we will briefly explain what the memory card, SSD and external HD are, then we will compare them all. That way you can make your decision.
There are several types of memory card, for cameras, camcorders, computers and cell phones. Examples of memory cards are the miniSD, microSD and SD Card models, which differ in memory capacity and size.
The memory card has the advantage of being very affordable when compared to other external memory devices.
- The miniSD measures 11 by 15 millimeters and is a model widely used in mobile phones and tablets.
- The microSD measures 20 by 21.5 mm and is also used in portable devices such as smartphones. It can be placed on a computer using an adapter.
- The SD card is the largest of the memory card models, it is 24 by 32 mm and is a model used only in computers and notebooks.
The speed that each model receives and transfers files such as photos, videos and music varies from model to model.
Regarding memory capacity, these devices can be SDHC and store from 4 GB to 32 GB or SDXC which has a capacity greater than 64 GB up to 2 TB.
Solid-State Drivers (SSD)
The SSD is an external memory device much like an external hard drive. It works with flash memory (the same as the flash drive) but has high performance, because in addition to having higher transfer rates it has low latency time. In short, the SSD is 10 times faster than a hard drive.
This model, in addition to being fast, has the capacity to store up to 1TB of files in memory. This model is also small (fits in a pants pocket), but it is bigger than the SD Card and a pen drive.
In comparison with the other models listed, the external hard drive is the largest, both on the outside and on the internal memory capacity. It is less portable than the memory card or the various models of flash drives.
The storage of this device varies from 500GB to 4TB, just so you can have a notion the capacity of an external hard drive is greater than more than two computers with the capacity limit.
For this reason, external HD is also the most expensive option. It is worth considering whether you will really need so much space or if it is an exaggeration to buy such a device.
We have prepared a table comparing the main characteristics of all the different external memory devices. Check out:
The pen drive is a relatively inexpensive accessory, there are models that cost from R $ 20. The versions with larger memory capacity, technology 3.0 and some extra features cost between R $ 50 and R $ 80.Just like any other electronics, there are more sophisticated models that reach R $ 600.
Where to buy?
You can buy a flash drive at stationery stores like Kalunga or at bookstores like Saraiva or Livraria Cultura.If you prefer, you can buy online, in the computer sectors of virtual stores such as Amazon. Buying online you will find more options and better offers.
Purchasing criteria: Factors to compare the different pen drive models
Anyone who thinks that a pen drive can only store photos, videos, music and text documents is wrong. This device is quite versatile, so much so that it can be used for other various functions.
And the models can be very different from each other, whether in the technology used for reading, storing and transferring data, in additional features or even outside the part. When buying a pen drive, pay attention to the following criteria:
- Which to choose: USB 2.0 or 3.0?
- Dual Pen Drive
- Extra features
- Size and design
Now let’s explain item by item, so you don’t have any doubts and can choose a thumb drive that best meets your needs.
The pen drive has many other functions besides saving files from different media and formats. With it, you can create a true media library with digital books, a collection of favorite discs, series and films and much more.
They can also be used in various other functions such as increasing the processing speed of the PC’s memory, serving as a key to access the machine, entering the internet, keeping your data safe, among others.
You can use the thumb drive to back up your documents in a simple and quick way. This is an alternative to backup on sites like Dropbox and Google Drive, which use an internet connection to work.
You can also program the thumb drive so that it functions as a key to access your computer. When unplugging the device, the PC has the mouse and keyboard commands blocked, preventing anyone from using the machine.
You can also use the thumb drive to access the internet. Just copy the information from your wireless network to pre-program access, so you don’t need to configure each machine with internet data.
You can also use the device to increase the processing speed of the computer’s RAM memory, combating slowness. To use this feature you need to program the flash drive using the eBoostr program.
You can also use the thumb drive to update your computer’s operating system. You can install Windows 10 (newest version from Microsoft) for free.
You can even format your PC with the aid of a pen drive device.
You can also use the pen drive to load the programs you usually use on a daily basis, if you access a machine without them and / or run out of internet access to use the online versions.
You can download text editors, presentation software, spreadsheets, PDF file readers, file compressors and antivirus. All have portable versions (less heavy files).
Check out some little-known functions of the Pen Drive:
Which to choose: USB 2.0 or 3.0?
The USB 2.0 and 3.0 models have the same connector structure, but the 3.0 model has the part in blue color to differentiate it from the other model. It is interesting that both have the same structure, as this makes them compatible.
Because of compatibility, the user can use a USB 3.0 cable at the USB 2.0 port (or the other way around). It is clear that to use all the power of USB 3.0 it is necessary to use the pen drive in a compatible input.
The USB 2.0 technology pen drive appeared in the 2000s and is still used today. In this model, the data transfer rate is 23 MB for reading and 5 MB for writing files and it has a speed of 480 MB per second.
This model sends and receives data from the devices, but performs these activities separately, that is, when it is sending files it does not receive and vice versa.
USB 3.0 technology emerged in 2009 as an enhanced version of the previous one. The difference between these models is that version 3.0 offers 4.8 GB of speed, which allows data transfer 10 times faster.
The most interesting thing is that version 3.0 is full-duplex, that is, USB 3.0 is capable of transmitting and receiving data simultaneously with great speed and quality.
There are models of flash drives with both technologies. Check a table comparing the main characteristics of the USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 cables and see the differences and similarities between these models:
Dual Pen Drive
The dual pen drive, as the name implies, has a dual function: it can be connected via the USB port to be plugged into computers, stereos and Smart TVs.
The other input is the mini USB, used to connect the device to tablets and smartphones and access the contents of the flash drive directly on the phone screen without the need for adapters.
With it, you can backup data from the cell phone directly to the device of the pen drive. This way, you can free up storage space on your phone without having to delete the documents.
The best thing is that you can access these files again by cell phone, just plug in the flash drive and access them, without the need to transfer.
To use the dual flash drive it is important that your smartphone is compatible with USB OTG technology (On The Go), as it is responsible for the connection between the devices.
The dual pen drive serves as extra storage for your device, with which you can save all your files in one place, eliminating the need for other media.
In addition, this type of flash drive is so practical that you will not need to download any application to transfer your files from one device to another, just drag them just like on the PC.
There is also the OTG adapter to connect the flash drive, a mouse or even a video game console to the cell phone.
Not everyone knows, but there are pen drive models that can be encrypted to keep your data safe. To use it you will need to set up a password to access the files and will need to enter it before opening the folders on the computer.
To encrypt your thumb drive, it is necessary to purchase a device with this feature, you will also need to configure it through the computer, using specialized programs such as BitLocker.
Some pen drive models are so modern that they have some unbelievable features. It has a waterproof model, which supports up to 100 meters of depth without damaging the content.
Check out all the extra specifications of the pen drive and consider whether they will really be useful, otherwise, you will just be overpaying for something that in practice you will not even use.
Size and design
Most pen drive models are similar in shape and size to a lighter. But nowadays, there are some smaller models, even in nanosize that have the same dimensions as a penny.
Nowadays it is common to see pen drive models that bet on differentiated design. There are themed versions of characters like The Simpsons, Despicable Me Minions, Star Wars characters, and so on.
Some models are coated with materials other than plastic, such as wood, acrylic, metal, rubber, among others. Others are hidden in eyeglass handles or bracelets.
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