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Best USB flash drives in 2022: Top USB memory sticks

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You can quickly transfer large files to one computer, or several USB flash drives to your home.

You can use your USB drive to backup your entire system, even if it has large storage. You will only need to plug your USB drive into a USB port, and then drag-and-drop files that you wish to backup. If you have more data than usual, we recommend our guide to the best cloud backup services.

Thanks to faster protocols, USB memory sticks are now able to store more data. They can also read and write data much faster than they were a few years back. For just a few dollars you can store all your personal files right on your keychain.

Choosing the right USB drive can be difficult. There are at most four USB connection protocols: USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and USB 3.1. Each one is faster than the other. You can save a lot of time if you have to read large files.

Even if your current devices aren’t capable of handling the fastest data transfer protocols, any future devices will be able as each protocol supports older ones. Many USB drives have embedded encryption that can be used to protect them from being lost or stolen.

There are many connectors. The majority of flash drives still have a rectangular USB A plug. This will work with all Windows computers and older Macs as well as most printers, smart TVs and routers.

You can use a drive that has a round USB-C connector with older Windows laptops, Android smartphones, tablets, and the most recent Macs, as well as with the latest iPads. Many USB flash drives come with a secondary Lightning connector that can be plugged into older iPads and iPhones.

These are our top 10 picks to help you choose the right USB memory stick. There are many options available, including speed, price, format, storage size, physical size, and speed. No matter which USB drive you choose it should contain all the files you need in an easy-to-use format.

Which are the best USB flash drives for you?

We tried a variety of USB flash drives, and the Samsung Fit Plus(opens in new window) (MUF-128AB), was our favorite. The drive is compact and easy to use, with USB 3.1 support and read speeds up to 300MB/s.

The SanDisk Cruzer CZ36 (opens new tab) was also a good choice. It offers 128-bit AES encryption at a very affordable price. You will have to accept USb 2.0 compatibility, slower data transfer speeds and a lower price. The Kingston Digital DataTraveler is the best USB storage device for fast read/write speeds (opens in new window).

These are the best USB flash drives available today

1. Samsung Fit Plus (MUF-128AB)

Overall, the best flash drive

Specifications

Type of USB: USB 3.1

Storage: 32GB-256GB

Size: 0.9×0.7×0.3 inches

Weight: 0.16 oz

+Compact design+Lots of storage+Fast write/read speeds

Avoidable reasons

It may be easy to lose.

The Samsung Fit Plus (MUF-128AB), a flash drive with a good combination of features and affordability is a great choice.

Its small size makes it easy for you to carry. The device is available in various sizes from 32GB up to 256GB and supports USB 3.0 connectivity. Data transfer speeds of up to 300 MBps are possible. This is significantly faster than other USB memory sticks.

The Samsung Fit Plus is waterproof, shock, magnet-, temperature, and Xray-proof to protect your data. This memory stick can be used in almost any device because it is compatible with USB 2.0.

However, the Samsung USB flash drive can be quite expensive so it is not the best choice for anyone looking to save some money.

2. SanDisk Cruzer CZ36

Secure and compact USB flash drive

Specifications

USB Type: USB 2.0

Storage: 16GB-256GB

Size: 2.31×0.8×0.4 inches

Weight: 0.6 ounces

+Great price+Easy protection+Universal compatibility

Avoidable reasons

-Works over USB 2.0-No 256-bit encryption

The SanDisk Cruzer CZ36 USB drive has been a popular choice for years. This drive is known for its solid design, encryption support, and, most importantly, its extremely affordable price.

The Cruzer CZ36 has a black finish with a red slider. This allows you to retract or extend the USB connector without fear.

USB 2.0 connectivity is available on the drive, but it is older. The 128-bit AES encryption by SanDisk and the included SanDisk SecureAccess Software make it one of the most expensive flash drives.

Overall, the SanDisk Cruzer CZ36 offers solid transfer options for music and photos as well as videos and business files.

3. Kingston DataTraveler G4

An unbeatable USB flash drive bargain

Specifications

Type: USB 3.0

Storage: 32GB-128GB

Size: 2.65×0.4×0.83 inches

Weight: 0.35 oz

+USB 3.0 support+Cap protects the plug+Easy travelling

Avoidable reasons

Standard read/write speeds – Less capacity than other options

Kingston offers one of the most affordable USB flash drives for those who don’t want to spend too much money.

DataTraveler G4 USB drives with 32GB storage and USB 3.0 support start at less than $10. You can buy a USB drive that stores and transfers your content quickly and easily for a small amount of money, without risking your data.

The connector has a cap to protect the drive from damage while it’s not being used. A loop at the end allows you to connect the DataTraveler with a keychain, reducing the chance of it getting lost as you walk around the city.

The Kingston DataTraveler G4 has a maximum storage capacity of 128GB. This means that you won’t get as much storage as other options. This drive is not recommended if you aren’t transferring large amounts of data.

4. PNY Turbo

Storage for less: Lots of space

Specifications

Type: USB 3.0

Storage: 32GB-256GB

Size: 5.28x 0.25x 3.9inches

Weight: 0.6 ounces

+USB 3.0 Support+Plenty Storage+Sliding Collared for Protection

Avoidable reasons

-A bit pricey-Limited color options

PNY’s Turbo flash drive is a popular choice for anyone who travels often and doesn’t want their data to be lost. It has a rugged design, ample storage, and is ideal for people who don’t want to lose it.

USB 3.0 devices offer transfer speeds up to 10x faster than comparable USB 2.0 drives. Turbo’s maximum storage of 256GB means that you can store almost 48,000 songs and transfer them easily.

A sliding-collar design protects the connector during inactivity, making it especially useful for road warriors. The integrated loop allows you to attach the PNY Turbo directly to your keychain or backpack, reducing the chance of it getting lost while you’re on the road.

The PNY Turbo is a great USB flash drive because it offers both storage and travel-friendly features.

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