Frequently Asked Questions about USB Flash Drives

 

Updated 4/11/2012 by SuperMediaStore Staff

USB flash drives have become the storage media of choice. Developed in 1999 by inventors at an Israeli company, they quickly replaced floppy drives and CD-RWs, still remaining the media of choice for those who want to be able to easily transport files. With 500GB and 1TB models currently under development, USB flash drives are likely to dominate the consumer electronics market for many years to come. SuperMediaStore addresses some of the most frequently asked questions about flash drives.


Q: I’ve heard them called thumb drives, jump drives, and flash drives. What’s the official term?

A: “Flash drive” is the most commonly used commercial term for portable USB storage media. Interestingly, ThumbDrive was the brand name for the devices when they were first released commercially in 2000 and the term jump drive came from Lexar, which uses that as the name for one of its line of flash drives (Lexar JumpDrive). While “jump drive” is often use by consumers, “flash drive” is the generic term for the device.


Q: How do I know what storage capacity I need?

A: The largest USB flash drive currently available is 256GB, but that is likely far more flash drive than the average customer will ever need. These days, 16GB and 32GB USB flash drives are more popular with consumers. For documents and even photos, you will likely be fine with that. Keep in mind that in the mid-90s, when computers were just beginning to become an expected part of every household, even 1GB would have seemed impressive. For reference, a 16GB flash drive will hold more than 35,000 songs, nearly 4,000 photos, or more than 5,000 minutes of video.


Q: Is there a difference between USB flash drive brands?

A: Most of what you’ll notice when shopping for flash drives on SuperMediaStore is cosmetic. This doesn’t just refer to the color of the drive, but how compact it is. Will it easily slide into your shirt pocket? Does it include a hook to be stored on your keychain? Another important thing to consider is how the connector is stored when not in use. Most consumers find USB flash drives that retract into the casing are ideal. Flash drives that require a cover can be inconvenient, especially since the cover can easily become lost.


Q: Do I have to install drivers to use a flash drive?

A: No. USB flash drives are “plug and play,” meaning they simply need to be plugged into your computer’s USB drive to work. Prior to ejecting the drive, it is very important that you stop the device by double-clicking on an icon on the system tray. Failure to do so could result in data loss or damage to the drive.

SuperMediaStore knows computer users need reliable, convenient USB flash drives for file storage. With free shipping on orders over $50 and excellent customer service, SuperMediaStore is the best place to find great deals on USB flash drives.

 

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