Looking for a good USB flash drive? Here are the best to buy in 2018

With so many file and data storage methods available today, it is so easy to forget the little USB flash drive that served us for quite some time before external hard drives, SSDs and cloud storage came on the scene.

However, the USB flash drive has the proverbial nine lives, and it seems it’s not going into oblivion like its predecessor, the floppy disk.

If you’re a Windows 10 user, here are some of the top picks for the best USB flash drives you can use on your computer.

The best USB flash drives to buy in 2018

Samsung BAR USB flash drive

buy Samsung BAR USB flash drive

This little USB flash drive comes highly recommended by its users, and it takes the coveted top slot on the best seller ranks among its peers. Its quality metallic build, ergonomic design and natural feel make for an easy grip and stress free use. It is the epitome of form and function in flash drives, and delivers high performance, guaranteed reliability and protection for your data.

Some of its salient features include its high quality metal casing with a key ring, NAND flash technology, and high speed performance for data transfer. What makes it unique is that it is water proof, shock proof and also can resist high temperatures.

This flash drive comes in three capacity sizes: 32GB, 64GB and 128GB.

Pros

  • 5 year warranty
  • Durable, solid and lightweight
  • USB is sturdy enough to stand heavy use
  • High speed data transfer and backup
  • Backwards compatibility with USB 2.0
  • Key ring hole prevents it from getting lost
  • 5-proof technology protecting your memory storage from water, shock, temperatures, magnetic and X-rays

Cons

  • Some users say its shape can be inconvenient as it can cover neighboring ports if stacked closely together

Get the Samsung BAR (Metal) USB flash drive for $12.99 (32GB), $21.99 (64GB) or $36.79 (128GB) from Amazon.


SanDisk Flash Cruzer Glide USB flash drive

SanDisk Flash Cruzer Glide USB flash drive

This flash drive’s provides reliable and safe storage for your important documents including media and digital files, with available capacities of up to 256GB. Its SecureAccess software ensures you get password protection and file encryption to keep your private files protected.

A 2GB secure online storage is offered with this flash drive to ensure added protection, and convenience so you can easily backup and access your files from any web browser. Simply drag and drop your files into the drive’s vault and they’ll be safe and protected.

Pros

  •  2 year warranty
  •  Has a retractable capless design which keeps the connector protected and safe
  • Portable and lightweight
  •  Ultra large storage capacities
  •  Easy transfer of files from one computer to another
  • Password protection and encryption (AES 128-bit)
  • Reliable
  • Affordable price
  • You can download encryption software from the manufacturer’s website
  • Great customer technical support

Cons

  • No protection from dust, water, or pressure

Get the SanDisk Flash Cruzer Glide USB flash drive for $7.82 from Amazon.


La Cie RuggedKey USB flash drive

buy USB flash drive

The first thing you’ll notice about this USB flash drive is its vibrant orange color. What makes this pen drive such a gem is you can go with it anywhere knowing it is protected what with its rugged outer protective casing, which keeps your data and files safe from occasional drops.

The LaCie RuggedKey flash drive offers an AES 256-bit encryption as part of its security software thus you can password protect your folders and keep your data confidential. It also offers free and secure cloud storage or backup from Wuala (also has a mobile app to access files), equal to the capacity of the flash drive itself. It comes in three capacity storage sizes from 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB.

Pros

  • It is resistant to heat, cold, dust and water
  • Very durable
  • Fast data transfers of up to 150MB/s
  • Backward compatible with USB 2.0
  • Keeps your data confidential
  • Can be submerged in water up to 200m
  • Withstands up to 10 tons of pressure
  • IP-54 certified for resistant to damage from water and dust
  • Withstands accidental drops from sky high heights
  • Rubber construction is 100m drop resistant thus protects your data from little drops

Cons

  • If you lose the cap, the drive can be damaged
  • Occasional slow file moving or write speeds

Get the LaCie RuggedKey USB flash drive from $27.99 from Amazon.


SanDisk Cruzer CZ36 USB flash drive

 USB flash drive

This 32GB, USB 2.0 flash drive’s features include a password protection and file encryption to keep your private files protected in terms of access. Its SecureAccess software gives you additional protection through secure online backup of up to 2GB, through YuuWaa. This lets you store your media and digital files to access them anywhere, on the go.

Pros

  • 5 year warranty
  • Has a retractable capless design
  • Ideal for storing media (photos, videos) and digital files
  •  Easy transfer of files from one computer to another
  • Reliable
  • Great customer technical support
  • Simple and lightweight
  • Fast data write speeds

Cons

  • Some users have raised concerns about difficulty ejecting the flash drive, as well as login requirements when you plug it in
  • No protection from dust, water, or pressure

Get the SanDisk Cruzer CZ36 for $9.99 from Amazon.


Samsung Drive Fit USB flash drive

buy samsung USB flash drive

This little metal-bodied flash drive comes with a storage capacity of 128GB, which is pretty huge if you look at its minute build. Its casing makes for great durability and being a Samsung product, you can be guaranteed of reliability, and rest assured that your data is both safe, and accessible.

Pros

  • 5 year warranty
  • Fast data transfer and backup speeds of up to 150MB/s
  •  Compatibility with USB 2.0
  • Lightweight, portable and durable metal-based design
  • Slim, ultra-compact
  • NAND flash technology
  • 5 proof technology from water, temperatures, shock, magnetic and X-rays.

Cons

  • No secure software on the drive itself
  • No cap to cover the port

Get the Samsung Drive Fit flash drive for $36.89 from Amazon.


PNY Pro Elite USB flash drive

USB flash drive

This sleek metal bodied flash drive comes with a storage capacity of up to 512GB, which is pretty huge compared to other such gadgets. It has been hailed for its blazingly fast data read speeds of up to 400MB/s, and write speeds of up to 180MB/s – quite the speed if you compare it with other flash drives.

Pros

  • Quality metal build
  • Unique design
  • Capless – a plastic sheath covers its port when not in use
  • Durable
  •  Super-fast read and write speeds

Cons

  • No password protect or encryption feature
  • Slow when running applications or OS from the drive itself
  • One year warranty

Get the PNY Pro Elite for $79.99 from Amazon.


Kingston Digital DataTraveler USB flash drive

USB flash drive

A flash drive that can attach easily to your bunch of keys is so desirable because you can walk around with your files knowing you’ll easily access them anytime, anywhere. It is small, capless and pocket-sized making it portable, and its solid aluminum casing makes it a durable device to have for your file storage.

With this drive, you can also safely keep all your documents, media and digital files, including videos, music, and photos. It comes with storage capacities of up to 64GB (a bit less than other flash drives mentioned earlier).

Pros

  • Solid, sturdy shell, and durable owing to its aluminum casing
  • Appealing price – pretty inexpensive for its quality
  • Convenient (comes with built-in key ring and fits snug with your bunch of keys)
  •  Capless design
  • 5 year warranty

Cons

  •  Slow read and write speeds (may not augur well with users who are looking for fast data transfer speeds)
  • Doesn’t protect against water, dust, temperatures, shock, magnetic and X-rays
  • Doesn’t come with password protection or encryption
  • USB chip is not attached within the drive (can slip out)
  • Users say they don’t feel a ‘click’ when the drive is fully inserted so they have to push it in until the computer recognizes the drive. This can be annoying.

Get the Kingston Digital DataTraveler for $11.99 from Amazon.


SanDisk Ultra USB flash drive

fast USB flash drive

Like other USB flash drives in the SanDisk family, this device delivers fast read and write speeds of up to 100MB/s, taking the wait out of transferring, sharing and/or backing up your important files in the shortest time possible. This is ten times faster than ordinary USB 2.0 drives. It includes the SecureAccess software with 128-bit AES encryption, and password protection to keep your files safe and private. Unlike the other SanDisk flash drives mentioned above, this one comes with a one year subscription offer for the Rescue PRO Deluxe file recovery software (downloadable), so you can recover files that were accidentally deleted.

Pros

  • Has storage capacities of up to 256GB (you get 50GB extra cloud storage with the SanDisk Ultra 256GB flash drive)
  • Compatible with different operating systems and devices
  • Password protection and encryption to keep your files private and safe
  • Compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports
  • Durable
  • Sleek design
  • Simple to use
  • Super-fast read speeds

Cons

  • Slow write speeds
  • No protection from dust, water, or pressure
  • Some users reported that driver updates don’t run after download
  • One year warranty

Get the SanDisk Ultra for $31.79 from Amazon.

Have you found the USB flash drive that suits your needs from this list? Share with us more in the comments section. We’d also love to hear about your experience with any of these flash drives.

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