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Its small, fast, cheap and yet can be a true life saver. USB Pen drives have grown up and become truly powerful devices that can play multiple roles and help out in many a situation. You just need to be very sure that you buy the right one as the market is flooded with some great but mostly trashy pen drives.

Go Big

This is the time where greed is a good thing and there is no shame in wanting big. You want something that is compact yet packs a punch. Prices are at an all time low. However, do keep in mind that performance and durability with drives over 32GB arenâ??t the same as smaller capacity ones. You maybe better off buying two 32Gb ones than one 64GB drive.

Size and form factor

There are now USB pen drives that are so small that they go right into a usb slot and cant be seen. Then there are those that are still as large and bulky as before. Some are made for entertainment as much as utility and come in the shape of cars, mobile phones or even your favorite cartoon figure. There is no right or wrong here. You need to see what youâ??re buying it for. If youâ??re going to carry it with you then small is always better but is also easier to lose, if its only for use within a premises then a larger one may give you better capacity and speed.


This is a critical one. Not all drives are created equal. In fact there is a huge difference in performance and speed. And speed in this category is an important factor. You donâ??t want want to wait for hours transferring your favorite movies or presentation, do you? Also remember that there can be a very wide disparity between read and write speeds. Some drives are better at one or the other. For the fastest speed available, you will want to go for a USB 3.0 compatible drive. Many cheap flash drives have transfer speeds of just 1MB/s or less. Compared to that, USB 3.0 drives deliver actual transfer speeds of more than 60MB/s. Also, they are backwards compatible with USB 2.0 ports so you donâ??t have to find a 3.0 port to access your flash drive. While slightly more expensive- they are a good investment into the future.

Booster Dose

Some people buy a USB pen drive to give a little speed boost to your system with the ReadyBoost feature in Windows which will treat the drive as extra RAM. Be sure that you buy one with rating that ReadyBoost specifies â?? else your system may show that it cannot use it. Also, buy a drive with very fast read-write speeds as that will translate to faster performance for your entire system.


Most USB drives will got through a fairly tough life as they are used in pretty harsh conditions. If you work in a rough environment, or just have a habit of throwing USB drives around - then you should get a more durable device. Of course - donâ??t look at just the exterior, but the interior as well. A NAND memory chip can only withstand a limited amount of use before it starts to wear out. Some manufacturers use a feature called dynamic wear leveling to protect the memory blocks. For better durability, go for a drive with a strong metal case. Also, some may have an auto backup and stronger password protection built in. Those can be helpful.