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What is a USB Flash Drive

In the digital age in which we live, people are often transferring their files between multiple computers and devices. It used to be the case that one of the few practical ways of doing this was to use writable CDs and DVDs, but this was anything but convenient. Not only can you generally only write to optical media once; they are also rather large and not very convenient to carry around. The advent of flash memory made it easier than ever to keep your files with you on the move, either for transferring to another computer or for backing up important data. USB flash drives, also known as pen drives, are a type of flash memory.

USB flash drives are compact and convenient for carrying around. All modern computers and many other devices provide multiple USB ports, so compatibility is almost never an issue either. Whether you want to copy a movie over to a USB flash drive so that you can plug it in and play the movie on a standalone modern TV set, or you want to keep your work with you wherever you go, a USB flash drive is by far the most convenient solution.

As with any kind of flash memory, USB flash drives do not contain any moving parts. Because of this, they tend to be more reliable than many other types of media. They also require no extra power source since the power provided through the USB port is enough.

Flash memory is getting cheaper and cheaper every year while capacities and speed are constantly increasing. It's easy to find cheap USB flash drives with 32 GB of space or more. This is more than enough to store hundreds of hours of music, thousands of document files or even several high-definition movies. There are also many devices, particularly ultra-compact laptop computers or tablet PCs, which do not even come with optical drives. Because of this, a USB flash drive is the only practical option when it comes to copying over files or installing software. More recent versions of Windows can even be installed directly from a specially formatted, bootable USB flash drive.


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