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500gb Flash Drive Best Buy

Once ubiquitous, USB flash drives have declined in popularity with the advent of the cloud, but these portable devices have a lot to offer. Also known as thumb drives or memory sticks, flash drives provide storage to back up precious photos, play movies on the big screen, or copy files from one phone or laptop to another. They are affordable, small enough to fit on a keychain, and boast ever-increasing capacities and data transfer speeds.

500gb flash drive best buy

After testing many, these are the best USB flash drives for various purposes and budgets. If you need more than 1 terabyte of storage, check out our guide to the Best Portable Storage Drives. And don't forget to back up your digital life.

If you want a flash drive to back up and copy photos and other files from your smartphone, I like the iXpand Luxe. It has a Lightning plug for iPhones and iPads at one end and flips to reveal a USB-C plug at the other, so you can transfer files to or from Android devices and laptops. It has a metal casing with a loop for a keychain, and it is very slim. This design means that one plug is always exposed, and while SanDisk includes a separate plastic cover that slots on, I fear I'll inevitably lose it. Storage options top out at 256 gigabytes.

Seeking a flash drive with a durable enclosure? The Survivor Stealth from Corsair is tough to beat. It has a ridged, cylindrical, anodized aluminum housing with ridged rubber covers at each side. One end has an opening for a keychain, and screws open to reveal the drive, which has a standard USB-A plug. When screwed shut properly, this drive is waterproof to a depth of 200 meters, and the enclosure is vibration- and shock-resistant. I dropped it in a glass of water and let the cat chase it around, and it still works fine. Its performance is fairly average (85 MB/s read, 70 MB/s write), so it takes a while to complete a big backup or transfer large files. Its storage capacities are also relatively small and go up to 128 gigs.

An elegant one-piece design makes this USB flash drive eye-catching and practical. The metal casing comes in silver or gray, with a curved design that makes it easy to withdraw and a loop so you can slip it on to a keyring. Test read speeds were just shy of 400 MB/s, with write speeds just over 100 MB/s, but the smaller drives (32 GB and 64 GB) are significantly slower. The Bar Plus is also a durable option, with Samsung claiming it is waterproof, shock-proof, temperature-proof, magnet-proof, and X-ray-proof.

On a Windows computer: You can click the Safely Remove Hardware notification icon in the taskbar and choose the Eject option. If you prefer not to have to eject, type Device Manager into the search bar and click to open. Expand Disk Drives and right-click on your USB flash drive, choose Properties, Policies, and set to Quick Removal.

Connectors: Most flash drives have USB-A connectors, but you can also get drives with USB-C, MicroUSB, and Lightning connectors. If you plan on using a flash drive with your smartphone and computer, the easiest solution is to snag one with both the required types of connectors. You can also buy USB hubs with multiple ports or adapters, but pay close attention to the supported standard or it may limit your data transfer speeds. This Anker USB-A to USB-C adapter, for example, is USB 3.0.

Security: Remember that USB drives can cause security issues, particularly for businesses, and you should never plug in random drives you find lying around. If you plan to keep sensitive data on your flash drive, then consider biometric or passcode protection and look into the level of encryption it offers. There are software services that offer encryption and allow you to password-protect your files on any USB flash drive.

With one or even a few of the best USB flash drives, you can bring your most important files with you everywhere and move large files from one computer to another but also to printers, routers or even a smart TV. Storing files in the cloud is convenient but a USB flash drive can serve as an excellent backup device, especially when the internet goes down.

To help you pick the best USB memory stick for your needs, these are 10 of our favorites. They vary by price, format, speed, physical size and storage size. Regardless of which USB drive you choose, it should hold every file you care about in a simple and easy-to-use package.

The drive itself comes with USB 2.0 connectivity, which is on the older side. However, the SanDisk's 128-bit AES encryption and included SanDisk SecureAccess Software make this one of the best flash drives for the money.

The drive comes with at least 128GB of storage, going all the way up to 1TB, and delivers USB 3.2 connectivity, ensuring fast data speeds. According to SanDisk, the memory stick can deliver read speeds of up to 420 MBps and write speeds of up to 380 MBps. That makes the Extreme Pro one of the best USB flash drives for pure performance.

SanDisk's Ultra Dual Drive USB-C is a slick-looking flash drive that offers plenty of storage and fast data transfers. This is easily the best USB drive for newer laptops, like the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro, that have only USB-C ports.

When the USB flash drive is not in use, you can retract both connectors to limit chances of damage and keep your data away from harm and readily accessible. Just be aware that you'll pay a bit more for this USB-C drive compared with other options.

The model that ships with 64GB of storage, a solid amount for most uses, is very affordable. But prices will vary depending on the version you choose. The limited five-year manufacturer's warranty isn't the best, but overall, this is one of the best USB flash drives available.

Thanks to this flash drive's USB 3.1 support, you should expect fast data transfers. You also get USB 2.0 compatibility, which means it'll work with just about any device. The Samsung Bar started off as a bit pricey compared with many other USB flash drives, but its price has dropped. This is a device that will let you easily bring your data wherever you go, and will look darn good doing it.

If you're in the market for one of the very best USB drives available, and you're just fine spending some cash to get it, check out the SanDisk iXpand flash drive. The device starts at 32GB of storage, though you can configure the iXpand to have up to 256GB of space. It has a metal finish to improve its durability, and thanks to its USB 3.0 connectivity, the device will deliver fast data transfers.

The iXpand flash drive's most important feature is its Lightning connector, which lets you connect to an iPhone or iPad and transfer data to and from that device. Considering how difficult it can be to transfer data from those devices without Apple's help, that feature alone could be a major selling point for the iXpand. But to get all that, be ready to shell out: The SanDisk iXpand USB flash drive is on the expensive side.

Of course, not all drives provide the same experience. Beyond the question of storage space, you'll also need to consider durability, speeds, the kind of USB port in play, the drive's physical size, and the price. If you search for "flash drive," you'll get hundreds of pages of search results, so we've done the heavy lifting and sorted through the muck to select a few of the top-rated flash drives for specific uses.

If you want a slick-looking thumb drive with a near-perfect blend of capacity, speed, and affordability, then this update to one of Samsung's most popular models is a good place to start. Available in Champagne Silver or Titan Gray, this flash drive is resistant to magnets, shock, water, temperature changes, and X-rays, and it's even backed up by a five-year warranty for peace of mind.

If cost is your primary concern when shopping for a good USB flash drive, then the Lexar Jumpdrive M45 belongs at the top of your list. One of the most affordable brand-name flash drives, it delivers adequate USB 3.1 performance (250MBps) in a simple metal enclosure and even includes a free copy of DataVault Lite software so you can secure your data with 256-bit AES encryption.

The only downside to this budget drive in 2021 is that 250MBps is slower than you'll get with the best flash drives on the market, though it's still faster than most budget-priced flash drives can deliver.

Every current MacBook has USB Type-C ports, as do many newer Windows laptops and mobile phones, but plenty of other desktop and laptop computers still rely on USB Type-A. If you need a flash drive that plays nicely with a range of devices, the SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive USB Type-C is a strong choice. It features two retractable connectors, one USB-A and one USB-C. Pair it with the SanDisk Memory Zone app for Android to move files from your Android device to the flash drive and free up space.

This is the latest version of an amazingly secure flash drive featuring a PIN-based locking mechanism right on the drive itself. The Apricorn Aegis Secure Key 3 NX features real time 256-bit AES XTS encryption for all file types, meaning that as soon as you transfer anything to the onboard storage, it's already locked down behind a wall of military-grade protection (FIPS 140-2 level 3).

The physical keypad is wrapped in a polymer-coated rubber so the text printed on the keys won't rub off. The enclosure itself is aluminum reinforced with hardened epoxy to defend against physical tampering. If a hacker tries to physically extract the flash chips from within the enclosure, the special epoxy will destroy the data inside. It's the best way to transfer data with minimum risk of compromise.

If you're serious about data security but want something simpler than the Apricorn, rest easy with the 128GB Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G3. This flash drive features hardware-based encryption to keep your data safe. Simply set the password to prevent unauthorized access. If someone else gets their hands on the drive and tries to access the data, the DataTraveler Locker+ G3 will lock down and reformat itself after 10 invalid login attempts. Just make sure you don't forget your password. 041b061a72

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