Store Files on USB Flash or USB Hard Drive?
Flash drives are getting cheaper and flashdrives are getting bigger. You get to a point and ask yourself, should I archive my valuable information on a large flashdrive or a USB hard drive? For example, lets say you have 10GBs of photos from your phone or camera and you are looking to archive those pictures. Should you do this to a flash drive or a hard drive?
The easiest and most convenient decision would be saving your files to the flash drive. Most everyone has a 16GB USB flashdrive these days, it fits in your hand and you can carry it around with out trouble. But will it last? Is a USB flashdrive where I should put my photos if my computer crashes and I need to restore my photos? Lets forget about the possibility you simply misplace the USB flashdrive. Is the device archive worthy?
The other option is the USB hard drive. Most people don’t have one so you’ll need to buy one. Although they are cheap, a USB hard drive is not as cheap as a 16GB or 32GB flash drive…and to be honest the 16-32GB sticks probably have enough space that it could hold your photos. So is it worth the extra time and money to archive to a USB hard drive? I guess this is the question more and more people are asking themselves. Well I have the definitive answer:
USB hard drive.
Flashdrives are great products for quickly moving files from one computer to another. However, they are not the best choice for archive purposes, and here are some reasons why:
The devices are small and will most likely get damaged. Unless of course you put the USB stick into the back of your desk drawer, a USB flashdrive gets banged around a lot and this abuse lends itself to failed cells in the memory. Meaning, over time the files will get corrupted because the NAND memory gets damaged.
The flash memory used in most USB sticks is the lowest of quality. Keep in mind almost all USB sticks are made as a promotional item or disposable item. They are not designed for long-term use, but rather give away or throw away items that don’t last more then a couple months. Sure, we all have USB sticks that last years, but my point is this: do you want to archive photos [or other data] that you MUST get back at a later day?
Flash drives are designed for about 100,000 write cycles. So if you plan on using the USB stick for other things then you’ll quickly wear down the longevity of the drive. Remember, the 100,000 write cycle is an average…so it would be safer to error on the side of a short life cycle, then a longer life cycle.
Tags: flashdrive, usb, usb hard drive