What exactly makes a USB flash drive superior to a regular hard drive? Are there also downsides?
To me, there’s several factors that make it different from and for the most part better than a traditional hard disk:
1.The writing of data is not by magnetic spinning disks but purely electronic (so flash drive is actually a misnomer because there’s nothing driving). This flash technology in memory sticks makes data storage safer and more durable as outside magnetism doesn’t really effect them.
2.Since there are no moving mechanical parts there’s also no noise.
3.By the same token, there’s no heat generated and hence less power drawn.
4.Flash memory is more shock resistant and withstands extremer pressures and temperatures.
5. Writing and reading of data is faster once utilized with USB 3.0 (480 MB/sec compared to 150 MB/sec of a hard drive).
Pretty compelling points, huh?
But what about possible disadvantages. Well, there’s only three things I can come up with:
1.With magnetic drives, experts and special programs can often recover “lost” or overwritten data whereas when flash drives overwrite the data is erased for good.
2.Memory sticks can usually be rewritten up to 10,000 times while hard disks supposedly can be rewritten up to 50,000 times. However, these numbers are not a set thing and some flash drives may actually last several 100,000 read-write cycles.
3.Flash drives are easier to lose.
One could also add that storage capacities are lower but seeing that memory sticks these days can hold up to 64GB or even 128GB I think that point is becoming obsolete. So in my mind the benefits of USB flash drives pretty much outweigh those of hard disks. But maybe you disagree? If you can think of any other factors – pro or con – please feel free to join the debate.
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