What is the biggest USB flash drive? As technology continues to improve, USB flash drives keep growing. Size comes with a price, though, so the largest may not necessarily be the best choice.
USB flash drive capacity.
USB flash drive capacity is continually growing. A few years ago, USB flash drives boasted capacities in megabytes. Today, USB flash drives come in gigabytes. Flash drive capacities come in multiples of two. 2GB, 4GB, 8GB and 16GB are all fairly common sizes these days. As technology continues to improve, though, USB flash drives continue to grow in size far past the point of storing a few meager gigabytes.
The largest USB flash drive.
Currently, the largest USB flash drive is Kingston's 128GB DataTraveler. Yes, you read that right; 128GB on a memory stick the size of your thumb. That's bigger than some portable external hard drives. To give you a little perspective, the average laptop hard drive size was 40GB just two years ago; that means you can now store three laptops worth of data on one USB flash drive.
More is not always better.
While having a huge USB flash drive may be a tempting prospect, size is not necessarily all it's cracked up to be. USB data transfer still isn't as fast as internal drives. If you're transferring large files or large quantities of data, it takes more time to write them to a USB drive than to your internal drive.
Unfortunately, USB drives are also easily misplaced or damaged. You don't necessarily want to be carrying around the entire contents of your home computer if you lose your flash drive on the subway, nor do you want to miss those files if your flash drive should be damaged or destroyed.
USB flash drive pricing goes up exponentially with size.
While USB flash drives are affordable these days, capacity is still inversely proportional to price. The larger the USB flash drive, the more you'll pay. You can get cheap USB flash drives up to 16GB for under $30, if you find the right sale, but larger USB flash drives are going to cost you proportionally more.
For example, a 32GB USB flash drive costs more than double a 16GB flash drive; you could buy two 16GB flash drives for anywhere from $10 to $20 less than one 32GB model. To avoid the exponential price markup, simply get more USB flash drives with a smaller capacity.
Customized USB flash drives pave the way for truly mobile computing.
Because USB flash drive capacities have grown so large, some software manufacturers are now using USB flash drives to carry and install software. With customized USB flash drives, you can simply plug the drive into the computer and run the software directly from the flash drive. You have no need to install software on the destination computer. With this sort of customization, not only can you carry your files with you, but you can also carry the software you need to work with the files.