Best USB Flash Drives in 2020



Kingston Digital DataTraveler SE9 32GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive (DTSE9H/32GBZET) Review:




SanDisk 16GB 2.0 Flash Cruzer Glide USB Drive (SDCZ60-016G-B35) Review:


Excellent! Only issue I had was I did not know this was formatted in X-FAT32. I bought this thumb drive to put the movies I have on my PC on it so that I could watch them in my living room on my smart tv... after spending a couple hours transferring files to the drive, I plug it into my smart tv and get an error telling me that the drive was not supported. I tried it on my Sony Blu-ray that has a usb slot for external media and it doesn’t recognize the drive either. I tell my husband about it and he says I need to format the thumb drive with a regular FAT32 file system. Well, I did as I was instructed, reloaded the movies after formatting with FAT32 and bingo! Both my smart tv and my Blu-ray can now read the files on the drive! So, if anyone has problems with your devices reading or even recognizing the drive after loading files in the X-FAT32 format, reformat the drive with FAT32 and then reload your files. You should be good to go! SANDISK, YOU REALLY SHOULD LABLE THE PACKAGING WITH THE TYPE OF FORMATING ON THE DRIVE! That would save people a lot of wasted time knowing this in advance!



SanDisk Cruzer Glide CZ60 32GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive - SDCZ60-032G-AFFP Review:


Excellent! Only issue I had was I did not know this was formatted in X-FAT32. I bought this thumb drive to put the movies I have on my PC on it so that I could watch them in my living room on my smart tv... after spending a couple hours transferring files to the drive, I plug it into my smart tv and get an error telling me that the drive was not supported. I tried it on my Sony Blu-ray that has a usb slot for external media and it doesn’t recognize the drive either. I tell my husband about it and he says I need to format the thumb drive with a regular FAT32 file system. Well, I did as I was instructed, reloaded the movies after formatting with FAT32 and bingo! Both my smart tv and my Blu-ray can now read the files on the drive! So, if anyone has problems with your devices reading or even recognizing the drive after loading files in the X-FAT32 format, reformat the drive with FAT32 and then reload your files. You should be good to go! SANDISK, YOU REALLY SHOULD LABLE THE PACKAGING WITH THE TYPE OF FORMATING ON THE DRIVE! That would save people a lot of wasted time knowing this in advance!



SanDisk Cruzer 256GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive (SDCZ36-256G-B35) Review:


No doubt, I lack the technical expertise to evaluate this flash drive – many reviewers provide excellent spec information on the quality parts and superior processing performance of the Cruzer. But I do have the hands-on expertise to say it is an awesome piece of equipment. File-sharing services may eventually make these drives obsolete, but for those who love securing their data on something they can see and hold, the SanDisk is outstanding. I use these little beauties to back up my computer. I can also easily download my huge graphic files to share with colleagues.

The price has really come down, and for those who worry about the security of emailing files or cloud computing, flash drives offer a no-frills, secure, and easy solution to your storage and sharing needs. I also like the sliding USB connector. It stays tucked inside the case when not in use, but is easy to plug into any port. I love flash drives; there’s something very James Bond-ish about them. Like keeping a landline phone around to plug in when your Internet-enabled package gets knocked offline, keep a couple of these high-performance accessories around as a portable backup system.



SanDisk Cruzer CZ36 64GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive, Frustration-Free Packaging- SDCZ36-064G-AFFP Review:


No doubt, I lack the technical expertise to evaluate this flash drive – many reviewers provide excellent spec information on the quality parts and superior processing performance of the Cruzer. But I do have the hands-on expertise to say it is an awesome piece of equipment. File-sharing services may eventually make these drives obsolete, but for those who love securing their data on something they can see and hold, the SanDisk is outstanding. I use these little beauties to back up my computer. I can also easily download my huge graphic files to share with colleagues.

The price has really come down, and for those who worry about the security of emailing files or cloud computing, flash drives offer a no-frills, secure, and easy solution to your storage and sharing needs. I also like the sliding USB connector. It stays tucked inside the case when not in use, but is easy to plug into any port. I love flash drives; there’s something very James Bond-ish about them. Like keeping a landline phone around to plug in when your Internet-enabled package gets knocked offline, keep a couple of these high-performance accessories around as a portable backup system.



SanDisk Cruzer 128GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive (SDCZ36-128G-B35) Review:


No doubt, I lack the technical expertise to evaluate this flash drive – many reviewers provide excellent spec information on the quality parts and superior processing performance of the Cruzer. But I do have the hands-on expertise to say it is an awesome piece of equipment. File-sharing services may eventually make these drives obsolete, but for those who love securing their data on something they can see and hold, the SanDisk is outstanding. I use these little beauties to back up my computer. I can also easily download my huge graphic files to share with colleagues.

The price has really come down, and for those who worry about the security of emailing files or cloud computing, flash drives offer a no-frills, secure, and easy solution to your storage and sharing needs. I also like the sliding USB connector. It stays tucked inside the case when not in use, but is easy to plug into any port. I love flash drives; there’s something very James Bond-ish about them. Like keeping a landline phone around to plug in when your Internet-enabled package gets knocked offline, keep a couple of these high-performance accessories around as a portable backup system.



Samsung FIT Plus USB 3.1 Flash Drive 128GB - 300MB/s (MUF-128AB/AM) Review:


Very small drive. Read speeds close to advertised. I got sequential reads on the 256GB drive in the low to mid 290s MB/s. I got write speeds just under 60 MB/s (sequential). I'm getting random read and writes between 13 and 15 MB/s. See screen shot from Crystal Disk Mark 6.

Write speed was not advertised - specs just say "write speed is lower than read speed". Yeah, less than helpful. I'd prefer to have the write speed advertised so that we can make a more informed purchase. I hope my test helps you all out.

At this price point and for a drive so small I'd say this is a decent purchase. You get huge capacity in a small form factor with write speeds that are in the ballpark of the SanDisk Extreme Pro. If you don't need to consistently write large files - this may fit the bill. If you need faster sustained writes, don't mind a larger drive, and have an extra $35 - maybe the SanDisk Extreme Pro is for you.



SanDisk Ultra Flair 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive - SDCZ73-128G-G46 Review:


Overall this is a great flash drive, it gets around 140MBs read and 40MBs write (Slightly slower than the 64GB version). It's not quite as fast as the SanDisk extreme version but it's the fastest metal drive I've found, you can see a benchmark in the attached image.

The metal design seems sturdy and should hopefully hold up to being thrown around with my keys. My only complaint would be that the drive is part metal (silver portion) and the key ring part is plastic (black/grey portion in picture). I was hoping it would be all metal but the plastic key ring seems sturdy and it should hold up over time. One other note is that the drive can get very warm when doing large transfers, it's to be expected for a small metal drive like this but it's worth mentioning.



SanDisk 128GB Ultra Fit USB 3.1 Flash Drive - SDCZ430-128G-G46 Review:


I wanted a larger flash drive for backing up my laptop, (not my only backup device). This was the largest capacity, but smallest size I could find. After it arrived, I ran the standard fake flash check, and this drive really was 256GB. Copying my laptop's OS image went smoothly, and faster than my old 32GB flash drive. But, that was USB 2 device...

A test boot and use found it to be both reliable, and fast enough in case something happens to my normal SSD. Even bringing up LibreOffice was quick, less than 5 seconds.

Note that I over-wrote the built-in FAT32 file system, as I use ZFS on Linux. This drive works just fine with alternate OSes & file systems. And my current laptop only has USB 3.0, (5Gbps), with slower processors, (dual core Celeron). So this flash drive would likely be faster on newer hardware.

Last, I knew this was not as fast as some of the smaller capacity flash drives. Check the specifications, and make sure you understand that before you buy.



PNY Turbo 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive - P-FD32GTBOP-GE Review:


I wanted a larger flash drive for backing up my laptop, (not my only backup device). This was the largest capacity, but smallest size I could find. After it arrived, I ran the standard fake flash check, and this drive really was 256GB. Copying my laptop's OS image went smoothly, and faster than my old 32GB flash drive. But, that was USB 2 device...

A test boot and use found it to be both reliable, and fast enough in case something happens to my normal SSD. Even bringing up LibreOffice was quick, less than 5 seconds.

Note that I over-wrote the built-in FAT32 file system, as I use ZFS on Linux. This drive works just fine with alternate OSes & file systems. And my current laptop only has USB 3.0, (5Gbps), with slower processors, (dual core Celeron). So this flash drive would likely be faster on newer hardware.

Last, I knew this was not as fast as some of the smaller capacity flash drives. Check the specifications, and make sure you understand that before you buy.