There are so many new products being unleashed into the market that it’s hard to know what is best, most affordable, and most useful for your needs. There are a few things you should consider when shopping for external storage.

How it Looks

This actually shouldn’t be something you consider when looking for a flash drive. Although these drives have become smaller and smaller, storing bigger and bigger amounts, but a pen drive that is smaller tends to be slower than one that is bigger with the same space. Smaller drives don’t have space for important parts that enable higher speeds.

Lifespan

Most thumb drives are not built to last long, so be aware of how long your drive is said to survive. Chances are you’ll damage it before it dies naturally, so don’t worry about this too much. Just make sure it’s not a cheap product which will die in a year or two.

Security

If you’re going to be using this flash drive for some serious and important work, look for the kind that is designed for safety and security. There are special secure USB drives that you have to input a password to in order to access what’s on it.

Size

No, not physical size, but storage capacity. If you’re thinking about getting hundreds of gigs, you might as well go for an external drive. But if you want something pocket sized that you can fit onto your key chain, shop around for a good generic model, as storage can go up to about 256GB.

Generation

You might want to be aware of the generational differences in the drives available today. You may have head the words “USB 2.0” and “third gen drives” thrown around. This is really a matter of storage capacity and rates at which the drives read and write the data. If you need a high rates and a lot of space, then you’ll want a third generation drive.

Other Concerns

Make sure you get a durable drive, or you’ll risk easy damage, especially if you have it on a keychain. It is useful to have a lanyard attached so you can hang it around your neck for safety and easy access.

If you have these few things in mind when you’re shopping for a good flash drive, you should have no trouble finding one that suits your needs and budget. Just don’t settle for something just because it’s cheap, you won’t be doing yourself any favours.