7 Advantages and Disadvantages of USB Flash drive | Risks & Benefits of USB Flash drive

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7 Advantages and Disadvantages of USB Flash drive | Risks & Benefits of USB Flash drive

7 Advantages and Disadvantages of USB Flash drive | Risks & Benefits of USB Flash drive
What is USB ?

Universal Serial Bus (USB) is a kind of flash memory that stores informations so that it can be displayed on personal computers. Compared to other storage devices such as compact disks and floppy disks, USBs are much smaller in size. But the purposes of all the devices remains the same ; for data backup and storage. 

Where is USB used ?
In today world all the computers, gaming consoles and digital devices like mouse, keyboard, cameras, smartphones and tablets are all equipped with USB technology. In fact it is one of the most commonly used interfaces for connecting peripherals. 

The initial version of USB 1.0 was known to suffer from communication speed. This urged the developers to produce USB 2.0 for meeting their expectations. The latest standard of USB is the USB 3.0 released in 2013. Similar to other storage devices, USBs comes with both pros and cons. If you are planning to purchase a USB, it is essential to have knowledge on its pros and cons. 

In this article, I will be examining about 7 Advantages and Disadvantages of USB Flash drive | Risks & Benefits of USB Flash drive. Through this post, you will know the pros and cons of using USB flash drive.
Let's get started,

Advantages of USB Flash drive

1. Cost
Manufacturing a USB drive can be done at very low cost since it can be easily scaled. Comparing to most of the external storage devices out there, USB drives are relatively inexpensive. Depending on the storage capacity the prices can vary. Hence, it is easily affordable to the people with low budget.
2. Speed
Since USB drives does not require any form of internet connection, it has relatively high speed transfer rates. However the speed is determined by several factors such as the USB version, hardware bus and USB controller device. 
3. Capacity
During its initial stages, USB drives did not support much of the storage capacities. Until now there are USB drives supporting up to 2TB of space. Therefore, users don't need to be in the burden of carrying an external hardware in the instances of large storage capacities. 
4. Physical Size
USB drives are all small in sizes and light weighted making them highly portable. They can properly fitted inside the pockets and bags without much inconvenience. It is the perfect alternative to the hard drives and tablets which require high amount of space. 
5. Compatibility
Currently there are many operating systems, platforms and devices which support USB drive. Whether you have a desktop, laptop or a gaming console all are equipped with a USB port. However you have to make sure that these devices has the same port as the USB drive. If it doesn't, you will not be able to connect it.
6. Durability
Unlike a hard drive where it is going to loose all the data if it is subjected to mechanical shocks more frequently, such chances for a USB drive is quite low. And also if it is free from data losses occurring from scratches, dusts and exposure to magnetic fields.
7. Auto-Configurations
When the peripheral USB device is plugged in for the first time, the device driver software needs to be installed only once. The host operating system then afterwards automatically loads the configurations so that the user don't need to install them again.

Disadvantages of USB Flash drive

1. Corruption
A USB drives tends to be used in different computers. If in case one of the computers happens to be malware infected, it could easily transfer them on to the drives since it is not malware free. This could result the files unreadable making them useless.
2. Lifespan
USB drives does not posses unlimited lifespan. There is a limitation in the number of read and write cycles. This is roughly found to be around 100000 cycles. After this period, the USB drive is probably going to fail. Unless you are a regular user who frequently writes and deletes data this won't be a problem. They are certainly not recommended for booting operating systems and launching applications.
3. Security Threats
Some of the USB drives does contain a security weakness in the form of encryption. This type of weakness can pose security threats revealing all of your confidential data. For overcoming this most the flash manufacturers has come up with a updated software that all the users should check with.
4. Risk of losing
The physical size of flash drives may also be the reason for its loss. Due to their size they can be easily misplaced and get stolen. For an example they can get slipped out of your pocket or even snatched unknowingly. This won't be a problem until you have critical and sensitive data in them. For this reason many keep USB drives as a key chain and necklaces. 
5. Broadcasting
In between a USB and a host computer, there is no broadcasting feature. Only individual messages can be sent in between them.
6. Manufacture Quality
Some of the manufacturers produce low quality USB drives for a cheaper price. However their overall quality remains a question. Always the printed circuit boards are integrated with a metal tip using the methods of soldering. If the pieces are not properly soldered, it can weaken the stress point. 
7. Mechanical Damages
Al though USB drives are less vulnerable when it comes to mechanical damages, it is not completely free of it. USB drives contain a retractable USB plug that can be wear and tear or even bend. In this case the drive becomes completely useless.


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