USB Flash Drives, A Comparison

USB Storage, The good the bad and the ugly in a comparison between two different “Styles” of USB Flash Drives.

Good day all!  One of the most important things we can do in today’s world is store vital information.  Paper is ok, but it’s bulky and susceptible to moisture and not very portable.  These days everything is computerized.   And most households have a computer or at least have access to a computer.    Unfortunately laptops and tablets are expensive and prone to damage from travelling.  So what’s the best way to store that information?  Thumb drives, AKA USB Flash memory sticks or “Flash Drives” which is what I prefer to call them.   Not only do they store a tremendous amount of information, but they can be pretty durable and you can even run programs off of them.   Today I’m going to review 2 flash drives.  Not necessarily as a brand comparison, but more of a form factor comparison.

I’m a prepper, I try to be prepared for disasters, and make sure in any given situation I have the advantage of having a plan or the skills to proceed undaunted in my given task.   So when I saw the opportunity to purchase a rather high end USB stick, I jumped at the chance.  The stick was the Corsair “Survivor”.    These come in sizes from 8 Gig to 64 Gig.  I purchased a 32 Gig version for roughly $80.  Thinking it’s the last USB stick I’ll ever need.   I’ll tell you I paid too much for some minor benefits.  The stick is absolutely tough.

When it is opened and plugged into a computer it’s just as susceptible to damage (maybe more so due to the size of the round butt plate that screws into the case).  I did manage to damage my slightly because the body of the laptop was thinner than the distance of the rear case.  (As seen in this picture) when it’s screwed into its case.   That is for certain.  I put it through both a wash cycle in the front loader and a dry cycle and it came through with just some minor loss of resilience on the two rubber “Grips” that wrap around the case.   But it worked perfectly well.
Performance was middle of the road.  It wasn’t as fast as some of the Exporter series from Patriot, but much faster than many of the cheap USB sticks.  The one place this device shines is long term storage and safety.   You could burry this thing in the ground and dig it up a year later and it will survive.  But for day to day use, it’s just too bulky and awkward.     So if you really need long term safe storage at a bug out location or some such thing, than this is your stick.  However this really depends on how often you plan to update the stick.  If you have static documents than great, but if you have stuff that you update periodically, than this guy just isn’t the best choice.

Now, in comparison, for half the price (and half the storage) you can get your hands on the LaCie Moskeyto 16 Gig stick.  This guy is almost a plug and forget device.  It’s also so tiny you can carry it any ware and never notice.  It is literally ¼ inch longer than the USB plug itself.   And because of its light weight, it takes drops just well as all the big rubber coated sticks I’ve used.  I did not wash and dry this one because it’s not listed as a “Rugged” device.  But I have used it for 5 months with no problems.  Another benefit is its light weight.  The cap is so light but holds on so tight its unlikely to get lost. (A major problem with most “Capped” Flash Drives.

There are many more USB Flash drives available, these are just two examples.  But form a usability standpoint, the thing to look at first is “How will I be using it”.  If its long term storage or you take it camping with you, then something like the Survivor is worth its weight.  If it’s something you need in the machine all the time, then the LaCie is great, and if you need one that has no cap (I’m terrible and normally lose all the caps) then there are self-enclosed models to purchase.

I’ll save it for another review, but one of the things I do with my sticks is install a bootable Puppy Linux distribution so I can use it to boot any machine (And still access my data) as well as Install the portable apps software (www.portableapps.com) .  This lets me run many popular programs right from the stick on any windows computer.  (Skype, Open office, Firefox or Chrome browser and many more).

Hope you found this helpful.

Size comparison between the two devices.
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About Docwatmo

Just an average guy reviewing equipment for the average guy (or gal). View all posts by Docwatmo

4 responses to “USB Flash Drives, A Comparison

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