Which Flash Drive Size Do I Need?

By · Friday, June 3rd, 2011

How Big of a Flash Drive Do I Need It may feel like you’re left with too many choices when buying a custom USB flash drive.  You’re given countless options on style, shape, color and function.  But one of the most important choices you’ll make for your flash drive is storage size.  Today, USBs come in an array of capacities—from 128MB to 64GB and beyond.  When you’re unsure about how big to go, your pick can become a random game of “Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe.”  What you may end up with is a flash drive that either won’t hold all of your data or blow your entire budget.  However, you don’t have to venture blindly into your selection.

Which size USB flash drive should you buy?  Here’s a simple guide to help you make up your mind.

-     The size of your flash drive needs to fit both your purpose and your budget.  Will you be storing more Word documents and PDFs or do you need to store multimedia like pictures, videos and songs.  Smaller capacities are better suited for your documents (128MB to 4GB) while larger capacities (4GB and up) are the best choice for larger video, audio and image files.  If storage is not your main purpose, and you’re looking for promotional flash drives, 1GB and under may work better if you are looking to save money.  However, keep in mind that if you need potential clients to use it beyond the use of preloaded data, a larger capacity never hurts.

-     Buy just a little more storage than you need.  This not only ensures that you won’t stray too far from your budget, but it also helps you plan ahead, counting on when you’ll need that extra space for your next project.  Additionally, if you have 1GB worth of files, it won’t fit onto a 1GB flash drive.  Some of the bytes for any storage size are dedicated to operating firmware.  At the very least, you should upgrade to a 2GB drive.

-     A gigabyte can hold more than you may think.  To give you perspective, 1GB can hold roughly 600 photos or more than 200 songs.  It can also hold close to 40,000 Word document pages.  This capacity multiplies as you add more gigs.  You need to be aware that these are estimations.  The storage it takes to hold images from your DSLR camera will greatly differ from that of a point-and-click or a camera phone.

What other factors do you consider when deciding on the size of your flash drive?  Talk about it below and don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!

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