USB Flash Drives
The floppy disk was once one of the most used methods of copying data to a removable disk that could be transported from place to place or used to backup a computer systems data. However, as computer systems became more advanced and larger in size the floppy disk simply couldn't handle this role anymore and a new type of storage device was needed.
The USB flash drive was one such data storage device that was created and is still being improved upon to this day. A USB flash drive uses flash memory to store data and has what is called a universal serial bus connector (USB). USB provided an advantage over other technology as it allowed devices to be connected and disconnected to a computer system without the need to reboot. They also allow the device connected to function without an external power supply.
These USB flash drives are very small in size and light weight and can carry large amounts of data. They typically range in size from 64KB to 32GB. This is a dramatic increase in the amount of data that could be held on a floppy disk and they are also much less susceptible to corruption than a floppy disk. USB flash drives have a rigid design which helps protect them from damage or corruption due to external hazards.
Typically these drives are used to store a users personal data. This could be anything from text documents to music files to photos. Even companies are getting in on their use when restoring systems or install software. It is much easier to take a USB drive to a system and load a software program from it then to disconnect the system and carry it somewhere to load the software.
There are a few disadvantages of USB flash drives and one of these is that they can only be written to and erased so many times before performance becomes and issue. Operations will get slower the more the device is used and the older it is. Another disadvantage is actually their size. Although it is great that they are so small and easy to carry around they are also easily lost due to their small size.
As the prices of these drives continue to decrease, their popularity will increase. Many people are now using them to store their personal data as the cost is low and it is a great method to backup data.