USB flash drive — also known as a USB stick, USB thumb drive or pen drive — is a plug-and-play portable storage device that uses flash memory and is lightweight enough to attach to a keychain. It can be used in place of a compact disc. When a user plugs the flash memory device into the USB port, the computer’s operating system (OS) recognizes the device as a removable drive and assigns it a drive letter.

It can store important files and data backups, carry favorite settings or applications, run diagnostics to troubleshoot computer problems or launch an OS from a bootable USB. The drives support Microsoft Windows, Linux, MacOS, different flavors of Linux and many BIOS boot ROMs.

The first USB flash drive came on the market in 2000 with a storage capacity of 8 megabytes (MB). Drives now come in capacities ranging between 8 gigabytes (GB) and 1 terabyte (TB), depending on manufacturer, and future capacity levels are expected to reach 2 TB.

The memory within most of them is multi-level cell (MLC), which is good for 3,000 to 5,000 program-erase cycles. However, some drives are designed with single-level cell (SLC) memory that supports approximately 100,000 writes.

They are small and light, use little power and have no moving parts. The devices, whether they are encased in plastic or rubber, are strong enough to withstand mechanical shocks, scratches and dust, and generally are waterproof.

Data on drives can be retained for long periods when the device is unplugged from a computer, or when the computer is powered-down with the drive left in. This makes it convenient for transferring data between a desktop computer and a notebook computer, or for personal backup needs.

Unlike most removable drives, a USB flash drive does not require rebooting after it is attached, does not require batteries or an external power supply, and is not platform dependent. Several manufacturers offer additional features such as password protection and downloadable drivers that allow the device to be compatible with older systems that do not have USB ports.

Cackle Telecommunications is proud to provide USB Flash Drive to NZ businesses. Choose from a selection of vendors, explore our products to find the right solution for you.

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