What Are Advantages And Disadvantages Of USB Flash Drives?

By Tim K
Advantages And Disadvantages Of USB Flash Drives

We all have been making use of USB flash drives for a long time. They are quite helpful, whether you have to use them in your personal computers, your gaming consoles, or other complex computing systems. The USB flash drives are one of the best external storage devices we have come across.

But as we all know, everything comes with both advantages and disadvantages, so the same applies to USB flash drives. If in case you are planning to buy one, it's essential to get well versed with both of its pros and cons.

Advantages Of USB Flash Drives


What would you prefer to carry an external hard drive or a USB flash drive? Well, most of us would like to go with a USB flash drive only because of its portability feature. It can be carried easily from one place to another and can be placed in your pocket, wallet, or purse. On the contrary, in the case of other big devices, it might difficult for you to carry them and so you would need a larger bag for them.

Storage Capacity

The early versions of the USB flash drive did not have much storage capacity, but with time and technology, they have evolved. And now, we do have a USB flash drive that has a storage capacity of around 2 terabytes (aka 2TB).

Kingston 2TB USB Flash Drive
Image Caption: Kingston 2TB World's Highest Capacity USB Flash Drive

Yes! You heard it right, 2TB storage capacity in that tiny storage device. So, you will not have to carry your external hard drive in case you need a large storage capacity, and the whole purpose can be fulfilled with a USB flash drive.

Read And Write

Whether you have to store some important digital documents, files, images, or videos, you can easily copy them to your USB flash drive. It does not take much time to transfer the data. Considering the fact, it's one of the best devices to use when you want to share the data with others. Also, in case if anything needs to be deleted, it can be done in a matter of seconds.


It does not matter if you want to use your USB flash drive on a laptop, a desktop, or a digital camera; it's compatible with every device. There are many devices that you can use with USB flash drives.

However, make sure your device has the same type of USB port as your USB flash drive. Otherwise, you can't connect that USB flash drive to your device. If you try to do so, there would be huge physical damage to that USB port.


Durability is always a concern when you want to choose any USB flash drive. If you drop a hard drive, there is a chance that your hard drive will stop working, and complete data stored in it is gone.

Corsair Survivor USB Flash Drive
Image Caption: Corsair Survivor USB Flash Drive - Durability Testing

But in the case of a USB flash drive, it will still work, and the data stored in it will remain safe. However, it might stop working when they become corrupt, but the chance of them getting corrupted is quite low.

Easy Accessibility

Because of the plug and play feature, USB flash drives are the best device to make use of when they come to ease of accessibility. For working or accessing the files, all you have to do is to plug them in your computer and then start using them without having to put in much effort and time.


If you compare a USB flash drive with other external storage devices, you will find that it's more affordable than them. Hence, it can be purchased by anyone with a low budget, even though you have to spend more money depending on the size of storage capacity. But still, when it comes to affordability, USB flash drives are quite useful.

Data Security

Thanks to the latest technology, the USB flash drives have security features available in them. You can easily enable authentication and data safety features that allow you to safeguard your USB flash drive.

Password Protect USB Flash Drive
Image Caption: Toshiba USB flash drive with password protect to encrypt your sensitive data.

Once the user has stored the data in it, the data will be encrypted and protected with a password, or a few extra security layers depending on the type of USB flash drives. In short, no one can have access to it without following all the security measures.

Disadvantages Of USB Flash Drives

Easy To Lose

The small size of USB flash drives does make them portable but also puts them on the risk of easily getting misplaced. They might easily fall from your pocket or wallet, or even anyone can steal them. Such situations can become problematic for you, especially when you have some sensitive data or important files stored in them. In case, if you are making use of USB flash drives, we suggest you keep them safe so that they don't get misplaced.

Misplaced USB Flash Drive
Image Credit: Kingston.com

Tip: Why don't you buy a USB flash drive that hangs in your keychain? It will be harder to lose.

Corruption Issue

We all tend to make use of these storage devices on different computer systems and gadgets. They could contain viruses, malware, or other such malicious programs, which can corrupt your storage devices, and even there is a possibility of data corruption. Once the files stored in your USB flash drive become corrupted, they can't be used again, as you will not be able to read or write anything on them. Using USB flash devices on different systems can also cause big damage to your computer systems and gadgets by corrupting them, by transferring the malicious programs from one system to another.

Rewrite Limitation

This is one limitation with USB flash drives that the number of times you can rewrite the data is limited. Even though this is not a bigger limitation, you can do that up to a certain number only, and the number is roughly 100,000 times. For some people, this can be a problem, who are regularly writing and deleting data, but for an average user, this is not a very big problem.

Now, you are aware of the number of advantages and disadvantages of USB flash drives. So, you can easily decide whether you want to make use of it. However, if we have to suggest a perfect and portable storage solution, we would recommend using USB flash drives, as there are just a few disadvantages that you can ignore.

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