Buying the best USB flash drives for your needs is a necessary purchase, no matter how you’re using your gear, and we’re here to help. In this list for the best options, we look at USB flash drives that offer you safe and secure, portable storage for your important files.

The best USB flash drives don’t just allow you to quickly and conveniently move data from one PC to another. The brilliant memory sticks in this guide are versatile drives that offer plenty of storage space despite their small form factor. The best USB flash drives are also sturdily built, so they won’t get damaged when you’re travelling with them. The best USB memory sticks and flash drives also need to be dependable, so they don’t fail or break, making your data vanish into thin air. This means the best flash drives feature a durable build design.

Speed is also a major factor. Not only will the best flash drives transfer files faster with a high-speed rating, but it will also make running a ‘live CD’ operating system from the flash drive possible.

To help you choose which USB storage is right for you, we’ve assembled this list of the best USB flash drives you can buy on the market today.

If USB drives are either too expensive (for the amount of storage you need) or their capacities are just not big enough (or you tend to lose them), feel free to check out our list of the best external hard drives.

1. Patriot Supersonic Rage 2 USB flash drive

Capacity: 128GB | Interface: USB 3.0

Extremely fast

Huge capacity

Expensive

If you want one of the best USB flash drives, one of the fastest in particular, then the Patriot Supersonic Rage 2 is definitely the one for you. Sure, the price is high, but we were blown away with just how fast this device is. If you need to move around large files quickly, then this is definitely worth the cost.

It also comes with 128GB of storage space, which is a phenomenal amount to carry around in your pocket. Just make sure you don’t lose it!

Kingston Technology DataTraveler 100 Generation 3

2. Kingston Technology DataTraveler 100 Generation 3 USB flash drive

Capacity: 64GB | Interface: USB 3.0

Good value

Plenty of space

Not as fast as other USB 3.0 flash drives

For the best USB flash drives, the cost of postage and packaging actually constitute more of the price than the USB stick itself. However, this incredibly compact and affordable drive is more than worth the cost of shipping.

The Kingston Technology DataTraveler 100 Generation 3 is the most affordable 64GB USB 3.0 drive on the market with read/write speeds of 150Mbps and 70Mbps respectively.

SanDisk Extreme CZ80

3. SanDisk Extreme CZ80 USB flash drive

Capacity: 32GB | Interface: USB 3.0

Cheap

Fast

Not quite the fastest stick out there

One of the best USB flash drives is the brilliantly priced SanDisk Extreme CZ80. It offers plenty of storage space and quick file transfer speeds. Although it’s priced more towards the budget end of USB sticks, the performance is anything but budget – this is a very speedy little performer. 

The slide-out design of this stick means you can tuck the USB interface into the body when not in use, minimizing the risk of it getting damaged when you’re carrying it around.

Verbatim Pinstripe

4. Verbatim Pinstripe USB flash drive

Capacity: 128GB | Interface: USB 3.0

High capacity

Good price

Not the most robust drive

Not very fast

This is the cheapest USB 3.0 drive on the market per GB. It comes with a two-year warranty and a capless/retractable cap design. 

It’s worth noting that Verbatim – a very well-known Japanese storage and memory manufacturer – sells it on its website and often has pretty good deals on the device.

PNY Turbo 256GB

5. PNY Turbo 256GB USB flash drive

Capacity: 256GB | Interface: USB 3.0

Huge capacity

Good speeds

No built-in encryption

PNY is another memory vendor turned player in the USB market. As one of the best USB flash drives, it features a capped design as well as read/write speeds of 80Mbps and 20Mbps respectively. 

These are not the fastest speeds out there so if you want something with more oomph, then check out some of the other USB drives in this roundup.

Patriot Viper Fang

(Image credit: Patriot)

6. Patriot Viper Fang

Large storage space for gamers

Capacity: 128GB – 1TB | Interface: USB 3.1



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