By Handel Streete
Thumbnail, Jump drive, or flash drive – are all similar names for the same kind of device. These are external drives that are used to store information that you want to keep. But, how many of them do you really need?
First of all, your computer has a built in hard drive that usually has enough space for everyday user. But many users need extra space so you can buy an external hard drive such as flash drive for more versatility.
A flash drive is made of a small printed circuit board containing the circuit elements and a USB connector, electrically insulated and protected inside a metal, plastic or rubber casing.
A flash drive is basically a form of storage device. Nothing moves mechanically in a flash drive however the term drive is used because computers read and write flash-drive data using the same system commands like a mechanical disk drive. Flash drives usually connect to your computer via USB ports. They can range from 256MB to several gigabytes in storage capacity. There are also huge external hard drives with terabytes of data storage space, but we will focus on the flash drives for now.
Flash drives have several advantages. First off, they are portable. You can use them anywhere you have a computer with a USB port. Your data is always with you when you need it.
Second, they are durable. You can put them on a keychain, place them in your purse or even in your pocket. Because of their size and lack of moving parts, a little bumping around is well tolerated.
Third, they can store massive amounts of data for almost instantaneous retrieval. You can keep your pictures, music, videos and movies on flash drives. They replace carrying around tons of physical paper. And these days they even reduce the number of CDs that you need to buy to store your data on.
Realistically, you only need as many flash drives as you have different tasks to use them for. For example, personal and business needs can be kept separate on two flash drives to avoid pulling up pictures of baby’s first bath at the office sales meeting. Buying a flash drive, with future storage in mind, ensures the most memory for your dollar.
It is easy to check to see how much memory you have on a flash drive to know if it is time for another one to be purchased. When you plug one in to your computer, you can access information on it and about it. From the Start menu, go to my Computer and a window will open showing your drives where all of your computer storage media are listed. Under Removable Storage, you will see your flash drive listed according to the drive letter it is assigned to. Right clicking on the picture will show a menu. Choose Properties to view a pie graph showing you the free space remaining.
Flash drives are useful for portable storage when you don’t want to take your laptop along and for PC users who can’t possibly drag their desktop with them.
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