Strengths and weaknesses of USBs (Universal Serial Bus)

encrypted USB flash drive

Despite its low cost and warranty, USBs (Universal Serial Bus) storage devices may stop working suddenly due to accidents: voltage variations while connected, from falls to a height greater than one meter, for prolonged use.

Flash drives are impervious to scratches and dust affects previous forms of portable storage such as CDs and diskettes.

Its durable solid state design means that it can survive occasional abuse (bumps, drops, steps, and splashing). This makes it ideal for transporting personal data or work files to which you want to access in multiple locations.

The near ubiquity of USB support on modern computers means that a device will work almost everywhere. However, Microsoft Windows 98 does not support USB mass storage devices generics, you must install a separate driver. For Microsoft Windows 95 these drivers are almost nonexistent.

Flash drives are a relatively dense storage to cheaper device that will store dozens of floppy disks, and for a moderate price reaches CDs or exceed in size.

Historically, the size of these units has varied from a few megabytes to several gigabytes.USB 2.0 can deliver up to 480 Mbit / s, flash drives. Optimally, a USB device can retain information for about 10 years.

Flash memories implement the standard “USB mass storage device class”. This means that most modern operating systems can read or write to these drives without additional drivers.

The operating system can use the file system or block addressing scheme you want. Some PCs have the ability to boot from flash memory, but this ability depends on the BIOS of each computer in addition to this, the unit must be loaded with an image of a boot disk.

Flash memories can support a finite number of cycles of read / write before failing, normal use, the middle range is around several million cycles. However, operations will become slower as the unit ages.

This should be taken into consideration when using a flash drive to run from these software applications or operating system.

To handle this (in addition to the space limitations in common units), some developers have released versions of operating systems such as Linux or common applications such as Mozilla Firefox specially designed to be run from flash drives. This is achieved by reducing the size of swap files and storing them in RAM.

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