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The flash drive, also known commercially as USB (Universal Serial Bus) is a compact storage device that uses flash memory to store any type of information (text documents, photographs, videos, etc.).
There is a wide variety of models on the market, which vary according to the manufacturer that developed the device. Their weight varies from 250 to 300 grams, and it is very easy to transport because of its small and transportable size. They are also highly resistant, compared to other storage devices such as floppy, CD and DVD.
The company IBM created, back in the year 1995, the first USB device as an alternative to the floppy, but they do not patented their innovative product. Later, they managed to patent the product with the help of M – Systems, which develops and manufactures the device in a non – exclusive way for users. First reports were flash memories of 8 MB, 16 MB, 32 MB, 64 MB and 256 MB, which served temporarily as an alternative to the floppy. Currently there are flash drives that exceed the 180 GB storage capacity, and they can easily replace a common hard drive. Also, a special characteristic shown by this particular device is the speed of the USB data transmission, which at its inception was 1.5 Mbit / so 12 Mbit / s, which over time was improved up to 480 Mbit / s, which made data transmission much more effective, saving time and resources.
Today, this storage device has achieved great popularity in the market, which has prompted several companies to increase the level of flash memory storage to 1 GB, 2 GB, 4 GB, 8 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB and 200 GB, which has satisfy the requirement of today’s consumers, companies have also changed the physical appearance, nowadays you can find USB devices in the forms of pencils, nuts, dolls and choppers, among other innovative models.
The compatibility of USB in the beginning was restricted; however at present time, this disadvantage has been totally eliminated, as this device is manufactured to be compatible with a wide variety of operating systems on the market, such as Windows, GNU / Linux or MAC OS. To put into operation a USB stick, you only have to connect it into a USB input, and then it will automatically turn on receiving power through the USB connector.
No doubt the USB has marked a new way of storing data in a more easy and convenient way, but it has some disadvantages, which are focused on its functioning, because, for some reason it suddenly stops working, such as the drastic change in voltages, which could create great damage to the internal circuitry of the USB device; excessive use can affect the internal connections and it may also be easily infected by viruses (worms, Trojans, keyloggers, etc.), which might cause a loss of information and our computer to be damaged.
It was initially developed to store data, text documents, or other type of documents. Today you can also find USB devices that store software, MP3 music, picture and videos, among others. There are several devices that have a great technology, which is based on a more effective flash drive, because the speed can reach up to 4.8 Gbit per second, a clear example is the iPhone with its innovative touch screen, where you can observe all stored data that the user has saved. Nowadays several companies are working to improve the speed of data transmission (reading and writing) and increasing the storage level.