What size USB flash drive do you need?

A USB flash drive is also known as a thumb drive, pen drive or jump drive, which is incredibly convenient for storing, data back up and transferring data. The basis for USB flash drives is flash memory, whose storage amount is usually measured in gigabytes abbreviated to GB. There are many flash drive memory sizes available on the market nowadays, say, 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1T, and 2T. When you want to purchase one, you may confuse about which one you should buy. Well, it’d be better to understand how much a GB can store.

A GB is approximately 1000 megabytes. If this does not help you understand how much storage can be held by a single GB, then let us take a look into what we can store into a GB: a 1GB flash drive can store up to 960 photos, 240 songs, and 320 minutes of videos, of course that depends on the megapixels of photos, size of music and resolution ratio of videos. As you can see, a single GB can hold quite a bit of storage. How much GB you need depends on the number, type of files, file size you want to save, store and transfer.

To give you a better idea of these storage capacities, here are the approximate capacities of several common data types that are usually stored, and it is assumed that the average photo size is 1MB, the average MP3 size is 4MB and the average video is 400M. Note: The video actual time may vary based on resolution and compression.

A 2GB flash drive can store up to 1,920 photos, 480 songs, and 640 minutes of videos.

A 4GB flash drive can store up to 3,840 photos, 960 songs, and 1,280 minutes of videos.

A 8GB flash drive can store up to 7,680 photos, 1,920 songs, and 2,560 minutes of videos.

A 16GB flash drive can store up to 15,360 photos, 3,840 songs, and 5,120 minutes of videos.

A 32GB flash drive can store up to 30,720 photos, 7,680 songs, and 10,240 minutes of videos.

A 64GB flash drive can store up to 61,440 photos, 15,360 songs, and 20,480 minutes of videos.

Right now, a 2TB or 2,000GB thumb drive offers the largest storage capacity on the market. This is how much it can hold:

Up to 620,000 photos

34,000 hours of songs

80-days’ worth of video

1,000 high-definition movies

As you can see, an enormous 2TB USB drive provides much bigger storage room than you could ever really need. The 16GB option is sufficient for a moderate user, and 512 GB is perfect for someone who is looking to store a large combo of images, music and video files.

You might be surprised when you plug your pen drive into the computer and it shows less space available than what was advertised.

But when you purchase a pen drive and insert it to the computer and found that the capacity available is less than what was advertised. That’s because all the USB flash drives reserve a small section of memory for running firmware which tells how to operate the drive, and the proportion is about 5%. As the size of the data capacity increases, so does the size of the space needed for the firmware. For example, a 1GB USB flash drive requires about 72Mb of space for firmware, where a 64GB flash drive requires about 4.4GB worth of space for firmware.

The firmware is an essential part of the jump drive. Thus, it’s better to take off 5% of the advertised capacity, and then the rest is the realistic data capacity size. Our advice is to always buy one size larger than what you think you’ll need.

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