Flash drives, also known as USB flash drives are the devices that have been developed to replace the floppy disk and CD-Rom. A flash drive is much smaller than the previously used floppy disk and can currently store up to 256GB. These devices are both removable and rewritable. They are small, portable, faster and store infinitely more data that its predecessors. Flash drives can be as simple as a stick no longer than three inches to numerous varieties of novelty flash drives.
A USB flash drive is supported by many operating systems including Windows, MAC and Linux. The flash drive is not mechanical but is still considered a driver because of the interaction of reading and writing data between the USB and the computer. A flash drive is a small circuit board that is insulated and protected by a removable cap. The devices are designed to enable the user to carry it on a key chain or lanyard. Power to operate the device is provided by the computer it is inserted in which means that it does not require batteries or an electrical source for use. Components of the device include the processor, memory chip, led and switches.
The cost of a flash drive is minimal compared to most portable hard drives available but there are drawbacks to its use. A flash drive is limited in the number of uses until it fails. Protection of the equipment requires the cap to be placed on it after each use. There is also a risk of losing the flash drive because of its small size. Consideration should be taken regarding what type of information is placed on the drive. The possibility of losing data is possible which may promote using an external hard drive for important data. A flash drive is a good choice for the download of non-sensitive data that needs to remain portable.