What is USB?

What is USB?

Overview

A Universal Serial Bus (USB) key or drive, is a storage system that can be used for both onsite and offsite data storage. They are small and portable drives that can be taken anywhere for storing vital information. Businesses tend to save a backup of their work on a USB key.

The cost of an USB varies on the brand and storage capacity. The price of a USB key can range from ten to hundreds of dollars.

Benefits

USB keys are simple, easy to use, and ultraportable. Users can easily create backups without any external help. Backups are reliable and can be created on an as needed basis. Depending on the size of your USB key, you can store several or many document, multimedia, and presentation files. Most keys can store more information than a CD or DVD, and it is much faster to write data to a USB key than a CD or DVD. USB drives require less power than hard drives.
USB drives are also durable and resistant to dust and scratches. They are compatible with most computers without requiring additional drivers or devices. Some computers can even boot from a USB key.

How It Works

Storage systems consist of flash memory integrated with a USB interface. These USB keys are used to store, remove, and rewrite data. They use a USB mass storage standard that is supported by most operating systems including Windows, Mac OS X, UNIX, and Linux. USB 2.0 operates faster than optical disk drives.
A USB key consists of a single small printed circuit board within a protected case made from rubber, silicone, metal, or plastic. The USB connector fits into any USB port on the computer.
The memory storage is based on Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory (EPROM) and Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EEPROM). This technology allows data to be erased individually and rewritten many times. Through the development of high speed serial data interfaces, memory systems could be made, which could serially access stored data. Small, high speed, and low power microprocessors allow storage of large amount of data in a compact system. They are capable of holding multiple gigabyte data in these devices. USB keys have a simple logical unit that is block structured. As a result, USB keys are compatible with most host operating systems without complex implementation procedures.

Companies/Brands

LACIE, U3, HP, OCZ Technology, and Corsair manufacture USB keys.

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