thumb drive vs flash drive

Thumb Drive Vs Flash Drive – Which One Is Better?

Storage gadgets have superior drastically over the previous couple of many years. From storing megabytes of knowledge on a magnetic disk to storing terabytes of knowledge on a small chip, we will say that storage system are positively one of many elements which have scaled essentially the most.

However, because of the a number of sorts of storage gadgets you’ll find out there, customers are sure to run right into a dilemma when selecting a storage system. Talking about transportable storage gadgets, there are two sorts of storage gadgets that the majority customers get confused about. These are the Thumb Drive and the Flash Drive. 

Flash Drive and Thumb Drive

thumb drive and flash drive

A flash drive is available in totally different sizes and styles. One of the kind of flash drives is a thumb drive. Both thumb drives and flash drives use flash reminiscence chips to retailer information. Since information are saved in a small chip, we will entry these information electrically. And subsequently, you possibly can simply manipulate information in a flash reminiscence chip.

As different storage gadgets, just like the SD card, you possibly can immediately join the thumb drive and the flash drive to the PC. The solely distinction between the 2 is that the Thumb drive makes use of a USB port to hook up with the PC. However, the case is kind of totally different for flash drives.

Depending on the kind of flash drive, it could actually immediately connect with the a slot on the motherboard, or you need to use a USB cable to attach.

Let us dive into particulars concerning the two drives in additional element.

Flash Drive

flash dive memory chip

Any storage system that makes use of a flash reminiscence chip known as a flash drive. Flash reminiscence is a know-how the place a storage system saves all of your information electrically on a small chip inside its casing. 

Flash reminiscence is a kind of EEPROM (Electronically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory), which means that it makes use of electrical present to learn, write, erase or change information contained in the chip. Furthermore, flash drives are non-volatile reminiscence, which means that information saved inside a flash drive usually are not deleted as soon as the ability provide cuts off.

All the information are learn and written electrically and never mechanically. Due to this, these gadgets have excessive learn and write speeds and lots of storage gadgets use this know-how to retailer information.

types of flash drive

Flash recollections are additionally mixed with different storage applied sciences to derive new storage gadgets comparable to SSD, fusion drives, NVMe, USB flash drives, and SD playing cards. However, the velocity of those gadgets solely will depend on the kind of storage system and the kind of connection used to attach the storage system to the pc. 

For instance, an exterior SSD with USB 3.0 may have a decrease learn/write velocity in comparison with an exterior SSD with USB C. Most customers all over the world think about a Flash drive as a USB drive, 

However, this isn’t true, as flash drives are any storage system that makes use of a flash reminiscence chip to retailer information.

Although USB pen drives use flash reminiscence know-how to retailer information, they aren’t known as flash drives themselves, however USB flash drives and even thumb drives.


  • Greater switch velocity
  • It can are available in a number of sizes and styles
  • Depending on the flash drive kind, you possibly can join it on to the motherboard or through a USB port.

  • It can get costly as storage will increase.
  • Recovering previous information will be fairly troublesome on a flash drive
  • Higher energy consumption in case you are utilizing flash reminiscence as major storage system

Thumb Drive

thumb drive

Before we leap right into a thumb drive, it’s best to know {that a} thumb drive and a USB flash drive are the identical issues. A thumb drive is one kind of flash drive. Thumb drives additionally use flash reminiscence chips to retailer information. It is an SSD that matches in your thumb.

These are extremely transportable storage gadgets as they’re small and normally the size of a thumb. Thus, the title thumb drive. A flash drive that’s small, transportable, and makes use of a USB port to attach is a thumb drive or a USB flash drive .

file transfer between computer thumb drive

Thumb drives are primarily used to switch information and folders between computer systems. Although you possibly can switch massive information utilizing a thumb drive, it doesn’t have the identical learn/write velocity as different flash reminiscence such because the SSD. 

Although you possibly can set up purposes on a thumb drive, as a consequence of decrease switch velocity, big purposes that require excessive information switch charges will undergo when you set up them on a thumb drive. 


  • Small and transportable
  • Lower price
  • Does not require any cable to hook up with the PC
  • Highly sturdy

  • Thumb drives normally have low storage capability
  • Low switch velocity in comparison with different storage gadgets that use flash reminiscence know-how

Thumb Drive Vs Flash Drive

Now that concerning the thumb drive and flash drives and a few of their execs and cons, allow us to talk about what makes these two gadgets totally different from each other.


max storage thumb drive flash drive

Depending on the kind of flash drive used, it has a variety of storage capability. Flash drive’s most storage normally go as much as 8TB of storage. SD playing cards even have numerous storage capacities relying on the kind of SD card you employ. 

On the opposite hand, a USB flash drive or thumb drive can have as much as 1TB storage capability.

Read/Write Speed

thumb drive and flash drive transfer speed

The learn/Write velocity of a flash drive will depend on how a flash drive connects to the PC. Flash storage gadgets that join on to the motherboard, may have a better switch velocity than a USB flash drive.

The learn and write velocity on a thumb drive or a USB flash drive extremely will depend on its USB era used. USB flash drive with USB 3.0 has a 5Gb/s switch velocity. However, the switch velocity can solely attain this quantity if the USB port on the PC is USB 3.0 as nicely.

To additional make clear on USBs, now we have ready a complete article on sorts of USB era which you’ll absolutely discover helpful.

Application and Cost

usb drive application

From exterior storage for cellular gadgets to everlasting storage in pc, you’ll find a variety of use for flash drives. However, its value varies on a number of issue comparable to class velocity and connections varieties. If you need a everlasting storage system with excessive read-write velocity, an inner flash drive, like an SSD, will do a fantastic job.

Portable flash storage gadgets comparable to SD card or micro SD card are extra appropriate for cellular gadgets. These transportable storage gadgets are pretty cheaper in comparison with flash drives that you just set up in motherboard. However, its learn and write velocity will likely be decrease as nicely.

bootable usb thumb drive

On the opposite hand, thumb drives will do a fantastic job transferring information. However, you need to use the thumb drive for backing up information or just storing momentary information. You can use a thumb drive to put in utility on it and run it from any PC. Not to mentions, you can also make a bootable USB drive to put in OS on a system.

Physical Size

Flash drives are available in numerous sizes and styles. SD playing cards are small and normally have one flash reminiscence chip. However, everlasting flash drives that goes within the motherboard is available in a number of sizes. It might be a 2.5 inch SSD or a NVMe SSD.

Thumb drives, because the title suggests, are small, transportable, and normally the scale of a thumb.

Final Verdict

Finally, to reply the query, which is healthier, a thumb drive or a flash drive? Well, it will depend on what you employ the storage system for. If you need a everlasting storage system that you just solely need to your PC, we advocate that you just get an inner flash drive comparable to an SSD.

If you might be in search of a transportable flash drive to retailer information from a digicam, SD playing cards are those you wish to select. Finally, in case you are simply in search of a transportable storage system to switch information between computer systems, a thumb drive or USB flash drive is the one for you. 

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