Dec 01

USB Explained

This post is going to explain a little more about USB Flash drives (USB Keys) and USB Technology itself.

Definition: USB – Universal Serial Bus

Nature Series USB Key

Nature Series USB Key






What is USB?

USB is a standard developed by the USB Implementers Forum to define how peripherals can be connected to computer systems. There are several classes of USB devices, the most common are Mass Storage Device, Human Input Device and Composite Device.

A Mass Storage Device is basically what a USB Flash drive is. Mass Storage Devices use a standard software protocol to universally connect to any operating system. A Human Input Device, or HID is a keyboard or touch pad which works as a computer input device. A Composite Device is a combination of USB classes, for example a USB keyboard which also has a USB hub.

What is USB 2.0?

USB 2.0 is the most widely available format of USB. Nearly every PC made in the past few years comes with USB 2.0 ports as standard. USB Flash Drives are USB 2.0 and most external USB hard drives are USB 2.0.

USB 2.0 has a transfer speed of 48mb per second but this depends on the quality of USB Key or hard drive you are using. We see a lot of low cost USB Keys that struggle to get anywhere near this speed. I recommend you stick with a professional branded key from manufacturers like San Disc, Lexar & Kingston. These only use the highest quality memory chips so will provide great speed & reliability. They are also tested to ensure consistency throughout batches of keys.

What is USB 1.1?

USB 1.1 is pretty much the same as USB 2.0 but has a transfer speed of only 1.5mb per second. USB 2.0 devices will work in USB 1.1 ports but you of course lose the performance. USB 1.1 hasn’t been in any new PC’s for a few years now.

When will we see USB 3.0?

USB 3.0 is already available and the standard has actually been around since 2008. Only now though is USB 3.0 starting to become readily available, accepted and cost effective. We are only just able to offer professional duplication of USB 3.0 hard drives and USB 3.0 Keys.

Is it easy to duplicate USB Keys?

You can copy paste file from your PC onto another USB Key but this is a slow process and un-reliable. There is a risk that the data can change / corrupt and if the key is not formatted the same as the original you might see other issues. This is probably OK if you’re doing one or two as you can check the keys but really you should be looking to have the professionally copied if you’re producing any more. This is not an expensive process and it works in a very different way compared to copy/paste on the PC. Duplicators use “bit for bit” duplication which ensures the files and formatting are exactly the same from one key to the next. USB duplicators are not that expensive either so if you were looking to copy lots in house it would be worth the investment.

If you would like more information on anything above, USB Keys, USB Hard Drives and duplication then please let us know and we’ll be happy to help.

01264 335118 or info@handisc.co.uk

Alternatively check out our site for further details – www.handisc.co.uk