Flash drives that are reliable last for many years. Although I still have some working USB-A flash drives that I used in high school, it is highly recommended to upgrade to one of the top USB-C thumb drives. USB-A is rapidly disappearing from the market, as more and more devices only support USB-C connections.
USB_C is compact and compatible with all Android phones, including the most expensive Samsung Galaxy smartphones. You can simply plug it in, and use a file explorer to move files or photos to the drive. With that in mind, here’s a list of the top USB-C thumb drives.
These USB-C thumb drives are the best
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SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive USB 3.1 SDDDC2
Slide to save
This compact flash drive is affordable and portable. It has a locking slide mechanism that allows you to choose between USB-C or USB – A for data transfer. It utilizes USB 3.1 for transfer speeds up to 150 MB/s, which means you can get your info quickly from your devices that still use older USB-A ports over to your modernized USB-C Android phone in a flash. Get one with 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB space.
PNY Elite USB 3.1 Gen 1 Flash Drive
The PNY Elite Type-C is available from 64GB up to 512GB, allowing you to store up to half a terabyte of movies, music, photos, or backup files compactly. Although there is no USB-A port available, it makes the package smaller. It’s not as good of a deal as the SanDisk Ultra, but at least you get a 512GB option.
Samsung Type-C Waterproof Flash Drive
Samsung’s trusted Duo Plus USB C drive has been dethroned. Not only do you get USB 3.1 Gen 2 with transfer speeds of up to 400 MB/s for 128GB and 256GB models, and 300 MB/s for 64GB variants, but it’s also highly robust and resistant to shocks, water, magnets, x-rays, and heat. Although it only has a Type C port, that is acceptable in today’s age.
Samsung Duo Plus Flash Drive
Samsung is known for making reliable storage drives in a variety of forms. Available from 32GB to 256GB, the Duo Plus only has a USB-C port, while the other end houses a USB-C to USB-A adapter, which you can use with other peripherals. This USB 3.1 drive has transfer speeds up to 200 MB/s and has a five-year warranty.
Lexar JumpDrive DualDrive E32c USB 3.2 Gen1 Type C
The read speeds on this Lexar USB 3.2 Gen 1 keychain-sized flash drive are lower than most in this lineup at 100 MB/s, but the write speeds of 30 MB/s are still adequate for promptly backing up and transferring files. You can get the tiny Lexar JumpDrive DualDrive in capacities ranging from 32 to 128GB.
SanDisk Ultra USB Type-C Flash Drive SDCZ450
Compact with name brand
This single-port SanDisk Ultra flash drives is a great budget-friendly choice if you already have a USB-C computer such as a Chromebook, MacBook or Chromebook. You can get the SanDisk Ultra Type-C Flash Drive in anything between 16GB to 128GB. The USB 3.1 drive moves along an open track which makes it easier for dust and lint, if they are caught up by it. The low price will cost you transfer speeds though, giving about 150 MB/s transfer rates.
Shiny silicon alternative
Silicon Power was a great alternative to SanDisk SD cards and PNY. Its flash drives have been reliable and very reliable. This dual-tip Mobile C80 thumb drive has a nice wide keyring cover and claims to be shockproof, dustproof, and waterproof. It’s available in 16-128GB options. Turn the USB 3.2 Gen 1 drive to switch between USB-C and USB-A.
PNY Duo Link USB 3.1 Type-C OTG Flash Drive
The dark PNY Duo Link OTG Flash Drive hides the USB-C and USB-A ports within its delicately textured frame, allowing you to ensure that you keep your 32GB to 128GB of data safe as you run about. This USB 3.1 drive can also read files at up to 130 MB/s.
Kingston DataTraveler Micro Duo Flash Drive DTDUO3C
Short and thin
Rather than including a keychain, the tiny 32-128GB Kingston DataTraveler Micro Duo Flash Drive is easy to stow in your gear bag or on your desk. The 15 MB/s write speeds here are slower, but the 100 MB/s read speeds are still more than enough for watching movies directly off the drive. You also get a Type-C connector with a USB-A port.
Return to the top. Double your ports, double the fun
You may notice that many of these flash drives are multi-port flash drives. They have a USB C port on one side and a USB A port on the other, much like USB-C cables. The flash drive makes it easy to transfer files and photos from any Android phone to a computer.
If you want a Type-C-only flash drive, you can get smaller or higher capacity drives, such as up to a 256GB model available for the SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive, which is tempting me greatly because it can hold so many movies for offline viewing during those long cross-country flights. You can’t go wrong Samsung’s Type C Waterproof Flash Drive if you want something more durable. If you are looking to save money and sacrifice speed, I recommend any product from PNY. A note about read, copy, and transfer speeds
When looking at flash drives you will see many USB versions and much talk about how fast they are. Flash drives, like microSD cards are advertised for their transfer speeds. However, you should transfer at read speed and not write speed. This is because almost all external storage devices have a lower writing speed than they do read, and sometimes even significantly lower write speeds. However, unlike microSD cards, USB drives don’t get covered in speed classifications like V30 or U3. When you are looking for a flash drive to copy large files over, faster write speeds may be important. However, as with microSD cards, USB drives don’t get covered in speed classifications like V, or U3. You should ensure that the USB-C port to which you are connecting your thumb drive is compatible with the USB version. For your reference, the maximum possible data transfer speed for USB 2.0 is 480 Mbps, USB 3.0 is 5 Gbps, and USB 3.1 is 10 Gbps.
Chris Wedel loves all things tech and gadgets. It can be difficult to find ways to stay connected while living in rural Kansas with his wife and their two young sons. His years of experience in the technology and mobile communications industry will ensure his success. He enjoys riding his UTV on gravel roads with good music, and tackling connectivity issues.