USB sticks, or flash drives as they are also known, are becoming an ever more popular format for the transfer of data between businesses and also to for business promotion to potential customers. At the current time of creating of this article (March 2016), memory sticks that are capable of holding as much as 512 GB of data can be purchased easily on-line at a surprisingly low cost. Amazingly, a USB drive that will hold 1TB of data can also be obtained, but currently, these are expensive. The rate of technological advance will mean that the current high price will tumble over the next twelve months as order numbers grow and manufacturing costs are lowered due to bulk purchases.
A 512 GB USB stick can contain the same amount of information as over 20 regular Blu-ray DVD discs. The format may currently be a little more costly than the Blu-ray DVD discs but there is little to compare in terms of the convenience of the format as opposed to a pile of Blu-ray DVDs. The USB drive occupies little space and can be secured using a keyring or kept safely in a small pocket in a laptop bag or with ease. 20 Blu-ray DVDs, however, occupy a lot more space and would be much more inconvenient to have to transport.
At the other end of the scale, a memory stick with a capacity of 128 MB can be purchased inexpensively if the information files to be held on it are only small.
USB Sticks – Volume Production and Customised Casings
The ever- increasing sales volumes of the format has resulted in many companies, particularly in the far east, producing them in a staggering array of shapes and sizes. These designs can be both useful, such as a torch with a USB stick moulded into it, or any amount of novelty shapes such as a toy supercar shape that can be put onto a keyring. Many businesses using memory sticks to send out data on-site to employees and offsite to existing or potential clients, use flash drives in the form of a business card or a useful pocket sized shape that can be screen printed with the business or brand logo to further promote the company. Mostly, mass produced USB drives are basic shapes about 5cm x 1.5cm x 1.5cm which can be printed onto, or a business card form which, once more, can be printed through a spot colour screen printing technique. There are also a lot of companies which can produce memory sticks in a custom shape specified by the client.
Making Use of USB Memory Sticks To Give Your Business a Boost
The easy transportation of flash drive means that they are ideal for data storage for use by any company with a need for data distribution, particularly where data files are of a significant size. Where many employees need to be able to view large graphic design files or data/code files then USB sticks that hold large files are perfectly suited. This format is perhaps most commonly used, though, for promotion of businesses at exhibitions and business shows. Here, USB drives have two benefits; if you are employed in the marketing department for your business and are tasked with promoting your company at a tradeshow with the aim of raising brand awareness, or just to promote your company’s services, they can be used to distribute sales information, presentations or applications for potential clients to view on their laptops or desktop PCs. Any data space can then be used for information storage by the user. This convenience means that the flash drive is always on hand keeping the brand in mind whenever the memory stick is used. They are popular freebies and business card or stick type forms can receive a print via the spot colour screen printing technique, with up to 4 separate colours. This is great for printing business logos or contact details onto the body of the drive.
The gain for a business, where USB memory sticks are utilised for promotion, can be enormous. As with almost any mass produced product, the larger the quantity you purchase, the lower the unit cost. If your business lands a lucrative contract or sells a high value product after giving away a memory stick with a small cost, then the benefit is very clear.
USB flash drives account for a large proportion of the data distribution and business promotion markets. Their capacity to hold a very large amount of data in such a small package makes them perfect replacements for CD and DVD discs. Along with the fact that their prices are falling as mass production of USB sticks increases, they are now starting to become the choice format for many businesses that need to distribute very large files quickly, to existing clients or potential new ones, and also existing personnel. Just about everyone seems to possess at least one memory stick and they can be obtained in a vast array of shapes, sizes and colours.
USB Duplication – Producing Memory Sticks in Bulk
A great number of companies based in the UK are consistently placing orders for thousands of memory sticks to enable them to promote their businesses. This growing demand means that there are a growing number of USB duplication companies offering their services to UK customers. Units are readily available that can copy large amounts of data rapidly, to over 100 USB sticks, at the same time. If a duplication suite has several of these units working together, they can then transfer data to many thousands of memory sticks, very quickly. Data transfer speeds are constantly on the increase as the technology advances. The USB 3.0 data transfer standard claims a realistic data transfer rate of 400 MB/second meaning that even a 512 GB USB memory stick can reach capacity in around 20 minutes. This is roughly 10 times faster than the older USB 2.0 standard. The ability to transfer such a large amount of data so rapidly means that duplication expenses can be minimised and flash drives are then a financially attractive alternative to Blu-ray DVDs, as they are also much easier to handle.
These duplication units are readily available for purchase online and many businesses who find they have a regular need for a large amount of USB sticks will either outsource the work or obtain a duplication unit for their employees to use. They are easily set up and take up very little room, meaning that they can be tucked into a corner or even a drawer when not in use and taken out when needed.
USB Memory Stick Security
USB flash drives are also a convenient format for the distribution of sensitive data such as:
- Legal documents
- Sensitive internal company data
- Copyright controlled information
- Sensitive research documents
The files can be secured through encryption using security software such as Truecrypt or similar, and the key for decryption of the data communicated through another means as an added level of security. Where the files contained are particularly sensitive, the USB drive can be concealed as it can be moulded into just about any form such as a pen or a torch. Even a large capacity memory stick can be contained on a very small PCB, so hiding the drive in a place known only to the intended recipient is a good option.
Many of the world’s major engineering corporations use USB memory sticks to deliver CAD models of projects like household appliances, road vehicles or aeroplanes and military transportation. Such files are usually very large and need a high storage capacity device to hold them. With the mainstream availability of a 1TB USB memory stick on the horizon, this format will see an increase in use across the majority of industries.