Is It Right to Back up to a USB Flash Drive?

Many users are wondering whether it is right to back up their data to a USB flash drive. In this article, we will discuss about this question in detail.

When it comes to making regular and effective data backups, the first important question to be considered is which type of backup storage device you should use. Generally, we always suggest using an external hard drive for local data backups. Yet, many users would like to make use of a USB flash drive.

Is It Right to Back up to a USB Flash Drive?

Since USB flash drive is portable, relatively inexpensive, easy-to-use and durable, it has been preferred by a great amount of users. However, it doesn’t mean that it is flawless. It still can become damaged and fail like other types of drives. At that time, its internal data can get corrupted as well, such as PST corruption. Also, due to its limits and other drawbacks, it is not a good option in terms of data backups. Here we will show you the main reasons. Please read on to get them.

Too Cheap USB Flash Drive Is Unreliable

Most of time, why users select a USB flash drive for data backup is that such type of drive is cheaper. However, in fact, good-quality USB flash drives aren’t as cheap as what you think. They are virtually far more expensive per unit of storage than external hard drive. Of course, it’s easy for you to find a cheap USB flash drive. Yet, the cheaper a USB flash drive, the more unreliable it can be. It is believed that you cannot bet your backup on an untrusty drive.

Limits of Flash Memory

In addition, USB flash drive is actually similar to solid state drive. Both of the two types of drives are using flash memory to store data. This memory has a limited number of times you can write to it before it thoroughly wears out. Moreover, the USB flash drive has a shorter MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure) than common hard drives.

Susceptibility to Viruses

As we all know, nowadays, viruses have become one of the most serious threats to data. Therefore, no matter original data or backup data, you should keep them away from viruses to your utmost. However, USB flash drive is susceptible to not only attracting but also spreading viruses. Hence, if you put your backup data on a USB flash drive, it will be surrounded by the threats of viruses all the time.

Easy to Lose or Steal

As what mentioned at the very beginning, USB flash drive is portable due to its tiny size. You can take it with yourself all the time. However, in the meantime, this feature also brings out a serious potential risk. USB flash drive is easy to lose or steal. For instance, you put a USB flash drive in your pocket. If the pocket splits, the USB flash drive can be lost in a moment. Thereby, you had better not back up to a USB flash drive.

Author Introduction:

Shirley Zhang is a data recovery expert in DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including corrupt sql and outlook repair software products. For more information visit

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