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The Actual Memory Size of your USB Flash Drive

Posted by USB2U on 15th November 2017 | Permalink

If you have ever come across a USB flash drive before, you will probably have noticed that they are often advertised by a set memory size which usually ranges anywhere from 128MB – 256 GB.  While this is the case, when you insert a USB stick into a computer you’ll often find that the storage space you actually have on the device doesn’t quite match up to what was originally advertised. This is something our customers question us about quite frequently, as for many a 32GB USB should be just that, 32GB in storage space.

 

Where does the loss of storage space occur?

The storage loss is down primarily to the way in which a computer naturally reads data and how manufacturers choose to advertise storage capacities. While we would perceive 1 kilobyte of data is equal to 1000 bytes this isn’t exactly accurate due to the way in which data is stored using binary code on a computer (think 1 and 0’s), which means that 1 kilobyte is actually equal to 1024 bytes so not a rounded amount as we would assume. The common prefixes therefore are

  • 1 Kilobyte (KB) = 1,024 Bytes
  • 1 MegaByte (MB) = 1,024 Kilobytes or 1,048,576 Bytes
  • 1 Gigabyte (GB) = 1,024 Megabytes or 1,073,741,824 Bytes

Because these numbers are not necessarily pretty to look at, manufacturers decide to rate most flash drive capacities on standard base 10 numbers so as per the above where 1 Mb = 1,000Kb or 1,000,000 Bytes, this means that for each 1Mb of data there is essentially 24Kb or 48,576 Bytes that is not accounted for. While this is barely noticeable on flash drives with low memory, those with much higher storage capacity see an increase in the discrepancy between the actual storage space and what is advertised.

 

What is the actual storage loss on a USB stick

The actual storage loss on a USB device is roughly 7% of the overall memory size, so for a 32GB device you can expect a loss of around 2GB. This, unfortunately, is a scalable loss as well, so the more memory size on a USB the more storage you will likely lose. The actual memory size of your USB flash drive is always marginally less than advertised regardless of the overall storage of the device.

Below is a chart which details the actual storage you get when using a USB stick as well as the overall loss you can expect to see.

 

Actual USB storage capacity

Customers should be aware that these are only approximations and in reality, the amount of storage space may be slightly more or less depending on the device you are using. It is important that people know about this issue in order to ensure that they are purchasing the correct sized USB to suit their needs. If the data you are wishing to load onto a memory stick, for example, is 1.9GB it would probably be worth going for a 4GB USB flash drive rather than a 2GB to ensure all the data can be copied across successfully with no problems.

What to do if the actual USB storage capacity is a lot lower than expected?

If storage capacity is lower than expected i.e. outside of a reasonable range of loss then there may be an issue with the USB itself. Firmware issues can mean the device will show less available storage or may corrupt the whole stick entirely and it should be replaced by the seller. Another widespread issue is the number of fake USBs on the market currently which are sold by third-party vendors. Many products are advertised as having a higher storage capacity than they actually do, in many circumstances a 4GB USB stick may turn out to have only a 1GB hard drive capacity.

Fake USBs - Infographic

It’s important that customers are made aware that these scams do exist, and can cause real issues for both individuals and businesses who rely on sharing information through USBs. People should always purchase their USB devices from a trusted sellers such as USB2U to ensure that goods received are genuine. Programs such as H2testw can help in determining the amount of actual storage on a USB stick and is an option to help determine whether or not the device is working as expected, as well as whether or not it is fake.

 

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Why should you use an encrypted USB Flash Drive?

Posted by USB2U on 7th November 2017 | Permalink

The importance of Encrypting USB flash drives has once again come to the forefront of conversation following the revelation that a memory stick with important security data relating to Heathrow airport was found and accessed by an individual at his local library. Luckily the person realised what he was looking at and handed the device over to local authorities. Nonetheless, this has led to questions being raised in regards to how businesses share important information at the moment and whether or not many should rethink their current approach to the way they manage and share data.

Using an encrypted USB stick is an important practice for the following reasons:

  1. To keep sensitive company data secure
  2. To protect customer information- in line with new data protection measures (GDPR)
  3. To ensure companies do not suffer loss of earnings, time or customer loyalty

 

Keeping sensitive data secure

It is important that companies are able to look after the data they own and share it without risk of it falling into the wrong hands. The Heathrow Airport USB contained information relating to the security of the airport itself including locations of security cameras on site as well as details of security protection measures put in place for the Queen, Cabinet ministers and foreign dignitaries visiting London, so not exactly a couple of MS Word documents. The importance of sharing information across functions and departments in organisations has never been greater but this has also led to more opportunities for data to be compromised and go missing. Large multi-national companies spend millions on making sure their internal security is up to scratch, even if companies do not have large budgets to spend on security, encrypted USBs which are password protected at least add that extra layer of security to sensitive information that is shared across the business.

Security Protection Customer Protection

Protecting customer information

Probably more important than looking after company information is looking after your customers. Under the new GDPR guidelines, that come into effect in May 2018 and replace the old data protection laws, organisations must ensure there is adequate protection in place for all customer data and must show evidence that such information is being handled correctly and is not at risk of being misused or compromised in any way. It is often the case that customer information is shared between different parts of a business, as well, this information is often sensitive in nature i.e. personal and financial and therefore extra measures should be put in place to protect this information wherever necessary.

 

Loss for companies

Using Encrypted USBs can help prevent against damaging consequences for organisations. The financial implications, for one, can be huge if data is mishandled. According to IBM, the average cost of a breach is roughly £2.75 million in 2017. As well, under the new GDPR regulations companies who are in breach of data protection laws could face a hefty fine of 20 million euro or 4% of its annual turnover, whichever is higher, which for many businesses out there is enough to bankrupt them. The question, therefore, needs to be asked as to whether the risk of sharing information without appropriate protection is worth taking.

Even when not taking into consideration the cost implications, the amount of time and resources spent when fixing security errors that have occurred can be just as bad. Also if the data leak has compromised customer data, then a company risks their future brand loyalty, especially in markets where there are numerous competitors offering a similar product or service.

 

Encrypting a USB

There are numerous third-party software packages available online that will be able to encrypt USBs and add a layer of password protection. For windows users as well,  there is the option to use Microsoft’s own built-in encryption software called BitLocker which offers a similar level of security to a device. While these solutions offer basic protection to data on a flash drive, they can still be susceptible to hacking. For businesses who handle sensitive client data on a daily basis, hardware encrypted USBs should be strongly considered. These USBs, in general, are a lot more secure as the encryption isn’t purely software based and therefore cannot be easily hacked, as well they tend to load a lot quicker than software encrypted devices.

At USB2U we offer a range of USB products that are hardware encrypted such as the Kingston DataTraveler Privacy 3.0,  Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G3 and new SafeToGo USB sticks which all offer the latest in data protection.

Find out more about our Encrypted USBs by getting in touch with our sales team at [email protected].

USB 3.0 Kingston USB Stick SafeToGo USB StickKingston USB Stick

 

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Did you know that USB2U are accredited to handle dangerous goods?

Posted by USB2U on 18th October 2017 | Permalink

Dangerous Goods Accreditted

As you may be aware USB2U sends out a lot of tech products to clients every day. As such the laws around sending out such products are constantly being changed and updated in order to ensure that health and safety remain’s paramount throughout the distribution and delivery process, as well as for the end consumer. For products such as Power Banks in particular, the restrictions on shipping these overseas are even greater due to the fact they are essentially batteries that hold a charge and therefore can become dangerous if faulty.

USB2U is a fully accredited supplier of dangerous goods through UPS, which means that we adopt best practices when handling and shipping these sort of products internationally. This ensures that they are not impounded, and ultimately means that there is minimal risk of delays on international orders.

This is just one important element in helping to offer professional and safe tech products to our clients. All products you will find on our website go through rigorous testing and come with a full certification of safety before they are sent out to our customers.

For more information about shipping dangerous goods please visit the UPS site or alternatively get in touch with our sales team at [email protected] who are happy to help with any questions you may have about ordering from overseas.

 

 

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The History of USB2U

Posted by USB2U on 3rd October 2017 | Permalink

This week marked USB2U’s 15th anniversary and as such we thought it would be fitting to look back on the history of the business and how far it has come since its humble beginnings back in 2002. Having started out as one of the first UK USB suppliers, the company now offers promotional tech products to a wide range of businesses operating in a variety of industries!

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China’s Golden Week- What you need to know

Posted by USB2U on 7th September 2017 | Permalink

As has been the case for many years now, China celebrates two key holidays each Autumn. The first is National Day which is held on the 1st of October and lasts for 7 days to commemorate the formation of the People’s Republic of China. This week long break is often referred to as Golden Week as pretty much all of China’s population are given time off work, with many people choosing to go travelling in the country. The second holiday is the Mid-Autumn festival which luckily this year falls on October 4th right in the middle of Golden Week.

 

What does this mean for USB2U?

Like many tech suppliers out there, certain product lines and tech components, such as flash drives for USB’s and Power Banks, are manufactured solely in China. Over Golden Week most manufacturing and distribution facilities start to slow down and eventually come to a halt, which consequently has a knock on effect for western companies. For USB2U in particular we are unable to necessarily get hold of certain products manufactured in China or able to outsource more complex print work over this period, meaning the lead times for deliveries will increase on select customer orders.

The weeks before and after Golden Week can be just as troublesome. Often there are price increases on certain goods as supply levels drop and production slows down, while the weeks after can often be off-set by factories playing catch up with processing orders!

USB Production

What steps do USB2U take to help?

In the lead up to the National Holidays, we will be stocking up on components and tech products ahead of time, ensuring that supply levels don’t run too low. This means that we can still provide a comprehensive range of products whilst delivering a seamless level of service that our customers have come to expect.

 

UK Stock

Furthermore to this USB2U has a range of promotional tech products available in UK stock which can be delivered in as little as 24 hours meaning that you can still order something last minute without any issues. Within the range we have everything from USB’s and Power Banks which remain popular choices among many; to  Speakers, Earphones, Wearable Tech and even Car Accessories ensuring there is still plenty on offer.

 

Our Advice

Whilst we endeavour to ensure it remains business as usual here at USB2U, we recommend that if you are thinking about placing an order within the next few weeks that you consider doing so on or before the 18th of September, to guarantee that your products are delivered on time. If you are unsure about whether or not your item will arrive on time or if you plan on ordering after the 18th-  then please get in touch with us through our online enquiries form or call us on 0800 008 7079 where we will be able to provide you with more information.

China National Holidays

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How USB’s can benefit your Photo Booth offering

Posted by USB2U on 16th August 2017 | Permalink

Photo Booths have become a popular feature at many weddings and special occasions in recent years. The main appeal for these is the fact that they provide a fun and inherently different way of taking photos of guests. The increase in quality and design of such booths has also aided this development allowing hiring companies to create bespoke packages for their customers.

Wedding Photo Booth

With this in mind, there remains a growing demand for businesses operating in this corner of the market to distribute photos (both digital and prints) to clients, for them to keep copies of and distribute as they wish. USB’s provide a workable solution by allowing images to be stored and shared amongst family and friends whilst also helping to leave a lasting impression on any bride and groom. For photo booth businesses, extras such as this can help increase their overall offering and ultimately lead to an additional revenue stream. Below we take a look at a few USB Sticks and USB Bundles that are bound to make an impact on any bride and groom out there.

 

Crystal USB’s & BundlesCrystal USB and Bundles

Great for any elegant occasion and highly customizable, the Crystal USB is the epitome of a classy evening and is sure to be popular amongst any bride and groom. The body is available in a variety of different colours and materials including wood and also rose gold which is a popular choice at the moment. They can also be packaged in a nice looking black and white flip box or for something that little extra special, they can also be placed in our Luxury USB Box, which come wrapped in a high quality faux leather.

 

Colourful Painted Woodland USB’s

Pastel USB and Bundle

Our Painted Woodland USB’s are great for just about any wedding theme. Available in 5 distinctive and bold colours, these USB Sticks truly stand out when you look at them and work well with any branding, which can be either printed or engraved on. A USB Bundle is also available for this particular product which includes a wooden box painted in the same colour as the Woodland USB with space for a logo on the lid, creating a product that looks fun and ultimately pleasing on the eye.

 

The Rodeo USB

Rodeo USB

If you’re looking for a USB stick with a luxury look & feel, then our Rodeo USB might be for you. A strong favourite with wedding photographers, the Rodeo features soft textured leather encapsulated in polished chrome making it a perfect accompaniment to any photographers package or photo booth offering. The Rodeo USB is also available as part of a bundle with our gorgeous white flip boxes and even a Luxury Keepsake Box suitable to house large prints inside.

 

Traditional Woodland USB’s

Woodland USB and Bundles

With a natural look and feel the Woodland USB 3.0 is an absolutely stunning USB stick. Available in either a light or dark wood and suitable for both printing and engraving, there is so much you can do with this product. There are also plenty of bundle options available from slide and flip boxes of different sizes to those with room to house prints inside. Photo booths which have a natural look to them or which are placed in an outdoor setting, could especially benefit from this accompanying USB and bundle.

 

Designed with Heart in Mind

Heart USB and Bundles

Wanting a USB that’s completely unique? Then take a look at our Heart USB’s. Lavish in design and finished with bright diamante crystal and a simple polished chrome this product is bound to melt hearts. It is also paired with our popular Luxury Boxes and White Flip Boxes for that added extra that is sure to impress.

 

Make sure to take a look at our website for further information on our Photography USB’s and Bundles or get in touch with our sales team at [email protected] 

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How USB’s can Benefit the Open Day Experience

Posted by USB2U on 18th July 2017 | Permalink

The practice of universities operating an ‘open day’ has become very common over the last decade or so. Many institutions recognise it as an important contributor in helping prospective undergraduates decide on where their futures ultimately lie. A great deal of planning is therefore required to ensure that the initial impression given at each event is one that helps to ultimately contribute positively  towards a student’s decision.

University Open Days

In general, many open days follow a typical format in allowing people to explore the campuses; find out more information about the courses on offer and also give an impression as to the overall university experience. The thing that essentially differs between institutions is the content on offer, and how it is delivered to each individual who visits, this is especially the case when looking at the physical marketing elements such as welcome packs and guides, which are commonly given out to each student at the start of the day.

 

The Challenge for Open Days

The challenge arises within universities in being able to provide relevant and bespoke material to each student whilst also being able to stand out from competition and remain cost effective. In most cases it’s unlikely a university will have the time or the resources to produce packs catered for each individuals need’s, therefore the question must be asked as to whether alternative methods of producing content which remains engaging and informative are available. One way this can be accomplished is by uploading more specific/comprehensive information onto a USB Flash Drive while keeping the welcome booklet as a general guide.

USB sticks and USB cards make great handouts for any student as they can hold considerably more data in a variety of different formats. As well, such devices encourage people to go away and find out more about the university beyond their initial visit. Compared to welcome guides they remain relatively cost effective to produce; are considerably more portable and can also be branded onto to stand out.

USB Cards

Upload more information to a more portable format

 

How can Universities use USB’s for Open Days?  

There are many different ways USB’s can be used to help improve the overall impression left on students during open days. The most effective of these would be to upload information onto them that is relevant while also detailing the various aspects of their potential experience, whether that be through course guides; accommodation, sports clubs and societies, info about getting around the local area or even tips as to what students can do in their spare time!

As with any other business, the objective for a university should be to try and communicate the salient qualities it possesses to any prospective investor, therefore content developed to capture the interest of students and help give them all the information they require will no doubt reinforce their decision making.

Overall picking a university these days is not a simple process. Often the choice to go doesn’t necessarily come down to the course or institution itself, but a variety of different factors pertaining to the individual, thus it becomes important for institutions to try and capture prospective students with content that is relevant whilst also capturing their interest.

USB Card for Universities

USB Products make a great alternative for communicating engaging content to prospective students.

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The USB Stick Health Guide

Posted by USB2U on 11th July 2017 | Permalink

USB sticks are a well established product used predominantly for the storing and transferring of data between devices. As such they have become the staple product for many when it comes to convenience as well as speed, while essentially being a universally recognised plug & play device. With that being said, those using USB’s or Memory Sticks need to remember that such devices are still electronic and therefore aren’t going to be 100% foolproof. Failures can occur within products such as this from time to time, especially when it comes to the internal workings of the flash memory. For businesses who exchange USB’s with customers/clients on a regular basis it becomes even more important to pass on relevant information to ensure that each individual is aware of best practices.

 USB in Laptop

How to take care of your USB Stick

Below are a few suggestions as to how one could look after their USB Stick

 

  1. Keep it cool  Like any electronic device, USB’s do not fair well in extreme temperatures therefore make sure it is stored somewhere cool such as in a container or drawer and preferably not in a back pocket.

  2. Keep the metal connector covered to avoid accumulation of dust or dirt – The exposed connector can become unreadable by a PC or Mac if objects get lodged inside the device.

  3. Ensure computer is fully booted before inserting a USB into the port – inserting before can shock the flash drive and damage the internal components.

  4. ‘Eject’ the USB stick before removing it from the USB port – A normal PC or Mac will constantly read a flash drive therefore if removed on a regular basis without first ejecting the drive can cause lasting damage.

  5. Look at which way the USB should be inserted into the port – All USB sticks connect one way only, forcing it in could damage both the USB memory stick and / or USB port. New standards are being considered to allow the USB to be inserted in any direction, but this is several years away.

  6. Do not leave in a computer indefinitely – Power surges can occur which may lead to components being damaged

  7. Avoid running programs from the flash drive – While each flash drive is designed to last years, each comes with a predetermined number of read and write cycles, and once exhausted the device can no longer be used. When you save and retrieve documents, you use single cycles per retrieval or write function, but running software applications from the flash drive will use multiple read/write cycles, therefore exhausting the USB stick a lot faster.

  8. Back up everything! – The USB flash drive, while an impressive piece of tech does not last forever even with good maintenance therefore it is important that people make back ups regularly of content on such devices. Getting in the habit now will save plenty of heartache down the line. Businesses who load data onto flash drives for individual clients should also keep backups of any work produced for them.

 

*A Special Note for Photographers*

As a lot of photographers use Mac’s rather than PC’s from day to day it is important that they are made aware of trash/ghost files that can appear on a USB Stick. As both operating systems work in different ways, both tend to interact differently with a USB stick when it is plugged in. Mac’s will automatically add ghost files/folders to the flash drive which remain hidden when plugged in, however appear as files like .Trashes, ._. Trashes and .fsevents on a normal PC. These are essentially nothing to worry about however good practice may be to delete these before sending out USB’s to customers who may own PC’s.

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3 New Luxury USB Boxes to Fall in Love With

Posted by USB2U on 16th June 2017 | Permalink

Sleek and stylish are just a couple of words used to describe our new and fancy looking Luxury USB Boxes. Perfect for a variety of different occasions, the bright look of these boxes are a perfect addition to any photographers offering. As well, the quality feel gives all of our boxes an element of class which any potential customer would love to have and cherish for years to come. Take a further look at each variant below.

 

 Luxury USB Box

The eye catching Luxury USB Box is the perfect companion for your chosen USB stick. Available in black, ivory or duck egg blue, these boxes come with a professional finish and a complimentary gift bag when ordered in a bundle allowing for plenty of personal touches to be added by each photographer.

Each box, as well, comes with a foam insert bespoke for different USB sticks including the Crystal USBRodeo USBWoodland USB and Heart USB.

 

Luxury Keepsake Box

Our stunning Luxury Keepsake Boxes have been expertly finished with plenty of space inside to house much larger prints allowing photographers to truly customize their offering. As well, the overall size means more surface area to print photography logos or messages onto. The box itself fastens with a magnetic clasp for a truly professional feel which is sure to impress.

 

Luxury Prints Box

For those who want to present a bundle showcasing both imagery and room for a USB the Luxury Prints Box offers quite possibly the best of both worlds. With an elegantly sleek finish, and foam insert to house your USB. The purpose of the box is to show off prints that are 6×4 while still giving plenty of space on top to make logos/messaging stand out! It’s also possible to have this item packaged in a gift bag for that additional finishing touch.

For more information and pricing on any of these products please contact our sales team at [email protected]

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Our Top 3 Summer Promotional Items

Posted by USB2U on 20th April 2017 | Permalink

With summer right around the corner we thought we’d put together our top three summer promotional items that your customers will love!

Stay Cool With the Rainbow USB Fan

Temperatures are starting to rise and we’ve got you covered! Keep your customer’s cool this summer with the Rainbow USB fan. Our exclusive desk fans are powerful as well as silent, and have loads of great features. Each fan comes with a two-speed setting, tilting action, metal blades, and they’re made from a sturdy high quality metal.
There’s also an integrated USB port, so you can easily plug in a USB stick or power bank without losing any ports from your PC or Mac.

Available in either black or white, each fan also has rubber feet to keep them secure on your desk, and our Rainbow Range is completely exclusive to USB2U!

Keep Active This Sumer With Our Activity Tracker

activity tracker makes a great gift for your customers as it tracks steps, distance travelled and stairs climbed. It even calculates the number of calories burned in a day!
The stylish piece of kit comes with a free phone app to view your activity, and packs in some other useful features like sleep tracking and an alarm clock.

Create A Summer Soundtrack

Customers will love these tiny speakers. They may look small, but they’re big on performance! At only 4cm and weighing in at 47.5g, they’re the perfect size to fit in any pocket and a full charge will pay your favourite summer music for a whole four hours.
Compatible with all Bluetooth enabled devices up to an impressive 10 meter range, the mini speaker also has a remote camera control making it great for capturing selfies too!

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