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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.



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.




Introducing USB2U’s new Photography Account Management team!

Posted by USB2U on 5th May 2017 | Permalink

Having worked with professional photographers for over 8 years now, team USB2U are well positioned to continue to supply the best quality branded USB sticks and packaging on the market to the photography industry. We have the most beautiful USB products (if we do say so ourselves) and a fantastic choice of quality boxes to match. Combine that with our technical knowledge and state of the art UK printing, engraving and production, there is no question that if you’re looking for a USB supplier you can trust, you are in safe hands with USB2U.

We also know that what really brings this all together is the fantastic team we have looking after our lovely photographers and videographers behind the scenes.  Want to get to know our Photography Account Management team? Read on!

Introducing Abbey Allen...

Abbey Allen is now USB2U’s Photography Account Manager

Abbey has worked for USB2U for almost three years now and has a vast amount of experience across the business. She knows all there is to know about photography USB and packaging solutions and wanted to introduce herself personally to her new clients:

“Hello Happy Snappers! My Name is Abbey and I’m the new Dedicated Account Manager for Photographers here at USB2U. Some of you may remember me as Godfrey’s glamorous Account Executive and although I know I have very big shoes to fill I do hope that I’ll do you proud 🙂

I have been with USB2U for 2 ½ years and have moved with the company from our humble office in Lodge Farm to our much larger office in Moulton Park. I started working in our operations department and gradually worked my way up the ranks to be looking after you, I believe this provides me with a unique insight into exactly what happens to your order every step of the way.

I am a sucker for a good wedding picture, and often get a little lost scrolling through customers websites ( I love looking at what you guys do!). I may not be the best photographer myself, but I am surrounded by creative people in my day-to-day life and I truly understand the amount of time and effort that goes into making each picture even more special, and I strive to put the same amount of effort into my work.

I look forward to working with you, be it for the first time or the fiftieth. Please feel free to get in touch if you need anything at all! [email protected] 


Supporting Abbey in providing the best possible customer service to our Photography clients is Dawn Haffner, USB2U’s newest member of the sales team:

Dawn Haffner joins USB2U as Photography Account Executive


“Hello! I’m Dawn and I am the new Photography Account Executive. I’ve been with the company for 3 months now and absolutely love getting to know our wonderful customers. I really enjoy my job role and working with Photographers – because they usually have such fantastic ideas of what will look good for their USB package, and it’s our privilege to take their vision and turn it into gorgeous products.”

Abbey and Dawn will be exhibiting at the Newborn Photography Show in Coventry on the 15th and 16th May and look forward to seeing you there!



We’re Back From The Photography Show!

Posted by USB2U on 22nd March 2017 | Permalink

Well it’s certainly been a busy few days but we’re back from the UK Photography Show and we’re still buzzing from the excitement! Team USB2U were exhibiting from Saturday 18th until Tuesday 21st at the NEC’s annual show, and as always we had a blast! It was great meeting everyone, we spotted some familiar faces amongst the crowds and managed to chat to a tonne of new ones too, and we received some great feedback on our fantastic range of Photography bundles.

We’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who stopped by at stand H102 to say hi, we’re already looking forward to seeing everyone next year! If you didn’t manage to make it to Birmingham at the weekend, you can still browse our fantastic range of photography USBs here, or why not check out our gorgeous professional photographer packaging?

If you entered our competition on the day, we’ve announced all the winners over on our facebook page where there are loads more photos from the show, don’t forget to like us for regular updates, competitions & giveaways!

team usb2u


Why do I need vector artwork for print?

Posted by USB2U on 1st March 2017 | Permalink

If you work in a creative industry like us and are dealing with logos and brands on a daily basis, you will be familiar with AI and EPS file formats for logos. But why do we ask for these files when it comes to printing onto our range of USBs as well as their packaging?

A Vector file type is either .eps, .ai, .pdf and .swf, and you’d need to set up your artwork as a vector graphic to start with before saving them in these formats – you couldn’t, for example, open a JPEG and re save it as a .swf.

So why don’t we use JPEGs? JPEGs are typically low resolution files and they’re mainly used for websites because the smaller file size helps load the pages quickly. They might look ok to the eye but once you zoom in or try to print from them you’re likely to end up with poor, blurred results.

Take a look at the images below and it’s easy to see why Vector artwork is preferred over a JPEG, the images are much sharper, crisper, and look loads better printed onto USBs!


The print quality difference between a logo in jpeg format and a logo in EPS vector format

Spot the difference – jpeg or vector artwork?

USB2U show the difference between vector and jpeg artwork engraved on wood

Crisp or fuzzy logo? We know which we prefer…


If you’re still a bit unsure then you can always ask your design team to supply you with vector artwork, or you could take a look at our artwork guidelines for a detailed overview of Vector and Raster graphics.


A Great Couple Of Days At The 2017 PPExpo!

Posted by USB2U on 27th January 2017 | Permalink

We’ve spent the last two days at the largest trade show in the industry and had a fantastic time!

The PPExpo was a brilliant success and we enjoyed catching up with lots of familiar faces, as well as meeting some new ones. We also got to show off the excellent range of PXK tech products, which we’re now proud to be the exclusive distributor of in the UK and Ireland – 2017 is going to be an exciting year!

A huge thanks to everyone that came to visit us at stand Z52 to say hi, we had a blast and we’re already looking forward to seeing everyone next January. If you didn’t manage to get to our stand, you can still browse the PXK range here, or why not take a look at our extensive range of tech gifts?

Keep your eyes peeled for the winner of our giveaway, you could be the lucky winner of 20 FREE Rainbow Power Banks branded with your logo!

USB2U at the PPE Expo






Come and visit us at the 2017 PPExpo!

Posted by USB2U on 17th January 2017 | Permalink

USB2U are exhibiting at the PPE show

The Promotional Product Expo is recognized as the largest trade show in the industry, and this year it will take place at The Ricoh Arena in Coventry between 25-26 January 2017.

We are excited about exhibiting at the show, and you will find us on stand Z52.

There are so many great reasons to visit us!

  • We are now the sole distributor of PXK’s tech products in the UK and Ireland. Come and find out more!
  • We have some great new products to share with our resellers – come and see what’s new.
  • Pick up our catalogue and a ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card to grab yourself a free upgrade to our UK stock express service…

… plus many more.

If you haven’t registered yet, now’s the time: http://bit.ly/2hUAWw4

Team USB2U look forward to seeing you there!

See our extensive tech gift range here.

USB, Power Bank and Tech Gift stock in the UK over Chinese New Year

Don’t forget we carry plenty of USB, Power Bank and Tech Gift stock in the UK over Chinese New Year


USB2U Statement on USB3.0 compatibility issues

Posted by USB2U on 7th December 2016 | Permalink

We care about our customers, our customers’ clients, our reputation and more importantly yours and as such we wanted to let you know about a technical issue we have discovered with some USB3.0 flash drives.

It has been brought to our attention that a limited number of USB3.0 flash memory components that came onto the market in the latter part of 2016 may have caused some compatibility issues. This is an industry wide issue that has not been experienced before. It seems that enhancements in the USB 3.0 technology have inadvertently lead to higher than usual reports of failures, specifically when data, images or photographs are loaded from a MAC and viewed on a PC.

These components are all sourced from recognized brands including Samsung, Hynix, Intel and all go through established and rigorous QA checks. However this specific compatibility issue was not tested before as historically it had not been an issue.

Whilst the failure rate is still relatively low we want to negate this issue by taking the following steps:

  1. We are switching to a grade of USB3.0 stock (and particular chipset / controller combination) that has been tested to be 100% MAC compatible
  2. We are introducing a final UK QA process where we shall be testing each and every USB stick that is USB3.0 for this issue before sending to clients. This extra safety net will ensure this specific technical issue is eliminated.
  3. We are also offering a Kingston branded USB3.0 model if you prefer the extra reassurance of a retail brand.

We switched our Photography USB offering to USB3.0 over 1 year ago to provide a fast and more robust solution. Until these recent issues it has proven successful and very popular. With these additional  measures we are confident that these benefits will continue to be recognized.

It is important to remember that all of our memory sticks come with a 10 year warranty – we won’t let you down.


For further information, please contact:

Natalie Longley, Head of Sales and Commercial Development

[email protected]

+441604 685040



Fearless Karen kicks off USB2U’s charity fundraising…

Posted by USB2U on 14th October 2016 | Permalink

At Team USB2U we are proud to announce our sponsorship of Northampton based charity, Cynthia Spencer Hospice. Over the last few years we have taken part in many fundraising activities for the hospice, however this year, along with our sister company Gilt Edged Promotions, we decided to make it official and donate all money generated from bake sales,  dress down days and other charity events straight to the hospice.

Karen from USB2U abseiling the Northampton Lift Tower

USB2U’s daredevil Karen takes the plunge to raise over £500!

To kick off our charity partnership in style, USB2U Account Manager Karen Eede decided to make a bold move and set the standard for her colleagues to follow by abseiling Northampton’s most famous landmark, the Lift Tower! Whilst the 400 ft impressive tower certainly got her adrenaline pumping, Karen wasn’t going to shy away from the challenge.

She said: “This is an amazing charity which has a special place in my heart as they cared for my mum so well in her last days with us. Taking the first step over the edge was the most terrifying part, but the money I had already raised for the hospice kept me going and focused on the task in hand.”

The Northampton Lift Tower

Eye-wateringly tall Northampton Lift Tower!

Cynthia Spencer Hospice provide inpatient care, outpatient services, Hospice at Home and palliative care specialist nurse services for the local area. They also offer specialist physical, psychological, social and spiritual care to those with life limiting illnesses, with focus on quality of life and respecting the uniqueness of each person.  A large part of the cost of running these services comes from the generous support of local companies and individuals in the Northampton area. In addition to our fundraising activities, USB2U have also donated much needed stationary items including branded USB fans and branded USB sticks which should come in handy in the nurse’s station.

Karen from USB2U abseiling down the Northampton Lift Tower

Don’t look down Karen!

With this one event alone, Karen managed to raise over £500.00 on behalf of USB2U for Cynthia Spencer Hospice. This is thanks to the generous support of her colleagues, family and friends. Thank you Karen for taking the leap and making such a great start to USB2U’s charity fundraising.

Karen from USB2U abseils down the Northampton Lift Tower

Karen’s first few steps for Cynthia Spencer!


Cycle4Cynthia 2016 – Natalie takes on the challenge!

Posted by USB2U on 26th September 2016 | Permalink

On Sunday 25th September 2016, USB2U’s very own cycling superhero Natalie Longley took on the challenge of a 50 mile cycle ride to raise money for our chosen charity, Cynthia Spencer Hospice.

Natalie from USB2U on her Cynthia Spencer Charity Bike Ride

Natalie rode 50 miles for Cynthia Spencer Hospice!

Natalie, Head of Sales and Commercial Development for USB2U, does cycle regularly with a local cycling group, however the prospect of a ride which was over 50 miles long was in her own words “a little daunting to say the least”. It was a gruelling course with 3000ft of climbing (who knew Northamptonshire was so hilly?!) but with £350 of sponsorship money riding on the event, Natalie wasn’t going to give up without a fight! Luckily the amazing Cynthia Spencer volunteers and her support team Steve and Diane Sharpe from White Arches Caravans kept her going with plenty of refreshments and encouragement. She finished the ride in 3.5 hours.

Cynthia Spencer Hospice is a charity close to many people’s hearts in the Northampton area and in 2016 USB2U, a leading supplier of branded USB sticks, power banks and other promotional tech gifts, decided to put all their fundraising efforts towards this fantastic local organisation and raise money regularly through a series of events.

Natalie from USB2U with a Cynthia Spencer Frame

Natalie at the finish line!

Sebastian La Porta, Managing Director of USB2U, said: “We are delighted to offer our support for this charity, which has touched the lives of so many in our local community. It is our honour to be part of the fundraising effort for Cynthia Spencer Hospice.”

Over the coming months, Team USB2U have many more charity events planned including a hair raising Lift Tower Abseil in Northampton town centre which Karen Eede, Senior Account Manager, and some of her colleagues will be taking on. Watch this space to find out more about USB2U’s fundraising activities.