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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 occurs primarily due to firmware on the flash drive which effectively tells it how to operate when it is inserted into a computer. Without this firmware, you wouldn’t be able to use the USB in any productive way. All USB Sticks reserve a small amount of space for this reason to ensure they run as expected. This similarly applies to our smartphones, whereby a certain amount of the overall storage is used up by the phone’s operating system, so in reality, you’ll never be able to use 100% of the actual storage capacity.

 

What is the actual storage loss on a USB stick

The actual storage loss on a USB device can be anywhere between 5% – 8% of the overall memory size depending on the manufacturer of the flash drive, so for a 32GB device you can expect a loss of around 2GB due to the firmware. This, unfortunately, is a scalable loss as well, so the more memory size you have on a USB the more firmware will be required to run it. Therefore 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 can expect when using a USB stick as well as the overall loss due to the firmware.

Real Memory Size of your USB Flash Drive- Chart

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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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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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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Should You Pre-load Data on Promotional USB Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 6th October 2011 | Permalink

With a constant need to keep up with competitors, reacting to the ever changing digital world, patterns and trends in industries and the rise and fall of the economy, it’s important to keep one step ahead, and get your businesses’ messages out there efficiently and effectively.

Promotional USB Flash Drives

The Rise Of The Promotional USB Stick

Demand for “old fashioned” CD’s has reduced dramatically over the years, and an increase in printing costs for traditional sales brochures has encouraged companies to look at alternative options to distribute information on their products, prices and services. By nature, consumers are also a lot more visual, and react well to videos and animations that is something that traditional printed materials of course, can’t offer.
Customised USB sticks are increasingly the solution companies opt for because:
1. Printed and customised USB memory sticks are now available for less than £2 per unit (subject to minimum quantities and type)
2. You get on-going brand exposure with USB sticks because they tend to be used by the recipient to store and carry their own personal data (after all this is what they are designed for!)
3. Postage costs to send out a DM campaign with USB sticks are significantly cheaper than sending out expensive and heavy glossy brochures.
4. The cost of printing on a USB is generally less expensive that the cost of printing brochures.
5. It’s far easier to take a few hundred or even thousand USB sticks to a trade show than it is to transport the equivalent number of heavy brochures or leaflets
6. Lots of brochures handed out at trade shows and exhibitions end up in the bins outside the exhibition halls – USB sticks don’t as they’re small enough to be carried around!
7. Pre-loading your sales catalogues, price lists, press releases, media files etc. onto any USB stick you hand out is a must – After all you’re paying for the storage space on the sticks so you might as well use it.

USB Pre-loaded Data Is A Vital Commodity

Pre-loading data onto a memory stick purchased for your company makes good commercial sense. The savings made by pre-loading data onto USB sticks rather than printing the equivalent documents can fully offset the cost of the sticks. Plus, as mentioned, with the right memory available, short videos and animation can be loaded- something that consumers react well to.
The process of data loading is sometimes called duplication, pre-loading, copying or replication. It is relatively easy to do but it can be time consuming and you need to plan ahead to allow enough time to get the data organised. Ideally a USB stick supplier would do the data-load for you – most will offer a free data load up to a certain amount, typically 100MB.

Locking Data Onto USB Sticks

If you prefer you can “lock” the data that you pre-load onto the USB flash drive. This means that it cannot be deleted, bear in mind if you want to do this you would generally have to have your data ready early as it has to be loaded and “locked” during the manufacturing process. You also need to consider that if you load too much data onto the stick and therefore not leaving enough room for the user then they are highly unlikely to use it and your brand won’t get the on-going use and exposure you have paid for.
At USB2U we have in-house professional data-duplication equipment that enables us to pre-load data on behalf of our clients. For more information about pre-loading data onto memory sticks, feel free to email us at [email protected]

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Could This Be The Most Popular Promotional Item?

Posted by USB2U on 27th February 2017 | Permalink

usb pen

According to a study conducted by the British Promotional Merchandise Association back in 2012, the most popular promotional items amongst all customers are the handy USB drive and the traditional yet extremely useful pen.

We can see why. If we asked you the last time you actually purchased a pack of pens could you remember? Neither can we, our drawers are filled with freebies from various companies and events! Despite technology advancing, promotional pens have stood the test of time because we all need to use one near enough every day.

So with promotional USB drives now just as popular, we’ve incorporated the two with the super practical and innovative USB pen. They’re a great gift to add to goodie bags or to give out at conferences as they combine the two most popular items!

Not only that, you can pre-load data onto our stylish USB pens free of charge, which means as soon as your attendees or customers get home, they can plug the USB drive straight into their PC or Mac and be given brochures, presentations, or information on your company

We have a great range of USB pens on offer, from the classic corporate USB pen to the more premium executive USB Stylus, there’s something to suit all needs – we even have pens with a laser pointer incorporated into them!

Another great thing about the USB pen is that you can have your logo either printed or engraved onto them, and for that extra professional feel we can also supply you with tin boxes that can be branded too.

So if you’re looking to amalgamate the two most popular products into something great, why not contact us for a quote? We hold UK stock so can supply the USB pens straight to you (with data-loaded) in as little as 24 hours!

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Plan ahead – Chinese New Year falls early in 2017!

Posted by USB2U on 12th December 2016 | Permalink

Chinese New Year is fast approaching so the time to plan your USB and Power Bank orders for January and February 2017 is now!

The celebrations for 2017 fall earlier than recent years have. This year the celebrations will take place (and factories & production closed) between 21st January – 8th February 2017. Therefore the cut-off date for standard orders placed is as early as 11th January to avoid delays.

Can’t order in time? Don’t fear! With our UK stock and in house printing facilities we are able to serve you seamlessly throughout this period.

We guarantee reliable delivery of USBs, Power Banks and other tech products – just get in touch with our friendly team here at USB2U.

We hold a large amount of UK stock!

Contact us on:

[email protected]

0800 008 7079

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

 

 

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On USB pricing instability

Posted by USB2U on 17th October 2016 | Permalink

NAND* flash prices have been creeping up since the factories in China returned from their Golden Week National Holidays, and unfortunately for us and our customers, they are still on the rise. Industry experts predict that NAND flash prices will continue to rise in Q4 of 2016 due to severe supply shortages. This has a direct impact on the cost of branded USB sticks.

Whilst we do everything in our power to serve our customers with steady products and services there is one thing that is completely out of our hands: the cost of USB flash memory. Whilst we don’t know exactly what is causing the supply and demand issue, we have a strong suspicion that the big players in the smartphone industry, Samsung and Apple, could have something to do with it in the lead up to Christmas.

The cost of flash memory has always been something that fluctuates which is why we only hold our quotes for USB memory sticks for 24-72 hours on average. However over the past few years, pricing had been fairly static with only a slight change from week to week. In contrast over the past week, pricing has been changing on a daily basis, sometimes 2-3 times a day, so we have reduced our quote validity period down to a strict 24 hours.

The weakening of the pound since the EU referendum is another factor influencing the market and pricing levels. Since the vote to leave the European Union was announced, pricing has become even more unsteady and certainly unpredictable. This is due to the impact the vote result has had on the value of the pound and subsequently the dollar exchange rate.

Sometimes the fast changing USB flash pricing can take our customers by surprise, and we fully appreciate this. We always work hard to allow the best possible pricing for our customers, and hope that the market will start showing some stability in the New Year.

 

* The digital memory component that is used in a range of tech goods including smartphones and USB memory sticks.

image001-6

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Chinese Public Holidays and Production of Branded USB Sticks and Power Banks

Posted by USB2U on 6th June 2016 | Permalink

The vast majority of branded promotional USB flash drives and Power Banks are manufactured in the Far East, particularly in China. On the run up to any major Chinese holidays the manufacturing process will start to slow down, and eventually stop, which can result in a shortage of supply and increase in prices prior to and for a short period after the holiday. The lead times for deliveries will also increase.

At USB2U we hold a large amount of UK stock of USB memory sticks and Power Banks giving us the opportunity to serve our customers seamlessly even over the Chinese holiday periods. So plan well ahead and place your orders in good time. However if you require a fast turnaround, look no further than your trusted UK supplier USB2U.

The most pressing holiday right now is the Dragon Boat Festival at the end of this week starting on Friday 9th June. With The Chinese New Year (in January 2017) you will need to place your orders by the end of December to ensure that they are despatched in time.

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