Best Overall

SanDisk Extreme Go

It's difficult to crown a USB flash drive as the best overall, but the Extreme Go (CZ800) by SanDisk really does tick most of the boxes. It's fast (up to 200MB/s), has a lifetime limited warranty, is backed by the strong brand, and offers some neat features like password protection, recovery, and encryption. The CZ800 is also fairly affordable, costing around $32.99 for 64GB capacity.

Bottom line: The Extreme Go is among the best USB drives you can buy for the money.

One more thing: RescuePRO Deluxe software is included for file recovery.

Why the SanDisk Extreme Go is the best USB flash drive

It was actually fairly difficult to choose a best USB stick since, in essence, they're all very similar if you're not too fussed about performance. Should you want to get more for your money and use something with a little more oomph the Extreme Go (CZ800) by SanDisk is a great solution to your digital storage needs.

Available in 64GB, and 128GB capacity configurations, and starting at an affordable $32.99, this flash drive does all you need a capable flash drive to do. It's fast, boasting read and write speeds of up to 200MB/s and 150MB/s, respectively. It's also backed by a lifetime limited warranty, so you know it'll last for years to come.

The speeds of this drive make moving movie files a matter of seconds, not to mention the added benefit of 128-bit encryption and bundled RescuePRO data recovery utility — you'll be able to not only secure your data but also recover it should anything happen to the drive.

Best speed

SanDisk Extreme Pro

The Extreme Pro is blazing fast. This small drive offers read and write speeds of up to 420MB/s and 380MB/s, respectively. To put this into perspective, a Samsung EVO SSD has read and write speeds of 540MB/s and 520MB/s. You'll need to pay a premium for these speeds, however, as pricing starts from $71 for 128GB. Much of the same protection measures are in place here as they are with the Extreme Go.

Bottom line: If you value speed above all else when it comes to removable flash storage, this is the drive for you.

One more thing: The Extreme Pro sports a durable aluminum metal casing.

Best durability

GorillaDrive 3

Much like Gorilla Glass protects your smartphone display from external forces, the GorillaDrive (around $15) attempts to safeguard your data by offering up to 250 psi pressure and impact protection, as well as heat and water resistance of 225 Fareinheight and 65 feet, respectively. It's a tough cookie and one that won't crumble under stress. The 32GB of capacity is also capable of handling even large movies.

Bottom line: If you need to take this drive along for the ride in a dangerous environment, your data will be protected from the elements with this flash drive.

One more thing: The GorillaDrive 3 has a metal attachment loop for secured lanyard connection.

Best Budget

SanDisk Cruzer CZ36

SanDisk makes our flash drive best buyer's guide for a third time with the Cruzer CZ36, starting at just $8.99 for 32GB. If affordability and $ per GB is of most importance to you and your purchase decision, you will be hard-pressed to find a better deal. Just don't expect stellar transfer speeds. There is a 16GB version listed, but it costs about the same as the 32GB variant and therefore doesn't make much sense.

Bottom line: Cheap and cheerful removable flash storage.

One more thing: Comes rocking 128-bit AES encryption.

Best USB Type-C

Silicon Power C31

When you need to transfer files between a PC and smartphone or another device with only USB Type-C, you could use an adapter, but that means carrying yet more accessories. A USB flash drive like the C31 by Silicon Power ($13.99) allows you to connect the drive to both USB A and USB Type-C ports. The swivel design is a nice touch and makes it really easy to move data around.

Bottom line: This flash drive is ideal for those with USB Type-C and USB A devices.

One more thing: The Silicon Power C31 works with phones, tablets and more.

Conclusion

If you're only looking for a means to move files from one PC to another, any USB flash drive will do. The main factor you need to concern yourself with is capacity. If you need speed and other advanced features, only then will you need to pay out more. For the price, the CZ80 by SanDisk is a great overall option.

Best Overall

SanDisk Extreme Go

It's difficult to crown a USB flash drive as the best overall, but the Extreme Go (CZ800) by SanDisk really does tick most of the boxes. It's fast, has a lifetime limited warranty, is backed by the strong brand, and offers some neat features like password protection, recovery, and encryption. The CZ800 is also fairly affordable, costing around $32.99 for 64GB capacity.

Bottom line: The Extreme Go is among the best USB drives you can buy for the money.

One more thing: RescuePRO Deluxe software is included for file recovery.

Updated June 29, 2018: We refreshed this guide to list only our favorite USB flash drives of 2018.

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