Best Overall: SanDisk Extreme CZ80

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It's difficult to crown a USB flash drive as the best overall, but the Extreme CZ80 series 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 CZ80 is also fairly affordable, starting from $18.99 for 16GB capacity.

Bottom line: Among one of the best USB drives you can buy for the money.

One more thing: This stick is also backward compatible with USB 2.0.

Why the SanDisk Extreme CZ80 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 CZ80 by SanDisk is a great solution to your digital storage needs.

Available in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB capacity configurations, and starting at an affordable $18.99, this flash drive does all you need a capable flash drive to do. It's fast, boasting read and write speeds of up to 245MB/s and 190MB/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

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The Extreme Pro launched earlier this year and it's 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 $74.95 for 128GB.

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: Sports a durable aluminum metal casing.

Best durability: GorillaDrive 3

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Much like Gorilla Glass protects your smartphone display from external forces, the GorillaDrive ($23.16) 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.

One more thing: Has a metal attachment loop for secured lanyard connection.

Best Budget: SanDisk Cruzer CZ36

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SanDisk makes our flash drive best buyer's guide for a third time with the Cruzer CZ36, starting at just $5.99 for 16GB. 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.

Bottom line: Cheap and cheerful removable flash storage.

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

Best USB Type-C: Silicon Power C31

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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 (around $10) 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: Ideal for those with USB Type-C and USB A devices.

One more thing:

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 CZ80

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It's difficult to crown a USB flash drive as the best overall, but the Extreme CZ80 series 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 CZ80 is also fairly affordable, starting from $18.99 for 16GB capacity.

Bottom line: Among one of the best USB drives you can buy for the money.

One more thing: This stick is also backward compatible with USB 2.0.