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Keychain not included: The five highest-capacity USB flash drives for your digital life

Storage tech has advanced to the point that SSD flash drives can be shoved into tiny packages, and portable conventional hard drives can easily cram three terabytes of data or more into a casing the size of a wallet. But there’s still a niche for the good old USB flash drive, especially now that faster USB 3.0 ports are standard on pretty much all new laptops (and even some tablets). Here are the most capacious that money can buy, and a few others worth considering for those who need massive storage in a tiny package. 

The highest-capacity drives

Kingston DataTraveler HyperX Predator 3.0 USB 1TB ($700+)

Kingston DataTraveler HyperX Predator 3.0 USB 1TB

Kingston remains the only major storage supplier to offer an entire terabyte of storage in the flash drive form factor. If you want absolutely the most storage you can get in the smallest package possible, the DataTraveler HyperX Predator 3.0 (say that three times fast) is the one. It’s a bit chunky simply so that it can fit all of the hardware necessary for that capacious drive, but it’s still small enough that it won’t feel out of place on a keychain. The Predator uses USB 3.0 for speedy data transfer, but at nearly $700 even at the reduced street price, it’s more than twice the cost of some of the 512GB options in the list below.

Buy one now from:

Amazon Newegg

Corsair Flash Voyager GS USB 3.0 512GB Corsair Flash Voyager GS USB 3.0 512GB ($186+)

Corsair Flash Voyager GS USB 3.0 512GB

Corsair’s fastest flash drive is also one of its largest. The Flash Voyager GS USB 3.0 combines a sleek metal alloy housing with quoted read and write speeds of up to 290MB/s, assuming you have the USB 3.0 or higher ports to handle it. Street prices are hovering at right around $190 at the time of writing, which is pretty fair for a drive with a little extra speed boost. That’s on the 512GB version – the lower-capacity GTX Voyager 3.0 can read at up to 450MB/s, but only comes in 256GB for $105. For those who would rather save a bit of green, Corsair also offers the Flash Voyager GT and Flash Voyager Survivor series, both of which can be found at under $100 at the 256GB capacity.

Buy one now from:

Amazon Newegg

Patriot Super Sonic Rage 3.0 512GB ($90+)

Patriot Super Sonic Rage 3.0 512GB Thumb

Patriot has upgraded most of its line of USB 3.0 flash drives to 512GB, and the fastest among them is the aggressively-named Sonic Rage 2. It can write at up to 400MB/s and read at 300, but you’ll need to pony up at least $240 for the privilege. The less robust Supersonic Magnum 2 and Supersonic Mega also come in 512GB flavors, for $170 and $150 respectively at the time of writing.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

VisionTek Pocket USB SSD 512GB ($265+)

VisionTek Pocket USB SSD 512GB

The latest versions of VisionTek’s “Pocket SSD” line, which crams flash storage and an SSD controller into a tiny package, have improved the available storage considerably. The top-of-the-line model offers write speeds of up to 450MB/s with compatible hardware and up to 512GB of storage. But at over $250, it’s also one of the most expensive options at its capacity. It’s also physically larger than some of the alternatives.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

SanDisk Ultra USB 3.0 256GB ($60+)

SanDisk Ultra USB 3.0 256GB

SanDisk remains one of the most popular sellers of flash drives in the US, but at the moment the company’s largest-capacity drive is lagging behind its more specialized competitors. The Ultra USB 3.0 maxes out at 256GB, with read speeds that don’t go over 100MB/s. It’s a pretty good deal, however, at just under $60. It also helps that it’s available at more retailers than others on this list. SanDisk offers file encryption and password software, plus a five-year warranty.

Buy one now from:

Amazon B&H

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