Despite advancements in technology, USB flash drives still serve a useful function in today’s world. True we have cloud services and all, but there is no denying the ease of using flash drives. They are usually cheap compared to other storage options, and since they do not require any wireless connections, they are useful for the days when there is no online access to cloud services.
In view of all these benefits, it is no surprise that folks still stick with these nifty devices. They come in different shapes, sizes, storage options, and prices. Most people believe the cheaper a USB flash drive is, the lower the quality. While this is true for many flash drives, there are still some flash drives that, though cheap, they deliver wonderful performance. In this article, we will review the 10 Best Cheap USB Flash Drives under $10.
We will consider the features of each of these devices, their pros, and cons. Furthermore, to aid you to choose the right USB flash drive, we include a buying guide in this article.
We urge you to read on to find out these and more.
- Features to Consider in Good USB Flash Drives
- Best Cheap USB Flash Drives 2020 (Under $10)
- 1. SanDisk Ultra Flair USB 3.0 Flash Drive
- 2. Lexar Jumpdrive S75 USB 3.0 Flash Drive
- 3. ADATA Superior Series S102 Pro 16GB USB 3.0
- 4. Kingston Digital DataTraveler 3.0 USB Flash Drive
- 5. SanDisk 64GB Ultra Fit USB 3.1 Flash Drive
- 6. SanDisk Cruzer Blade 4GB USB 2.0 Flash drive
- 7. PNY Attaché USB 2.0 Flash Drive 32GB
- 8. PNY Turbo 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive
- 9. SanDisk Ultra Fit 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive
- 10. Patriot 16GB Supersonic Boost Series
- Guide to Buying the Best Cheap USB Flash Drives Under $10
- Final Words
Features to Consider in Good USB Flash Drives
In buying the best USB flash drive for you, you have to consider some important factors. These factors will either make or break the experience you have with the USB flash drive.
Therefore, it is vital that you consider them. These factors will be briefly discussed in this section. However, to have a more depth discussion, read on to our main buying guide. These are some of the factors necessary for consideration:
This factor requires you to identify the primary aim of the USB flash drive. It is important to know the use you will put these devices so that you can choose one that will suit your needs.
The faster the USB flash drive is, the better. There are currently 2 main types of USB flash drives on the market. These are the USB 2.0 and the USB 3.0. USB 3.0 delivers faster speeds than USB 2.0. You have to determine which one would be more appropriate for your needs.
This is arguably the most important factor in choosing a USB. USB flash drives come in different storage sizes. With improvements in technology, USB flash drives range from 512MB to up to 128GB.
You have to decide the amount of storage that you will need and buy a USB Flash drive that will meet that storage requirement.
Design & Style
More than ever before, USB Flash drives come in so many designs. There are low-profile USBs that are very tiny and fit almost seamlessly into your PC without jutting out.
Some come in even more extravagant designs and are even combined with everyday stuff like pens.
Customer Support & Technical Assistance
Since you are spending money on these devices, it is wise to choose a USB device that has support for when things go wrong.
Ensure that your USB flash drive comes with a warranty. That way if anything goes wrong, you can exchange the USB device with another.
These are just some of the factors to consider when choosing a USB Flash drive.
Now, let us consider the 10 best cheap USB Flash drives under $10.
Best Cheap USB Flash Drives 2020 (Under $10)
The flash drive is quite a stunner. The design is simple yet stylish. It is a silver metal-bodied flash drive.
One of the physical features we find appealing is the sturdy key ring. You can use a chain or rope through this hole to keep it safe and prevent losing it. Unlike some of the USB flash drives on this list, it does not have a dust cover. However, considering the price, this is not a big surprise.
Nevertheless, despite the lack of a dust cover, it is still arguably the most durable USB drive on this list.
Aside from good looks, the powerful performance of this flash drive makes it a bestseller on Amazon. During testing, we thoroughly enjoyed its speed. It is not common to find a device at this price range with such reliable performance and speed.
We observed that it read data at a speed of around 140MBps, and it read data at 40MBps. Although there are faster flash drives, most of them come at a more expensive price. Therefore, if you are looking for something cheap but that still gives excellent performance, this USB drive will meet your needs.
Some users have complained that the flash drives get hot after use, but during testing, we only felt bearable warmth as is expected from a flash drive under use. This is likely due to a larger surface area than previous versions and the metal exterior.
The Lexar comes in a plastic body, and the USB connector is retractable. This means that the USB drive does not require any dust cover.
It comes in different colors that are quite appealing to the eye.
Aside from the features above, it comes with a practical LED indicator on the flash drive. This indicator is visible in daylight conditions and even in very bright conditions.
It is a tad longer than your average USB flash drive. Therefore you have to be careful while using it so as not to break it when setting the laptop down. It is also wide. You will be hard-pressed inserting a flash drive or something else in an adjoining connector.
Nevertheless, the retractable design of the connector is a great fit. Although some folks complain that it is hard fitting it into the laptop connectors, we found it quite easy.
It works admirably and without any hiccups. Without a doubt, it offers excellent value for money.
Since it is 3.0 compatible, the reading and writing speeds are much faster than 2.0 USB flash drives.
The encryption software can be deleted to make more storage space. With a read speed of up to 106MBps and write speed of 15.3MBps, it outperforms virtually all other USB drives on this list. We also observed that we could use the device on smartphones, tablets, and other devices.
This USB drive comes in a nice design that underlies its durability. Made of aluminum and featuring a sleek titanium blue and gray hue, it is very durable.
A user reported mistakenly leaving it in water for a while, and he still used it without any hassles. While we do not recommend leaving it in water, it shows how durable this flash drive is. It can endure rough use and handling.
It also comes with key ring hole at the base of the body. This loop is quite firm and promises durable performance. However, it is quite small, and you will need to find a really small key chain to fit into it.
Although the design and appearance are appealing, what really impresses about this USB flash drive is the superior performance. Although listed as reading data at 100MBps and writing at a speed of about 50MBps, we found out that our test model exceeds these specifications.
If your computer has a 3.0 port, then expect very fast connections.
The flash drive comes with a lifetime warranty. It comes with great customer support and technical assistance.
Furthermore, you can turn this USB flash drive into an installer for Windows.
The Data Traveler comes in an all-metal design that despite bumps and falls, the flash drive will remain functional. The device also comes with a key ring that ensures that no matter where you go, you can take it with you.
Nevertheless, the design comes with its flaws. For example, many folks have complained about the cap design. During testing, we discovered that using a chain in the loop will drastically reduce the efficiency of the cap. It simply will not fit into the back of the flash drive. Therefore, if you are planning on carrying it around with you using the chain in the loop, you might have to forgo the cap.
It does not have an LED indicator, which is kind of a bummer.
The USB flash drive provides decent performance. As it is a USB 3.0, it is faster than a USB 2.0. During testing, the transfer speeds fell at the lower part of the spectrum for 3.0 USB drives.
We also noticed users complaining about a reduction in transfer speeds after some time of use. Nevertheless, these reports are few and far between.
If you are looking for something to use occasionally, then it is an ideal fit. More regular or heavy use might eventually leave you frustrated.
Considering the price, it remains one of the best Cheap USB drives available on the market.
This flash drive is made of plastic. Therefore, unlike other iterations, there is zero risk of corrosion.
It comes with a very secure eyelet that you can attach a cord to. The eyelet is not flimsy or tacky, rather it is strong and does not break easily. Despite the large storage space, it comes in a small size that allows you carry it around with ease. This size can be a disadvantage; however, since it means it can easily be misplaced.
The USB 3 transfer speeds are much faster than former Fit models. The read speed is also very fast. It is a simple means of expanding the storage space of your device. With a read speed of up to 130MBps, and write speeds 10 times faster than your average USB 2.0 drives, it is a great budget flash drive.
It comes in a small, compact size that makes it easy to carry around. The flash drive has a loop at the end of the body so you can attach a key chain or something like it. Holding the flash drive, we could feel the strength of construction. Although it doesn’t exactly look it, it is very strong and durable.
It is very light. Although it is small, the width might make it hard to fit any other devices next to it.
It is medium-sized, so it does not exactly stick out of the laptop, and neither is it so small that bumping it becomes a regular occurrence. When it is fit into the computer, it is quite snug.
The flash drive performs very efficiently. Although it is a 2.0 USB flash drive, the performance is quite impressive. It transfers data at decent speeds.
It is very easy to use. With this flash drive, you do not need to format it before using it with different operating systems.
It comes with a 5-year warranty. It can be used on video game consoles like the Xbox.
Although the flash drive is cheap, the design is top-notch. It comes with a dust cover that is attached to the device.
We especially love this feature because unlike other flash drives that have the dust cover separate from the flash drive and thus increase chances that the dust cover gets lost, unless you lose the entire USB, you cannot lose the cover.
Furthermore, the device can take a lot of punishment. For folks that use their flash drives in a rough manner, this USB flash drive will hold up. The protective shield on the USB drives ensures that the insertion block remains safe.
The plastic makeup has a simple but attractive design. If you aren’t heavy on the aesthetic value of your flash drive, then this will be great for you.
The USB flash drive is a 2.0 flash drive. Therefore, it is slower in connecting and transferring files than the now popular 3.0 devices. Nevertheless, it still offers some of the fastest connections and file transfer rates among 2.0 flash drives.
With a read speed of 20.5MBps and a write speed of 2.6MBps, it is one of the fastest drives at this range.
Overall, it delivers quite excellent value for money.
It comes with a slider that serves to protect the connector of the flash drive. The slider is not as comfortable as we would have liked. It seems flimsy and cheap. It also is quite difficult to remove. Nevertheless, aside from the slight hiccup from the slider, the overall design is cool.
It won’t turn any heads, but it does serve for a long time.
Although it has an LED light, this light is not bright. Do not expect to be able to see the light during the day. Even at night, it is still barely visible.
The design might leave a lot to be desired, but it makes up for this with solid performance. It comes with great read speeds and write speeds.
During testing, this 3.0 USB drive wrote at 18.9MBps and read at 109.8MBps. For this price, there are not a lot of USB drives that can achieve these speeds.
It reads almost immediately it is inserted into a drive, and it ejects just as fast.
If the main thing you will be doing with this flash drive is transferring files too large for comfort to use the cloud for, then it is great.
If your device is not compatible with 3.0 connections, the flash drive can still be used. Although some folks have complained that data gets corrupt over time, we noticed no such thing while testing our model.
The USB is a low profile USB. This means that when you connect it to your PC, it is very small and almost unseen. The USB drive hardly protrudes from the USB port of your PC. Despite the small size, you do not need to fear to have problems removing it.
It comes with an LED indicator that shows when the USB drive is getting power. With this LED indicator, you can determine when the drive is all the way through.
The keychain loop is strong and does not break easily. During use, we observed that it was a tad hard to pass the keychain through the loop.
A feature we didn’t really like is the fact that the already tiny dust cover of the USB drive is not attached to the drive when it is uncovered. This makes it easy to misplace.
For a low-profile USB drive, this USB is really fast. The overall performance is quite satisfactory. Although there are other low-profile USBs faster than it is, there is no beating the performance at this price point.
It is definitely faster than any USB 2.0 drives that we tested.
The housing of the USB drive is made of rubber, which is a deviation from the common plastic or metal finishes of the other USB drives on this list. This rubber housing ensures that it is safe from bumps and bruises. It also means that it is water-resistant, a feature that is not common at this price range. Your USB drive is safe from water and is shock-resistant too. It is clear that a lot of thought went into the design of this USB drive.
It is lightweight. It also has an LED indicator that blinks to show activity. Although the USB dust cover is completely detachable from the device, it can be attached to the base of the USB drive for safekeeping.
The USB drive performed well during use. It measured read speeds of up to 115.3MBps and write speed of 48MBps.
It works to satisfaction, and for the price point, the performance is respectable. During testing, it outperformed all USB 2.0 devices with some ease.
If you want to save money and are looking for a USB drive with high durability and respectable performance, you cannot go wrong with the Patriot Supersonic Boost XT.
Guide to Buying the Best Cheap USB Flash Drives Under $10
You have seen the Best Cheap USB Flash Drives Under $10 that are available on the market right now. This will definitely help you narrow down the plethora of options that you have. The choice thus becomes far easier.
In this section, you will see the top factors to consider when buying USB flash drives.
When choosing a USB flash drive to buy, it can be very helpful to consider what other users think of the USB. Both good and bad reviews will help you make an educated choice.
Real reviews, like this article, are usually a wonderful way to judge if you will enjoy using a USB Flash drive. This way, you can see the pros and cons of a USB Flash from the firsthand experiences of those who have actually used the USB Flash drive.
Depending on the type of work, or the use you will put the USB through, you have to consider the storage. After all, what is the use of having a USB Flash drive if it cannot accommodate the data you want it too? Before making a purchase, you should weigh this factor carefully.
You can store files on your laptop or PC on these devices, and they can even serve as a backup. Thus, you need to consider the amount of storage the USB device has seriously. We have never encountered anyone who moaned about having too much space on their flash drive.
It is better to have surplus space than to have too little space. Therefore, when considering this factor, a general rule of thumb is that the bigger the storage space, the better.
The only downside bigger space has is that the price of the USB flash drive increases as the storage size increases.
If you opt to go for a USB drive with little storage space, say, for example, an 8GB USB flash drive, it will run out sooner rather than later, and you will have to buy another USB flash drive.
As pointed out earlier in the mini buying guide, USB flash drives have different speeds. Just like storage space, the faster, the better.
When it comes to speed, there are 2 major types of USB flash drives. On one hand, you have the USB 2.0 flash drive, and on the other hand, there is the USB 3.0 flash drive.
Theoretically, the USB 3.0 transfers data at a speed of up to 4,800MBps. This is about 10 times faster than the speed of USB 2.0 devices. These have a transfer speed of about 480MBps.
Therefore, if the main thing you want from your USB flash drive is speed, then you should opt for the USB 3.0.
Safety & Encryption
If you will be sending sensitive information through your flash drive, then security is a serious factor to consider.
If you are sending sensitive information, you need a USB flash drive that will protect your data even if it somehow falls into the wrong hands. Even if you are very careful with your flash drive, their small size makes them extremely easy to misplace.
The safest USB flash drives come with a numerical touchpad or a fingerprint sensor. Some are also encrypted to ensure that your data is unreadable to unauthorized elements.
Anyways, if you have sensitive information, the least you can do is get a flash drive with at least password protection.
No matter how much protection your flash drive has, it is utterly useless if it is not durable. If your flash drive cannot withstand stress and survive bumps, falls, and bruises, your information is in danger of becoming inaccessible.
Thus, when buying a USB flash drive, go for USB flash drives that have protective housing. Some flash drives come with aluminum or metal casings. These are more durable than plastic flash drives.
Aside from falls, like all electronic gadgets, water is a bane. Therefore, it does not hurt to buy a flash drive that comes with water-resistant covering.
However, with cheap USB flash drives, most of them come with plastic casing. In this case, a flash drive with a dust cover is great. And the good news is that many of the cheap flash drives reviewed in this article feature water-resistant coverings.
Warranty & Support
Since it is likely that you will be buying your next USB flash drive online, it is important that you note if it comes with a warranty. Having a warranty assures you of the quality of the USB flash drive.
Furthermore, if the USB flash drive has any issues during the warranty period, you can get a replacement.
Ease of Use
USB Flash drives are generally very easy to use. However, some are more complicated than others. A good USB should quickly connect and display on your device and be easy to eject too.
Although looks or aesthetics is not a very important factor, it doesn’t hurt to have a USB flash drive that draws appreciative glances and murmurs when you pop it out your pocket.
Benefits of Using a USB Flash Drive
USB drives come with many benefits. In this section, we will consider why they are very important despite the advent of cloud services.
They are portable
These nifty devices are very small. Therefore, they can be carried about with you. In cases where you need data offline, and your laptop is not available, you can transfer the data to a USB flash drive and take it to wherever you are going.
Furthermore, they are easy to attach to key chains or hidden in the smallest pockets. You wouldn’t even notice you have them! Another reason why they are easy to use is the fact that they never run out of power. They do not require charging of any form.
They are cheap
These devices can contain up to 64GB of data. Yet they come cheaper than other storage devices. If you have a lot of information to transfer you can simply get a USB with larger storage space.
The cheap nature of these devices makes them readily available at retail stores. If you are running out of space, or you need a storage device on the fly, you can walk into any retail store and buy one.
Adaptable & Fast
These devices van connect with almost every device without any hassles. You can use them on different operating systems.
Most PCs and laptops have dedicated ports for USB Flash drives. Furthermore, we have some USB flash drives that can even be used on smartphones and tablets.
And some USBs have memory card readers too.
You can transfer data from one device to another at incredible speeds. The speed of transfer is not dependent on the availability or strength of your internet connection.
No moving parts
These devices do not have any moving parts. As a result, they consume far less power than other storage devices. They connect instantly and can be ejected with similar speed and ease.
Ease of Use
They are very easy to use. All you have to do is connect them to your device. As mentioned earlier, you can use them across a variety of platforms, from IOS to Android to Windows, and Mac.
Unlike cloud services, you do not require an internet connection before accessing the data on a USB flash drive.
They are secure
USB flash devices are very secure. Since they are not connected to any wireless networks, they cannot be hacked via the internet. When cloud services fail, even if that doesn’t happen often, you will be glad to have your important information on a USB flash drive somewhere.
They also come with a variety of security features. Some of them require passwords in order to access any files, while some sophisticated ones require fingerprint access to function.
All these safeguards do not require any internet connections. To even make your information safer, some of these nifty devices feature encryption. Therefore, before files can be accessed, private keys are required.
There are many USB flash drive options available on the market. We are confident that by reading our review of those listed in this article, you have narrowed your choice to the 10 best cheap USB flash drives under $10.
If for some reason you do not find what you want among the cheap USB flash drives listed in the article, the factors to consider found in our buying guide will help you eventually choose an excellent USB flash drive.