USB Flash Drives – The universal standard in digital file distribution

FATS Digital - The History of USB


First launched around ten years ago, USB (Universal Serial Bus) flash drives have revolutionised the transfer and sharing of personal files and data.

Among the many advantages of USB technology is its implementation into modern day computers, you will find it built in to almost all PCs and MACs being sold today, making it more universal than either a CD or a DVD disc drive.

usb5bThe USB standard was first launched in 1997 with version 1.0, however it was the introduction of the USB 2.0 in 2000 that really established the flash drive as the storage device of choice.

Now in 2016, the USB 3.1 has emerged, with a transfer rate of 4800Mbit/s which is approximately 10 times faster than the prevalent USB 2.0.

The latest generation of USB 3.1 (Gen 2) has improved further still with data transfer speeds of 10Gbit/s (double that of its predecessor). To put this into perspective at these speeds you could transfer 10 Gigabytes of data in under 8 seconds!

Another improvement in USB flash drive technology is their storage capacity. 2GB or 4GB have long been an acceptable storage capacity, however we are now looking at USBs being made available with more than 128GB of space available. This capacity is increasing all the time, you can now purchase USBs with an unbelievable storage capacity of 1TB!

As a comparison with other physical (and cost effective) media, a standard CD can offer only 700 megabytes of data and a single layer DVD-R, 4.7 gigabytes. Not only can USB drives deliver many times greater storage capacity than CD-R, DVD-R and BD-R, they are less susceptible to failure than disc media often caused by misuse, scratches and deterioration of the dye layers over time.


In the past decade, USB drives have reduced in physical size. The drives are also manufactured in various shapes, colours and designs not previously available for portable storage devices. This has increased their appeal and use as a promotional and marketing product. They can also be supplied with custom printing, packaging and lanyards. USB flash drives can be inexpensively mass duplicated making them an excellent choice for marketing products.

There are many benefits of USBs as a storage and delivery platform: 

  • They are now available in storage sizes of up to 1TB.
  • Compact size.
  • Customization – Can be printed with your company logo and details.
  • Confidential files can be “locked” so they can only be viewed by certain people and not deleted.
  • Inexpensive form of storage.
  • Reusable – Some manufacturers claim a life of “several hundred thousand” uses.
  • Easy to use – ‘Plug & Play’.
  • Compatibility – USB drives are compatible with any computer with a USB port, Mac as well as PC.
  • Durable and rugged.

One of the strongest benefits delivered by personalized USB flash drives is having your company branding displayed to the user each time they access the drive. USB flash drives are not only more environmentally friendly than other media formats, but also serve as an innovative & cost effective marketing tool.


The USB flash drive is perfect for:

Events & Trade Shows: If you want to stand out at your next marketing event, branded USB sticks can help give you that edge.

Schools, Business & Government: From uploading prospectuses, lecture notes and presentations or simply for backing up and transporting and sharing files.

Photography & Weddings: Upload your client’s photos onto your personalised USB – complete with your logo and contact details.

Cinema File distribution: Transfer and distribute your DCP to cinemas worldwide on your branded USB – complete with you logo and contact details.

Contact FATS for a comprehensive range of unique eye catching promotional USBs, custom printed USBs, proprietary USB packaging and USB duplication services