Notes on USB sticks

USB sticks are the most popular and secure backup system used in business today as they have a very price/benefit. They are easy to use. Stick them in a computer, suck the required information out and go.

So here are some tips for USB sticks.

Be prepared to require replacement USB sticks as although in theory they can last a long time, in practice as we tend to lose them, they break or get cooked by the sun, so they tend to last much less. Still, they are cheap so few care. Just remember that there seems to be no pattern with the life expectancy, some last forever and some only a few months.

Since point of sale data is quite big, I do not suggest you getting a slow USB stick, what will happen then is you will be waiting around for ages while its backing up. Since most backups are reasonably large nowadays, I would strongly suggest getting a fast USB stick. Furthermore when running them check the speed, some in practice although not theory are extremely slow. This is almost certainly because they are damaged.

If the USB slides out in use, make sure that the slider is not flimsy and does not slip.

Most people including myself prefer to keep them on a keyring, so I suggest you make sure that they have a keyring holder.

Check whether the USB stick requires special software to work if they do so its a pain to use it. So I suggest selecting another USB that does not need special software.

Test it immediately and use it extensively under warranty.Some of the cheaper made ones only work a few times and then fail.

You need to test whether it works with your operating system, we had a client whose USB stick worked on his work computer which ran windows 10, but when we tried to load it on a windows 7 computer, it failed.

Check how much space you do have on your USB stick, too often the supplier advertises them with X GB, and when we test them, we find its much less due to some error on the USB drive.

They needed to verify how much it can hold, I have seen new USB sticks that only hold about half the quoted figure.

Check your backups are working, I have seen USB sticks that appear to work but when we tested them were saving nothing.

Finally, be warned that some USB stick can suddenly go into a write protect mode which means they cannot be used until this is fixed. The stick, if it does not work, may not be damaged, it just needs fixing.

Hope this helps