Many of us have turned to cloud storage whenever we need to save or transfer files, but the simple reality is that local storage—in the form of USB flash drives—still has the advantage of speed and reliability. Whether you're looking to quickly transfer your vacation photos or you need to make sure the sales team has the latest version of a PowerPoint presentation, flash drives are a smart idea.
Depending on your cloud service and the speed of your internet connection, syncing large files to the web can take hours. That's not really a problem for backup purposes, but if you want to bring a library of HD movies or photos with you wherever you go, a thumb drive is often much more convenient.
Of course, not all drives provide the same experience. Beyond the question of storage space, you'll also need to consider durability, speeds, the kind of USB port in play, the drive's physical size, and the price. If you search for "flash drive," you'll get hundreds of pages of search results, so we've done the heavy lifting and sorted through the muck to select a few of the top-rated flash drives for specific uses.