Flash drives have become completely ubiquitous. It is hard not to find them anywhere. In fact many times now companies just give them out for free. Oftentimes when I attend conferences and the like and speak with someone about their company or products they hand me a flash drive with more details on it. The same with when I got to a meeting and need a document, I will often just take it on a flash drive and hand it over. It is hard to beat free, but even though I have a whole pile of cheap flash drives in my desk, I still go out and pay good money to get higher quality ones. Why? The answer is simple. When I am carrying really critical data I want to know that it will still be there in the morning. Using a cheap or no-name drive does not give me the confidence that my hard work will not all have gone to waste if the drive deletes it.
The other really big reason to buy drives is because of capacity. I like to carry a lot of data with me. Some of it is work related. I need big files including audio and digital files in my job and I still need a big capacity flash drive or an external hard drive to carry them. The other reason is because of convenience. Some of the best flash drives out there come preloaded with various bits of software that make life a lot easier. U3 software, for instance, includes password protection for files as well as various utilities including open office. I like that because it means I can pretty much work from anywhere, even if I don’t have my laptop with me. And if the drives are reliable then I know that I won’t have to worry about trying to open a file only to be given an error message instead.