USB History and The Rise of Flash Drives

Most people are familiar with USB flash drives. In fact, almost 6 out of 10 US consumers surveyed in a recent study by the Advertising Speciality Institute report owning at least one branded USB stick, and this is really no wonder since they make for a highly affordable giveaway item or gift that will generate a whopping average of 700 views in their lifetime.

Custom Classic USB Flash Drives

Here’s Why USB Flash Drives are Some of the Best Selling Branded Merchandise Available

The fact that USB flash drives make for such a great promotional gift can largely be attributed to the inherent convenience of their design.

They are really the type of thing that people can never have enough of, and since they are so lightweight, and durable, not to mention they can easily be loaded up with or without an Internet connection, meaning that they can provide a vital source of backup for sensitive or valuable material in an age where cyber crime has become increasingly rampant.

USB's Are Kept Over 2 Years

As such, custom branded USB flash drives are a great way to get your name out there and give your clients and employees the type of practical gift that they will be able to really use. There is really nothing to lose since 43% of people report that even if they don’t keep a USB themselves, they will still pass it on to somebody who does, and most people do indeed report holding on theirs for at least a year.

Thus, anybody who argues that USB flash drives are no longer relevant in the advent of cloud technology can think again. Indeed, USB technology actually works as a great complement to internet storage-based options, allowing for a small, lightweight and physical way to keep important data safe, providing unrestricted and unconditional access to the user, who can likewise protect their vital information with added layers of security.

In addition, a USB stick can serve as a nifty way to increase the functioning of a computer itself and can even run applications without affecting the storage capacity of the device it is hooked up to.

Of course, maybe the best part is that, unlike the cloud, a USB will provide for a convenient, highly portable form of data storage that you can actually put your name on. When it comes to branded swag, tech goods are bigger than ever in 2020, and branded USB flash drives are as affordable as they are versatile.

Check out, for example, this best-selling Twist USB Flash Drive. The sleek capless design allows for plenty of space to make your high quality screen-printed or laser engraved branded logo design pop on your choice of no less than 13 data storage options. Meanwhile, 12 fun background color picks provide for the perfect way to set your off your branded image in style. With a minimum order quantity of only 500 items and a super affordable price point to boot, there is really no way to go wrong with this type of fun promotional gift that is just as useful and it is stylish.

Custom Twist USB Flash

Keeping all this in mind, it is really no surprise that USB flash drives make for some of the most popular branded giveaway items in 2020 and beyond, so don’t expect them to become obsolete any time soon!

So basically, we know where USB flash drives are at today, and why they make for such a great choice when it comes to nailing down the best-branded swag giveaways, but do we know where they came from?

After all, we can’t really understand just why USBs continue to be so successful without understanding where it all started, so let’s dive in and take a look!

How It All Began

In essence, the USB flash drive was designed as a way to connect files, drives, and applications to computers without having to worry about committing to a full download.

Hence, the name USB actually stands for Universal Serial Bus, and as the word ‘universal’ implies, all USB flash drives are designed with a standard port that can work with a variety of machines.

In fact, the rise of the USB itself is largely synonymous with the rise of the Internet, and thus, it should come as no surprise that USB flash drives continue to complement more recent technological development as Internet cloud storage becomes more and more popular. However, the fact that USB drives are designed to work alongside the Internet without being reliant on its connectivity means that they still have a major edge over newer Internet-based storage systems.

Developers first began working on USB technology in 1994, when a man named Ajay Bhatt from Intel came together with a group of industry leaders called USB-IF, it’s members hailing from big names in tech like Intel, Microsoft, Compaq, LSI, Apple and Hewlett-Packard.

Put shortly, the basic goal here was to replace the cumbersome serial and parallel port system that had previously been used to connect external elements to a computer interface. Since different ports tended to be largely incompatible with each other, the main issue with this system was that people often were forced to purchase expansion cards and custom drivers just to connect devices.

Another big incumbrance was that these ports often required that the whole system be restarted just to connect, and this was a major time-waster and inconvenience for which developers were eager to find a solution.

Thus, the first USB finally appeared on the market in the latter months of 1995. The USB 1.0 and its later released improved 1.1 version not only offered significantly faster data transfer than their predecessor ports, but they managed to streamline a dozen port variations into one simple design without the need to manually restart the computer or operating system in order to connect a new device. Even more impressively, a single USB port is capable of handling a whopping 127 devices. 

Convenient Portable Technology That Is Built to Adapt

The collective compatibility offered by the USB port was a game-changer in the field of computer technology at that time, making multiple device operations widely accessible to the masses. The first computer USB hub made its debut on the iconic iMac G3 in 1998, and USB peripheral accessories quickly took off as well. It wasn’t long before almost all major tech companies followed suit.

In the year 2000, the USB 2.0 was introduced along with the now-ubiquitous USB flash drive. The first USB flash drive originally was designed to hold 8GB of data, but now it is not uncommon for these nifty portable USB plugs to be equipped with a whopping 256GB or more. As such, many people have started using these durable and easy-to-carry devices in place of more expensive and often cumbersome external hard drives.

Even better, the USB flash drives only continue to evolve and improve with the times. Recent years have seen the introduction and gradual integration of the USB 3.0 port which allows not only for super-speed data transfer, but also convenient backward compatibility with older 2.0 ports. Even better, simultaneous upload/download technology integration means that the 3.0 port can not only read and write data faster than previous USBs, but it also allows for speedier, more energy-efficient device-charging capacity.

This means as people continually seek out new ways to make better use of our vital energy resources, we can only expect superior solutions like new USB technology to become increasingly widely adopted. After all, 42% percent of consumers report that they have an even more favorable impression of a company that aligns itself with eco-conscious swag, so it is no wonder models like the sustainably-produced Eco USB Flash Drive or this sleek Timber Flash Drive with available 3.0 technology upgrades still make for such show-stealing promotional gifts.

Here’s How to Get Your Brand on the Best Custom USB Flash Drives

No matter how you slice it, USB technology is the kind of thing that anybody can get behind, and with the best prices and a killer selection of innovative designs at your fingertips, there is really no way to go wrong with our amazing collection of branded USB flash drives.

Whether you are in the market for elegant wood USB drives, full-color USB business cards, capless drives or a unique custom-shaped design of your choice, the sky's the limit when it comes to finding the perfect look that will set your logo-designed USB apart from the pack.

Even better, you can choose between a full range of data storage options and a fantastic selection of fun and eye-catching designs that are bound to turn heads and drum up plenty of positive exposure for your one-of-a-kind branded logo design.

Creating your one-a-kind USB flash drives doesn’t have to be complicated though. For those who are looking for a versatile design that is sure to impress, our best-seller list is a great place to start. Our easy upload tools make the whole ordering process a breeze, and we will be more than happy to send out a free sample just to make sure you love the look.

Finally, those looking for an affordable and practical branded gift on the fly won’t want to miss out on our 24-hour rush delivery options. Don’t forget that our top-notch team is standing by and waiting to help, so don’t be shy to reach out with your ideas so we can start making them a reality!