Quick Tips: Quick Tips: Get started using a USB flash drive
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Quick Tips: Quick Tips: Get started using a USB flash drive

2:00 /

Find out what a USB flash drive is, how to use it, and what it's good for.

[ music ] ^M00:00:01 >> Hi, I'm Tom Merritt, Editor from CNET.com with a quick introduction to USB flash drives. Maybe you have one, maybe you've seen one, maybe you wanna get one, but what is it, how do you use it? Well USB flash drive serves the same purpose that these used to but they're a lot easier to use. A USB flash drive is a hard drive, similar to the one inside your computer. But there's no moving parts. They're also smaller than your PC's hard drive. Not just size wise, but also in capacity. Your normal laptop hard drive has anywhere from 30 to 100 gigabytes of storage. USB flash drives run from 256 megabytes, up to a few gigabytes. Finally, to use one you just plug it into an open USB port on your computer. So it's a hard drive that uses flash memory that you plug into your USB port. USB flash drive. Here's how to use it. When you plug it in, it'll show up as a new hard drive. Then you just treat it like a normal hard drive. You can drag and drop files to it and even install programs on it. So why do you need one? Let's say I wanna send a large video file to a coworker or friend. You can try to email it, but it might not go through and it would probably take forever. Email isn't good with large file attachments. You could put it on a network, this might work depending on how fast and accessible your network is. But it also might take a long time to upload and download. So sometimes the old fashioned way is best. I can drag the file onto the USB drive, go over to my friend and she can then put the USB drive in her computer and get the file. Much better. There are a lot of other things you can do with a USB drive. See our Insider Secret on how to store all the data you need on one of these. That's it for this Quick Tip. I'm Tom Merritt, CNET.com. ^M00:01:47 [ music ]

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