Flash Drive vs Pen Drive: Difference and Comparison

In a world where every minute equals a big amount of data creation, everyone needs devices that are compatible with their requirements and can be used for the storage of data.

These vary in many domains like their ideal use, capability, or conditions where they can be used. Know about what might be your perfect device.

Key Takeaways

  1. Flash drives and pen drives use flash memory for data storage, but “pen drive” is more commonly used in India and other countries.
  2. Both devices are portable, lightweight, and convenient for data transfer and storage.
  3. Flash and pen drives are available in various storage capacities, ranging from a few gigabytes to multiple terabytes.

Flash Drive vs Pen Drive

A flash drive is a small, portable storage device that connects to a computer’s USB port. The device contains a solid-state memory chip that can store data and transfer it quickly between devices. A pen drive is a type of flash drive that is designed to look like a pen. It is a small, cylindrical device with a USB connector on one end and a cap on the other.

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Each storage device having non-movable elements is referred to as a flash drive. Before the invention of flash drives, pc users stored modest quantities of data on floppy discs & CDs.

Whenever a pc user inserts a disc or CD into a computer, the device is read by moving elements, such as with a laser scanning a CD.

 A pen drive is a compact disc that is used to share information across many systems. The name was inspired by the pen’s resemblance.

It can be used on any computer that has a USB port. It replaced the floppy disk and other storage devices as it was compact and could store more information.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonFlash DrivePen Drive
DescriptionIt is a type of computer memory having flash memory and a built-in Universal Serial Bus (USB) port.A solid-state hard disc that can be put into a USB port and used for data storage and retrieval.
Invention1999 by M-Systems2001 by phison
UseCan be used in many formsas mobile USB storage device
Data is storedStored in the form of flash memoryStored in memory chips
CapacityMaximum up to 256GBMaximum up to 64GB

What is Flash Drive?

A USB flash drive, known as a USB memory stick, is a flash memory device. A USB flash drive communicates with a computer via a USB interface, which is highly convenient since it does not require additional software.

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A USB flash drive is made up of a compact printed circuit board containing flash memory that is housed in plastic as well as metal container.

Whenever the flash drive is inserted into a USB connection that supplies power, it becomes active. This signifies it’s a memory device that can store and transmit data using USB (universal serial bus) connections.

The data here on the device is saved or destroyed electrically in flash memory. Around 1998, Trek patented a series of data storage devices, and around 2000, Trek registered a group of data-storage devices.

M-System filed a patent for the Flash drive in 2001, as well as a patent implementation. USB0.9, USB1.0, & USB1.1 were used to calculate the first data transfer speed, which varied from 0.9 – 12Mbps.

Users felt that it was insufficient, so USB 2.0 with a capacity of 480Mbps was released in 2000. USB 3.0 was introduced around 2008, with something like a data transfer speed of up to 5 Gbps, whereas USB 3.1 (released in 2013) has been improved to a super-fast 10 Gbps mode.

Since about Mar 2016, flash drives having capacities ranging from 8 – 256 GB are popular, with 512 GB and 1 TB models selling less frequently.

flash drives

What is Pen Drive?

A specific form of universal serial bus (USB) USB stick is referred to as a “pen drive.” Pen drives are flash storage cards with NAND flash technology that may be connected to a device’s USB interface.

Its term “pen” defines the size of the device. This flash drive is small enough to fit inside the palm of your hands or hung on a lanyard. It also is flat and rectangular, like a highlighter pen’s shape.

Data is stored on pen drives. These detachable and rewritable flash drives range in storage capacity from 64 MB to 32 GB. Pen drives are frequently purchased by techies as backups or replacements for CD-Rs or floppy discs.

The typical Joe, on the other hand, unintentionally buys pen drives in the shape of iPods & MP3 players. The most common kind of pen drives nowadays are iPods & MP3 players. And their circuit boards are the secret to their success.

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A little printed circuit board makes up a pen drive. This circuit board acts as a stable foundation for such pen drive’s form as well as a way of data collection.

The circuit board’s microchip can retrieve data using only a small amount of electrical power. It’s based on the old EEPROMS technology, which enables both writing and erasure.

Whenever a pen drive is plugged into a USB port, it turns on. It is otherwise inactive. The USB connector allows the pen drive to access data on a particular computer.

Most pen drives are compatible with practically every USB host/port on a desktop because they are formatted using the FAT as well as FAT 32 file systems.

pen drive

Main Differences Between Flash Drive and Pen Drive

  1. The difference between a flash drive and a pen drive is that a flash drive uses flash memory for storage and has an inbuilt USB connector, but a pen drive is a solid-state device that may be used for data storage and interchange and can be plugged into a USB port.
  2. The inventions of both of the devices are different. Flash drive was invented by M-Systems in 1999 and modified later whereas pen drive was divided by phison in the year 2001.
  3. The application of a flash drive can vary in a big range whereas a Pen drive can be used as a mobile USB storage device.
  4. The data stored in a flash drive is in form of flash memory whereas pen drive stores data in form of memory chips.
  5. The maximum capacity of a flash drive ranges up to 256 GB whereas Pendrive storage can go up to 64GB.
Difference Between Flash Drive and Pen Drive
  1. https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/28/1/110.abstract
  2. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/1165573.1165674?casa_token=Z5Lh-nq_ODMAAAAA:Rbi_6Cvj9HxA099916BFlJgqSrtUDruqXjTVQn1xblYBWbJ3pg-6oHdLenYtlUBN4_lTLv0aLt4

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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10 thoughts on “Flash Drive vs Pen Drive: Difference and Comparison”

  1. Interesting. It’s great to see that this article includes an extensive explanation of the specifications of both flash drive and pen drive.


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