USB Flash Drive Data Recovery Blog

Providing expert advice on broken flash drive repair and flash drive data recovery.

What is the difference between a flash drive and thumb drive?

Brian Ernst - Monday, June 28, 2010

The short answer is…nothing at all! Since the USB flash drive came into use about a decade ago, it has became incredibly popular, replacing inferior technologies like floppy disks and Zip drives almost overnight. There’s no denying that everyone loves flash drives. The problem is, we’ve just never been able to agree on a name for these marvelous little contraptions. Though USB flash drive is the most widely adopted nomenclature here in the States, most of Europe has decided to call it a pen drive. Many other titles also persist: Zip drive (actually a misnomer since this refers to those big, square-shaped Iomega branded disks from the late 90s). Thumb drive is also a popular name. Jump drive and usb drive are common as well. Some call it a USB key or key drive. Other names include memory stick, finger stick, data stick, and disk-on-key.

That's 12 names, and I'm probably forgetting a few.

Part of the reason for so many names stems from producers like Kingston, SanDisk, Lexar, Corsair, PNY, Crucial and other flash memory companies seeking to differentiate their USB flash drives from others by coming up with a unique name.

In the end, no matter what we decide to call them, we sure do love these gadgets. That is, until they stop working, become corrupted, break, or get accidentally erased causing us to lose all our important files. Yes, as good and as useful as they are, there is still plenty that can go wrong. Fortunately,’s flash drive data recovery service exists to rescue your important files should your flash drive break or stop working. We’re also here to help ensure you never lose your files again (or, better yet, prevent it from happening in the first place) with our easy-to-use automatic flash drive backup application.


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The Flash Drive Pros (Ryan, Cesar, Paul and Kim)

P.S. Tell us what other names have your heard for flash drives and get 25% off FDP Sync!