SanDisk Extreme Pro 3.1 (128 GB)
The fastest drive we tested for transferring data to and from a computer, the Extreme Pro is also reasonably priced for the amount of storage space it offers. We prefer its retractable plug to an inevitably lost cap.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $40.
The SanDisk Extreme Pro 3.1 (128 GB) was significantly faster than every other drive we’ve tested for this guide, and more than twice as fast as our previous pick, the Kingston DataTraveler Elite G2 (64 GB). It has a limited lifetime warranty, but you probably won’t need it—the Extreme Pro 3.1’s casing is very solid, and it features a retractable head with a satisfying click so there are no caps to lose.
Samsung Duo Plus (128 GB)
The Samsung Duo Plus is the first USB-C flash drive we’ve tested that doesn’t feel like a compromise. It’s barely slower than our pick, but it’s still fast, with a smart interlocking design.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $27.
It’s taken years, but the Samsung Duo Plus (128 GB) is the first USB-C compatible USB flash drive we’ve tested that we feel comfortable recommending. It’s almost as fast as our main pick when saving data to it, and while its read speeds when accessing data aren’t as fast, it’s still an improvement from our previous pick, the Kingston DataTraveler. And for owners of more modern, high-end notebooks, it eliminates the need for an adapter dongle (while remaining convenient and compatible with other computers that lack USB-C ports).
Samsung Bar Plus 3.1 (128 GB)
It has a funny shape but decent performance at a tough-to-beat price.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $20.
The time you save with the speed of our top pick is worth a little more money, but if you’d prefer not to spend much more than $20 for something that’s still pretty good, we recommend the Samsung Bar Plus 3.1 (128 GB). It isn’t the fastest drive we’ve tested, but it’s far from the slowest—and worth a couple bucks more than a decades-old model or a no-name brand. What it lacks are minor quality of life features: The head isn’t retractable, and it doesn’t have a cap, so it’s more possible for the plug to get dinged up; and there’s no activity indicator light so you may not be sure it’s working if your computer misbehaves. But the price is right for something that beats the legions of junk out there, and if you manage not to lose it, the Bar Plus 3.1 has a five-year warranty.