What to Know About National Flash Drive Day

National Flash Drive Day 2022 marks the 22nd anniversary of the flash drive. On this day in 2000, the US officially issued a patent for what we now know as a commonplace flash drive, USB drive, data stick, or thumb drive. 

Here’s everything you need to know about this momentous occasion. 

When is National Flash Drive Day? 

As we briefly mentioned, April 5th is the day that the flash drive was finally issued a patent by the US government. However, that’s not where the flash drive’s story begins. 

They were actually first introduced in 1995 by a working group of American IT companies that were seeking to consolidate, standardize and speed up PC connections. 

It was only in 2000 that USB 2.0 was announced and later became widely available. 

What is the history of flash drives?  

The first flash drives that went on the market in the US had only 128 MB of memory and sold for $30. Although for today’s standards that might seem like a big price for relatively little storage, two decades ago it was a landmark development that far outshone the floppy disk that could store, at a maximum, 1.44 MB. 

The thumb drive revolutionized storage because it meant large files no longer had to be split across floppy disks. However, at the time of their introduction, uptake was relatively slow because computer and other device manufacturers took time to begin adding USB ports to their devices. 

The wider adoption of the standard, which drove the use of devices such as flash drives, came only when Apple introduced its iMac with in-built USB ports. 

Now that they are so ubiquitous, USB drives are highly affordable, boast big storage capacities, and are used not only for storage but for backups and file transfers. 

What does USB stand for? 

USB stands for ‘Universal Serial Bus’ which refers to technology that connects computers to external or ‘peripheral’ devices. 

What is the future of the flash drive? 

Though cloud storage is becoming the standard for most consumers (personal and professional), this doesn’t necessarily mean that flash drives will become obsolete. Physical storage solutions maintain their importance, being less vulnerable to cyber attacks and data compromise. In addition, flash drives are extremely convenient and affordable. To celebrate national flash drive day, why not read more about the history of the humble thumb drive and appreciate the power it puts in your hands?

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