To use USB or not to use USB?

That is a great question. Here are some sound words of advice from our resident Home Tech expert Mike.

USB Dongles/Flash Drives – often they are 'freebees' or have been lying around for a long time. How reliable are they? If you have important data to store should you use a USB Flash Drive for the job?

Answers to these questions are 1 – not reliable at all, 2 – No, please don’t store valuable data on a USB flash drive


  • Memory used in these devices is often of questionable quality and the true origin difficult to trace, especially in devices such as USB Dongles used as promotional gifts

  • Memory that has been rejected for use in other devices not once or twice, but three times, often finds its way into USB Dongles

  • This type of memory degrades through use and over time – you have no idea how old the memory inside the device is when you are given or purchase it

Our specialist data-recovery partner had over 100 USB Dongles sent to him for data recovery in January alone – his advice also: only use USB Dongles for transferring from one device to another and not for long-term storage. Data recovery is very expensive and not always successful!If you'd like more advice from our Home tech expert, do get in touch.