Backup to USB Key

Backup to USB Stick

A USB flash drive is a compact, light and portable storage medium. It is available in various sizes and capacities up to 512 GB. It is advisable to use USB 3.0 sticks for backups, because this USB version is about ten times as fast as the previous versions. A good USB 3.0 stick from SanDisk with 64 GB currently costs around $30.

  • easy to use, like a normal drive
  • very small and convenient to carry
  • easy to lose!
  • Not suitable as the only backup method!

Double Backups

USB sticks are intented for data transport and aren't suitable for daily backups. Backups to USB sticks should only ever be used in addition to a regular backup to another medium such as a hard drive. If the primary backup is stored on a hard drive, the USB stick can be used to store data away from the computer system – a good protection from data loss in case of fire, water or theft!

Danger of Losing Data – Who can access it then?

The strong encryption feature of Z-DBackup enables you to protect your confidential documents from access by unauthorised persons!

Good USB Sticks

If you want to use a USB stick for backups, quality and manufacturer are quite important. Good manufacturers include Kingston, Corsair, SanDisk, Transcend, and Verbatim.

A cheap USB stick from discount markets are usually not suitable for backups, because fast and reliable flash memory is expensive. Noname devices are much slower and get bad test results. Generally, all manufacturers exaggerate the data throughput of their devices. It is a good idea to read customer reviews, such as on Amazon, before purchase.


You can test your own hardware with the tool Dr. Hardware!

Backup to External USB Hard Disk

Backup to External USB Hard Disk (2.5'' or 1.8'')

Backup to USB harddrive

If you thing about a backup in the range of several GB, hard drives are an obvious option as a backup medium. Available notebook hard disks are a bit slower and offer less capacity than PC drives – but they are robust, unobtrusive and light.

  • Very small, very light and robust
  • fast and simple

For easy use, the power connection should be integrated in the USB connection. This feature is supported by most 2.5''/1.8'' drives. These discs are also plug&play compatible, which means that you can just plug them in and out of the computer without restarting; a disc can be used with Z-DBackup mere seconds after it was connected to the PC. For large data sets, the maximum data throughput plays an important role:

  • USB 1 (1996): 12 Mbps
  • USB 2 (2002): 480 Mbps
  • USB 3 (2011): 4.8 Gbps

These speeds promise a very fast data backup. However, these peak values can only be reached with optimal interaction of USB device, your computer's USB adapter, and a good USB cable.

Double Backups

It is risky to use the same USB hard disk for backups every day. Better are two or more devices which you can use in a round-robin fashion. This protects you from hardware faults and allows you to keep several versions of your files. Always take on of the drives back home or keep it separated from the others to protect yourself from theft or natural catastrophes (fire, water, overvoltage...).

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