Jump drive

16GB SanDisk Cruzer Micro USB Flash Drive1. Alternatively referred to as a USB flash drive, data stick, pen drive, memory unit, key chain drive and thumb drive, a jump drive is a portable storage device. It is often the size of a human thumb (hence the name) and it connects to a computer via a USB port. Today, flash drives are available in sizes such as 256MB, 512MB, 1GB, 5GB, and 16GB, and are an easy way to transfer and store information.

The picture to the right is one example of a flash drive. Specifically, this picture is of a SanDisk Cruzer Micro 16GB flash drive.

Unlike a standard hard drive, the flash drive has no movable parts, containing only an integrated circuit memory chip where data is stored. It usually has plastic casing surrounding the memory chip inside and has a USB connection that is plugged into the USB port on a computer.

How do I use a flash drive?

A flash drive can be used like any drive on your computer. Start by inserting the flash drive into a front or back USB port or to a USB hub. Once connected, open My Computer and you should see the drive labeled as "Removable Disk", "Flash drive", or as the manufacturer's name. Once the drive has been determined, you can copy any file you want and paste it into the flash drive or drag-and-drop the files to the flash drive.

Related pages

2. The term flash drive may also be used to describe a solid-state drive, or SSD.

Also see: Hard drive terms, Memory terms, Portable drive, Solid State Device, SSD, Storage, USB