USB 2.0 vs USB 3.0 – What’s the Difference and Does It Matter?
You might have noticed by now that computers are set up with USB 3.0 ports and have been for some time. But does this mean that you need to upgrade your old flash drives to the new model? Here are a few ways to determine if you need to upgrade or of the older version is good enough.
Is the USB 3.0 really faster? Well, yes in theory, simply because of the way that USB ports work. Its signaling rate is about ten times faster than the USB 2.0. Generally, this means that you can get to your data ten times faster. But that’s not the whole story. The memory left on the flash drive plays a role as well. It really is more about quality than anything else. A cheaply made 3.0 will only be a tiny bit faster than a well made USB 2.0.
This is important, because a USB 2.0 is pretty cheap and serves most people’s needs well (saving work from school, business presentations, etc.). A well made 3.0 on the other hand can run significantly more, especially if you want to see significant improvement in speed. So, what do you want to use it for? If you’re transferring large files around and you use a drive frequently, it’s definitely worth the upgrade to a 3.0.
How do you know if you have a USB 3.0? Take a look at the port and see if it is colored blue inside. Most computers have both ports. Ultimately, if you don’t want to, you don’t have to upgrade. The new ports are what is called “backwards compatible,” meaning they will fit into a USB 2.0 port just fine. If cost isn’t a factor but quick access to large data files is a must, then you definitely want the upgrade to USB 3.0.