USB Smart Drive

What Does USB Smart Drive Mean?

A USB smart drive is often defined as a USB drive that has intelligent installed software features that help it to interact with a computer or other host device.


Techopedia Explains USB Smart Drive

The primary principle of the USB smart drive is the standardized USB connection now dominant for attaching external drives, cameras and other devices to a computer. Since its introduction in the 1990s, USB has become the dominant mode of connection.

Many of the intelligence features on a USB smart drive are composed of proprietary company software the manufacturer uses to allow programs to run from the drive. As USB drives evolved, makers began to put in more interactive technology for allowing input and output from the drive, as well as other kinds of functionality. These drivers and software programs also offered more branding opportunity for the company.

There is a debate about USB smart drives in the user community. Some enjoy the more enhanced functionality of USB drives with smart features, whereas others feel like these drivers and software programs take up space, cause the drive to run slower, or create certain kinds of compatibility problems or user-friendliness problems with use.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.