Are 2TB flash drive legit?

A 2TB USB flash drive is a portable data storage device that uses flash memory and connects via an integrated USB interface. With a capacity of 2 terabytes (TB), it can hold a significantly larger amount of data compared to smaller and more common flash drives like 64GB or 128GB models. The name refers to the drive’s storage capacity of 2TB, which equals approximately 2,000 gigabytes (GB).

USB flash drives are also sometimes referred to as thumb drives, USB sticks, pen drives or jump drives. They allow you to easily store and transfer files between devices. While early USB flash drives maxed out at just a couple of gigabytes, advances in flash memory technology have enabled drives with capacities up to 2TB and beyond.

2TB flash drives utilize high-density 3D NAND flash memory chips to achieve their large storage capacity in a small form factor similar in size to lower capacity drives. The compact and lightweight design allows them to be easily carried in a pocket and makes them well-suited for transporting and backing up large files or even entire system backups.

History of USB Flash Drives

USB flash drives were first introduced in late 2000. The original USB flash drive, the Trek ThumbDrive, was unveiled at the CES trade show by Singaporean company Trek Technology and had a storage capacity of 8MB (USB flash drive).

In 2001, IBM released the first 16MB USB flash drive. capacities continued to increase over the next few years, with 128MB and 256MB becoming common by 2003-2004. In 2005, 4GB drives entered the mainstream market. By 2007, drives with capacities up to 32GB were available.

The development of USB 3.0 in 2009 allowed for faster transfer speeds and helped pave the way for larger capacities. By 2010, 64GB USB 3.0 flash drives were available. In 2013, Kingston Technology released a 1TB flash drive, the world’s largest capacity at the time (History of the USB Flash Drive).

Today, USB flash drives are available in capacities up to 2TB, allowing users to store vast amounts of data and media files on small, portable devices.

How 2TB Flash Drives Work

2TB USB flash drives use high-capacity flash memory chips and advanced controllers to achieve their massive storage capacities. The flash memory itself consists of stacked 3D NAND flash memory cells, which allow for much greater densities than previous planar NAND technology. Rather than storing data in a 2D grid, 3D NAND stacks memory cells atop each other in vertical columns, fitting far more memory into the same footprint [1]. Major flash memory manufacturers like Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron produce high-capacity 3D NAND chips today.

In addition to the flash memory itself, 2TB drives require advanced controllers to manage all that storage and ensure reliable performance. The controller translates between the USB interface and NAND interface, manages the flash memory, and includes error correction capabilities. High-end drives may use multi-channel architectures and DRAM caches to boost speeds. The controller firmware also provides the flash translation layer (FTL) that handles logical to physical address mapping and wear leveling over the life of the drive [2].

Manufacturing and Components

The main chip suppliers for 2TB flash drives include Phison, Silicon Motion, and Marvell, which supply the flash memory controllers (Source). These controllers manage the flash memory chips and interface with the USB port.

The type of flash memory used in 2TB drives is generally 3D TLC (triple-level cell) NAND flash chips. This provides a high density of storage while keeping costs down compared to faster MLC or SLC NAND flash. The TLC NAND flash chips store 3 bits of data per cell, allowing each chip to hold more data in the same physical space (Source).

By combining multiple stacked TLC NAND flash chips with a high-capacity controller, manufacturers can produce flash drives with capacities up to 2TB in a standard USB thumb drive form factor. However, the performance may be lower than SSDs using MLC or SLC NAND flash.

Real-World Performance

So how do these massive 2TB USB flash drives actually perform in real-world tests and benchmarks? According to benchmarks on USB UserBenchmarks, the Patriot Supersonic Rage Elite provides excellent write speeds of over 350MB/s and read speeds of nearly 400MB/s, making it one of the fastest 2TB flash drives. Meanwhile, the Kingston DataTraveler Max boasts top read speeds exceeding 420MB/s.

In an extensive roundup of the fastest USB flash drives, the Patriot Supersonic Rage Elite ranked near the top for real-world read and write performance. Many reviewers praise its reliability as well, with very few issues reported even after heavy long-term usage. The drive uses high quality 3D TLC NAND flash memory to provide fast speeds, large capacity, and excellent durability.

While most other 2TB flash drives still rely on older planar NAND technology, these new 3D NAND drives like the Supersonic Rage Elite offer a big performance boost. So if you need truly fast transfer speeds from a high capacity USB drive, top picks like the Patriot and Kingston models are the way to go.

Use Cases

While 2TB flash drives may seem excessive for everyday use, they do serve some key purposes for specific users:

Gamers – With many modern video games taking up over 100GB of storage, a 2TB flash drive provides a convenient way for gamers to transport their game libraries and save files between devices. Gamers with large collections can fit their entire library on a single drive.

Photographers/Videographers – High resolution photos and video files quickly eat up storage space. A 2TB flash drive lets photographers and videographers store entire shoots or projects on a portable drive for easy transfer.

IT Professionals – IT techs who need to perform backups, transfer system images, or run diagnostics can benefit from the huge capacity of a 2TB flash drive for their toolkits.

General Data Hoarding – Some users simply want maximum capacity in a portable form factor. 2TB flash drives appeal to these data hoarders who need offline access to their huge personal archives.

In summary, 2TB flash drives serve users who need to transport vast amounts of data conveniently. Gamers, media creators, IT professionals, and data hoarders get the most use out of drives with such immense capacity.


While 2TB flash drives are available from some manufacturers, they come at a steep premium compared to smaller capacity drives. Prices typically range from $200 to over $1,000 for a 2TB flash drive. For example, on Amazon, the SanDisk 2TB Ultra Dual Drive Luxe USB Type C flash drive currently sells for $299.99 ( The Kingston 2TB DataTraveler Ultimate GT USB 3.2 Gen 1 flash drive goes for $739.99 (

These prices are many times higher than smaller capacity flash drives. A quick comparison shows a 256GB drive sells for around $25-40 while a 1TB drive goes for $100-150 in most cases. So the 2TB drives command a large premium despite having 8-10X the storage capacity.

The high cost of 2TB flash drives puts them out of reach for average consumers. They are targeted more for professional and industrial applications where large capacity removable storage is needed. The pricing is likely driven by the costs of NAND flash memory and advanced controllers required to reliably operate such large drives.

Pros and Cons

2TB flash drives offer some key advantages but also have some drawbacks to consider:


  • Massive storage capacity – 2TB flash drives can hold an enormous amount of data, documents, media files, etc.
  • Portability – These high-capacity drives are still small and portable like regular flash drives.
  • Speed – Thanks to USB 3.0/3.1 and solid state memory, 2TB drives can enable fast transfer speeds.
  • Durability – Flash memory is more durable and reliable than traditional hard drives with moving parts.


  • Price – Authentic 2TB flash drives are still quite expensive compared to smaller drives.
  • Limited availability – Fewer brands currently offer 2TB flash drives.
  • Fake drives – There is a flood of counterfeit 2TB drives being sold online.
  • Compatibility issues – Some devices or USB ports may not recognize the full 2TB capacity.

When evaluating a 2TB flash drive purchase, buyers should weigh the benefits against these limitations.


Expert opinions on 2TB flash drives are generally skeptical. According to Data Recovery (, while some reputable manufacturers offer high capacity flash drives, the extremely low prices of many 2TB models indicate they are likely scams. The chips and controllers required for that much storage simply cost more than what most 2TB flash drives are sold for.

Looking at Amazon reviews for a typical low-cost 2TB model (, many users report that while the drive appears to hold 2TB initially, large transfers fail or data gets corrupted/lost. This indicates the actual usable capacity is much lower, meaning it is a counterfeit or scam product.

User experiences buying extremely low-cost 2TB flash drives are generally negative. Experts advise spending a little more for drives from reputable brands like SanDisk, Samsung, or Kingston. While 1TB+ models are available, quality high capacity drives still cost significantly more than scam/counterfeit 2TB models.


So are 2TB USB flash drives really worth the high price tag? In most cases, probably not for the average consumer. While the large storage capacity is appealing, for many the speed limitations, higher cost per gigabyte, and lack of ruggedness make 2TB drives impractical for everyday use. However, for specific professional use cases where a massive portable storage capacity is required, like high resolution media files or backups, a 2TB flash drive can be a worthwhile investment. But for general file transfers and storage needs, most users will be better served by more affordable lower capacity drives or external SSDs. The technology in 2TB flash drives continues to improve, so their value equation may change in the future. But for now, only those with specialized needs require such massive portable storage. For everyone else, standard USB flash drives or external drives are likely the better choice.

Leave a Comment