SanDisk Ultra Backup USB drive

The SanDisk Ultra Backup USB Flash Drive is a one-touch backup solution and USB memory stick. We tested the 32GB version.

Sandisk Ultra Backup
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Easy to use, one-touch backup

Cons

  • Feels flimsy, expensive

Bottom Line

Overall, the SanDisk Ultra Backup is a very cool little drive with respectable speed and plenty of conveniences, although you're paying a premium for those creature comforts. But if you like the idea of backing up data on a device the size of a pack of chewing gum with the press of a finger, we can recommend the SanDisk.

Would you buy this?

SanDisk Ultra Backup: Speed

The drive backs up remarkably fast. We first backed up 1,991 files - a mixture of text documents, photos and videos — in about 45 seconds. Obviously, backups are pointless without the ability to retrieve data, and this drive's restore feature works flawlessly and quickly. Restoring all of those files to a desktop folder took about five seconds.

There is also an "archive" feature that allows you to store your previous backup in a separate folder on the drive and start a backup in a folder. And with the drive's "clean up" feature, you can also permanently delete a previously archived backup and start a new backup in a new folder.

The SanDisk Ultra Backup is billed as a "high speed" device, which means nothing than that it uses USB 2.0 and should deliver data transfer rates of up to 480Mbits/sec. Since the packaging says high speed, that means benchmark testing.

We used ATTO Technology's ATTO Disk Benchmark v2.3.4, and Simpli Software's HD Tach v3.0.4 benchmarking utilities to perform my read/write performance tests. ATTO showed that the drive had an 18.4MB/sec write rate and a burst speed of 27.4MB/sec HD Tach showed an average write rate of 19MB/sec, an average read rate of 23.6MB/sec, and a burst speed of 27.6MB/sec CPU utilisation was 11 percent and random access time was 0.6 milliseconds.

By comparison, the IronKey Secure USB flash drive — the fastest we've yet tested — offers 31MB/sec burst speed, 29.6MB/sec average write speed and 22 percent CPU utilisation. Another good-performing drive is the Corsair Survivor, which offers 25.1MB/sec burst speeds, 23.6MB/sec average read speed and 4 percent CPU utilisation.

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