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USB Duplicator Buyer's Guide

Choosing A USB Flash Drive Duplicator

USB flash drives are a popular way for businesses and organizations to share data because they are small, convenient to use and distribute, and universally compatible. Here are some ways they are being used:

  • To share product information with customers
  • To share copies of sales presentations
  • To distribute files too large to send through email
  • To copy site-licensed software and install on new machines
  • Flash drives are even being used as a handy way to collect data from a variety of sources.

  • All of these uses call for duplication from a source flash drive to multiple target flash drives. A USB Duplicator can save tremendous amounts of time and effort when making multiple flash drive clones. USB Duplicators come in many varieties. There is a wide assortment of features to consider. Before considering your options, you should answer these questions for yourself:
    1. In what ways will I be using my flash drive clones?
    2. In what quantities will I be making flash drive clones? If you're going to be making large quantities of duplicates, size and speed of your USB Duplicator would be a consideration.
    3. Is security a consideration?
    4. Do I need a portable USB Duplicator?
    5. What types of formats do you work with?
    Now, let's look at the options available.

    Size and Speed

    There are a few factors that impact the speed at which you can duplicate flash drives.

    1. Number of Ports

    The ports are the outlets into which you plug your source or target flash drives. USB Duplicators can have anywhere from a few to more than a hundred ports. Clearly, if you plan to duplicate large quantities of flash drives, you will want a duplicator with a large number of ports.

    USB Drives

    The USB 3.0 standard specifies a maximum transmission speed of 5 Gigabits per second, which is ten times faster than the USB2.0 standard (480 megabits per second). This maximum speed represents an ideal and actual data transfer speeds will depend on a variety of factors, including the flash drives you use.

    Your USB 3.0 duplicator will also be compatible with USB 2.0 flash drives, but duplication speed may be limited by the USB 2.0 drives used.

    Because USB 3.0 is backward-compatible with USB 2.0, a USB 2.0 duplicator will duplicate USB 3.0 drives, but it may not take advantage of those drives' full speed capability.

    3. Asynchronous Copying

    This is a special feature of some duplicators that works when duplicating drives of a limited size (the size limit will depend on the duplicator). If you have a USB Duplicator with this feature, you can remove target drives as data transfer is completed to those drives and replace them with fresh target drives and the duplicator will begin transferring data to the newly inserted drives automatically. This way you can keep the duplication process moving along and you don't have to wait to complete duplication to a complete set of target drives before inserting fresh targets.

    Stand Alone Vs. Computer-Connected USB Duplicators

  • Standalone USB Duplicators do not have to be connected to a computer to operate. Controls are on the duplicator itself.

  • In order to operate a computer connected USB Duplicator, it has to be connected to a desktop or laptop. And a USB duplicator must be connected to a computer or laptop with the appropriate interface to optimize performance. For example, performance will be compromised if a duplicator's USB 3.0 connector is plugged into a computer's or laptop's USB 2.0 port.

  • Though this required connection might create some inconvenience, the computer connection does allow the user to operate the duplicator through a software interface. These interfaces can be user-friendly and can make it easier to perform complex functions.

    With the duplicator connected to a computer, the user can also copy data directly from their computer to the target flash drives. Some computer-connected USB Duplicators will include a feature that allows the user to collect data from flash drives connected to the duplicator and transfer it to the computer.


    There are a variety of features available in a USB Duplicator beyond simple copying. Here are some of the options. Note that special media may be required for some of these features.

  • Compare: Compares data on original source drive with destination drives.
  • Erase: Erases data on the target drives.
  • Verify: Confirm target drives can be read correctly after copying and matches original source data.
  • Test: Verify one or more flash drives function correctly. Determine the drive letter associated with each drive.
  • Format: Formats unformatted flash drives.
  • Create Image: Allows user to create an image file for duplication from an existing file on a source drive.
  • Image Copy: Copy from an image file.
  • File Copy: Select down to the file live to copy from available folders.

  • Final Considerations

    As with any high technology product, it's important to consider the reputation and qualifications of the manufacturer when choosing your USB Duplicator.

    It's best to choose a brand that has a history of quality and credibility.

    You want to be sure that the company offers adequate support and guarantees its products.

    If you carefully consider your needs and available features, it will be a breeze to select the USB Duplicator that's right for you. You'll be on your way to enjoying increased productivity, saving time and money.

    Aleratec Solutions

    Aleratec offers a variety of Stand Alone and Computer-Connected USB Duplicators with from ten to 118 target ports. Aleratec's line of USB Duplicators currently includes:

    1:118 USB Copy Tower SA USB Flash Drive Duplicator - Part 330118
    1:27 USB Copy Tower SA USB Flash Drive Duplicator - Part 330106
    1:11 USB Copy Cruiser SA - Stand Alone USB Flash Drive Duplicator Part 330107
    1:21 USB Flash Drive Copy Cruiser Duplicator - Part 330104
    1:10 USB 3.0 Copy Cruiser Mini Duplicator - Part 330113

    Check the chart below to find the Aleratec Product that meets your needs and link directly to the product page.

    330115 330113 330107 330104 330106 330118

    By Perry Solomon
    Copyright © Aleratec. All Rights Reserved. Aleratec and the Aleratec logo are registered trademarks of Aleratec, Inc. All other product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.