Why are SSDs reliable for long-term storage, but USBs fail within a few years?


Since both SSDs and USBs use flash storage. I tried searching online and found [this thread](https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/reliability-of-usb-flash-memory-vs-ssd-drives/) and [this video](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBz56HPO8SU), which were somewhat helpful but not entirely. Does anyone have a great analogy or digestible summary?

In: Technology

Different levels of reliability in the controllers and how they’re built. The basic storage technology is the same but SSDs use a much more robust construction that can withstand more read/write cycles before they accumulate too much damage to function, more sophisticated controllers to spread the damage around, and redundant sections to take over if one section fails.

Think of it like tires on your car. USBs are cheap tires…eventually one of them is going to wear out and pop. SSDs are expensive long life tires, and you do rotation, alignment, and balancing all the time to make sure they’re in good condition, and you have a full size spare.

USB sticks are usually plugged and unplugged a lot more than SSDs, and I’ve seen the USB plug become unsoldered from its circuit board. I don’t know if USB sticks have wear-leveling, where the writes are spread out over different places so the same few sectors don’t get rewritten a lot, but I assume they do because even SD memory cards have wear leveling.

USBs are manufactured with plastic using ‘OXO’ technology. Basically, this component induces decomposition of the product earlier than it would on own.

This decomposition, as others have pointed out, will bread solders and such, which with unable USB for use.
This, of course, forces you to buy a new USB to replace it, thus creating new business for the manufacturer.