How to Spot a Fake SSD

If you spot an SSD with a ridiculously small price tag compared to others with similar specifications, the chances are it could be a fake. But how can you tell for certain?

Solid-state drives (SSDs) are the go-to storage device for the modern consumer. They’re small and compact, fast, and less susceptible to physical damage due to a lack of moving parts inside. But as SSDs have become more widespread, fakes are starting to appear more and more. SSDs containing multiple USB flash drives glued together have been found, which is a recipe for disaster in terms of keeping your data safe and secure.

Checking the distribution stamp on the back of an SSD can indicate whether or not it might be a fake. Fakers will know that consumers will be looking closely at the labels, so they’ll try and make them as realistic as possible – but there are a few things to look out for. If the stamp is blurry, unclear and not neatly aligned, it could indicate you have a fake SSD. Additionally, if it doesn’t have a glossy finish, it could suggest a fake. Branded SSDs will have serial numbers that can be checked on the manufacturer’s website. If the serial number isn’t recognised, the SSD is probably a fake. You could also check the feel of the SSD in your hands – a genuine SSD will feel sturdy and well-made, whereas a fake SSD will feel flimsy.

A fake SSD will probably have reduced read/write speeds, a smaller storage capacity, or more likely a combination of the two. However, even an SSD with a seemingly verified storage capacity may not actually be able to store that much data, as it is possible to reprogram the controller chip to display a higher capacity. You can use software such as CrystalDiskInfo to display information pertaining to the drive such as read/write speeds, storage capacity and serial number to determine whether or not the SSD is fake.

In short, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The price of an SSD is, among other things, determined by the current cost of NAND flash. So if you see an SSD from an unknown brand that is of a certain capacity but coupled with an unusually small storage capacity, it’s probably fake. To avoid fake SSDs, it’s best to stick to well-known brands, and to buy from trustworthy sellers.

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