|"The write speed of thumb drives and sd cards is less..."|
Also, the read speed is much slower than the write speed - as little as 1/8 of the write speed.
Scroll down, see the second larger table, after this:
"This table lists common ratings, the minimum transfer rates, and the corresponding Speed Class (though the comparison is not always exact)."
The max data transfer rating of USB 1.1 is 12 mbits/sec, not mbytes/sec, or 1.5 mbytes/sec (8 bits per byte) according to some sources, or 1.2 mbytes/sec (8 bits per byte plus 2 bits per byte for "overhead") according to other sources.
The max data tranfer rate of USB 2.0 is 480 mbits/sec, or 60 mbytes/sec (8 bits per byte) according to some sources, or 48 mbytes/sec (8 bits per byte plus 2 bits per byte for "overhead") according to other sources.
In the real world, you're likely to NEVER get a higher data transfer rate from a USB 2.0 connection than about 40 mbytes/sec for an external hard drive (connected via USB), or for the fastest flash drives or memory cards.
USB 2.0 requirements...
The mboard must have (a) USB 2.0 controller(s)
The computer's bios Setup must have the USB 2.0 controller support enabled - High Speed - it is enabled by default. ("Full speed" there is USB 1.1 support, only).
The operating system must have built in USB 2.0 (controller and device) support.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 do - XP must have SP1 or later Windows updates installed in it or integrated into it.
The main chipset drivers must have been installed in the operating system.
If you have re-loaded Windows from scratch, the built in support Windows 7 has for USB 2.0 controllers and devices is NOT installed in Windows until AFTER the main chipset drivers have been installed for your mboard.
Click on Computer - in the top bar select System Properties - on the resulting screen select Device Manager on the left.
Under the heading USB controllers, if Windows built in USB 2.0 support has been installed, there will be at least one listing for an Enhanced USB controller or similar in the list.
People often use external USB hubs, especially with laptops and netbooks.
It's well known that external USB hubs DO NOT work properly with all USB devices. Plug any external hard drive or flash drive or external memory card reader into a USB port directly connected to the mboard for the best possible data transfer rate, e.g. a USB port built into the case on a laptop or netbook.
Older built in memory card readers, and older external memory card readers, have a lower max data transfer rate.
If there is a USB cable between the external device and the computer's USB port, it must support USB 2.0 specs.