You may be surprised at how important it is to invest in the best external hard drives available. Whether you have extremely important and irreplaceable files or large projects to back up, an external drive can easily do so. That way, if your laptop, Chromebook, or PC dies, you’ll still have those files on that drive.
There are some fantastic secure drives and portable SSD drives that provide additional security for your files while also having extremely fast read and write speeds. Nonetheless, the best external hard drives are more reasonably priced, allowing you to spend your money on more storage space. And they could be the ideal solution if you don’t require the fastest speeds or something that can withstand being knocked around in the bottom of a bag.
Because you can take the best external hard drive with you wherever you go and store a large amount of data, these drives are ideal for backing up important files and transporting them.
How to Choose the Best External Hard Drive?
When it comes to data transfer speeds, the connection the drive uses and whether it is a normal hard drive or a solid state drive are the most important elements to consider (SSD). USB 3.0 connectors are used by several external hard drives. For faster speeds, though, you’ll need USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 USB Type-C or Thunderbolt 3 or 4 connections. You must also confirm that your PC or laptop has a compatible port.
You’ll also need to consider how much storage space you’ll require. The best external hard drives provide a variety of storage options. We recommend starting with 1TB of storage because it provides plenty of space for your stuff without spending too much. That should suffice for the majority of users. However, if your regular task includes handling with large files – such as high-resolution images and videos – you should consider purchasing one with more storage space. Fortunately, many external hard drives provide terabytes (TB) of storage space for a relatively small additional cost.
When looking for the best external hard drive for your needs, you should look for a device that can safely and securely store your vital files. You don’t want to acquire an external hard drive that fails on you, causing you to lose all of your vital backups, thus reliability is critical. The best external hard drives will also be fast, either because they use SSD (Solid State Drive) technology or because they use cutting-edge connecting technologies like USB-C.
Choosing the best external hard drive for your needs begins with determining how much capacity you require. You don’t want to buy an external hard drive that is too little, only to run out of space and have to buy another. However, you don’t want to overpay for storage capacity that you’ll never use. Furthermore, the best external hard drives must be durable and rugged, allowing you to safely store your data without worry. The best external drives must also be small enough to fit in your backpack and have substantial capacities to keep your data safe while travelling.
1. Apple AirPort 2TB Time Capsule Hard Drive
Apple is infamous for being proprietary, which means that investing in Apple-manufactured equipment is a wonderful method to ensure that a hard drive will perform exactly as intended. Just bear in mind that this isn’t your typical hard drive. Instead, it functions as a full wireless router, allowing you to upload all of your files, folders, and memories instantly online. This is made possible by the smooth interaction with Time Machine, but it also ensures that you’ll always have a backup in case something goes wrong.
2. Samsung Portable SSD T5 500GB Hard Drive
The Samsung Portable SSD is too hard to gush. This lightweight (1.75 ounce) hard drive fits into your palm, making it a perfect travel option. It includes AES 265-bit encryption with password protection and metal housing, which is up to two metres drop resistant. The speeds of reading and writing are quick flashing. The factory promises a speed of up to 540 MB/S yet we have recorded a speed of up to 506MB/S (MacOS) and 462 MB/S. (CrystalMark Test, Windows). The drag and drop rate for moving file sizes of 2, 6, 10, and 100 GB is on average 237 MB/S. It has been found 3 times faster than other external hard drives. It is available in an ultra-package format (with nice colours).
The Samsung Portable SSD is hard to find many disadvantages. The pricing per GB is a little excessive. However, the value improves as you move in storage. Besides that, we recommend this SSD for anybody who can afford it.
3. Seagate Portable 5TB External Hard Drive
Sometimes all you need is a fast and efficient hard drive, which this Seagate backup drive provides in spades. There aren’t many features here, but this hard drive provides 5 TB of storage space for a little more than a hundred dollars. The Seagate backup is also explicitly designed for use with both Mac and Windows, so you can rely on it to transfer data between a work computer and a personal device. It’s also simple to move files. To share files, this hard drive employs a straightforward and simple drag-and-drop interface portable external hard drive.
4. Silicon Power 2TB Rugged Portable External Hard Drive
The Silicon Power Rugged drive is a wonderful choice if you’re looking for a lightweight yet sturdy Hard Disk Drive (HDD). Most HDDs are large and heavy, however this one fits nicely into a small pocket or purse. It has an average read and write speed and is compatible with a variety of systems. The hard drive is suspended inside the robust shell, which is covered in silicon to make it drop and water-resistant. While you should not immerse this drive in water, it will most likely survive if a glass of water is inadvertently spilled on it. We dropped it from a height of six feet into carpet and concrete, and it still worked wonderfully. If you’re looking for a sturdy, lightweight HDD, this lightweight competitor is worth a look.
Unfortunately, while optimised tests on both Mac and Windows show that read and write rates are approximately average, this drive was one of the slowest in our actual drag and drop tests. Dropping files of various sizes (2, 6, 10, 100 GB) from a macOS disc to the drive resulted in an average of 62 MB/S. (lowest of all drives tested). With bigger file sizes, the speeds slowed to a crawl of 32.6 MB/S when transmitting a 100 GB file. Furthermore, the connection that comes with the drive is poorly fastened to the drive and is easily lost portable external hard drive. This is a functional and long-lasting drive with adequate performance.
5. Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC USB 3.0 1TB Rugged Portable Hard Drive
One of the best prices for external hard drives around is Buffalo MiniStation Extreme. It can be collected and reckoned on for less than a hundred dollars to last considerably long. It is robust to exact military standards and resistant to water and dust. And because these external hard drives are encrypted, you also don’t have to worry about compromising your data. It supports near-field communication technology, so that you can simply taps an NFC compatible device to transfer data to your hard drive storage.
6. LaCie Rugged Mini 4TB External Hard Drive
If the Silicon Power hard drive isn’t for you, but you’re still looking for something tough, consider LaCie’s alternative. The LaCie is not as cheap, but it can withstand falls, water, and dust thanks to the sturdy shell built around the edges of this hard drive. Both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 formats are supported, and this LaCie hard drive for Mac boasts transfer speeds of up to 130 megabytes per second. In an unusual offer, the LaCie Rugged comes with a full month’s membership to the Adobe Creative Cloud full plan, making the LaCie one of the best choices for creatives.
7. IStorage DiskAshur 2TB External Hard Drive
Typically, iStorage’s hard drives are best adapted to governments and multinationals around the world, and for good reason – as no other drive offers close protection. You can set it up to self-destruct if someone tries to tamper with your iStorage drive. Furthermore, the data is encrypted by the 256-bit AES protocol and is protected in several ways to prevent the bad guys from entering, however persistent they may be. If you take all this added safety into account, pricing will not frighten you either.
Sure, this is still costly four times the price and the unlikely to be a most flattering performer for an equal 2TB drive. But for a virtually uncrackable product you’re paying. Be aware, though, that if things go poorly and you lose your password, you will not be helped by the manufacturer.
8. Adata HD830 2TB External Hard Drive
The Adata Durable Hard Drive, encased in a protective shell, is an HDD (Hard Disk Drive) designed to withstand the most severe punishment. We submerged it in water for two hours, then drove over it with a half-ton truck and dropped it six feet onto concrete. It came back to life in every case, with all data intact and easily accessible. No other hard drive we tested could withstand this level of abuse, making it our favourite rugged hard drive. It is pre-configured for both Mac and Windows platforms and is compatible with PS4 and Xbox gaming systems. This is the external hard drive to get if you want a dependable and armoured drive. Throw it in the sand, drop it in the water; your data will be safe.
Though the Adata excels in terms of durability, it is not without flaws. It’s not even close to the fastest drive we tested. During our drag and drop tests, it averaged 64 MB/S. During optimised testing (where we see the fastest possible speeds), it displayed read and write times on macOS of 119 and 116 MB/S, respectively. The fastest time recorded for Windows was 135 MB/S (read) and 127 MB/S (write) using the USB-A port. In terms of speed, this drive can’t compete with the best. It’s also bulky and heavy, but it fits neatly inside the pocket of any backpack. This is the drive to get if you want a seriously long-lasting drive that will protect your data.
The Toshiba Canvio Basics 2TB is a basic SSD with industry-leading reliability, storage, and speed. It’s lightweight and portable, and its construction appears to be more durable than other options in this price range, making the value hard to beat. It proved to be reasonably durable, withstanding a five-foot drop test on both carpet and concrete. Its read and write times are adequate for data backup and storage, however not the fastest. If you’re looking for a simple and low-cost hard drive, this is a perfect option.
While the timed speed tests represent speeds in “optimal settings,” we witnessed this drive transfer data at a rate of 66 MB/s during our drag and drop tests, with substantially slower timings read when moving larger files. For example, when a 2GB file was dropped, it read at a rate of 90MB/s, whereas a 100GB file read at only 30MB/s. These speeds are approximately normal for this pricing point portable external hard drive. If the drive dies, there are no data recovery services or security features provided. Still, if you’re looking for minimal cost and simplicity, this is the one to go with.
12. Adata SD700 External SSD Hard Drive
The Adata SD700 is ideal for people searching for a robust storage device with plenty of capacity at a reasonable price. It runs admirably and is the only IP68-rated SSD we’ve encountered. Because of the solid state drive that lies in this external hard drive, it is far faster than external drives that use traditional spinning hard drives, which means you get amazing transfer speeds as well as tough protection. It also comes in capacities of up to 1TB, so you don’t have to worry about running out of storage space simply because it’s an SSD – this drive really hits all the right notes.
13. WD Black P10 2TB External Hard Drive
The WD Black P10 2TB portable hard drive is a decent deal for roughly $80 if you’re searching for a high-service external drive for your Xbox One (5TB version approx. $130). This external drive also has a digital code that gives you a welcome bonus, especially if you are already a member, one month Microsoft’s Game Pass Ultimate. There is also a portable hard drive standard version, which is also available for PCs and PS4 at the same price. The mobile drive offers up to 130MBps performance.
14. G-Technology 4TB G-DRIVE USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive
This external G-Technology hard drive will work with Mac or PC, but it is specifically designed to suit Mac users. It is specially formatted for Mac and you may only add it to your Thunderbolt drive and expect it to work without a need. And Time Machine functionality for quick digital backups is included. Although the price tag is very decent, writing rates and transmission speeds are quick. The latest USB 3.0 protocol is used to speed transmission speed up to a maximum of 245 MB/s. The design is also quite durable.