By Gordon Mah Ung. Anyone who uses a PC should have an external drive. The question is, which external drive is right for you? Updated March 27, to add two reviews that put style on an equal footing with performance. In our tests of the 4TB version, we found the Seagate to be slightly faster with large file transfers think movies but worse with small file transfers think Office documents.
- Hard Drives Deals, Coupons, & Promo Codes
- Best external hard drive: The ultimate portable and desktop SSDs and HDDs you can buy
- The best portable hard drives for photographers in 2019
- Best external drives for backup, storage, and portability
- Best Xbox One external hard drives 2019
- The 9 Best External Hard Drives of 2019
- Best External Hard Drive Deals
- Portable hard drives
- Best PS4 external hard drive in 2019 – how to increase your PlayStation 4 HDD space
Hard Drives Deals, Coupons, & Promo Codes
Bottom Line: Not only is the CalDigit Tuff a rugged hard drive designed to survive extreme conditions, it's also a terrific value. A metal-skinned gem of a platter hard drive, the LaCie Mobile Drive looks great and performs on point. It's geared to macOS users, but it will please anyone with an eye for style in their ga Samsung's Portable SSD T5 drive has a speedy USB-C interface, plenty of reliable storage, and it takes up about as much room in your pocket as a short stack of credit cards.
Combining on-point performance and strong encryption, Seagate's Backup Plus Ultra Touch portable drive is a great choice for everyday backups and security-first use alike. Plus, a fabric coa With its wealth of ports, the Akitio Thunder3 RAID Station is both a connectivity hub and a capacious external hard drive for multimedia content creators. The 1-terabyte Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC has a built-in cable you can't lose, a rugged chassis that will survive a rough daily commute, and an NFC card and reader add some security to The sleek, expensive Samsung Portable SSD X5 offers the fastest single-drive external storage money can buy, but it's suited mainly to well-heeled content-creation pros using late-model Macs It's a Great Time to Go for a Drive In an era when Apple charges 99 cents per month for 50GB of iCloud storage and Google offers GB of free storage for two years with the purchase of a new Chromebook , mainstream external hard drives might appear less essential than they once were.
But modern external drives are faster, more stylish, and often more durable than their counterparts from a few years ago. They're ever cheaper and more capacious, too. Choosing an external drive isn't as simple as buying the most expensive one you can afford, however. The capacity and type of storage mechanism are the two most important factors to consider, and each one will increase or decrease the cost dramatically depending on your needs. Other factors include the physical size of the drive is it designed to be carted around or to sit on your desk?
This guide will help you make sense of all the options. Here are the key questions to ask as you shop. Solid-state drives SSD have fewer moving parts than a traditional hard drive, and they offer the speediest access to your data. Unlike a conventional disk-based hard drive, which stores data on a spinning platter or platters accessed by a moving magnetic head, an SSD uses a collection of flash cells—similar to the ones that make up a computer's RAM—to save data. For an in-depth look at exactly how this cell-based storage works, check out this tech explainer from sister site ExtremeTech.
Just how much faster is it to access data stored in flash cells than those stored on a spinning platter? Typical read and write speeds for consumer drives with a single spinning platter are in the MBps to MBps range, depending on their USB interface and whether they spin at 5,rpm more common or 7,rpm more expensive and less common. External SSDs offer twice that speed and sometimes much more, with typical results on our benchmark tests in excess of MBps. Practically speaking, this means you can move gigabytes of data say, a 4GB feature-length film, or a year's worth of family photos to your external SSD in seconds rather than the minutes it would take with an external spinning drive.
Not only is it faster to read and write data stored in flash cells than those stored on a spinning platter, but it's also safer. Because there is no spinning platter or moving magnetic head, if you bump the SSD while you're accessing its data, there is no risk that your files will become corrupted and unreadable. While external SSDs are now readily available and cheaper than they were a few years ago, they're not a complete replacement for spinning drives. Larger external drives designed to stay on your desk or in a server closet still mostly use spinning drives, taking advantage of their higher capacities and lower prices compared with SSDs.
Want to know more about how hard drives and SSDs compare? Check out our explainer SSD vs. What's the Difference? If you have a large photo or video collection—perhaps you are a photo or video editor, or maybe a movie buff—you'll likely need several terabytes of space in which to store it. So your best option is a desktop-class drive. We define these as having one or more spinning-platter drives inside and requiring its own dedicated power cable.
Of course, in this scenario, your files are going to have to stay at your desk. A desktop drive with a single platter mechanism inside will typically use a 3. In addition to storing large media collections, these drives can also serve as inexpensive repositories for backups of your computer's hard drive that you schedule using either the software that came with the drive or a third-party backup utility. The next size up for consumer desktop drives is about the same height but twice as wide to accommodate additional drive mechanisms in the chassis, such as with the Western Digital My Book Duo.
These larger drives are more expensive but also much more capacious; the highest-capacity current models employ two drives for up to 20TB of storage. In the case of these and single-platter-drive products, you're not meant to swap out the drive or drives inside. The largest desktop drives are often much, much larger than the first two categories, so large that you'll want to stick them under your desk or in a dedicated server closet. They're mostly intended for professional use in editing studios, surveillance control rooms, and the like.
Their defining characteristic is the ability to swap drives in and out easily, so they provide quick access to the drive bays at the front of the device. Most are sold without drives included, so you can install any drive you want usually, 3. Their total storage capacities are usually limited only by their number of available bays and the capacities of the drives you put in them. At the other end of the physical-size spectrum are portable drives, some of which now use an SSD inside instead of a spinning platter to save space, as well as to increase throughput and durability.
These drives can be truly tiny, weighing just a few ounces and with their largest sides measuring less than 3 inches long, like with the Samsung Portable SSD T5. Others use spinning platters and are a bit larger, like the LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive , but they still fit easily in a purse or even a coat pocket. Portable drives get their power from the computer to which you connect them, through the interface cable, so there's no need for a spare wall outlet.
If you buy a larger desktop drive with two or more spinning platters, you'll almost certainly have the ability to configure the drive as a RAID array using included software. Depending on which RAID level you choose, you can prioritize capacity, speed, or data redundancy, or some combination thereof. A collection of spinning drives configured with a RAID level designed for faster access can approximate the speeds of an SSD, while you should consider a drive with support for RAID levels 1, 5, or 10 if you're storing really important data that you can't afford to lose.
Hit the link above for explanation of the strengths of each RAID level. How an external drive connects to your PC or Mac is second only to the type of storage mechanism it uses in determining how fast you'll be able to access data. Unfortunately, these connection types are constantly changing, and the internet is littered with outdated references to legacy interface types such as eSATA and FireWire. Right now, the fastest mainstream connection type is Thunderbolt 3, which is handy assuming you have a newer laptop or desktop with a Thunderbolt 3 port.
All late-model Apple laptops have them, but they're much scarcer on Windows machines. As an added bonus, a desktop drive that supports Thunderbolt 3 might also come with additional DisplayPort and USB connections that allow you to use the drive box as a hub for your keyboard, mouse, monitor, and other peripherals. If you'd rather save money than time transferring your data, if you're buying a desktop drive with a single platter-based mechanism inside, or if you have a PC that lacks Thunderbolt 3, you'll want to make sure your drive has a USB connection.
Nearly every recent drive we reviewed supports USB, and the same goes for laptops and desktops. Not all USB ports are created equal, though. The most prevalent is the standard rectangle shape called Type-A that's been present on devices for decades. The oval-shaped Type-C connector is quickly gaining traction, though. It's capable of supporting the USB 3. Otherwise, you'll need to buy a separate cable or adapter.
If you carry your drive around frequently, you'll want to pay attention to how rugged the drive is. Some models include plastic bumpers, and some even meet military standards for shock and dust protection. And of course, if you're carrying your drive around with you, you want it to look nice. Perhaps the only thing you don't need to pay much attention to is the warranty. If your drive breaks because you damaged it, the warranty likely won't cover it.
Even if the drive fails because of a manufacturing defect, most warranties simply replace the drive and don't cover the cost of recovery services that attempt to rescue your data from the broken drive. Also know that you can find external drives that do way more than just store your data. Some include SD card readers to offload footage from a camera or drone in the field, while others have built-in Wi-Fi and can double as an all-in-one home media server.
See our roundup of the best wireless hard drives and SSDs. Some of that kind even come with extra-large batteries that can charge your smartphone while you're on the go. Some are SSD-based, while others are platter. For more options, also take a look at our guides to the best network-attached storage NAS devices, the top cloud storage services we've tested, and, for PC builders and upgraders, the best internal M. Rated to survive 4-foot drops. Certified waterproof and dustproof.
Comes with USB 3. Warranty limited to two years. SSD option is still unreleased. Comes in a variety of large capacities. Three-year warranty. Requires external power adapter. IP68 resistance to water and dust. Highly crush-resistant chassis. Aggressive price for capacity, build. Two colors to choose between. On the heavy, bulky side for some. Only waterproof and dustproof when the USB cover is closed. Could use a Type-C cable. Slick, faceted design. Solid-feeling aluminum enclosure.
Useful LaCie Toolkit software handles backup and restore, as well as mirroring. On-the-mark performance. A little hefty. Toolkit utility requires a download.
Best external hard drive: The ultimate portable and desktop SSDs and HDDs you can buy
Skip to main content. Top offers on Hard Drives. Bestsellers Previous page. Western Digital.
Getting one of the best PS4 external hard drives will allow you to store more games on your console.
Welcome to our guide to the best external hard drives for Macs and PCs. Here, you'll find the very best external hard drives that can quickly and easily expand the storage of your PC or Mac. Getting the best external hard drive for your needs is essential, especially if you work in a creative industry where you regularly use or send large files — such as video editing. Rather than opening up your PC or Mac and installing a larger hard drive which is particularly difficult with Mac devices , an external hard drive can be quickly and easily plugged into your device for extra storage space. Of course, Cloud storage is another option, but that takes your work out of your hands, Picking something that's reliably safe and has lots of space, speed and value for money is your best bet.
The best portable hard drives for photographers in 2019
Buying one of the best Xbox One external hard drives means you get more space to store your games and downloads. You can fit roughly full-sized games on a 1TB hard drive, although that number shrinks rapidly once you start getting 4K-ready games onto your Xbox One X console. That's why it's a good idea to have one of the best Xbox One external hard drives on hand, to expand the capabilities of your console. When you're looking to buy an Xbox One external hard drive, make sure you get something reliable. While most HDDs offer comparable transfer and write speeds meaning you'll copy files, install games, and load games at roughly the same speed , some external HDDs are built better than others. From our tests, the Seagate, WD Western Digital , Samsung, and Lacie drives come out as the most reliable, so you should look at these first.WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: DON'T Buy A Portable Drive Without Watching This...
Best external drives for backup, storage, and portability
A conventional portable hard disk drive still offers the most bytes for your buck, but for top transfer speeds, a solid state drive SSD is a must. Rather than testing transfer speeds using unrealistic benchmarking software, we instead recorded maximum sustained read and write rates when shifting photos and video to and from a Windows 10 PC packing a fast SSD and USB 3. Conventional hard disk drives use sensitive moving parts, making them vulnerable to drops. Some drives are pre-configured for either Mac or Windows. This can almost always be changed to enable cross-platform compatibility, though you may need additional software. Transferring a large batch of image files will usually take longer than shifting a single video file of the same size. Most also include cables to convert between various USB port designs. Many manufacturers also bundle extras like backup software, data encryption, or even complimentary cloud storage. G-Technology's G-Drive mobile SSD R-Series is our top pick on account of its stellar performance, and at the time of writing it can be had for a very competitive price. But don't rule out the equally speedy Samsung Portable SSD T5 , while conventional hard drives like the WD My Passport offer excellent value if you prioritise outright capacity over speed.
Best Xbox One external hard drives 2019
External hard drives can make your digital life better in three key ways: Protecting your data is essential for small business owners and freelancers. Extra storage is a boon for those of us who want to extend the life of their laptop, as well as anyone stuck with too-small phones and an ever-expanding library of mobile photos. And while they may lack the sleek appeal of internal hard drives and graphics cards, external drives offer a plug-in, portable option for users who want a simple solution to their storage needs. By , these drives have vastly improved over the floppy disks of days gone by. Are you looking for an external hard drive that can withstand some serious weather conditions? The CalDigit Tuff is the hard drive for you.
The 9 Best External Hard Drives of 2019
Find a wide range of external hard drives including portable hard drives and wireless hard drives, for data storage on the go. Back up your important files, photos, films and music with an external hard drive from the Amazon. Shop a wide variety of models including external hard drives from brands such as Western Digital, Samsung, Toshiba, Seagate and Transcend, in a wide variety of memory sizes to suit your data-storage needs. External hard drives come with a range of features and can be portable, ultra-slim and wireless. Skip to main content. Customers also bought. Best sellers See more. Top rated See more. External Hard Drives.
Best External Hard Drive Deals
Our editors hand-picked these products based on our tests and reviews. If you use our links to buy, we may get a commission. Today the company announced a completely redesigned portable drive for catching more than just your eyes. Here's CNET's full review. Fast, rugged, compact and future-proof, the Blackbox Plus from Glyph is easily one of the best portable drives on the market. This small and speedy portable drive will come in handy for anyone who needs to carry a lot of data while traveling. WD introduces its latest seventh generation portable drive in the My Passport family, the Ultra. Looking for a portable drive that's fast, large and cheap?
Of course, you can dig into some serious storage space management and clean up games as you finish them. On the other hand, why not save the faff of deleting old titles or clearing room for all those frequent updates and simply buy yourself a new PS4 external hard drive.
Portable hard drives
There are a lot of options to consider and price points can vary widely. Solid state drives are taking over the market these days when it comes to hard drives, and for good reason. However, because solid state drives are better for snappy response time than for storing large files, you might want to consider a traditional hard drive disc if you plan on storing exceptionally large amounts of data, like photographers who shoot RAW images or folks who work with video files. Newegg has great prices, helpful customer service and a wide selection. Shop deals for. Show results for. Newegg Amazon Rakuten 7. MassGenie 3. Adorama 2. NeweggFlash 2.
Best PS4 external hard drive in 2019 – how to increase your PlayStation 4 HDD space
Hard disk drive HDD is a storage device that offers an extra storage space for data, documents, pictures, movies and music. HDDs are also used as backup options for valued data and office projects. They also come in different capacities starting from 32GB all the way to 16TB. If you are looking for an affordable hard drive, you are in the right place. Buy the best external hard drive online and save money with our discounted prices. Our hard drives are long lasting making sure that your backed-up data remains safe for the longest time possible. If you have a large external hard disk , you can use it as the main drive for your computer which speeds up the performance of the PC.
Whether you're sharing music files with a friend, bringing important business documents to a client, or storing vacation photos, you'll find a convenient companion in a portable hard drive. If you're in the market for one, check out these answers to questions you may have when shopping for the best portable hard drive for your needs. A portable external hard drive combines high-capacity storage and convenient portability in one compact unit. Unlike a desktop external hard drive, a portable hard drive doesn't need to be plugged into a wall outlet and draws power from the connected computer instead. Portable hard drives range in capacity from less than GB to 2TB. When considering capacity, think of how you plan to use the drive. If the portable hard drive will act as your primary storage unit or a backup solution, consider a larger-capacity unit of 1TB or 2TB. If you'll use the drive for temporary storage of files, a smaller capacity of GB should suffice. Rotation speed affects how fast the hard drive reads and writes data. If you're a creative professional who's constantly transferring large video files, opt for a quicker rotation speed of rpm. If you use the hard drive for occasional file transfers, a rpm rotation speed should be sufficient. Size and weight are important to consider if you're often on the go with your hard drive. While most portable hard drives sport a compact design, mini external hard drives are lighter and smaller than rest, some slipping comfortably into pockets.VIDEO ON THEME: TOP 5: Best External Hard Drive 2019