ComputersOfficeTech
Trending

Best External Hard Drives

Review, Specs, Verdict, and FAQs

4.8
(2357)

Looking to expand your storage capabilities? Whether you need extra space for your important files, backups, or media collection, an external hard drive can provide a convenient and reliable solution. With numerous options available in the market, we’ve narrowed down the top picks for the best external hard drives that offer ample capacity, fast data transfer speeds, robust durability, and convenient portability. Read on to explore our recommendations and find the perfect external hard drive to meet your storage needs!

As a reviewer, we take pride in providing you with the most accurate and reliable information about products we present to you. We thoroughly research each product by analyzing customer reviews, comparing different models, and scouring web forums to gather insights from real people who have used these products. This rigorous process ensures that we only recommend products that are tried and tested by actual users, providing you with honest and trustworthy reviews that you can rely on. Our aim is to help you make an informed decision and choose the best products that suit your needs. So, you can trust our reviews to provide you with unbiased and insightful information about the products you are interested in.
Our website contains affiliate links and advertisements. This means that if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission at no additional cost to you. We only promote products and services that we believe in and that we think will be valuable to our readers. We also display third-party advertisements that help us keep the lights on and continue creating content for our audience. We appreciate your support and want to be transparent with you about how we make money on our website.

Our Top Picks

Toshiba Canvio Basics Portable External Hard Drive 
(Credit Amazon)

It is a high-capacity, portable storage solution for your digital files. It offers ample storage space of 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB, which can hold a large number of documents, photos, videos, and other data. The Canvio Basics external hard drive is designed for easy plug-and-play use, requiring no external power supply and compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 interfaces for fast data transfer speeds.

It features a sleek and compact design, making it convenient to carry and store on the go. The hard drive comes pre-formatted for Windows operating systems but can be easily reformatted for Mac OS. It offers reliable performance and durability, with built-in shock sensors and ramp-loading technology to protect your data from accidental drops or bumps. With its large capacity, ease of use, and portability, the Toshiba Canvio Basics Portable External Hard Drive is an ideal choice for users who need ample storage space for their digital files in a compact and reliable package.

Specs

  • Capacity: 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB
  • Interface: USB 3.0 (backwards compatible with USB 2.0)
  • Transfer Rate: Up to 5 Gbit/s (USB 3.0)
  • Power: USB bus-powered (no external power required)
  • Form Factor: 2.5-inch
  • File System: NTFS (pre-formatted for Windows, can be reformatted for Mac OS)
  • Data Protection: Built-in shock sensors and ramp-loading technology
  • Operating System Compatibility: Windows 10/8.1/7 (32-bit/64-bit) and Mac OS X 10.12 or later (reformatting required)
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 4.3 x 3.1 x 0.55 inches (109 x 78 x 14 mm)
  • Weight: 8.11 ounces (230 g)
  • Color: Black
  • Warranty: 1-year limited warranty

Seagate Portable 2TB External Hard Drive

The Seagate Portable 2TB External Hard Drive is a compact and portable storage solution that offers a generous 2TB capacity for storing your files, documents, photos, videos, and more. Its USB 3.0 interface provides fast data transfer speeds, allowing for quick and efficient file transfers. The drive is powered by USB, eliminating the need for an external power source, making it highly convenient for on-the-go use.

The Seagate Portable External Hard Drive is designed to be compatible with Windows operating systems out of the box, and it requires reformatting for use with Mac OS. The drive comes pre-formatted with NTFS file system, which may not be natively writable on Mac OS. However, it can be easily reformatted to a compatible file system for Mac OS using the Disk Utility tool.

Measuring just 4.6 x 3.15 x 0.58 inches (11.7 x 8 x 1.48 cm) in size and weighing only 0.37 lbs (0.17 kg), the Seagate Portable External Hard Drive is highly portable and can easily fit in your pocket or bag. Its durable design and reliable performance make it suitable for use in various environments, whether at home, in the office, or while traveling.

The Seagate Portable 2TB External Hard Drive also comes with a 1-year limited warranty from the manufacturer, providing added peace of mind for your purchase. Overall, it offers a reliable and convenient storage solution for those in need of additional storage space for their digital files.

  • Capacity: 2TB (terabytes)
  • Data Transfer Rate: Up to 120MB/s (megabytes per second)
  • Interface: USB 3.0 (also compatible with USB 2.0)
  • Form Factor: 2.5-inch
  • File System: NTFS (compatible with Windows), requires reformatting for Mac OS
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 4.6 x 3.15 x 0.58 inches (11.7 x 8 x 1.48 cm)
  • Weight: 0.37 lbs (0.17 kg)
  • Power Source: USB-powered (no external power required)
  • Compatibility: Windows 10/8/7 operating system (requires reformatting for Mac OS)
  • Warranty: 1-year limited warranty from the manufacturer

Fantom Drives GFORCE 3 Pro

It is a high-performance storage solution that offers ample capacity, fast data transfer speeds, and robust durability. With its sleek design and versatile connectivity options, including USB 3.0 and eSATA, it provides convenient and efficient storage for your files, backups, and media. Its plug-and-play compatibility with Windows and Mac OS makes it suitable for a wide range of users, and its built-in data protection features offer added security for your data.

Specs

  • Capacity: Available in various capacities, such as 2TB, 4TB, 6TB, 8TB, and 10TB
  • Interface: USB 3.0 (also compatible with USB 2.0) and eSATA
  • Data Transfer Rate: Up to 5Gbps (USB 3.0) and up to 6Gbps (eSATA)
  • Form Factor: 3.5-inch
  • File System: NTFS (compatible with Windows), requires reformatting for Mac OS
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): Varies depending on the capacity, typically around 7.6 x 4.7 x 1.4 inches (19.3 x 11.9 x 3.6 cm)
  • Weight: Varies depending on the capacity, typically around 2.4 lbs (1.1 kg) to 4.4 lbs (2 kg)
  • Power Source: External power adapter
  • Cooling: Built-in fan for heat dissipation
  • Compatibility: Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP and Mac OS X 10.6 or later (requires reformatting)
  • Warranty: 1-year limited warranty from the manufacturer

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD (Credit Amazon)

It is a top choice for users who need a fast and durable external storage solution for their data on the go. With its high-speed data transfer rates, rugged design, and multiple capacity options, it’s suitable for a wide range of use cases, from professional photography and videography to gaming and more.

The added features like water and dust resistance, hardware encryption, and compatibility with PC and Mac computers make it a reliable and convenient choice for storing and transferring data securely. Overall, the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD is a reliable and high-performance option for those who require fast and durable external storage for their digital content.

Specs

  • Storage Capacities: Available in multiple capacities including 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB options.
  • Interface: USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) with USB Type-C connector (USB-A adapter included).
  • Data Transfer Speeds: Up to 1050MB/s read and up to 1000MB/s write speeds for fast data transfer and file access.
  • Durability: IP55-rated for water and dust resistance, and shock-resistant up to 6.5ft (2m).
  • Encryption: 256-bit AES hardware encryption for added data security.
  • Compatibility: Compatible with PC and Mac computers, and works with Windows 10, 8.1, and 7, and macOS 10.11+ (requires reformatting for macOS).
  • Compact Size: Compact and portable design measuring 3.97 x 2.07 x 0.38 inches (101.6 x 52.6 x 9.6mm) and weighing only 0.11 lbs (52g).
  • Power: Powered via USB, no external power supply required.
  • Included Software: Includes SanDisk SecureAccess password protection software to keep your data safe.

WD My Passport (Credit Amazon)

It is a compact and reliable storage solution for users who need to store and transport their digital files easily. With its sleek design, multiple storage capacities, and convenient features, it’s suitable for various use cases, including data backup, file storage, and data transfer.

It offers fast data transfer speeds, password protection, and hardware encryption for added data security, making it a practical choice for storing important files and documents. The WD My Passport Portable External Hard Drive is compatible with both PC and Mac computers, making it a versatile option for different users.

Specs

  • Storage Capacities: Available in multiple capacities ranging from 1TB to 5TB options.
  • Interface: USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gbps) with USB Type-A connector (compatible with USB 2.0).
  • Data Transfer Speeds: Up to 105MB/s read and write speeds for fast data transfer and file access.
  • Security Features: Optional password protection with hardware encryption to keep your data secure.
  • Compatibility: Compatible with Windows 10, 8.1, and 7, and macOS 10.15+ (reformatting may be required for macOS).
  • Dimensions: 4.22 x 2.95 x 0.44 inches (107.2 x 75 x 11.1mm).
  • Weight: 0.54 lbs (0.24 kg).
  • Power: Powered via USB, no external power supply required.
  • Included Software: WD Backup software for automatic backups, WD Security software for password protection, and WD Drive Utilities for drive management.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an external hard drive?

An external hard drive is a portable storage device that connects to a computer or other devices via USB, Thunderbolt, or other interfaces. It provides additional storage space for storing files, documents, photos, videos, and other digital content outside of the internal hard drive of a computer or device.

How to choose external drive

  1. Capacity: Consider how much storage space you need for your data. External hard drives are available in various capacities, ranging from a few hundred gigabytes (GB) to several terabytes (TB). Choose a capacity that will accommodate your current storage needs, with some room for future growth.
  2. Interface: Consider the interface of the external hard drive, as it affects the speed of data transfer. USB 3.0 is currently the most common interface and offers faster transfer speeds compared to USB 2.0. Other options may include Thunderbolt, eSATA, or USB-C, depending on your device’s compatibility and requirements.
  3. Compatibility: Ensure that the external hard drive is compatible with your computer or other devices. Consider the operating system (e.g., Windows, Mac, Linux) and any specific compatibility requirements of your devices, such as gaming consoles or smart TVs.
  4. Portability: If you need to carry your external hard drive with you frequently, consider the size, weight, and durability of the drive. Smaller, lighter, and ruggedized drives are suitable for on-the-go use, while larger drives may offer more storage capacity but may be less portable.
  5. Data protection: Look for external hard drives with built-in data protection features, such as shock resistance, password encryption, or backup software. These features can help safeguard your data from accidental damage or unauthorized access.

What are the advantages of using an external hard drive?

  • Additional storage space for files, documents, and media.
  • Portability for easy data transfer and backup.
  • Flexibility to use with multiple devices.
  • Protection of important data from computer failures or data loss.
  • Security options such as password protection and hardware encryption for added data security.

What are the different types of interfaces for external hard drives?

There are various types of interfaces for external hard drives, including USB (such as USB 3.0, USB 3.1, and USB 3.2), Thunderbolt, eSATA, and others. USB is the most common interface used in external hard drives due to its wide compatibility with most devices.

How do I safely eject an external hard drive from my computer?

It’s important to safely eject an external hard drive from your computer to prevent data loss or damage to the drive. To do so, use the “Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media” option in your operating system’s taskbar/notification area before physically unplugging the drive.

How do I format an external hard drive?

You can format an external hard drive using the built-in disk management tools of your operating system or third-party disk formatting software. Formatting erases all data on the drive, so make sure to back up any important data before proceeding. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions or seek assistance if you’re not familiar with the formatting process, as it can vary depending on the operating system and file system format you want to use.

How do I maintain and care for my external hard drive?

  • Handle the drive with care and avoid dropping or jarring it.
  • Protect the drive from moisture, extreme temperatures, and dust.
  • Safely eject the drive from your computer or device before unplugging it.
  • Keep the drive in a cool and dry place when not in use.
  • Regularly back up your important data from the external hard drive to another storage location for redundancy.
  • Update the drive’s firmware and software as needed to ensure optimal performance and security.

At glance with final verdicts

Toshiba Canvio Basics

Toshiba Canvio Basics 4TB Portable External Hard Drive is a reliable, affordable, and high-capacity option with fast data transfer speeds. Its built-in data protection features, and compact design make it suitable for storing large amounts of data with ease.

↑ Jump to Review

Seagate Portable 2TB External Hard Drive

The Seagate Portable 2TB External Hard Drive is a portable and reliable storage solution that offers ample capacity for your data storage needs. With its USB 3.0 interface, fast data transfer speeds, and durable design, it provides convenient and efficient storage for files, backups, and media. Its compatibility with both Windows and Mac OS makes it versatile for different users.

↑ Jump to Review

Fantom Drives GFORCE 3 Pro

The Fantom Drives GFORCE 3 Pro External Hard Drive offers ample capacity, fast data transfer speeds, and durable build quality. Its versatile connectivity options, plug-and-play compatibility, and built-in data protection features make it a reliable choice for users seeking high-performance external storage for their files and backups.

↑ Jump to Review

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD

The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD is a rugged and high-performance external solid-state drive (SSD) designed for users who need fast and reliable storage for their data on the go. With its durable design, fast data transfer speeds, and multiple capacity options, it’s suitable for a wide range of use cases, including photography, videography, gaming, and more.

↑ Jump to Review

WD My Passport

The WD My Passport Portable External Hard Drive is a reliable and versatile storage solution with fast data transfer speeds, optional password protection, and compatibility with PC and Mac computers. Its compact design and included software make it a convenient choice for storing and transferring data securely.

↑ Jump to Review

Final Words

In conclusion, when it comes to choosing the best external hard drive for your needs, it’s essential to consider factors such as storage capacity, data transfer speed, durability, compatibility with your devices, and ease of use. Look for reputable brands known for their reliability and performance. Read customer reviews, compare specifications, and consider your specific requirements to make an informed decision. With the right external hard drive, you can have a reliable and convenient storage solution for your digital files, whether it’s for personal use, professional use, gaming, or multimedia purposes. Happy storage hunting

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.8 / 5. Vote count: 2357

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Related Articles

Back to top button