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What Is The Best External Hard Drive For Laptop

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What Type Of External Hard Drive Is Best

Top 10 External Hard Drives | Best Portable Hard Drive for Mac & PC

Your two main options for external drives are a traditional spinning platter hard drive , and solid state drive . Your SSD is more akin to a standard USB stick where you’re storing all the data in little flash memory chips rather than writing it onto a metal platter. That makes them more robust, but also more expensive and lower capacity.

Hard drives are still valuable in that they can provide cheap, seriously large volumes of data storage. And if you don’t need to access that data quickly or regularly they’re just fine. Transfer speeds of hard drives really are a fraction of what you’ll get from a quality SSD.

An SSD, however, is far quicker and generally smaller, which makes them more portable. Their speed means that they’re far better suited to being an extension of your game library in that you can actually play directly from the SSD itself.

Do You Need To Go Rugged

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. Some come in multiple colors, while others are super-slim and ready to be tossed in a pocket.

Perhaps the only thing you don’t need to pay all that much attention to is the warranty. Sounds counter-intuitive, perhaps? Sure, a long warranty is nice. But if your drive breaks because you dropped it, the warranty likely won’t cover that, anyway. 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. The real value lies in what’s on your drive, not the drive itself.

Buying Guide For Best External Solid

An external solid-state drive provides a reliable and easy-to-use way to store your data and access it quickly. The lack of mechanical moving parts in a solid-state drive allows it to quickly transfer data and reduces the chance of data loss.

Some external SSDs are better suited to backing up files, while others are better for accessing files every day. If you need a drive that travels well, there are external SSDs designed to be as slim and lightweight as possible. For storing data while adventuring and enduring the elements, some external SSDs are fully waterproof and drop-proof.

All external solid-state drives may function in a similar way, but models vary in design, intended use, and transfer speeds. Even though data storage is cheaper than ever, you should still carefully consider your needs when purchasing an external solid-state drive for your computer.

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The 5 Best External Hard Drives According To A Tech Expert

Select is editorially independent. Our editors selected these deals and items because we think you will enjoy them at these prices. If you purchase something through our links, we may earn a commission. Pricing and availability are accurate as of publish time.

Whether youre working on a laptop or a tablet, a lack of internal storage can literally clog up your day. You can run a disk cleanup to clear up some clutter, but if youre simply out of precious memory, then you may need to add more space.

If youre running low on storage space, an external hard drive can boost space. Depending on your needs, external hard drives take the form of a traditional hard drive or a solid-state drive. Based on expert advice, we outlined what to look for when shopping for an external hard drive. As a tech expert with years of experience using various hard drive models, I also included some of my top picks for various storage needs.

Best Rugged Drive: Lacie Rugged Ssd

The 9 Best External Hard Drives to Buy in 2018

LaCie hard drives have always been good for people on the go because of their rugged design. The LaCie Rugged SSD Pro can withstand some dust, dirt, and even a tiny bit of water being splashed on it as it has an IP67 rating. Plus, its rubberized outside makes it shock-resistant, meaning it can survive a fall if you accidentally knock it off your desk.

Since it’s an SSD, it’s incredibly fast, being able to play back 6K video no problem. Plus, the included USB-C cable makes it perfect for MacBook and Mac users alike!

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Best External Hard Drive For Gaming

Capacity: 5TB | Interface: USB 3.0 | Max Transfer Speed: 140MB/s | Weight: 0.51 pounds | Size: 4.65″ x 3.46″ x 0.82″

While you might not be able to play the latest generation of console games from an external hard drive, theres still a big benefit to having extra space. WD_Black P10 Game Drive drive offers a ton of storage at an affordable price, giving you lots of room for a big game library without the high price of an SSD. We’re talking a hefty 5TB for $150. Now, that’s a steal. It’s also a great drive to use with your gaming PC.

The WD_Black P10 Game Drive connects over a modest USB 3.0 connection, but that wont be an issue as the drive only offers 140MB/s read and write speeds anyways. You may be able to play some games directly off the hard drive , but even when you cant, youre not completely out of luck. With that impressive 5TB of storage, you can slot in a bunch of games and quickly transfer them back over to your game consoles internal storage to play. This eliminates worry about your internet bandwidth or data caps that comes with always re-downloading them.

Best External Hard Drive For Travel

  • Can connection additional USB devices
  • Need to keep an eye on battery life

Why you should buy this: If you want to protect your data and connect with others, it’s an excellent pick

Who it’s for: Business teams or students on the go, frequent travelers

Why we picked the SSK Portable Wireless Hard Drive:

SSK’s drive is built for travel and is particularly friendly for business workers on the go. Its 1TB storage is enough for a variety of project data, and it includes its own Wi-Fi hotspot support to help enable connectivity no matter where you are. Wireless access also means that you don’t have to worry about juggling cable management to access data from a nearby laptop or PC.

You can attach compatible USB storage or card readers to further expand your storage capacity. You can also divide the drive’s storage between public and private for further security. If you want a great drive for centralized data management while traveling or working with your team, this may be your best option.

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Silicon Power Armor A60 2tb

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If you’re seeking a lightweight yet durable Hard Disk Drive , the Silicon Power Armor A60 2TB drive is a good choice. Most HDDs are bulky and heavy, but this one slides easily into a small pocket or purse. It features an average read and write speed and works with multiple systems. The durable exterior is wrapped in silicon, while the hard drive is suspended inside to make it drop and water-resistant. While you shouldn’t immerse this drive in water, it will probably survive if you accidentally spill a glass of water on it. We dropped it from six feet on both carpet and concrete, and it still performed flawlessly. If a durable, lightweight HDD is what you seek, you should check out this lightweight contender.

Unfortunately, while the optimized tests on both Mac and Windows show read and write speeds to be about average, this drive was one of the slowest in our actual drag and drop tests. When dropping files of different sizes on a macOS disk to the drive, it averaged about 62 MB/S . The speeds decreased with larger file sizes, slowing to a snail’s pace of 32.6 MB/S while moving a 100 GB file. In addition, the cord that comes with the drive is poorly anchored to the drive and is quite easy to lose. This is a functional and durable drive that offers decent performance.


Platters That Play Well With Macs

Best External Hard Drives in 2020 [For Mac, PS4, Xbox & PC]

The ArmorATD is one of the first products in Western Digital’s SanDisk Professional line of storage solutions, which combines a rebranding of WD’s G-Technology series with the introduction of some new products. A slightly modified version of the G-Technology ArmorATD, the G-Drive ArmorATD has a new color schemethe case has changed from blue to space grayand comes formatted in HFS+ instead of exFAT.

HFS+ is a Mac-friendly format, one of two compatible with the macOS backup system Time Machine. Unlike exFAT, which is both Mac- and Windows-compatible, HFS+ can be used only on a Mac. If you need to use the ArmorATD with both Windows PCs and Macs, you’ll need to reformat it to exFAT. This can be done with a Mac’s Disk Utility, where HFS+ is called Mac OS Extended .

If you only have a Windows machine and want to convert the format to NTFS, you can do so using the Windows Disk Management utility by carefully deleting the HFS+ partition and reformatting the drive as NTFS, wiping the drive clean. Utilities such as Paragon NTFS-HFS Converter offer a simple and straightforward way to convert drives between HFS+ and NTFS.

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Should You Make Your Own Portable Ssd

If none of the drives we’ve selected for this roundup sounds appealing to you , there’s one more option available: SSD enclosures. These are plastic or metal housings into which you can put your own SATA 2.5-inch or M.2 solid-state drive to take with you on the go.

Enclosures come in 2.5-inch form factors or M.2 ones. The stick-style M.2 SSD is much smaller and lighter, but know that M.2 drives themselves come in both SATA and PCIe bus flavors. You need to be sure your enclosure supports the kind of M.2 drive you’re putting in it.

Also, just because you put a PCIe NVMe drive in an enclosure doesn’t mean you should magically expect it to go any faster than a standard external SSD. Any drive placed in an enclosure is still subject to the peak USB speed supported by the enclosure electronics and by the USB protocol supported by the port you plug it into.

Though there are exceptions, most enclosures are not as durable or rugged as major-maker portable SSDs are. This can be a drawback for those who take their SSDs into dangerous environments , so be sure that before you go this route, you know what your drive will be exposed to. Your data could be at greater risk for corruption than it would be in an SSD purpose-built to withstand the elements.

Best Rugged Ssd For Extreme Data Security

  • AES-XTS 256-bit full-disk hardware encryption
  • IP68 ruggedness rating
  • Compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux, Chrome, Android, and more
  • Supports an administrator PIN, plus separate user PINs
  • No software to install
  • Aggressively priced for a security-focused SSD
  • More expensive per gigabyte than standard external SSDs
  • Much slower transfer rates than less-security-minded drives

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External Ssd Buying Basics

Here are three key things to look out for when shopping for an external SSD:

COST PER GIGABYTE. The way to calculate relative value on drives like these is to perform some simple math and figure the cost per gigabyte based on the price of a given drive on the day you’re shopping. Because SSD pricing fluctuates all the time, relative value does, too.

Generally, the higher a drive’s capacity, the cheaper it will be per gigabyte. But that’s not always true sometimes the very highest-capacity drives come at a per-gigabyte price premium. The basement for budget external SSDs at this writing was about 12 to 15 cents per gigabyte, mostly from second- or third-tier vendors. Calculate your bottom-line price when comparing a host of drives.

RUGGEDIZATION. The degree of ruggedness does vary from drive to drive, with drives like the ADATA SE800 leading the field at the moment among mainstream-price external SSDs. IP68 certification is a good spec to look for if you’re serious about waterproof and dustproof drives.

Some models, though, like a few from Apricorn’s Fortress series, combine major ruggedness with physical and electrical security it’s almost impossible to crack open those drives to get at the PCBs inside without destroying them.

Best Rugged External Hard Drive

10 Best Portable External Hard Drives: The Heavy Power List (2018 ...

Capacity: 2TB | Interface: USB-C 3.1 | Max Transfer Speed: 130MB/s | Weight: 0.88 pounds | Size: 0.98″ x 3.50″ x 5.52″

If youre hauling your external drive around “in the wild,” hackers and thieves arent all you need to worry about. Theres also the age-old problem of just straight up having butterfingers and watching your device packed with precious data turn into a broken brick. Thankfully, there are tough external drives like the LaCie Rugged. Built to withstand falls of over five feet, the bright orange removable cover is also IP54-level resistant to dust and water. Now, don’t go throwing this drive in a lake anytime soon, but it should hold up against some rain.

Under its tough exterior, the LaCie Rugged manages decent transfer speeds via Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 connections. Therefore, you should be good to use this drive with any computer on the market. The Thunderbolt cable is even designed to tuck neatly into the perimeter of the casing, so you don’t have to worry about losing it. And, with a 2TB storage capacity, you have ample space for all your important files.

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Best External Hard Drive In 2022

For the price that until recently used to get you four, Seagate offers five TB of storage in a small device that fits in your pocket and can be used across many platforms. It measures 7.62cm by 11.43cm and is only 1.9cm thick and weighs slightly over 200 grams .

One differentiating factor is the offer of a 1-Year Data Recovery Warranty, although we should stress that they are not magic if your drive is wrecked. You should always backup your data. Yes, even your backups should have redundancy if you’re serious about it. How good is your backup if when you’re trying to restore it you find the drive is dead?

Speaking of “backups of backups”, this drive is available in several colors so you might want to buy it in red if you want it to stand out in a drawer full of black HDDs, or use different colours to separate different projects while keeping track of “which drive contains what”. Beats reading stickers.

Its 5Gbps USB 3 interface makes it very fast and compatible with everything. Seagate would like you to install its “Dashboard” software for Windows and Mac OS, yet the drive works perfectly fine on any OS without it. Space-thirsty XBOX One X users will love to fill with games. It has no security or built-in encryption, but there are plenty of more expensive drives that provide that functionality. Want to know more?

Best External Hard Drives 202: Store Your Data With Ease

The best external hard drives of 2022 are right here, so you can get the extra digital storage space you need

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Looking for the best external hard drive? Our essential guide will help you navigate the maze of options out there, explaining what you need to be looking for in terms of capacity, specs, extra features and brand name. Don’t part with any money before you’ve consulted this carefully curated list, and others we’ve put together like the best external hard drive for Mac guide.

Getting the right hard drive in place can solve your digital storage problems for years: you’ll finally have enough room for all those movies, music files, photos, documents, and everything else you’ve managed to amass and if you buy one of the best external hard drives, you’ll be able to trust it with your data.

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Best Ps5 External Hard Drive

Capacity: 1TB | Interface: USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 | Max Transfer Speed: 2,000MB/s | Weight: 0.26 pounds | Size: 4.65″ x 2.44″ x 0.55″

If you’re looking to add more storage to your PS5, using the console’s additional M.2 slot for an internal SSD is the best option. But, if you’re still on the hunt for more space, transferring some PS5 games, along with your backward-compatible PS4 games to an external drive is a great option. While you won’t be able to play PS5 games stored on your external HDD, you can at least save yourself the trouble of having to redownload 100GB of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare all over again.

The best drive for your PS5 is the WD_Black P50 Game Drive. It offers blistering 2,000MB/s read speeds, as it’s actually an external SSD, rather than a traditional hard drive. With a USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 connection, you’ll be able to use the drive’s speeds to the full capacity. This way you can quickly transfer your PS5 library between the internal and external storage, or for new console owners setting up their new PS5, this drive will help speed transferring your data from the PS4 to PS5. This 1TB of external storage is extremely beneficial. Plus, you can use this drive with your gaming PC as well.

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