It's ideal for anyone who works in the field and produces oodles of data. It’s drop, shock, dust, and rain-resistant, making it ideal for surviving the elements when you’re out in nature. The verdict: External hard drives The SanDisk 500GB extreme portable SSD is a great match of fast performance, durable build and decent value. Keep an eye on your inbox! This guide will help you make sense of all these and many more questions that arise while you're shopping for an external hard drive. Five-year warranty with five years of Data Rescue recovery. Read this first, 10. iStorage diskAshur 2TB external hard drive, GameStop's PS5 restock sells out, but there's some very good news, Where to buy PS5: all the latest restock updates, Apple's privacy labels reveals Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger's hunger for user data, Make Cyberpunk 2077 play much, much better with just two super simple fixes, All black PS5 orders have been cancelled after team received 'threats to their safety', The Samsung Galaxy S21 price reportedly ready to undercut iPhone 12 Pro, Overclocker pushes Intel Rocket Lake-S processor to 6.9GHz, This product is only available in the US at the time of this writing. Before that, he worked for PCMag's sister site, Computer Shopper, where he occasionally dunked waterproof hard drives in glasses of water. 1995. Shop for external hard drive at Best Buy. Without further ado, read on to see our list of the best SATA hard drives. They offer more storage space for cheaper, so even if they aren’t necessarily faster or more robust, they’re budget-friendlier. You might sacrifice some of the ample storage space, if you don’t mind losing some, so you can set the drives up in a RAID array, so you have file backups of your files should one of the drives die. Your subscription has been confirmed. Ships with apps for backup/restore, reformatting and checking drive health, and more. It's priced comparable to noticeably slower USB-C … Kensington lock slot secures only the case, leaving the drives easily removable. The 8TB version of the Western Digital My Book is a deep well of affordable storage for your photos, music, videos, and more. These are called generically "2.5-inch drives," though they are actually a smidge wider than that. In an era when 50GB of iCloud storage is 99 cents per month, and trim, slim external SSDs are getting cheaper, external hard drives might appear less essential than they once were. Any remotely recent computer will have faster USB ports, though. Bundled cables for USB Type-A and Type-C on PC side. Cables for both USB Type-A and Type-C on the client side. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product or service, we may be paid a fee by that merchant. In addition, the best external hard drives must also be dependable and rugged, so you can safely store your data without worry. Their total storage capacities are limited only by their number of available bays and the capacities of the drives you put in them. The biggest deciding factors when it comes to data transfer rates is the connection the drive uses, and whether it is a standard hard drive or a solid state drive (SSD). Save a whopping 95% for the first year.View Deal. In the case of these and single-platter-drive products, you're not meant to swap out the drive or drives inside. WD Elements 14TB Desktop External USB 3.0 Hard Drive, WD Elements 4TB Portable USB 3.0 Hard Drive, Seagate Expansion 4TB External USB 3.0 Hard Drive, WD My Passport Ultra 5TB Portable USB 3.0 Hard Drive, How to Free Up Space on Your iPhone or iPad, How to Save Money on Your Cell Phone Bill, How to Find Free Tools to Optimize Your Small Business, How to Get Started With Project Management, Read ADATA HD830 External Hard Drive Review, Read Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch Review, Read Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro Review. It resembles an external DVD drive, but considering the onboard SD card slot, don’t worry about getting it confused with anything else. LaCie d2 Professional 10TB External Hard Drive Desktop HDD – USB-C USB 3.0 7200 RPM Enterprise Class Drives, 5 Year Warranty and Recovery Service (STHA10000800) 4.3 out of … Any portable platter-based hard drive should fit easily in a purse or even a coat pocket. Good battery life for a wireless hard drive. A collection of spinning drives configured with a RAID level designed for faster data 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. Let our deep-dive reviews help you track down the right external hard drive. No tab over Type-C connector to protect it from dust and water. A 1TB SSD, for example, will cost just as much as a 4TB hard drive. Please refresh the page and try again. To get you started in the right direction, below are the best external hard drives (platter-based models) we've tested of late, at a variety of prices and capacities. Read the full review: Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro. Just how much faster is it to access data stored in flash cells? Read the full review: Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt. The Adata SD700 is great for those looking for a rugged storage device. Check out our top-rated SSDs, along with detailed … Desktop-size and portable platter-based storage has never been cheaper. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro, This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. A 2TB SSD, though? Bear in mind, though, you'll get no help from the manufacturer if things go awry and you lose your password. If you want to combine speed and capacity, then the Seagate Backup Plus Desktop Drive 5TB is definitely worth considering. There’s a more premium feel to the My Passport Wireless Pro. PCMag, PCMag.com and PC Magazine are among the federally registered trademarks of Ziff Davis, LLC and may not be used by third parties without explicit permission. Seagate Toolkit provides handy backup/recover functions, as well as mirroring. The Adata SD700 will suit those looking for a rugged storage device that can provide ample capacity without costing too much. If you'd rather have an external hard drive that takes advantage of solid state drive (SSD) speeds, then the Samsung Portable SSD T5 is certainly among the best external hard drive for you. 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. It features cloud storage and 256-AES encryption, along with WD's own software suite. LaCie’s rugged external hard drives are a favorite among content creators who are always out on the field. (It also may not supply sufficient power to run the drive.) Sure, it's still expensive, four times the price of an equivalent 2TB drive, and unlikely to be the most nimble performer. And of course, if you're carrying your drive around with you, you want it to look nice. These features combined make the Toshiba Canvio one of the best external hard drives on the market to consider. We’ve all been there: that moment your laptop or desktop computer tells you it’s running out of hard drive space. As a rule, portable drives get their power from the computer to which you connect them, through the interface cable, so there's no need for a wall outlet or a power cord/brick. Computers, Tablets & Accessories Hard Drives & Storage. When it’s wired up, however, don’t expect cutting edge connection tech, as the My Passport Wireless Pro uses only USB Type-B to Type-A. (See our explainer Thunderbolt 3 vs. USB-C: What's the Difference?). (Image Credit: WD), The Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt is great for a device with a Thunderbolt port. Most are roughly 5 inches tall and 2 inches wide. The Western Digital My Passport Ultra is among the best external hard drives out there. Pretty neat! Reliability is of the utmost importance here, as you do not want to buy an external hard drive that fails on you - making you lose all your important backups. Can set to RAID 0 for higher speed and capacity, or to RAID 1 for drive mirroring. Unsurprisingly, it doesn't reach the top speeds of solid state external drives, but for external hard drives based on traditional HDDs, this is the drive to consider. Plus, a fabric coat adds appeal. Buying the best external hard drive for your needs involves figuring out how much space you need. Luckily, many external hard drives offer terabytes (TB) of storage space for not much more money. In addition, while USB flash drives and microSD memory cards may be more portable, they just won’t give you enough space for long-term use. Because it comes with up to 8TB, you can also pick and choose depending on your storage needs. He previously covered the consumer tech beat as a news reporter for PCMag in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, where he rode in several self-driving cars and witnessed the rise and fall of many startups. The WD My Book Duo 4TB external hard drive is our pick for the best desktop storage device for photographers who have large amounts of photographs they want to store – while also ensuring that those photographs are completely safe. For ordinary external hard drives, it's very much the exception, not the rule. Best overall: Samsung T5; Best lightweight: SanDisk Extreme Pro; Toughest: Adata SE800; Best budget hard drive: Western Digital My Passport Ultra (See our separate roundup of the best NAS drives.). Despite all these goodies, it is still one of the cheapest portable drives of this capacity.View Deal, IDrive 5TB Cloud Backup - $69.50 $3.48 per year, direct Visit our corporate site. Need to back up your photos and videos? In some circumstances, this can be panic-inducing because a lack of space can prevent you from creating or saving new files. This one, though, is optimal for a desktop workspace and is … Hard drives may get you more capacity for your dollar by far, but first you need to consider a major difference in external storage these days: the hard drive versus the SSD. If you work with a large number of files and documents it is essential to buy the best external hard drive for your needs. Sign up for What's New Now to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every morning. Laptop hard drive almost full? Not only is your data kept protected from knocks and drops with the rugged shell, but it's also got 256-bit AES security features and NFC (Near Field Communication) features as well. © PCMag.com is a leading authority on technology, delivering Labs-based, independent reviews of the latest products and services. Need to back up your photos and videos? Stay on budget by opting for one of the best external hard drives. But, you're paying for a product that's virtually uncrackable. This lets the drive be used completely free of wires over 2.4GHz or 5GHz channels. Choosing an external drive isn't as simple as buying the most expensive one you can afford, however. If you want a drive for additional storage, our list of best external hard drives should be your next reading assignment. Where the My Passport Wireless Pro compromises on affordability, it’s able to benefit in just about every other area. Example: A $60 1TB (1,000GB) hard drive would run you about 6 cents per gigabyte, while a $80 2TB (2,000GB) drive would work out to about 4 cents per gigabyte. For about $50, you can add a terabyte of extra storage to your laptop or desktop by just plugging in a USB cable. The largest desktop drives are often much, much bulkier than the first two categories, so big that you'll want to stick them under your desk or in a dedicated server closet. Instead, there’s now a more premium feel to the My Passport Wireless Pro. Perhaps the only thing you don't need to pay all that much attention to is the warranty. Seagate Expansion 8TB Desktop Hard Drive USB 3.0 (STEB8000100) Get it now on Amazon.com . When you consider all that extra security, the prices won't scare you away either. Best Desktop External Hard Drive; Best Hard Drive for 2021:WD 10TB Elements. These connection types are ever in flux, but these days, most external hard drives use a flavor of USB, or in rare cases, Thunderbolt. Designed for videographers and other creative pros who regularly handle tons of data, the LaCie 2big RAID combines two hot-swappable, high-capacity drives with a variety of settings for maximum flexibility and data protection. Read the full review: Western Digital My Passport Ultra. These hard drives, in other words, expand your storage space without burning a hole in your pocket. 5TB is peak portable single-drive capacity. We'd recommend 1TB to start, as that gives you plenty of space to store your files without costing too much money. Some models include plastic bumpers, and some even meet military standards for shock and dust protection. It is compatible with PC, Mac, Xbox One, and PS4. Unlike other external hard drives that come with the time-consuming process of setup, this one comes with easy to use setup. Even if we had mixed feelings on past versions of the My Passport Wireless, the 2016 “pro” variant of the external HDD restores faith in the Western Digital name. The Best External Hard Drive Deals This Week* WD Elements 8TB Desktop External USB 3.0 Hard Drive — $144.99 (List Price $179.99) WD Elements 4TB USB 3.0 Portable Drive — $94.99 (List … Also know that you can find external drives that do way more than just store your data. Find low everyday prices and buy online for delivery or in-store pick-up. AES-256 hardware encryption with password. If you carry your drive around frequently, you'll want to pay attention to how rugged the drive is. If the drive only includes a single cable, you may need an adapter, depending on your computer's available USB ports. Can use RAID 0 for higher speed and capacity, RAID 1 for drive mirroring, or JBOD (RAID off). They're mostly intended for professional use in editing studios, surveillance control rooms, and the like. The display of third-party trademarks and trade names on this site does not necessarily indicate any affiliation or the endorsement of PCMag. They're ever more capacious for the money, too. Buying guide for best external hard drives. The D10 game drive from WD is a desktop external hard drive. External solid-state drives are faster and more affordable than ever. It comes in different types and connectivity as well, with the Thunderbolt/USB-C option being ideal for MacBook and Dell XPS users, and the RAID option being perfect for creative professionals. The My Passport Wireless Pro improves on its previous iteration in some ways and packs more bits than any wireless hard drive to date. Essentially it allows you to unlock the drive to get to your files quickly and easily by tapping the supplied NFC card onto the drive's body. Read the full review: Buffalo MiniStation Extreme. With desktop external hard drives, you can store and backup your important data without any concern. Read on to see our picks for the best HDDs. 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 software that comes with the drive or a third-party backup utility. Dump your poky portable hard drive! Sign up to get breaking news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more, plus the hottest tech deals! Sounds counter-intuitive, perhaps? Samsung has an excellent reputation for external SSDs, thanks to products like the T3, and the T5 builds on its predecessor by adding a fast USB Type-C connection that ekes out every last drop of performance from the solid state drive inside. Bear in mind that most of them come in a range of capacity options, so know that even if the specific model we tested is too big or small for your needs, the drive maker may well offer it in a more fitting size. Glitchy experiences, even after a WD firmware update. If you have terabytes of content and want to keep them safe, using a cloud storage provider like iDrive means that your data will be backed up online and ready if your local backup is lost, stolen or broken. The Best External Hard Drives for 2020 Laptop hard drive almost full? It's brawny, but the ADATA HD830 offers superior protection and value for the money in a rugged external platter-based drive. 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. Worth noting that the enclosure used is fully serviceable and that WD ships the drive already pre-formatted for Windows users (NTFS). For documents, music, and a little light gaming, a 2TB hard drive is perfect, but storage needs can bubble in no time if you’re a heavier user, especially when you add 4K video to your bottomless nests of folders. Larger external drives designed to stay on your desk or in a server closet still almost exclusively use spinning drives, taking advantage of platter drives' much higher capacities and much lower prices compared with SSDs. The iStorage diskAshur 2TB offer tight security like no other drives around. Home » Computers, Tablets & Accessories » Top 10 Best 6 TB External Hard Drives Reviews in 2021. The best external hard drives, on the other hand, have a lot more space and are designed for external use, so you can take all your large important files wherever you go and access them anytime, anywhere. Plugable’s TB3 NVMe external SSD is one of the best-priced Thunderbolt 3 externals on the market. Here's our pick of the best external hard drive choices for your PC or Mac backups. 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. As a 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. 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