External hard drives increase storage capacity, can be used as backup drives, help improve the performance of the device you use and have many other benefits that make it a must-have piece of “equipment” for anyone who handles a lot of files of different kinds. This is an accessory that is absolutely necessary for any serious photographer who wants to keep their digital photos safe from deletion.
External hard drives are portable, easy to work with, and able to answer every user’s needs and preferences. In this post, we are going to focus on the best external hard drives you can find today.
1. Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC (Overall Winner)
Buffalo MiniStation is a quality external hard drive that you can buy without spending a fortune. Not only does it perform well and have a capacity of 2TB, but it’s also suitable for people who are on a budget or are beginners in the whole external hard drive game. Compatible with both Windows and Mac, Buffalo MiniStation is flexible and comes with a rugged case that is water and dust resistant.
The Buffalo external hard drive has a built-in USB 3.0 cable and is compatible with older versions. The rugged case makes the hard drive sturdy and offers superior protection of your data which is further ensured with 256-bit AES security and NFC (Near Field Communication).
Basically, these features allow users to unlock the drive in order to get access to the files easily by tapping the NFC card on the body of this external hard drive. Users also have the opportunity to schedule automatic backups for PC computers.
The Western Digital My Passport external hard drive features the latest in the USB-C technology and delivers fast and simple storage for your PC. That being said, a USB 3.0 adapter is included in order to make this external hard drive compatible with older devices.
Bearing in mind that security is crucial, Western Digital made sure their My Passport external hard drive comes with password protection and 256-bit AES hardware encryption.
Different color options are available to suit any user’s needs and preferences. The drive measures 4.25” x 3.25” x 0.75” and weighs 9oz (255g). It comes formatted and ready to use. Moreover, Western Digital’s My Passport external hard drive is pre-loaded with WD Discovery software for Mac or Windows. It is also worth noting that this 4TB external hard drive has a transfer speed of five Gbps when using a USB-3 connection.
External hard drives can be quite pricy, and not everyone can afford them, but there are many budget-friendly options that you may want to consider. Seagate’s portable external hard drive is compatible with both Mac and Windows devices. Besides this 2TB external hard drive, Seagate also has some drives with a smaller storage capacity of 1TB and larger ones such as 4TB and 5TB.
The Seagate external hard drive is compact and easy to use. It is worth noting that the external hard drive can be a bit noisy, and the case could be more durable.
The Toshiba Canvio Advance portable external hard drive comes in various storage capacities meaning it can easily fit any user’s demands. Due to the fact, Toshiba Canvio Advance is a portable device that you get the opportunity to use anywhere you want, which is why it’s useful for people on the go. In addition to the sleek design, Canvio Advance comes in a variety of colors and offers an easy-to-use software to keep the files protected.
Toshiba’s external hard drive, which is covered with a 2-year warranty, is powered by USB 3.0 technology but it’s still compatible with USB 2.0 devices like other hard drives on this list. The intuitive interface allows users to back up their files and other data without hassle. Users also get to prevent unauthorized access with password protection.
Not all external hard drives are equal. If you are looking for an external hard drive with a solid-state drive (SSD) speeds, then the Samsung T5 portable SSD external hard drive is a great option. Samsung has a great reputation for the quality of their SSDs, and T5 adds a fast USB Type-C connection for optimal performance. Like other devices on the list, Samsung T5 is compatible with older USB devices as well.
Thanks to Samsung V-NAND flash memory and a USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface, this external hard drive provides faster speeds of up to 540 MB/s. That’s up to 4.9x faster than an external HDD. As a result, transportation and backups of large size data are faster and easier.
This external hard drive is smaller than an average business card weighing 1.80oz and 0.41” thickness. Intuitive and user-friendly software makes it simple to manage and protect files.
People who are looking for a rugged external hard drive may want to consider SanDisk’s extreme portable external SSD. This device delivers high-speed storage of up to 550MB/s for saving and editing high-resolution videos and photos. The SanDisk hard drive is able to withstand water and dust, but also to protect your data from shock and stress.
Designed to work with Mac and Windows, this SSD is equipped with a USB 3.1 Type-C connector that also includes adapters for older versions. While some hard drives are already formatted, this one is not. This means that before using SanDisk, you will need to format it first.
If you are specifically looking for an external hard drive that you can take everywhere you go, even in the harshest environments and conditions, the LaCie external hard drive is a great option to consider. This rugged hard drive was created for this use primarily.
The external hard drive fuses legendary toughness with USB-C, USB 3.0, and USB 2.0 compatibility. Just like other external hard drives, you can connect and use LaCie’s rugged external hard drive on Mac and Windows devices alike.
Large storage capacity is combined with two-year data rescue, easy backup software, and the feature to edit with Creative Cloud. The LaCie external hard drive is durable and sturdy, but it tends to be slow in Lightroom.
Portable external hard drives are convenient, but desktop hard drives also have a number of benefits. People who would prefer an external hard drive in a desktop version will want to consider Seagate’s device. Suitable for your laptop or desktop, this external hard drive delivers loads of add-on capacity.
Seagate Expansion Desktop 8TB External Hard Drive offers quick transfers, fast and hassle-free backups, drag-and-drop mechanism of action, and so much more. Seagate external hard drive is designed to work with Windows devices only, and it includes an 18″ USB 3.0 cable and 18 Watt power adapter.
9. Kesu 2.5” 120GB Ultra Slim (Budget Winner)
The Kesu portable external hard drive is ideal for anyone who aims to find a device that will suit their tight budget. The latest upgrade version is ultra-slim with only 0.43” thickness and a brushed surface for a sleek and elegant appearance. The exterior hard drive from Kesu is suitable for TV, Xbox, PS4, Windows, Linux, Mac, and Android devices. It’s also suitable for desktops and notebooks.
The most convenient thing about this external hard drive is that it doesn’t come with any software you need to install. All you need to do is to plug it in, and that’s it, the external drive is ready for use. Kesu’s device works with USB 3.0, and USB 2.0 and transfers are ultra-fast, according to the manufacturer.
Although on a cheaper side, Kesu has a decent warranty policy of three-years manufacturer warranty. Not only is it fast, but it’s also worth mentioning that the Kesu external drive is quiet. This is particularly important if we bear in mind that some external hard drives are quite noisy.
Bottom Line on External Hard Drives
External hard drives are ideal for people who handle and transfer a lot of files and data that they want to keep stored and protected. Fortunately, they are available at different prices, and it’s easy to find an ideal device regardless of the budget.
When looking for the best external hard drives, you need to consider the number of files you typically handle, compatibility, durability, sturdiness, ease of use, and warranty. That way, you’ll get a device that meets all your needs.