External hard drives are the best and quickest solution for exhausted storage. They save you from the trouble of replacing your internal drive and transmitting and reorganizing all your data. They also serve as a great way of backing up your important files. There are, of course, virtual options for storing your data (such as Google Drive, iCloud, and OneDrive), but a tangible form is always better and offers much-needed comfort and ease (well, at least to me, it does so.). USB flash drives and portable SSDs also provide a backup option. However, though portable SSDs are more efficient in that they provide better security (against both data loss and physical damage) and transfer rates, external hard drives are a cheaper option that delivers almost the same level of performance.
You should just be as careful when buying an external hard drive as you are when building your system. Here are the criteria for choosing the best one.
The connection of a drive determines its transfer rates. While a majority of hard drives use the USB 3.0 connection, connections such as USB 3.2 Gen 2X2 Type and Thunderbolt 3 or 4 are more advanced and deliver higher speeds. However, you must find out the type of connectivity supported by the port on your device. The best external hard drives employ the USB-C port, which is the latest connectivity technology and supports fast transfer rates.
You should also consider the storage space that is needed. The larger the capacity is, the better a drive is. We recommend starting with 1TB of storage, since it provides enough space without being too expensive. It should suffice for most consumers.
However, if you frequently work with huge files, such as HD videos and photos, you might consider purchasing one with more storage capacity. Fortunately, many external hard drives today provide terabytes (TB) of storage capacity for a relatively low price.
Reliability is another important factor. The physical strength of your drive and the data security it offers together determine the reliability of your drive. When looking for the finest external hard drive for your needs, make sure you pick one that can store all your data safely and withstand a physical shock under most circumstances.
In short, the first step in selecting the finest external hard drive for your requirements is determining how much capacity you require. You don’t want to buy a disc that soon runs short of space, forcing you to purchase another one. However, you don’t want to overpay for the storage capacity that you’ll never use.
Furthermore, the finest external drives should be small enough to fit in your bag and have shock resistance to ensure that your data is protected while you are traveling.
- Seagate Backup Plus Desktop Drive (5TB)
A powerful backup
With USB 3.0 connectivity, this drive delivers super-fast data transfer rates. Starting at 2TB, it is available in a variety of sizes with 8TB being the largest. It’s a perfect combination of speed and capacity.
To sum up, this drive offers a sigh of relief by providing a large backup, incredible speeds, and support for both Windows and Mac.
- WD My Book Duo (4TB)
The filling item on the menu
If you are hungry for capacity, the My Book Duo will satiate your appetite. Starting at 4TB, it has enough storage to accommodate all your data. RAID-0 mode delivers lightning-fast sequential read rates of up to 360MB/s. Enabling RAID-1 mode allows you to enjoy play-and-play storage as well as to back up your data. The USB Type-C connector with all cables supplied makes it backward-compatible. It has two USB 3.0 Type-A hub connections, which provide further connectivity.
- Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt
A friendly guy
Available in two capacities (ITB and 2TB), the Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt is a redundant drive, which gives you great comfort by allowing you to remove it while the system is still on. With support for Thunderbolt, it delivers double the speed of standard USB 3.0. It also features a USB port that gives it universal connectivity. It is quite affordable compared to other Thunderbolt-compatible drives.
- iStorage diskAshur (2TB)
The strong performer
Built with unmatched security features, this drive is normally used by governments and the corporate sector.
You can set the disc to self-destruct if someone tries to tamper with it. Furthermore, the data is encrypted using the 256-bit AES standard, with numerous layers of protection in place to keep hackers at bay. It may come across as an overly priced 2TB drive, but the added security will urge you to go with it.
- LaCie Rugged USB-C (4TB)
A tough companion
The robust external hard drives from LaCie are a favorite among multimedia makers who are always on the move. Resistant to drops, shocks, dust, and rain, they provide excellent performance in even the harshest environments. It’s available in various connectivity options, such as Thunderbolt/USB-C, which is suited for MacBook and Dell XPS customers, and RAID for creative pros.The highest capacity available is 8TB, so you can go with as much as you need.
All in all, this is the best option for you if you need security and efficiency at a low rate.
- Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC
The fast and rugged drive
You cannot find a portable drive like the Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC. It’s cheap, quick, and secure. It comes with strong drop protection and is water-resistant. Not only that, it has excellent security features, namely 256-bit AES security and NFC (near-field communication). The NFC data encryption function can unlock it for rapid access using an NFC-enabled device, such as a smartphone. There’s also an incorporated wraparound USB 3.0 cord that eliminates the need to bring a second one with you.
- Western Digital My Passport Ultra (4TB)
An advanced storage add-on
With a USB-C port and a sleek metal appearance that matches your PC, the My Passport Ultra-portable drive provides an easy and efficient method to extend your capacity. It comes with strong password protection and hardware encryption, which together provide you outstanding data security.
It also includes 256-AES as well as cloud storage and WD’s own software package. When it comes to data transmission speeds, it is a decent performer. However, it can’t compete with solid-state external drives in terms of speed.