By Nootan Kumar | Last updated August 15, 2018

If your computer or phone storage is full, then its great time to purchase external hard drives. Depending on individual need there are numerous types of hard drives available.

For example:- If you are professional photographer or videographer, you may need something large capacity whereas students may need portable.

Best External Hard Drives 2018

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Besides that, before purchasing any external hard drives we have to keep in mind some factors like performance, reliability, portability, transfer speed, weight, security, connectivity port, compatibility, and many more.

I hope, this post will help you to find the best external hard drives for you.

Before we started, we have made a feature comparison table with some important factors.

If you don’t have enough time then, take a quick look below.

This table will help us later during review for each hard drives. If you want to read full reviews, then click on the name of the hard drive.

Top Rated External Hard Drives

Name
Weight
(oz)
Speed Read/Write
(MB/s)
Available
Storage

(Editor’s Choice)

1.76 (500GB)

405/212

2TB,1TB,500GB,250GB

8.6 (4TB)

124/110

4TB,3TB,2TB,1TB

8.3 (4TB)

125/112

4TB,2TB,1TB

11.2 (1TB)

119/108

5TB,4TB,3TB,2TB,2TB Type C,1TB,1TB Type C

0.64 (500GB)

399/202

1TB,500GB,480GB,250GB,240GB,120GB

38.4 (4TB)

139/122

10TB,8TB,6TB,4TB,2TB,1TB

8 (2TB)

117/109

3TB,2TB,1TB,500GB

48 (3TB)

127/118

20TB,16TB,12TB,8TB,6TB,4TB,3TB

0.64 (2TB)

385/195

4TB,2TB,1TB,500GB,250GB,128GB

Please keep in mind that transfer speed can’t be constant for any hard drives, because it varies according to computer configuration, file size, and many others factors.

So without wasting time let’s get started!

The Samsung T3 Portable SSD hard drive is made of an aluminum and shock resistant body. This drive has weighed less than 2 ounces, and the size of approx a business card, which can fit in your palm easily.

Out of the box you are getting USB 3.0 type c connector. This drive is compatible with multiple platform OS, Windows, Mac, and Android too(sorry for ios users).

My Intel corei5 laptop is also having internal SSD hard drive, After testing its transfer speed on my laptop, I would like to say, the speed of this drive is great. You can get an idea about speed, assume that if you want to transfer a file around the size of 1GB then this task will be completed within 2-5 seconds. Please, keep in mind that, the speed also varies according to computer configuration and condition.

The Samsung T3 portable SSD external hard drives accompany AES 256-bit encryption algorithm, which protects your data. This drive is manufactured with V-NAND technology, in short, you will be getting a large amount of data and commendable speed. And, this power can be fit in your palm.

Finally, The Samsung T3 Portable SSD hard drive is compact, capacious in storage, and having excellent transfer speed. After testing this SSD I want to state that this drive will not disappoint you.

Pros

+ AES-256 Encryption

+ Ultra portable

+ Aluminium body

+ Best transfer speed

+ Light weight

+ USB type C

+ Works on Windows, Mac, Android

Cons

 Somewhat expensive

Who doesn’t know “Western Digital”? They are the leading manufacturer of high quality, reliable and affordable “internal and external hard drives”.

My passport is powered by USB 3.0 and it’s backward compatible with USB 2.0.

It’s available in 1TB,2TB,3TB and 4TB storage, so you can choose according to your needs.

This hard disk is perfect for those who want a lot of storage space in the budget.

that being said, this hard drive is designed for safe home use. While is not designed to be scuffed or dropped.

WD My Passport accompanies auto backup with WD backup software. what you have to do? just set date and frequency that’s it. Your photos, videos, music, and the document will be back up according to your setting.

Truly, this hard disk is somewhat slower than other, even so, its a great choice for “storage hunger” persons.

Moreover, This sleek USB portable hard drive comes in wide range of bold and beautiful color, so you can pick according to your choice.

The WD Passport is having Built-in 256-bit AES, this will keep your content secure and private. In case My passport ever lost, and any person trying to access its data this will show “return it found message” as prompt.

The WD My Passport is also compatible with Mac, but you have to reformat it.

If you are looking for a portable hard drive with capacious storage or you love to own multiple external hard drives and use color as a way to categorize your data, then WD My passport is a perfect choice. Especially the price of this hard drive compares to storage is appreciable.

We love this external Hard drives because of, low price, capacious data storage, secureness, and portability.

Pros

+ AES-256 Encryption

+ Capacious storage

+ Inexpensive

+ Numerous color 

+ Auto backup software

+ USB 2.0 compatible

+ Works on Windows, Mac 

Cons

Somewhat slow

Everyone aware of Seagate, they are the global leader in data storage solution, developer of the amazing storage product.

We have selected Seagate Expansion, however Backup plus slim is also the good choice.

Unlike Seagate Backup Plus Slim, Seagate Expansion is having some thick design, which makes it cheaper to store more data.

Like other devices, this drive also accompanies USB3.0 which also have compatibility USB 2.0. Apart from this, The Seagate Expansion comes up to 4TB version and you can also optionally buy carry-case provide by Seagate which will extend this hard drive life.

please keep in mind that this hard drive is somewhat thick when you choose higher storage version.

Out of the box, the Seagate Expansion it preformatted in the NTFS, however, you can easily reformat into HFS+ in order to work with Mac. Apart from this if you want to use this device on both platforms you should format it exFat.I find that buying a drive like this is a much cheaper way to add some storage to your Mac than buying an inbuilt extended storage Mac version, which is generally much more expensive.

The Seagate Expansion is the fast and affordable portable hard drive that will comfortably fit into your pocket. This hard drive is recommended for anyone who needs extra storage to carry on the go.

Pros

+ AES-256 Encryption

+ Capacious storage

+ Inexpensive

+ Good Design

+ USB 2.0 compatible

+ Works on Windows, Mac 

Cons

Somewhat thick

In our rundown, next device has come from Silicon Power. The Silicon power company is specialized in manufacturing USB flash drive, portable external hard drives, Solid state drives, DRAM module and industrial grade products. And They have launched a Portable external drive named Armor A60.

The Silicon Power Armor A60 portable hard drive is fast and affordable. This drive is Military grade shockproof and comes with IPX4 water-resistant protection.

Furthermore, Its accompanies cable-carry, anti-slip, and anti-scratch design.

The best thing about this hard drive is, it is compatible with PC, Mac, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS4 Pro and PS4 slim.

Keep in mind that this external USB hard drive is pre-formatted as fat32, so you can use it directly on Windows or Mac but due to FAT32 format restriction, you can transfer file lower than 4Gb.

However, that’s not a big problem. If you want to transfer file more then 4GB then you can reformat it after taking backup of data to exFAT.

The bottom line is that The Silicon Power Armor A60 is the best deals for those who need an External portable hard drive that can withstand rough handling or tough environments.

Pros

+ Shockproof

IPX4

+ Anti-slip

+ Cable carry design

+ Works on Windows, Mac,XBox 360, PS4

Cons

USB type A cable

Now, we are looking for something portable and ultra fast. In general, SSDs are more expensive and offer less capacity than traditional external hard drives. by the way, we will discuss later in detail.that do you really need an SSD hard drive? you can go to External harddrive buyer’s guide directly clicking here.

As you all know, SanDisk is well known for its Flash memory, and SanDisk Extreme 500 Portable SSD is one of the top products of them.

Unlike many portable external hard drives, this one should withstand dust and water because of its resistant design. Well, this will not survive in the dip, it’s only To bear with water splash.

The SanDisk Portable SSD is so light, it comes in the diamond shape and the position of USB port is on one corner.and on the other corner you are getting a loop so you can attach with your keys or camera.

The extreme 500 is having USB 3.0, but there is no type c support. This drive is preformatted as exFAT out of the box, you can use it right away with both platforms Windows and Mac.

The portable extreme 500 also loaded with security software named SanDisk SecureAccess.Which allow you to encrypt your files with 128-bit encryption. This is slightly less secure than Samsung T3 because in T3 portable SSD you are getting much secure hardware 256-bit encryption.

In general, SSDs are more expensive and offer less capacity than traditional hard drives.

If you need high-speed and ultra-portable hard drive then SanDisk Extreme 500 is a great choice, which is water and shock resistance.

Pros

+ AES-128 Encryption

+ SanDisk Secure access 

+ Fast performance

+ Splash-proof

+ Shockproof

+ Ultra compact design

+ Reliable, durable

+ Light weighted

+ Works on Windows, Mac 

Cons

Only available up to 1TB

Professional video editors and filmmakers have recommended about G-Technology’s external hard drives for over a decade. These users — day-one adopters of Apple’s Mac Pro and MacBook Pro computers — need a lot of hard disk space, fast interfaces, and above all else, reliability.

The G-Technology G-DRIVE offers all the capacity, speed, and reliability.

As I mentioned above, this hard drive is for especially for Mac user, which compatible with the time machine backup feature. Another thing that, this hard drive is formatted with HFS+ file system, although if you are a windows user, you can reformat as NTFS.

Out of the box, you are getting an aluminum design body with top class durability. In the back side, you are getting USB3.0 port which is also backward-compatible with USB 2.0 devices. Unlike other G – Technology devices you are this unit comes with slim AC power adapter. I know this adapter is recommended because of slim design, and there lack space for power supply, but keeping portability in mind, this hard drive can’t be used without power supply.

This external hard drive accompanies 7200 RPM SATA drives which give transfer speed up to 245MB/s.

After testing this drive transfer speed, on MacBook Pro with USB 3.0 port, the peak speed was about 165MB/s and reliably achieved 139MB/s.On the other hand, when connected with USB 2.0, this speed decreased dramatically ie. read speed was 32MB/s and write speed 15MB/s.

However we don’t have any speed issue with this device, you are getting almost great transfer speed compared to similar devices.

Bottom line is that, As a Mac user, G-Drive is a highly recommended accessories because of their beautiful armored aluminum body, good transfer speed with the commendable price.

Pros

+ Aluminium design

+ 7200 RPM SATA drive

+ Specially for Mac

+ Armored body

+ Slim

+ USB 2.0 compatible

+ Works on Windows, Mac 

Cons

External power required

Toshiba Canvio Basic is a great solution for most home users and people who don’t want to go deep in the storage devices.

This hard drive is very small and portable so you can take it with you. This drive won’t take a lot of space in your home, car or pocket.

The Canvio Basic is the most popular external hard drive right behind WD my passport.

The Toshiba Canvio Basicexternal hard drive is equipped with USB 3.0 which also compatible with USB 2.0.and also this drive is accompanied internal shock sensor and ramp landing technology, which makes it more reliable. like other devices this hard drive is preformatted for windows is you want to use it for Mac then you have to reformat it.

After testing this drive performance I am impressed with it, roughly you will get read speed up to 117MB/s and write up to 109MB/s. Although this speed is very good in this price range.

Overall this is value for money product, Because of its speed, portability, reliability, and design.

If you are looking for the great, cheap and basic external hard drives, which preserve your digital data then Toshiba Canvio Basic is the best option.

Pros

+ USB 3.0

+ Inexpensive

+ USB 2.0 compatible

+ Works on Windows, Mac 

Cons

Somewhat slow

The Buffalo Ministation Extreme NFC is the unique external hard drive that has been designed to be both rugged with its IPX3 and IP5X certifications for both water and dust protection, while this drive also accompanies 256 – bit AES encryption and use of NFC technology.

Out of the box, this external hard drive is available in 1TB, and 2TB, equipped with USB 3.0 which is backward compatible with USB  2.0 devices. Build quality of the device is rather good with the solution as plastics and the integrated USB 3.0 cable fits, inside the provided space.

The MiniStation Extreme NFC is compatibility extends to windows vista to windows 10 along with OS X 10.8+.

This hard drive performs around 128 MB/s read speed and write was 125 MB/s.

The best thing about this device is, you will not worry, about to remember the password. After forgets them, which compels us to format the drive.

The Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC external hard drives is a solid device for users, that want security and durability in one package. Unlocking this device with NFC smart card technology makes it unique in our category.

Pros

+ AES-256 Encryption

+ Secure NFC

+ Water Resistance

+ Dust Resistance

+ USB 2.0 compatible

+ Inbuilt Cable Design

+ Works on Windows, Mac 

Cons

Upto 2TB

The WD My book is the desktop version of My Passport which is larger in size and capacity. On the other hand, My passport comes in six shades but WD My book have only one black color. Personally, I like black shade, maybe some persons will not agree with me, maybe they are looking for some other colors.

The WD My book is having encryption of 256-AES and “WD Backup software” like other WD’s drives comes with. This drive accompanies RAID-0, so you will get speed up to 360MB/ s, however, this speed varies, according to your computer configuration and of course due to file size.

This external hard drive doesn’t support USB type C they are still following traditional Micro USB 3.0. Although this problem doesn’t exist because WD has included both types of cable ie.”USB 3.0″ to ‘USB3.0″ and “USB3.0” to “USB3.0” type C. .Another thing is that you are getting 2x USB 3.0 hub ports.which are complimentary, you can use them for connecting accessories, like additional storage, mouse, and keyboard, card reader or simply, you can sync and charge your mobile phone.

The good thing about this hard drive is this comes in numerous storage size up to 20 TB, you will not feel storage problem anymore.

Although the WD My book doesn’t accompany any special features, except the encryption. But this device is good looking, capacious and fast and still value for money.

Pros

+ AES-256 Encryption

+ RAID 

+ Capacious storage

+ Inexpensive

+ Auto backup software

+ USB 2.0 compatible

+ Works on Windows, Mac 

Cons

External Power Required

Lack of type C

The Vecto Tech is not only the SSD in our list, we have also Samsung T3 Portable and Sandisk Extreme in our rundown. But now question is that what is special in this device?

Are you Curious to know? Then Read further.

Like another SSDs, The Vecto Tech hard drive is having good transfer speed.

In fact, The Vecto Tech SSD is the lifesaver for those who constantly on the go and needs use their devices immediately. This drive doesn’t have any mechanical part inside, Because this is SSD drive. As a result, This hard drive is Vibration free and shockproof.

Additionally, this hard drive withstands in the wide range of temperatures from -13ºf (-25ºc) to 185ºf (85 ºc).

Unlike over other SSD’s this portable drive is made of plastic, as a result, its weight is extremely lighter than other.

Out of the box, this hard disk accompanies USB3.1 (Gen 1) therefore, you will get Transfer rates up to 450MB/s.In Fact, this hard drive is having 385MB/s (Read) and 195MB/s (Write) speed during my testing, however, This speed is somewhat lower than “Samsung T3” and “SanDisk Extreme”, but In the view of price this speed is acceptable.

As compared to another device, you are getting top class speed, shock resistance, and vibration free design, at the lowest price. Which is amazing.

Bottom line is that, If you are looking for SSD drive, which is having good transfer speed, lightweight at best price then The Vecto Tech Rapid is a perfect choice.

Pros

+ Vibration free

+ Super Speed

+ Shockproof

+ Wide temperature range operation

+ Ultra Lightweight

+ Easy to Use

+ Works on Windows, Mac 

Cons

Traditional looking

Lack of type C

Portable Hard Drives – Buyer’s Guide

If you are hardcore music collector, who downloads lots of songs or maybe you have 5000 digital photos placed in the folder on your desktop. Either way, all that media takes up precious space on your computer and needs to be stored properly. So an external hard drive can take care of that.

Why you need a portable hard drive?

If you accumulating media on your computer, It’s, always a good idea to have an external hard drive. Because storing lots of data on the computer can slow it down, and you run the risk of losing everything in the event of a hard-drive crash.

Additionally, there are many benefits of having an external hard drive. So here I am listing some advantage of external hard drives.

As you know, many of laptops come with 500GB, 750GB, and 1TB, (laptop storage drives)  now what if you add GB’s of data every day on your computer.

As a result, you need to extend your computer’s storage size.

Probably you are aware of that, the internal memory is much costlier than the external one if we talk about mobiles or computer.

In particular, choosing a Mac with high memory version is the most expensive.

All in all, if you want to extend your computer or laptop storage then you can choose external hard drives with capacious storage possibility.

External drives are extremely time saver for those, who use lots of data frequently on the go.

I understand that Maybe your home or office is having a wireless or wired network, but when multiple users are accessing data over the network then you won’t get enough speed.

In particularly when files are too big, then this situation is very frustrating.

However, If you are not the only one that are using same data on the network, the external hard drive won’t help you.

If you are single users who use a lot of data frequently, then trust me there are many ultra-fast speed hard drives and SSDs available which will save your precious time.

Nowadays, cloud storage is very popular, and why it should not be? There are lots of advantages of cloud storage, you can easily access your data from everywhere.

But what will happen? if any location where no network connectivity, and you need your data right there.

Or you have the slow network and you are about to access GBs of data, as a result, it will take a lot of time.

But If you have data on your external hard drive then you can transfer your data within the seconds.

Here I am not against cloud storage, but on a slow network or without network condition cloud storage is not reliable. Besides many of people don’t trust to data storage over the internet.

Thus, an external hard drive can help you in any location where the network is not available.

Now you know some main advantage of having an external hard drive. Next, I am providing some keys, which should keep in mind when purchasing a portable hard drive.

How much size is enough?

Well, this will depend on how much data do you have?

In general, if your files are word-processing, excel or spreadsheets, you don’t need the large storage hard drive, 500GB or 1TB will last you quite some time.

If you have a large music or videos collections than, the bigger drive is better. However, you can buy multiple drives instead of bigger one, that will provide reliability to your data. Because if your one drive will fail, then your whole data remains safe, except for that drive.

When we talk about the speed of an external hard drive (how much time it takes for the drive to read and write files) Nowadays, most of the drives accompanies USB 3.0, which is quite faster. If you are Mac user you might be interested in the drives with FireWire connector.

Some drives need an external power source along with USB, on the other hand, some drives work with only USB cable. In fact, if you transfer big files the external power source drive performs better.

Additionally, Many desktop drives come with RAID technology, which also increases the speed of drives.

Especially, if you want best transfer speed then you should look for Solid State portable hard drives or SSDs.However, SSDs are much pricier than normal hard drives. In fact, if you want ultra fast speed then you should try out SSDs, they are not only faster but they are also lighter, reliable, shockproof and vibrate free.

Some external hard drives only use a storage box, they can hold your data and nothing more you can expect from them.

But nowadays, many brands providing some cool security.

In many drives, you can get hardware AES-256 bit encryption, on the other hand, some drives come with automatic backup software.

Besides, some portable hard drives accompanies NFC security.

However, these features not is useful for all. If you are interested, then drive may be additionally pricer.

If you have a single computer, you can usually get away with a simple external hard drive. But if you have multiple computers in your house or you run a small business, you should look into getting a network-attached-storage device, or a NAS.

These external hard drives are very helpful, which can automatically back up several computers and allow multiple computers to access the same data. Moreover, these external hard drives come with capacious storages.

Please keep in mind when purchasing external hard drives, some drives only compatible with Mac and some other are with PC.

Moreover some works with both PC and Mac. If you have purchased hard drives which is compatible with PC. And you want to use this drive with Mac, then you will have to reformat the drive. Otherwise, that drive will remain PC or Mac specific.

Conclusion

After all, we have discussed numerous types of external hard drives, all drives were different from each other.

for example: some external hard drives were extremely faster and some of them were most secure. On the other hand some hard drives were capacious in storage, and some of them were most reliable.

If you think that, we have forgotten some great external hard drives then tell us in the comments without hesitation.

Navigate to our top 10 External hard drives

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nootan kumar

ABOUT NOOTAN KUMAR

Nootan Kumar is a 24-years-old Blogger from India. He is a Cisco certified network engineer and currently doing the job in a reputed company. He is very enthusiastic about Computer gadgets and technology. Read more about him

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