How do external hard drives for Mac work? External hard drives for Mac work pretty much the same as they do for a PC. The best external hard drives for Mac tend to connect to Macs via Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 cables. This allows for the fastest connectivity, generally speaking. When you're on the lookout for the best external hard drives you should think about some important details.
- The 8 best external hard drives and SSDs for Mac and PC users in 2018 By Matt Hanson 2018-11-08T16:27:58Z Graphic design If you have lots of creative work to store, making sure you have the best external hard drive or SSD for your Mac or PC is essential.
- Here, the best hard drive recovery software for 2017 and 2018 can recover all lost files from both internal and external hard disk drive (HDD), like Seagate, Samsung, Sandisk, Toshiba, etc.
- Top 10 Best Wireless Mobile HDD Seagate Wireless Mobile Storage Western Digital My Passport Wireless Maxell Portable Wireless HDD Toshiba Canvio AeroMobile.
When it comes to data storage, enough space is never a possible word. Fortunately, thanks to the constant changes in technology, users are empowered with storage options that were unthinkable a few years ago.
Best External Hard Drives for Mac:
1. LaCie Rugged Mini
This best hard drive for Mac is available in two different sizes, namely 2TB and 4TB. The device is easily identifiable by its distinctive orange rubber sleeve. In addition, it has been purposely designed to stand the most difficult environmental conditions.
The Rugged Mini is rain, drop, and crush resistant, compact in size, and has a 2 year warranty. It is tested to resist a drop of 1.2m, and a crush of a 1tn car. Besides, its compact size makes it very easy to transport.
In brief, the Rugged Mini presents a great alternative for those making films, photo shoots or other activities in tough places.
2. Maxtor M3 Portable External Hard Drive
Although the brand is presently owned by Seagate, the M3 still is presented under the Maxtor umbrella. This external hard drive is provided with a 3-year guarantee. Presented in a handy portable form, it is designed to store up to 4TB of data and supports Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later.
2TB: $64.99; 4TB: $99.99
Best External Hard Drive For Mac
The device is supplied with the software, including AutoBackup for drive backups, Secure Drive for drive security, and SecretZone for data encryption.
The M3 is ideal for environmental challenges, as it works with temperatures ranging from 5° to 40°C, and can be stored in places under temperatures ranging from –20° to 65°C. The device speed is 5.0GB/s using a USB 3.0.
Its size varies according to capacity, measuring:
82mm W x 118.2mm L x 19.85mm H (max) for 4TB and 3TB
82mm W x 112mm L x 17.5mm H (max) for 2TB, 1TB, and 500GB.
The weights are: 236g for 4TB and 3TB; 169g for 2TB; 151g for 1TB; 141g for 500GB.
Overall, this best portable hard drive for Mac is a very good alternative for those working under hard conditions.
3. WD My Book Thunderbolt Duo
This nice hard drive is available in 4TB and 6TB capacity, with a 30 days money back guarantee. In addition, it can be easily upgraded by the owner, by opening the case and replacing the existing drive. No screwdriver is needed for the operation.
4TB: $249.99; 6TB: $279.99
The Thunderbolt Duo is based on a bi-directional technology that permits fast multitasking. Thus, showing a video, doing a 3D rendering, and other graphic-intensive tasks at the same time present no problem to the user.
This best external hard drive for Mac includes the WD Drive Utilities, which enable the user to register the drive, run some tests, manage RAID or JBOD modes, and other tasks.
It is a very connectable drive, which is provided with two channels of up to 10Gb/s transfer rate, in both directions.
Formatted for Mac OS X Snow Leopard or Lion operating systems, the Thunderbolt Duo requires a computer with a Thunderbolt connector and supported by a Mac OS version 10.6.8 or higher. The device includes an AC adapter and a quick install guide.
Measuring 99 x 157 x 165 mm, and weighing 2.3 kg, the Thunderbolt Duo works with Time Machine for automatic backups.
It is a secure drive, provided with password protection and encryption capacities.
Overall, the Thunderbolt Duo is the best hard drive for Mac, which combines good storage capacity and great technology.
4. Apple AirPort Time Capsule
Apple’s Time Capsule is available in 2TB and 3TB sizes. It is actually more than a simple hard drive, as it has the capacities of both a wireless router and a network attached storage (NAS) device.
This best hard drive for Mac was introduced at the Macworld Conference and Expo on January 15th, 2008, and its fifth generation was released in June 2013, together with the sixth generation AirPort Extreme. For this last release, the name was changed to Airport Time Capsule.
Although it is more expensive than other more common hard drives, the Time Capsule has the advantage of working with Time Machine on Mac OS X and being automatically detectable by the Mac.
Measuring 168 x 98 x 98 mm, and weighing 1.48 kg, this device is not so good regarding connectivity as it includes four Gigabit Ethernet ports and only one 2.0 USB port.
Summarizing, although it is difficult to define what is the best external hard drive for Mac, Apple’s Airport Time Capsule is a valid option for Mac lovers.
5. Seagate Seven
Claiming to be the smallest 500GB external hard drive in the world, the Seagate Seven is a precision crafted device. It comes in a very elegant, but rugged stainless steel case.
It is indeed small in size, measuring only 7 x 82 x 123 mm, and weighing a mere 173g. It’s very slim format allows for great portability.
Its physical portability is enhanced by the fact that it is formatted for exFAT and thus can be used for Windows and Macs interchangeably.
The Seagate Seven includes the Seagate’s Dashboard Software, which can be used to backup photos and upload them later in social networks, such as Facebook. It also contains a high quality branded USB 3.0 to micro USB-B cable and an informational quick start guide. This device comes with a three-year guarantee.
On the downside, it is perhaps a bit expensive, and not very fast for an SSD drive.
Summarizing, the Seagate Seven is perhaps the best portable hard drive for Mac, when it comes to size. However, because its performance is not so good, it is more of the best buy external hard drive Mac based on looks than on efficiency.
BestUSB-C Hard Drives for MaciMore2019
The current line of MacBook Pro only has Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, but that's OK, because USB-C is fast, future-proof, and will likely replace standard USB, HDMI, DisplayPort, power, and more. A USB-C hard drive is the perfect storage box to locally back up all of your most essential files, including photos, documents, music, movies, and anything else that's important to you. Save your Mac's hard drive and pick up a USB-C hard drive. Here are a few options to get you started on your search.
Fan favorite: G-Technology G-Drive 1TBMick's Favorite
The G-Drive by G-Technology is a great USB-C hard drive for most people. It has 1TB of storage and features a quick drive speed of 7200RPM, with transfer rates of up to 136MB/s, thanks to USB 3.1. It comes in silver, as well as Apple-exclusive colors: gold, rose gold, and space gray.From $71 on Amazon
Best for speed: Samsung T5 SSD 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TBLory's Favorite
Samsung's T5 SSD is a solid-state drive that provides way faster transfer rates than physical hard drives. Solid-state drives don't have moving parts, so if you happen to drop this one, there's less to break! SSDs are more expensive, but with this one, you get write speeds of up 540MB/s, which is over three times faster than many hard drives. If you like to store TV shows and movies on your hard drive, consider a solid-state drive!From $90 at Amazon
Rugged pick: Glyph Blackbox Plus 1TB
The Glyph Blackbox Plus is a rugged, portable hard drive that can keep up with you wherever you go. It's surrounded in rubber to protect from drops and has enough capacity for all your backups and then some. You get write speeds of up to 140MB/s from just 5400RPM, as well as a 3-year warranty in case anything goes wrong. It also features fan-free heat dissipation, so it's nice and quiet.$120 at Amazon
Best for video: Samsung 5X Portable SSD
With read and write speeds of up to 2,800MB/s and 2,300MB/s respectively, this portable drive is perfect for videographers. It's designed for rendering and compiling high res photos and videos with up to 40Gb/s data transfer. It also looks like the Ferrari of external hard drives.From $489 at Amazon
Most stylish: LaCie Porsche Design 2TB
LaCie is widely recommended for Apple users (they even sell LaCie products on Apple's site!) The Porsche Design external hard drive is a great-looking solution to your USB-C needs. The mobile version comes in 2TB, while the desktop version is available with 4TB of storage. If you have older devices you'd like to use as well, this hard drive is also compatible with USB 3.0 ports.$80 at Amazon
Upgrade option: SanDisk Extreme 900 SSD 480GB, 960GB, 1.92TB
SanDisk's Extreme 900 SSD is a powerhouse solid-state drive that offers up to nine times the transfer speeds of external hard drives. It's made of durable aluminum and rubber, and the solid-state core is shock-proof. So, this is far less likely to die on you should you drop it (compared to hard drives).From $182 at Amazon
Best value: G-Technology G-Drive SSD R-Series
With a low price for 1TB, G-Technology's G-Drive SSD is one of the more versatile solid-state drives on the market, and it comes recommended by Apple itself. You'll get transfer rates of up to 560MBps, and it comes with both a USB-C to USB-C and a USB-C to USB-A cable.$240 at Apple
Long-lasting: LaCie Rugged 2TB
The LaCie Rugged of yesteryear got me through my entire post-secondary education, and now that there's a USB-C option, it'll help get you (and maybe even your children!) through school or work with reliability and that fast connection. The body is rubberized to help it stand up to daily wear and tear, and 2TB should be more than enough for all of your files, documents, Final Cut projects, and much more. There's a 2-year warranty on these, which includes data recovery services.$120 at Amazon
Durable and reliable: CalDigit Tuff 2TB
CalDigit's Tuff hard drives are rugged, colorful 2TB drives that offer USB-C connectivity and there's even a USB-C to USB-A cable for backward compatibility. With an IP57 rating, these drives are water-resistant in three feet of water for up to 30 minutes. They're dust-resistant, so you can take yours with you anywhere knowing that your data is safe from the elements.From $120 at Amazon
Compact pick: SanDisk Extreme SSD
You may know SanDisk for its SD cards, but its hard drives are excellent as well. This solid-state drive is smaller than the average smartphone and has a hole in it so that you can clip it to a bag. It's shock-resistant and ruggedly designed, so it's perfect for life on the move.From $72 at Amazon
Budget pick: WD My Passport
Western Digital makes some of the best hard drives around, and its 4TB USB-C hard drive fits right in with all its other excellent drives. This one can be found for under $120 and comes in six colors. This hard drive, however, is not inherently a USB-C drive — it's 'USB-C ready,' so it'll connect to your USB-C ports no problem, though it does not have a USB-C port itself.From $60 at Amazon
Waterproof-ish: G-Tech All-Terrain Drive
For the extreme outdoorsmen and women, this rugged hard drive does more than protect your external hard drive from scratches and breaks. It's watertight, so you can drop it into a pool of water up to one-foot for 30 seconds without anything seeping in. The tethered Thunderbolt cable means you don't have to bring any extra cables, too.From $153 at Amazon
Our personal favorites
External hard drives are must-have peripherals for anyone with a computer. They give you additional storage space, which can fill up fast on laptops, and are essential to backing up your data safely and securely. Every one of the drives on this list is easy to set up and start using right away. All you have to do is plug one into your Mac.
Lory's go-to external hard drive is Samsung T5 SSD because SSDs are much more reliable, and this one, in particular, has super-fast data transfer speeds. The G-Drive is Mick's favorite portable hard drive because it's affordable and reliable.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.Second screen time
Take a monitor on the go with one of these options for your Mac
For work or play, consider one of these portal solutions for your favorite Mac.