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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. Price: 2TB: $64.99; 4TB: $99.99. VIEW AT AMAZON. The device is supplied with software, including AutoBackup for drive backups, Secure Drive for drive security, and SecretZone for data encryption. The technology of external hard drives and connection ports is constantly changing which is why we’ve taken a closer look at the best external hard drive for Mac of 2018. The great thing for Mac users is that external HDDs have never been cheaper and storage sizes have never been bigger. This certainly is the best external hard drive for Mac that comes with WD Drive Utilities, allowing users to register their drive, run tests, manage JBOD or RAID modes and doing different other tasks. The only problem is choosing the best external hard drive, Fortunately, we have a solution In this ultimate guide, we have identified top portable storage drives for MAC, Xbox One, PS4 and PC that you can buy right now.External hard drives can make your digital life better in three key ways: first, by expanding the amount of photos, videos and other files you can save and store; second, by freeing up space on your device to allow your programs to run faster; and three, by protecting your content to ensure important files don’t get lost or worse, stolen.
Protecting your data is essential for small business owners and freelancers. Extra storage is a boon for those of us who want to extend the life of their laptop, as well as anyone stuck with too-small phones and an ever-expanding library of mobile photos. And while they may lack the sleek appeal of internal hard drives and graphics cards, external drives offer a plug-in, portable option for users who want a simple solution to their storage needs.
By 2019, these drives have vastly improved over the floppy disks of days gone by. The ones on our list earn high marks for processing power and useful features, so finding the one that’s right for you will probably come down to price and available space.
Read on to learn more about the best external hard drives:
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Western Digital My Book
Looking for something with a ton of space for all your files and data? The Western Digital My Book is pretty huge -- boasting anywhere from 3TB to 10TB of storage, which should be more than enough for the vast majority of users. The hard drive is a little bulky, but that's not a bad thing -- after all, this drive is built specifically for desktop use, not necessarily taking on the go with you.
When it comes to specs under the hood, the drive offers a USB 3.0 port, and it's compatible with USB 2.0 too. It also comes with a 3-year manufacturer's warranty, so in the event that you get the drive and it doesn't work as advertised, you should be able to get a new one.
Samsung Portable SSD T5
This is a top of the line external hard drive for any power user looking to upgrade their device. Samsung’s Portable T5 is designed with an SSD drive, which means it has no moving parts inside. SSDs are therefore less likely to become damaged when thrown in a bag or moved from office to office, making them a great option for commuters and freelancers.
This drive comes with up to 2TB of storage and has a USB-C port for easy connections with phones and small devices. It’s also smaller than the average business card, measuring less than half an inch thick and weighing just 51 grams. But don’t let its diminutive size fool you — the drive is packed with processing power and can transfer files at up to 540 MB/sec.
The drive claims to be “future-proof,” and it should be because the company only offers a three-year warranty on the T5. Get it on sale at Amazon for $428, which is $52 off the original price.
SanDisk Extreme 900 Portable SSD
If you’re more interested in speed and storage space than taking your external hard drive on the road, the SanDisk Extreme 900 Portable SSD is one to watch. Significantly faster than its cousin, the Extreme 500, this drive is designed with USB 3.1 Gen 2 technology. The Gen 2’s data rate allows the SanDisk to transfer files up to a staggering 850 MB/s -- faster than any other product on our list.
The one downfall of the product is that it isn’t dust- or water-resistant so it may not be the best travel buddy for your extreme backpacking adventures. It’s still probably worth it for the lightning-fast transfer speed, however. You can own the SanDisk Extreme 900 Portable SSD for $100 off the original price of $800.
Western Digital My Passport SSD
You’ve probably seen this device on a coworker’s desk before. WD’s My Passport is a classic for a reason, with a simple, elegant design, up to 2TB of space and read speeds up to 540 MB/s. It also comes with encryption and password protection firmware built-in, as well as WD Discovery software that includes WD Backup, WD Security, Social Media and Cloud Storage import, and more. Some users have noted that the device tends to heat up under heavy use, so you’ll want to keep that in mind if you plan to purchase an enclosure for it.
As an all-in-one device at a reasonable price point, it’s tough to say no to the WD My Passport series. Find it now for almost 50 percent off the original price.
The best external storage
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- Considerations before buying
- Hard drive vs SSD: which is best?
- The best external hard drives & SSDs
If you're looking for the best external hard drives for Macs and PCs, then you've come to the right place. No matter if you have an Apple device, or run a Windows 10 PC, the external hard drives on this page will let you quickly and easily expand the storage space of your device.
If you're a creative professional, then buying the best external drive for your Mac or PC is essential, as it's likely you'll need to store large files, such as raw video or photographs.
If you're using a laptop or MacBook for your creative work, then you may find your storage space is quite limited, and can quickly run out if you have a lot of files. Rather than opening up your device and fitting a larger hard drive (which is particularly difficult with Mac devices), an external hard drive can be quickly and easily plugged into your device for extra storage space.
While Cloud storage is another option, which allows you to store your files online, enabling you to access them from pretty much any internet-connected device, it takes your work out of your hands, and instead leaves them with other companies. Picking something that's reliably safe and has lots of space, speed and value for money is your best bet.
So what sort of external hard drive is best for your needs? An external hard drive or SSD (Solid State Drive) is a device that can plug into your machine, giving you an instant boost to storage space, without having to go down the road of pricey computer upgrades.
The other major plus is the portability of an SSD, take it with you and plug it into another device for instant file swapping – handy if you swap between PCs and Macs regularly.
Right now, our pick for best external hard drive for Mac and PC is the Western Digital My Passport 4TB. It offers the perfect balance of speed, reliability, portability and price. But there are many options out there – scroll down to see our full list of recommendations, and the best external hard drive prices too.
External hard drive storage considerations
There are a number of things to consider when looking for an external hard drive or SSD for your Mac or PC. First, is storage. You'll want to make sure you buy an external storage device that has enough capacity for your needs – without paying for high capacities you'll never use.
Around 500GB is a good sweet-spot for external storage, though you can buy smaller capacities, as well as larger ones at 1TB or greater.
Hard drive vs SSD: which is best?
External Hard Drive For Mac Desktop
Another consideration is whether to get an external storage device that uses a traditional hard drive, or one with an SSD. Usually, external hard drives with traditional drives are more affordable and come in larger capacities. There are external SSDs that come with large capacities – but these can be expensive.
SSDs are much faster than traditional hard drives, and because they don't have any mechanical or moving parts, they're generally more robust and smaller in physical size as well.
So, if you want to store huge amounts of data while keeping prices low, an external hard drive is the way to go. But if speed is your top priority – for example, if you move a lot of large files, or want to run programs off the drive – then choose an SSD.
External hard drive connections
The connection between the external hard drive and your Mac or PC is also important. The first generation rectangular USB-A ports are slowly being superseded by the newer, smaller reversible USB-C ports. These are now found on all modern PCs, and Macs.
Some high end PC and Macs, such as the new iMac and MacBook Pro, come with USB-C ports that support Thunderbolt 3. This is the fastest external storage connection there is, and it provides very fast data transfer speeds, though Thunderbolt storage is considerably more expensive than plain old USB. If you're in the market for a new laptop, don't miss our post on the best laptops for graphic design.
The best external hard drives: today's deals
Fancy getting your hands on the best external hard drive deals? Here's our pick of the very best deals we've found today:
Seagate 8TB External Hard Drive:
Save £40: This brilliant deal sees a decent 23% shaved off the retail price of this powerful Seagate 8TB external hard drive. Perfect for providing extra storage for your ever-growing collection of large files.
Seagate Expansion 4TB External Hard Drive:
Save $53.31: This excellent deal from Walmart knocks over $50 off the asking price for this speedy 4TB external hard drive from the experts at Seagate. Its USB 3.0 port is compatible with pretty much any computer, and 4TB is more than enough room for many people.
Best external hard drives and SSDs for Mac and PC
01. Western Digital My Passport 4TB
The overall best external hard drive for Mac or PC
Capacity: 4TB Interface: USB 3.0
Today's best Western Digital My Passport 4TB deals
When it comes to the best external hard drives, look no further than the Western Digital My Passport range. This is the latest model to have launched, coming in sizes from 1TB to 4TB. It features cloud storage and 256-AES encryption, along with WD's own backup software.
It also offers top data transfer speeds. And while it doesn't quite offer a similar speed to solid state drive devices, the Western Digital My Passport range hits a brilliant balance between high storage capacities and quick file transfers without knocking the price way up.
02. Samsung Portable SSD T5
Capacity: 250GB - 2TB Interface: USB 3.1 (Gen 2)
The Samsung T5 SSD is a great performing storage device, reaching speeds up to 550 MB/sec, making the most of the USB 3.1 specification. It plugs directly into PCs and Macs with either a newer USB-C port or USB-A, is roughly the size of a matchbox and being a flash storage device, contains no moving parts, so can survive being dropped.
External SSDs may cost considerably more than hard disks, but the extra money and faster speeds go a long way. You’ll be able to easily load edit and save 4K video directly on the T5, which can be very slow with a USB hard disk, you can install applications onto it, or even run an entire alternative operating system off it at full speed, if you’re so inclined.
The downside is the pricing. SSDs give you less capacity for more money, so we don’t recommend the T5 for backup. It’s better to have a bigger hard disk for that and use the T5 in more specialised situations that need all that lovely performance
03. G-Technology G-RAID with Thunderbolt 3
The fastest and largest external hard drive for modern desktop Macs
Capacity: 8TB - 24TB Interface: Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1
G-Technology has long been a favourite of Mac creative professionals, and no small part of this is the clever use of silver aluminium that perfectly matches Apple’s iMac casing, keeping desktop areas with a uniform appearance.
The latest incarnation of its G-RAID dual hard disk Thunderbolt product isn’t just a start performer, capable of 440 MB/sec transfer rates in RAID 0, which is pretty incredible for hard disks, but it also gives you a few extras.
There's an HDMI 2.2 port on the back, which routes a video signal for an external display over the G-RAID’s Thunderbolt 3 cable, which has plenty of bandwidth to spare even with the hard disk going at full speed. It also has a USB-C port to connect to Macs or PCs that lack Thunderbolt.
Expect to pay a small fortune for the largest capacities, but thanks to the easy drive removal system, you could always buy a cheaper, lower capacity G-RAID and upgrade it with off-the-shelf hard disks yourself.
04. Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt
The most affordable Thunderbolt external hard drive
Capacity: 1TB, 2TB Interface: Thunderbolt, USB 3.0
If you want to make use of your Thunderbolt port, then this Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt is a great option, as it provides twice the speeds of standard USB 3.0 drives. It's also not especially expensive compared to other Thunderbolt drives. This is mainly down to the fact that it's a traditional hard drive, not an SSD, which means it's not quite as fast as it could be – though it will still give you an upgrade to your transfer speeds.
Helpfully, the Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt also comes with a USB 3.0 port for connecting to computers that don't have a Thunderbolt port.
05. LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive 4TB
Capacity: 4TB Interface: USB-C
Today's best LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive 4TB deals
The LaCie Porsche Design is one of the best external hard drives for Macs on sale today, and comes with both USB Type-C to Type-A and USB Type-C to Type-C connectors, making it a versatile way to expand the storage space of your Mac, regardless of what ports it has. This is also one of the most stylishly-designed external hard drives on this list, and it comes with a large 4TB capacity (with other sizes available as well), and it performs brilliantly.
06. Adata SD700 External SSD
The best cheap external SSD
Capacity: 256GB, 512GB or 1TB Interface: USB 3.0
The Adata SD700 will suit those looking for a rugged storage device that can provide ample capacity without costing too much. It performs superbly well and remains the only SSD we’ve seen that's IP68 rated.
Thanks to the solid state drive that resides in this external hard drive, it's a lot faster than external drives that use traditional spinning hard drives – so you're getting great transfer speeds as well as rugged protection.
It also comes in capacities up to 1TB, so you don't have to worry about missing out on storage space just because it uses an SSD. This Adata drive really does hit all the right notes.
07. WD My Book Duo
The best high capacity external drive for your Mac or PC
Capacity: 4TB - 20TB Interface: USB-C (Gen 1)
If you're looking for the absolute largest capacity external USB hard drive, then the WD My Book Duo Is the one to get, as it now goes all the way to 20TB.
If you don't mind sacrificing some of the ample storage space you can set the drives up in a RAID 1 array, so you have file backups of your files should one of the drives die. This is an excellent feature if you're going to use this device to back up irreplaceable data, such as your creative work, as it adds a level of protection in case things go wrong.
It provides two additional USB ports on the rear, so you can easily insert flash sticks. The device, which comes with two-year warranty, has 256-bit AES hardware encryption, and automatic backup software (WD SmartWare Pro).
It's also worth noting that the enclosure used is fully serviceable and that WD ships the drive already pre-formatted for Windows users (NTFS), so you'll want to reformat it to work with your Mac.
Top External Hard Drives For Mac
Read TechRadar's review here.
08. LaCie Rugged USB-C
This rugged design is great for storage on the move
Capacity: 1TB - 5TB Storage Type: Hard Disk Connector: Type-C Interface: USB 3.1
External Hard Drive
Lacie’s rugged hard disk series is instantly recognisable from its orange casing, which is a rubber enclosure that keeps the disk safe from even medium-height drops up to 1.2m, along with your precious data.
Best Portable External Hard Drive For Mac
According to Lacie it can apparently withstand the pressure of a one-ton car, and is resistant to rain. That makes it a great choice for content creation when you’re out and about, whether you’re participating in daredevil sports, travelling the world, just a bit paranoid or simply clumsy.
Backup Hard Drive External For Mac
Today's best external hard drives and SSDs
External Hard Drive For Mac
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