Best Nas External Hard Drive For Mac

Posted By admin On 16.02.22

Nov 05, 2018  CNET editors choose the best storage devices, including internal/external hard drives and network storage devices. Formatting an External Hard Drive. In the case of getting an external hard drive that is either unformatted, or pre-formatted for Windows as NTFS, the formatting procedure is still very simple. When the drive is connected to the Mac, it may or may not show an icon on the desktop. Bottom Line: The Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim is an external hard drive that provides 2TB of storage space, quick data transfer speeds, and a sharp, super-slim design for just $100. 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. Best Overall Mac External Hard Drive – Runner Up 4.8 / 5 Product Rating With its 1 TB capacity and 5400 RPM speed, this backup drive is a top pick because it provides ample storage and comes in a sleek design.

Mac External Hard Drive Reviews

There’s nothing more awful then losing data on your computer because you didn’t back anything up. Gone are the days where you had to do this on a disc, and thank goodness we have external hard drives to help us sleep soundly at night. You can store a whopping 1TB of info on most Mac drives, and this will also allow you to free up storage space on your device. Most Mac drives are incredibly affordable, and the technology seems to improve every day. Not only that, but most models are incredibly portable and perform routine backups in the background without even having to think about it. The simplest drives have a powerful USB 3.0 as well as Thunderbolt. Often right out of the box you can plug in one wire and everything is taken care of for you. Not only that, but an external drive is really essential when you purchase a new computer and want to safely and efficiently move your data from the old device to the new one.

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Most Popular Mac External Hard Drive

Seagate Slim

Like many external hard drives on the market, the Seagate Backup Plus Slim allows you to choose between two different storage capacities: 500 GB and 1 TB. This device provides automatic backups, and is a good addition to any Cloud backups that you perform, as these can sometimes be insufficient and unsafe on their own. The quality that makes this drive stand out from the rest is its size. Because it’s so slim and lightweight, it’s very easy to take from place to place, even though it perhaps doesn’t offer as much heavy duty storage as other hard drives do. The packing is easy to open and the device is simple in appearance. Other drives allow you to choose fun colors and accents, but this Seagate is pretty spartan in appearance. The small USB cable is just long enough to be at a comfortable distance from your computer, and the plastic body of the device feels good and stable. It’s small enough to fit in your pocket, and has the added benefit of a 2 year warranty.

  • Up to 1TB of easy backup
  • The slim, metallic design is simple in appearance and easy to carry
  • Works right out of the box and is compatible with Time Machine
  • Free Seagate Mobile Backup app available for iOS devices
  • Share feature allows you to upload multiple files to social networks

Anthony Dawson

Best Overall Mac External Hard Drive

Western Digital

The Passport is great if you’re looking for a lightweight hard drive that is compatible with both OSX and Windows. Format the drive as exFAT to get it to work on both operating systems with ease. The Passport is just about the size of an iPhone, and maybe even a little smaller. The design is sturdy and elegant, and it’s made entirely of durable plastic. Thunderbolt is definitely faster than this hard drive, but the USB 3.0 works with great speed and efficiency nonetheless. Western Digital is famous for their drives being very reliable and long-lasting, so the Passport is great if you’re looking for a device that is going to last you for the long haul. In fact, the Passport really does perform with the best of them, and offers a 3 year warranty that is one year longer than most other drives on the market. The backup is automatic, and there is a lot of built in protection that ensures that your data will be safe at all times.

  • USB 3.0 interface provides great speed
  • Works right out of the box thanks to HFS+ journaling
  • Compatible with Apple Time Machine
  • Hardware encryption and password protection
  • 3 year limited warranty

Anthony Dawson

Best Budget Mac External Hard Drive


The TEYADI is a great Mac external hard drive when you’re looking for a simple way to back up all your data locally as well as on social networks. Right out of the box the TEYADI will start doing its job, and it’s also compatible with Time Machine software. The Save feature is what allows you to back up your content from social media sites automatically. One of the big downsides of taking so many photos on your smartphone is that they’re liable to be lost, because they aren’t constantly backed up and saved, and the TEYADI takes care of all this with simplicity. If a file gets accidentally deleted from your device, then there’s a copy waiting for you on your external hard drive. With HFS+, you’re able to use the drive on both your Mac OS X and your PC. The TEYADI operates so smoothly and intuitively that you really don’t need to even take a look at the Quick Start Guide that comes included.

  • Super fast USB 3.0 transfer speed
  • 500 GB storage capacity
  • Save feature allows you to save content from social media sites
  • Can work for both Mac and PCs with the HFS+ driver installation

Anthony Dawson

Mac External Hard Drive Buying Guide

There are many different kinds of external hard drives for Mac on the market. With a large selection available it can be difficult to know which one to select when shopping. This buying guide for Mac external hard drives is designed to help you narrow down the search and find the one with the features and options that will be best suited to meet your storage needs. We’ve provided the information about what to look for in a Mac external hard drive for whatever your intended purpose. By following a few tips and recommendations you’ll be able to determine just what it is that you need in an external hard drive before you begin shopping.

Recommendation for Purchases

How You Plan To Use Your External Hard Drive for Mac

Before actually making a purchase, it’s important to establish what the drive will be used for. This will help you to know which size and capacity you will need. For example, will you be using the external hard drive for backup of your important system files? Perhaps you need additional storage space for videos or music files. How much space will you need for your external hard drive? Will you need a full sized drive or a portable one? Finally, how much speed will you require from the drive? This is a big one for gamers who will be storing game data on the external drive. Once you determine the intended uses and approximately how much storage you will need, it’s time to look at which features you will want the drive to have.

Different Types of External Hard Drives for Mac

There are of course several different brands and models of external hard drives available for Mac. These types of additional storage are usually connected to your Mac through a USB connection or Firewire. The smaller 2.5 inch portable models obtain their power through this connection and are easy to unplug and carry with you to other locations. The larger 3.5 inch drives require a power supply that is plugged into a wall outlet.

Features of External Hard Drives for Macs

The storage capacities for external HDDs for Mac range from 160 gigabytes to 3 terabytes. Pricing goes up for the maximum storage units and this is one of the reasons why the 1 terabyte drives are so popular. Most external HDDs for Mac are compatible with Time Machine, but it’s wise to double check and make sure prior to purchase.

What to Look For In an External Hard Drive for Mac

While storage space is an important aspect of an external hard drive, it is by no means the only consideration to be made. The data transfer rate and access speed of the hard drive are what make the difference between a more useful and time saving drive or one that is frustrating and a waste of time with slower speeds for performing functions.

Many of the available drives feature multiple connection ports such as USB, FireWire, eSATA or Thunderbolt, but some only offer one. If you need a variety of options then make sure that the model you select is versatile. This is particularly important if you will be connecting the drive to different machines.

Thunderbolt is an extremely fast interface type, but not all Macs have the ability to support this option. If your Mac does not support Thunderbolt, you cannot use this type of drive.

Check System Requirements

Prior to purchasing an external hard drive for Mac, check the system requirements to ensure that the drive is compatible with your current system. You will benefit from using some of the faster interface formats such as Thunderbolt or eSATA or even Firewire over USB. If your Mac does not support eSATA, it can be added by using an ExpressCard/34.


Speed can be an important factor, particularly if you are storing gaming applications for use in your external HDD. Higher rpm drives provide better performance for most activities and gaming is no exception. For example, most Mac notebooks come with 5400 rpm drives, but the addition of an external drive which operates at 7200 rpm can improve your gaming or downloading experience with faster access and load time. This is particularly important when heavy graphics are involved. To gain optimal performance, high performance drives that run with 10,000 to 15000 rpm are available, however; the downside is that the often require a SCSI connection and they offer less storage capacity.

Pros and Cons of External Hard Drives

External hard drives can be used to back up important system data in case of a crash or other type of system failure. This can help to ensure that your information is not lost and it could help to get you back up and running with less hassle and expense. The prices are less expensive for external desktop hard drives than for the portable versions. These drives have transfer speeds that are faster than CDs or DVDs and they are easy to use.

The downside is that larger capacity drives can be expensive and tend to be priced on a per gigabyte basis. Also, the most common connection option is USB which is much slower than some of the other options.


External hard drives for Mac come in a variety of sizes, models and storage capacities. The best drive for you is solely dependent upon your individual needs. Some are designed for providing lots of storage space for back up of your system and other files while others feature fast access and transfer speeds which enhance the experience of gaming and transferring files from one location to the other. Smaller portable units may be more expensive, but they offer a better option for those who are on the go. By knowing up front what you will need to use an external hard drive for, how much storage capacity and what rates of speed you will need, you are prepared to choose a unit that will meet your storage needs. You are prepared to look for the features that will enhance the activities that the drive will be used for in a new external hard drive. Following a few simple tips and recommendations can be helpful in avoiding making the wrong choice.

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.

2TB: $109.94

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

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.

Best nas external hard drive

4TB: $249.99; 6
TB: $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

Best Nas Drive For Mac

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.

Nas External Hard Drive Reviews

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.

Best Mac Compatible External Hard Drive

On the downside, it is perhaps a bit expensive, and not very fast for an SSD drive.

External Hard Drive Mac And Pc Compatible

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.