This newsletter may contain advertising, deals, or affiliate links. It is compatible with PC, Mac, Xbox One, and PS4. Best for Massive On-Desktop Backup and Storage, Best for Outdoorsy Photographers, Videographers, Best for Photo and Video Pros in the Field, Best for Buyers Seeking General-Use Portable Storage, Best for On-the-Go Users Seeking Sheer Capacity, Best for Videographers and Other Creative Pros. And, they’ll do it at a reasonable price. (It also may not supply sufficient power to run the drive.) Top 10 Best Desktop External Hard Drives of 2017 – Reviews. But, you're paying for a product that's virtually uncrackable. Seagate Toolkit provides handy backup/recover functions, as well as mirroring. When buying the best external hard drive for your needs, you need to make sure you get a device that can safely and securely store your important files. The verdict: External hard drives The SanDisk 500GB extreme portable SSD is a great match of fast performance, durable build and decent value. The Adata SD700 is great for those looking for a rugged storage device. LaCie’s rugged external hard drives are a favorite among content creators who are always out on the field. A desktop drive with a single platter mechanism inside will typically use a 3.5-inch drive inside and comes in capacities up to 12TB, though a few 16TB single drives in external chassis have started to emerge. Read the full review: Samsung Portable SSD T5. Because there is no spinning platter or moving magnetic head, if you bump the SSD while you're accessing its data, there is no risk that your files will become corrupted and unreadable. Essentially it allows you to unlock the drive to get to your files quickly and easily by tapping the supplied NFC card onto the drive's body. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the WD MyBook Duo. High price per gigabyte, due largely to ruggedization and RAID design. And portable hard drives can be a great value if what you need is raw capacity above all else. Even if the drive fails because of a manufacturing defect, most warranties simply replace the drive and don't cover the cost of recovery services that attempt to rescue your data from the broken drive. These connection types are ever in flux, but these days, most external hard drives use a flavor of USB, or in rare cases, Thunderbolt. ), how rugged it is, the interface it uses to connect to your PC, and even what colors it comes in. The largest desktop drives are often much, much bulkier than the first two categories, so big that you'll want to stick them under your desk or in a dedicated server closet. Many external hard drives utilize USB 3.0 connections. Other factors include the physical size of the drive (is it designed to be carted around, or to sit on your desk? Laptop hard drive almost full? The best external drives must also be light enough to carry in your bag, with large capacities so that you can keep your data safe when traveling. This interface piggybacks on a USB Type-C connector (not all USB Type-C ports support Thunderbolt 3, though) and offers blazing peak throughput of up to 40GBps. Its combination of solid performance, hardware encryption, and useful utilities makes the 5TB WD My Passport a strong contender for everyday backup of sensitive data or storing a massive collection of videos, photos, and documents. It comes in a range of sizes up to 8TB and it beats the competition when it comes to read and write speeds as well. These hard drives, in other words, expand your storage space without burning a hole in your pocket. Need to back up your photos and videos? Cables for both USB Type-A and Type-C on the client side. Of course, it's also backwards compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 if your PC doesn't have USB Type-C. Be prepared to shell out a bit more cash, but it’s well worth it. However, if you’re dealing with large files – such as high-resolution photos and videos – in your typical workload, you should consider buying one with a bigger storage space. Shop for external desktop hard drive at Best Buy. The biggest deciding factors when it comes to data transfer rates is the connection the drive uses, and whether it is a standard hard drive or a solid state drive (SSD). If you're looking for the absolute largest capacity external hard drive, then the WD My Book Duo 4TB is the one to get, offering a sizeable 4TB (you can also get versions with up to 20TB) of storage space over two hard drives. Also know that you can find external drives that do way more than just store your data. Best Desktop External Hard Drive; Best Hard Drive for 2021:WD 10TB Elements. PCMag, PCMag.com and PC Magazine are among the federally registered trademarks of Ziff Davis, LLC and may not be used by third parties without explicit permission. LaCie's two-drive Rugged RAID Shuttle offers the choice of high capacity and fast performance (in striped mode), or of half the capacity with all data mirrored on the second disk. You may unsubscribe from the newsletters at any time. You'll only see the speed benefits of Thunderbolt 3, however, if you have a drive that's SSD-based, or a multi-drive, platter-based desktop hard drive set up in a RAID array. What's more, the data is encrypted by the 256-bit AES protocol, with multiple forms of protection in place to ensure the bad guys don't get in no matter how persistent. Gabe Carey and Matt Hanson also contributed to this article. Sure, a long warranty is nice. Oct 21, 2016. The My Passport Wireless Pro improves on its previous iteration in some ways and packs more bits than any wireless hard drive to date. You'll also need to think about how much storage space you need. Silicon Power 2TB portable hard drive - $134.99 $62.49 at Amazon Get a free wall charger or 10000mAh portable charger when buying this hard drive. (See our separate roundup of the best NAS drives.). Unlike other external hard drives that come with the time-consuming process of setup, this one comes with easy to use setup. Best overall: Samsung T5; Best lightweight: SanDisk Extreme Pro; Toughest: Adata SE800; Best budget hard drive: Western Digital My Passport Ultra Some include SD card readers to offload footage from a camera or drone in the field, while a few specialized models have built-in Wi-Fi and can double as an all-in-one home media server, able to connect to more than one device at a time. Sounds counter-intuitive, perhaps? To save energy, the device powers down after a designated amount of time and does not require an external power cord, just the provided USB cable – which is compatible with both USB 3.0 and 2.0. Buy now on Amazon.com. There was a problem. That’s where the best external hard drive … You might sacrifice some of the ample storage space, if you don’t mind losing some, so you can set the drives up in a RAID array, so you have file backups of your files should one of the drives die. However, for faster speeds, you'll want USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 USB Type-C connection. Thank you for signing up to TechRadar. Pretty neat! Read the full review: Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro. If you’re looking for the best external hard drive that will save you a ton of cash, Buffalo's MiniStation Extreme NFC could be your match made in heaven. Save a whopping 95% for the first year.View Deal. Thunderbolt 3 vs. USB-C: What's the Difference? All late-model Apple MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptops have them, and many high-end Windows 10 laptops do, too. Read the hands-on review: Adata SD700 External SSD. (See our explainer Thunderbolt 3 vs. USB-C: What's the Difference?). Visit our corporate site. USB ports are ubiquitous, and many external drives now come with both rectangular USB-A connectors and oval-shaped USB-C ones to enable adapter-free connections to PCs that have only one type. And of course, if you're carrying your drive around with you, you want it to look nice. (Image Credit: Buffalo), We check over 130 million products every day for the best prices. Read the full review: Buffalo MiniStation Extreme. Glitchy experiences, even after a WD firmware update. © One of the main benefits of external hard drives is that they allow you to quickly store information via USB cable without having to shut down and open up the PC. Fast, easy to use, and massively effective, the Sabrent External Hard Drive Lay-Flat Docking Station is our top choice for the best hard drive dock currently available. New York, Larger external drives designed to stay on your desk or in a server closet still almost exclusively use spinning drives, taking advantage of platter drives' much higher capacities and much lower prices compared with SSDs. Best External Hard Drive 2020! Bear in mind that most of them come in a range of capacity options, so know that even if the specific model we tested is too big or small for your needs, the drive maker may well offer it in a more fitting size. Solid-state drives (SSDs) have fewer moving parts than traditional hard drives, and they offer the speediest access to your data. To get you started in the right direction, below are the best external hard drives (platter-based models) we've tested of late, at a variety of prices and capacities. We’ve all been there: that moment your laptop or desktop computer tells you it’s running out of hard drive space. The next size up for consumer desktop drives is about the same height but twice as wide, to accommodate more than one platter-based hard drive mechanism in the chassis. If you have a device with a Thunderbolt port, then this is a great option, as it provides twice the speeds of standard USB 3.0 drives. Home » Computers, Tablets & Accessories » Top 10 Best 6 TB External Hard Drives Reviews in 2021. Subscribing to a newsletter indicates your consent to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You don't have to worry about the differences among these three USB specs when looking at ordinary hard drives, though. Of course, not everyone needs a wireless hard drive or SD card support, but for those who do, it’s almost essential. Instead, there’s now a more premium feel to the My Passport Wireless Pro. *Deals are selected by our partner, TechBargains. Please refresh the page and try again. It features cloud storage and 256-AES encryption, along with WD's own software suite. The only case with hard drives where the USB standard matters much is if you connect a drive to an old-style, low-bandwidth USB 2.0 port, which is better reserved for items like keyboards and mice. Not only is it faster to read and write data stored in flash cells, but it's also safer. Despite all these goodies, it is still one of the cheapest portable drives of this capacity.View Deal, IDrive 5TB Cloud Backup - $69.50 $3.48 per year, direct Any remotely recent computer will have faster USB ports, though. ... Toshiba Canvio 6 TB External Desktop Hard Drive. For about $50, you can add a terabyte of extra storage to your laptop or desktop by just plugging in a USB cable. 6 Best Desktop External Hard Drives - December 2020 Results are Based on. Worth noting that the enclosure used is fully serviceable and that WD ships the drive already pre-formatted for Windows users (NTFS). The best external hard drives, on the other hand, have a lot more space and are designed for external use, so you can take all your large important files wherever you go and access them anytime, anywhere. The 8TB version of the Western Digital My Book is a deep well of affordable storage for your photos, music, videos, and more. It performs incredibly well and remains the only SSD we’ve seen that is IP68 rated. They're mostly intended for professional use in editing studios, surveillance control rooms, and the like. Take a look at our dependable external hard drives for backup, storage, and gaming, from desktop to portable use. Typically, iStorage hard disks cater best to governments and multinational organizations around the world, for good reason too – they offer tight security like no other drives around. Sign up for What's New Now to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every morning. How an external drive connects to your PC or Mac is second only to the type of storage mechanism it uses in determining how fast you'll be able to access data. 5TB is peak portable single-drive capacity. The design, for one, has been overhauled and no longer resembles the My Passport Ultra or My Passport for Mac. WD My Passport 4TB: Best external backup drive [amazon.com] SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD: Best external performance drive We define these as having one or more spinning-platter drives inside and requiring a dedicated power cable plugged into AC power to work. The My Book is reliable, fast, and less … Your subscription has been confirmed. It resembles an external DVD drive, but considering the onboard SD card slot, don’t worry about getting it confused with anything else. (Image Credit: Samsung). The storage space of 8TB allows you to save and create your gaming console. But modern ones are faster, more stylish, and often more durable than their counterparts from a few years ago. If you have a large media-file collection—perhaps you are a photo or video editor, or maybe a movie buff—you'll likely need several terabytes of space in which to store it. The best external hard drives will also be quick - either because they use SSD (Solid State Drive) technology, or because they use the latest connectivity technology, such as USB-C. Even if we had mixed feelings on past versions of the My Passport Wireless, the 2016 “pro” variant of the external HDD restores faith in the Western Digital name. WD Elements 14TB Desktop External USB 3.0 Hard Drive, WD Elements 4TB Portable USB 3.0 Hard Drive, Seagate Expansion 4TB External USB 3.0 Hard Drive, WD My Passport Ultra 5TB Portable USB 3.0 Hard Drive, How to Free Up Space on Your iPhone or iPad, How to Save Money on Your Cell Phone Bill, How to Find Free Tools to Optimize Your Small Business, How to Get Started With Project Management, Read ADATA HD830 External Hard Drive Review, Read Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch Review, Read Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro Review. Sign up to get breaking news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more, plus the hottest tech deals! Shop for external hard drive at Best Buy. Need to download utilities to manage the drive. You can find a 2TB portable hard drive with ease (possibly even a 4TB one, depending on the day) for less than $100. Purse or even a coat pocket and 2 inches wide SATA hard drives, drives! 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