Top 10 External Hard Drives to Safely Store Your Data

An external hard drive is a highly convenient solution for increasing storage on your computer without needing to open up the case and tinker with internal components. They are also portable and offer a fast way to transfer large amounts of media, data, and other files without waiting for hours for upload times.

Moreover, these drives are a great option for backing up important files, photos, music, and more, especially given their vast storage capacity.

For laptop users, who are often limited by storage capacity, these drives are an ideal solution. Check out our top picks for the best external hard drives available today.

Buffalo MiniStation Extreme

The MiniStation Extreme NFC from Buffalo is a durable and reliable external hard drive that is both water-resistant and shock-proof. While it’s not indestructible, it’s definitely a step up from other flimsy external hard drives on the market.

The MiniStation Extreme NFC has a rugged chassis that houses a 2.5-inch laptop hard drive, which is surrounded by shock-absorbent bumpers that protect it from drops of up to 1.2 meters (4 feet). While it won’t survive being dropped out of a window, it can handle being knocked off a table. Additionally, it has an IP5X certification, making it almost dust-proof, and an IPX3 certification, allowing it to handle water spray at up to a 60-degree angle.

One of the key features of the MiniStation Extreme NFC is its 256-bit AES encryption with near-field communication (NFC) capability. This allows the drive to be unlocked with a simple touch of a smartphone. The drive is pre-formatted with NTFS, making it immediately usable with a Windows computer. Mac users can easily format it into HFS+ if they prefer. Alternatively, formatting it as exFAT will enable it to support Mac, PC, and Playstation 4 and 5 game consoles all at once.

The drive also comes with Buffalo’s “ModeChanger” utility for Windows and Mac, which allows users to switch between Open and Secure modes quickly and easily. Mode switching takes less than a minute, but the drive must be reformatted afterwards.

The LED lights on the front of the drive indicate whether it’s connected via USB 2.0 (green) or USB 3.0 (blue). It also has a wraparound USB cable that is permanently attached at one end, so you won’t have to worry about losing it. However, if you need a longer cable, you’ll need to use a male/female cable in between.

SanDisk 2TB Extreme PRO Portable SSD

The SanDisk 2TB Extreme PRO Portable SSD is a remarkable external drive that offers a perfect balance of speed, size, storage, security, and aesthetics in a single device. The transfer speed of this device is rated up to 2,000MB/s, making it ideal for editing photo and video files directly from the drive.

The Extreme PRO’s plug-and-play interface and compact design make it easy to transport and use. It also boasts a high level of security with 256-bit AES hardware-based encryption, ensuring that your data is protected from unauthorized access and accidental falls.

Furthermore, the SSD is dust and water-resistant with IP55 rating and can withstand drops up to six feet. It has a silicone coating that offers a secure grip and prevents it from sliding off an airplane tray table during turbulence. Despite its robust features, the drive is tiny, measuring just 4.3 x 2.3 x 0.4 inches, making it easy to carry with you when traveling.

Samsung SSD T7 Touch

Our iStorage recommendation for external drives prioritizes serious security with its built-in keypad. However, the Samsung T7 Touch model strikes a desirable balance between security and usability, making it an ideal companion for a computer workstation or similar setting.

The T7 Touch model features built-in fingerprint-based AES 256-bit security, earning its “Touch” title. This security measure enables easy access to the hard drive when sitting down at your desk, while also providing top-notch protection. With a 2TB storage capacity, this drive can hold a vast amount of work information, projects, and portfolios. Additionally, its shock-resistant design can withstand drops up to six feet.

The LED square on the front of the SSD serves as an indicator light to display when and how the SSD is working. The T7 Touch connects via a USB 3.2 connection, providing read speeds up to 1,050 Mb/s. The 1TB version offers a more affordable option if the 2TB model is too expensive.

WD My Passport Ultra 4TB

The WD My Passport Ultra is the latest version of the popular My Passport drive from Western Digital. It has a modern design that features a native USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C interface, which could potentially make it faster than the Seagate drive (although it only goes up to 4TB capacities). The drive has a sleek ridged top and a compact chassis that houses the 2.5-inch drive. It is also incredibly lightweight and portable, weighing only 8.1 ounces and measuring 0.8 x 3.2 x 4 inches, making it easy to carry with you wherever you go.

This drive comes with WD Discovery software, which allows you to connect to social media and cloud storage like Dropbox and Google Drive. It also features WD Backup to ensure that your data is always backed up, and 256-bit AES hardware encryption with password protection to keep your data secure from unauthorized access.

LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt

The LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt external hard drive is the perfect choice for those seeking a durable and high-speed storage solution. Its tough design is reinforced by the Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C technology, which provides lightning-fast transfer speeds of up to 130MB/s. What sets this hard drive apart is its exceptional durability, making it ideal for use on the go. It is drop-, dust-, and water-resistant, ensuring that it can withstand any challenge thrown its way. With the LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt, you can enjoy your adventures with the peace of mind that your data is safe and secure.

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best External Hard Drives

In today’s digital age, where we rely heavily on technology to manage and store our important data, an external hard drive has become an essential tool for many of us. Whether you are a professional photographer, a videographer, a graphic designer, or a student, an external hard drive can provide you with the extra storage space you need to store your precious files and keep them safe.

However, with so many options available in the market, choosing the best external hard drive can be overwhelming. In this article, we will guide you through the process of choosing the best external hard drive for your needs.

Types of External Hard Drives

Before we dive into the specifics of choosing an external hard drive, let’s first understand the different types of external hard drives available in the market.

Desktop External Hard Drives: These are large-sized external hard drives that require an external power source to function. They are ideal for users who need a large amount of storage space and don’t need to carry their hard drive around.

Portable External Hard Drives: These are smaller-sized external hard drives that are powered by the USB port of your computer. They are lightweight and portable, making them ideal for users who need to carry their hard drive with them.

Solid State Drives (SSDs): These are the latest type of external hard drives that use flash memory instead of spinning disks to store data. They are faster and more reliable than traditional hard drives, but they are also more expensive.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an External Hard Drive

Now that you know the different types of external hard drives available, let’s look at the factors you should consider when choosing an external hard drive.

Storage Capacity: The storage capacity of an external hard drive is one of the most important factors to consider. You should choose an external hard drive that has enough storage space to store all your files and data. If you are a professional photographer or videographer, you may need a hard drive with a capacity of 1TB or more.

Speed: The speed of an external hard drive is another important factor to consider. The speed of an external hard drive is measured in RPM (rotations per minute). The higher the RPM, the faster the hard drive will be. If you work with large files or do a lot of video editing, you should choose an external hard drive with a higher RPM.

Compatibility: The compatibility of an external hard drive is another important factor to consider. You should choose an external hard drive that is compatible with your computer’s operating system. Most external hard drives are compatible with both Windows and Mac, but it’s always best to double-check before making a purchase.

Connectivity: The connectivity of an external hard drive is another important factor to consider. You should choose an external hard drive that has the connectivity options you need. Most external hard drives come with USB 3.0 connectivity, but some also come with Thunderbolt, FireWire, or eSATA connectivity.

Durability: The durability of an external hard drive is another important factor to consider. You should choose an external hard drive that is built to last and can withstand accidental drops or bumps. Most portable external hard drives come with shock-resistant casings that can protect the hard drive from damage.

Price: The price of an external hard drive is another important factor to consider. You should choose an external hard drive that fits your budget. While SSDs are faster and more reliable than traditional hard drives, they are also more expensive.

Choosing the best external hard drive for your needs can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By considering the factors we have discussed in this article, you can narrow down your options and choose the best external hard drive for your needs. Whether you need a large-sized desktop external hard drive or a portable SSD, there is an external hard drive out there that can meet your needs and budget.

FAQs

What is an external hard drive? 

Answer: An external hard drive is a portable storage device that connects to a computer through a USB or Thunderbolt port to store and transfer data.

What are the benefits of using an external hard drive? 

Answer: External hard drives provide additional storage space, portability, backup and recovery options, and the ability to share files between multiple computers.

What types of external hard drives are available? 

Answer: External hard drives are available in various sizes, storage capacities, and forms such as HDD (Hard Disk Drive) and SSD (Solid State Drive).

Can external hard drives be used with both Mac and PC? 

Answer: Yes, external hard drives can be formatted to work with both Mac and PC. However, some may require reformatting to switch between the two.

How do I connect an external hard drive to my computer? 

Answer: Most external hard drives connect to your computer through a USB or Thunderbolt port. Simply plug the cable into your computer and the hard drive.

How do I transfer files to and from an external hard drive? 

Answer: You can transfer files by dragging and dropping them onto the external hard drive icon on your computer or by using backup and recovery software.

Can external hard drives be used for gaming? 

Answer: Yes, external hard drives can be used for gaming to store game files and free up space on your computer’s internal hard drive.

How do I safely remove an external hard drive from my computer? 

Answer: On Windows, click the “Safely Remove Hardware” icon in the taskbar and select the external hard drive. On Mac, drag the external hard drive icon to the trash and wait for it to disappear before unplugging.

Can external hard drives fail? 

Answer: Yes, external hard drives can fail due to physical damage, software issues, or wear and tear over time. It’s important to back up your data regularly.

How do I choose the right external hard drive for my needs? 

Answer: Consider factors such as storage capacity, form factor, speed, and price when choosing an external hard drive for your needs.

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