It offers the best 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. 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 GB is a good sweet-spot for external storage, though you can buy smaller capacities, as well as larger ones at 1TB or greater.
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. The connection between the external hard drive and your Mac or PC is also important. These are now found on all modern PCs, and Macs. 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.
It also offers very good data transfer speeds.
And while it doesn't quite offer a similar speed to solid state drive devices, the Western Digital My Passport range finds a great balance between high storage capacities and quick file transfers. USB 3. External SSDs may cost considerably more than hard disks, but the extra money and faster speeds go a long way. The downside is the pricing. Thunderbolt 3, USB 3. There's an HDMI 2. 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.
Thunderbolt, USB 3. 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. It's also not especially expensive compared to other Thunderbolt drives.
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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. 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. We've picked out a number of drives, with different capacities, different skills, different levels of durability. Whatever your specific needs, whether it's a drive you're going to carry around or something you'll keep attached to your Mac at all times, there's something here to suit.
Seagate's helpful inclusion of a Mac NTFS driver means that, formatted properly, this drive can be used to store files on both Mac and Windows systems without any of the incompatibility issues that so often crop up with Mac external drives. That's handier than you might think, particularly if you're going to use it to make two flavours of backup. It's cheap enough, it's completely inoffensive to look at with its slim metal case, and the Backup Plus 5TB has an absolute ream of storage for all of your files.
It may not be the fastest, running at 5,rpm, but that's a small sacrifice to make given the price. Let's start with the highlights: That's huge. It's also an 8TB external drive designed by the masters at Porsche, clad in beautiful aluminium and classy enough that you'll put it front and centre on your desk rather than tucking it away in a corner. It's also USB 3.
The 8 best external hard drives and SSDs for Mac and PC users in 12222
Power up the drive, plug it into a Macbook, and it'll both give access to that cavernous storage and provide power to the Mac with one single cable. That's super-handy, particularly given Apple's allergy to ports, and you may be able to get away without an external hub. It's not hugely portable, being a big lump of aluminium, and the Lacie hard drive is a little slow compared to some, but it's also USB 3 compatible without the power passthrough which does lend it a certain amount of versatility.
Transcend's Storejet includes a number of levels of protection to stop your data being lost, from a floating design inside to a ruggedised outer shell that earns it military drop test certification. It's pocket sized, and similarly small in capacity, but the multi-function button is a great touch, allowing you to make a backup of your files with a single press. An external drive is good for backups, but if there's a fire or something similarly catastrophic, it's possible that absolutely everything will be wiped out — including your backup.
Unless, that is, you pick up a robust drive. A fireproof hard drive. A waterproof hard drive, a hard drive with theft protection, and one which includes a free data recovery plan in case of hardware failure. This is that drive.
External Hard Drives For Mac - Apple
Yes, the price is high, but this is a lockable drive for those files that you simply can't afford to lose. It's fast, and fanless, so it'll sit silently looking after your files until the time comes that you really need them. Lacie's dual-drive effort lets you select what's most important using its RAID capabilities.
You can either spread your data over the entirety of its 4TB capacity, or split it down, mirroring your files onto each of its 2TB drives so that you're safe if one of them should fail. Not that that's likely.
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The Lacie Rugged RAID is a well-protected drive, as evidenced by its hideous orange bumpers; perhaps this isn't the sort of thing you'll show your friends, but if you're interested in speed or reliability it's a very strong choice. This is an archive drive. As such, it's not hugely quick, and using it leads to it getting rather warm. That said, its 10TB capacity is incredibly large, so if you're working with big files that's a huge plus.
And the built-in USB 3 hub means it definitely earns its space on your desk — you can use the ports to extend those awkward-to-reach USB ports on an iMac, or charge your devices. See and be seen with the best bicycle headlights for battery life, brightness and general coffin-dodging duties. Prevent rear-end shunt unpleasantness with these reliable and safe red blinkers. The best peripherals for working, studying, surfing and light gaming. Whether you want the best small laptop, or the best portable laptop, or the best thin laptop, we can guide you.
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