Best External Hard Drives 2021

In an era when 50GB of iCloud storage costs you 99 cents per month, and slim external SSD devices are getting cheaper, one might find external hard drives less essential than they once were. However, the modern SSD Best External Hard Drives are much stylish, faster, and can transfer a huge amount of data in no time. As compared to their counterparts from a few years ago, modern SSDs are paving their way to becoming an essential component once again. They offer great value for money too. You can add an extra terabyte of storage for $50 by just plugging in a USB cable. 

Best External Hard Drives

Does a question arise that how fast the data can be accessed from the flash drives? Normally, read and write speeds for consumer drives and spinning platters range between 100MBps to 200MBps. It also depends on platter densities spin count. However, external SSDs offer at least twice as much speed as that of a flash drive and sometimes even more. If we talk by being practical, this means you can transfer gigabytes of data (say, a 4GB size of the movie or a complete one-year photos from your device) to an external SSD in seconds rather than the minutes it would take with an external spinning drive. 

Not only is it faster to read and write data stored in flash cells, but also safer. The reason behind this is there is no spinning platter involved. If you bump your SSD accidentally while accessing the data, there is no risk that your data will become corrupt. 

The Best External Hard Drive

While choosing an external hard drive, one must never buy the most expensive ones as there are many options available that might fulfill your requirements within a good budget. The capacity of the drive is the most important factor to consider while buying it as it can increase or decrease the cost of the product drastically, keeping in view your requirements.

Other factors include the drive’s size, how rugged it is, and what color it comes in. This guide will help you make sense of all these questions that arise while allowing you to go for the best hard drive of your requirement. Following are the best external hard disks: 

  1. Buffalo MiniStation Extreme
  2. WD 4TB My Passport Ultra
  3. ADATA SD700
  4. Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt
  5. Seagate Backup Plus Portable 5TB
ImageNamePrice
Buffalo MiniStation Extreme)Buffalo MiniStation Extreme Check Price
WESTERN DIGITAL 4TB MY PASSPORTWESTERN DIGITAL 4TB MY PASSPORT Check Price
ADATA SD700 3DADATA SD700 3D Check Price
Buffalo MiniStation ThunderboltBuffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt Check Price
Seagate Backup Plus Portable 5TBSeagate Backup Plus Portable 5TB Check Price

BUFFALO MINISTATION EXTREME

BUFFALO MINISTATION EXTREME | Best External Hard Drives

If you’re looking for a fast external hard drive that will save you a ton of cash and time, Buffalo’s MiniStation Extreme NFC would be the best option available for you. 

The Buffalo Ministration Extreme is very flexible as it is compatible with both Mac and Windows machines. It offers a water resistance feature that keeps it safe in the rain or under such circumstances. It also has a rugged body, which protects it against knocks and drops very effectively. A unique feature of 256-bit AES and NFC (Near Field Communication) for security.

Moreover, it comes with a built-in USB Type-C cable. Essentially, Buffalo Ministration allows you to unlock the drive to get to your files quickly and easily by tapping the supplied NFC card onto its body. That’s pretty neat!

Moreover, any digital creator who wants to make sure that his important files are protected is very important. That is why the Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC is one of our hard drives right now. Thanks to its rugged design, which makes its body strong and intact from hits.

One can carry this drive around with him without worrying about getting damaged and losing your important files. The AES feature also gives the user peace of mind that if the drive is lost, the data in it, like the client’s info, cannot be extracted.

Features And Specs:

  • Brand BUFFALO
  • Series MiniStation Extreme NFC
  • Hardware Platform PC, Mac
  • Item Weight 10.6 ounces
  • Product Dimensions 5.55 x 3.54 x 0.83 inches
  • Color Black
  • Processor Count 2
  • Flash Memory Size 2 TB
  • Hard Drive Rotational Speed 5600 RPM
  • Manufacturer BUFFALO
  • ASIN B00WJOV28O
  • Is Discontinued by Manufacturer No
  • Date First Available April 14, 2015

WESTERN DIGITAL 4TB MY PASSPORT 

WESTERN DIGITAL 4TB MY PASSPORT | Best External Hard Drives

The latest generation’s and among the best external hard drives by Western Digital is here. The new device, WD My Passport Ultra range, is an exceptional hard disk coming in sizes from 1TB to 4TB. When choosing the best external hard disks, look no further than the WD 4TB my passport. It has the best security system to protect your data from falling into the wrong hands. The 256-bit AES encryption, along with Western Digital’s backup software, helps secure user’s data. The data is stored on a cloud to make sure if the data falls into the wrong hands, it is not accessible.

It also offers high data transfer speed. Practically speaking, data of gigabytes can be transferred within seconds from your machine to this hard disk. However, it still does not compare the speed offered by Solid-state drives.

Without any doubt, it has great performance in transferring data but does not come near the top of the leaderboard. To cater to this issue, the Western Digital My Passport range hits a brilliant balance between high storage capacities and quick file transfers at a budget friendly price. Its body is made up of modern anodized metal and textures. This ultra-portable drive comes in silver and blue, which seamlessly matches your style. 

Features And Specs: 

  • Brand Western Digital
  • Series My Passport Ultra
  • Item model number WDBFTM0040BSL-WESN
  • Hardware Platform PC, Mac
  • Operating System Windows 7+, Mac reformatting
  • Item Weight 8.2 ounces
  • Product Dimensions 4.33 x 3.21 x 0.83 inches
  • Color Silver
  • Flash Memory Size 4
  • Hard Drive Rotational Speed 5400 RPM
  • Manufacturer Western Digital
  • ASIN B07GK2PC5V
  • Is Discontinued by Manufacturer No
  • Date First Available September 19, 2018

ADATA SD700 3D

ADATA SD700 3D | Best External Hard Drives

The Adata SD700 is the best fit for those looking for a rugged storage device for rough usage that can provide a sophisticated capacity without costing too much. It has incredible performance and remains the only SSD in the market, which is IP68 rated. IP68 rating means that the device is tough enough to withstand dirt, sand, dust, and resistant underwater to 1.5m depth for 30 minutes. 

This external hard disk has a solid-state drive inside its body, making it a lot faster than external drives that use traditional spinning hard drives. If we talk practically, this device gives you more benefit than any other device by providing you quick speed and high security. It is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems for quick file sharing. It is very light in weight yet durable, making it convenient for the user to carry it around.

ADATA SD700 comes in capacities up to 1TB, so you don’t have to worry about missing out on storage space. However, this capacity is not the most desired one as many other users demand up to 4TB of external hard disks as it is easy to keep one than keeping four. Still, just because it uses an SSD, this drive does hit all the right notes. 

Features And Specs: 

  • Brand ADATA
  • Series SD700
  • Item model number ASD700-256GU3-CYL
  • Hardware Platform PC; Mac
  • Item Weight 3.52 ounces
  • Product Dimensions 3.28 x 0.55 x 3.28 inches
  • Color IP68 Yellow
  • Computer Memory Type DDR SDRAM
  • Flash Memory Size 256
  • Manufacturer ADATA USA
  • ASIN B01N64XLCC
  • Is Discontinued by Manufacturer No
  • Date First Available November 18, 2016

BUFFALO MINISTATION THUNDERBOLT

BUFFALO MINISTATION THUNDERBOLT

If your machine has a Thunderbolt port and you want to take advantage of it in transferring data, Buffalo Ministration Thunderbolt makes the best option for you. The Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt is another entry in the growing list of devices that use the newish Thunderbolt port. This port is a great option given to users as it provides twice the speed of standard USB Type-C 3.0 drives. This hard disk is a traditional hard drive, not an SSD, which means it could not be as fast as an SSD. However, it still gives you a high transfer speed than the traditional ones. This specific model is not as expensive as compared to other Thunderbolt drives. As it also has USB Type-C ports to connect with machines that do not have a Thunderbolt port.

Most laptops with Windows operating system does not include Thunderbolt, and if you have a desktop PC, you’re going to need a motherboard that offers Thunderbolt ports to connect with it. The problem arises that if you don’t have the latest laptop or PC, you might not be able to use this feature. 

In our real-world tests, we sent a 2 GB file in just 46 seconds. It is very impressive but still does not knock USB 3.0 out of the game, despite its potential.

Features & Specs: 

  • Brand BUFFALO
  • Series MiniStation Thunderbolt
  • Item model number HD-PA1.0TU3
  • Hardware Platform PC, Mac
  • Item Weight 9.3 ounces
  • Product Dimensions 0.91 x 3.17 x 5.12 inches
  • Color Silver
  • Flash Memory Size 1 TB
  • Manufacturer BUFFALO
  • Language English
  • ASIN B008D4X9UI
  • Is Discontinued by Manufacturer No
  • Date First Available June 22, 2012

SEAGATE BACKUP PLUS PORTABLE 5TB

SEAGATE BACKUP PLUS PORTABLE 5TB

If you’re looking for maximum storage capacity for the lowest price, but you still want a hard disk with great performance, the Seagate Backup Plus is always our go-to USB drive. This portable USB-powered unit comes in 1TB to 5TB capacities and beats most hard drives for speed and power. The hard disks with 1TB and 2TB storage spaces are now available in an impressively slim and sleek design, while the 4TB and 5TB versions retain their original chunky style. If you want a complete package that includes both speed and capacity, then the Seagate Backup Plus Desktop Drive 5TB is worth considering. On top of it, you get satisfaction and a decent amount of relief thanks to Seagate’s lower than average failure rates, especially in hard drives with bigger capacities. 

The Seagate backup plus drive is compatible with both Windows and Macs. It is normally formatted for Windows. However, if you go for a Mac-specific hard drive, it would do the same job. The Mac-specific drives are more expensive than Windows. Delivering the best value for money, Seagate backup plus offers tremendous speed by HDD standards with optimal read and write performance. If you’re happy to work without SSD speeds, these solid, reliable units have you covered. 

Feature And Specs:

  • Brand Seagate
  • Series Seagate Backup Plus Portable
  • Item model number STDR5000101
  • Hardware Platform PC, Mac
  • Operating System Mac OS, or Windows 7 
  • Item Weight 8.7 ounces
  • Product Dimensions 4.51 x 3.07 x 0.81 inches
  • Color Silver
  • Flash Memory Size 5
  • Manufacturer SEAGATE
  • ASIN B01LXF3C7Z
  • Is Discontinued by Manufacturer No
  • Date First Available October 17, 2016

BUYERS GUIDE: 

Storage Capacity: 

The storage capacity plays an important role in selecting a hard disk. Mostly, people go according to their requirements. However, a normal hard disk should have at least 1TB of storage capacity.

Ssd Vs Hdd:

HDD uses spinning magnetic disks to transfer and save data. The data is less secure in an HDD than SSD. 

SSD offers more speed and is more secure, but it is not budget-friendly like HDD.

Transfer Speed:

Transfer speed has a vital role in your daily work requirements. Try to look for a drive with a higher transfer speed, so you don’t have to wait long for files to transfer.

Portability & Durability:

The portability of a hard drive is necessary as it helps you take it anywhere you want to with ease. It should not be too heavy. Also, it would be best if the drive is strong and water-resistant.

Security:

Security is important depending on what type of data you put in. Multiple drives are offering AES 256-bit encryption, which helps keep your data secure.

Compatibility:

The drive should work with both Windows and Mac OS. Also, the ports (Type-C) must be available easily in all systems to make them more compatible. 

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