Best External Backup Drive For Mac 2017

Top 10 Best Desktop External Hard Drives of 2017 - Reviews. Great www.peimag.com. 7 Silicon Power 1TB Rugged Armor A30 External Drive This military grade portable drive is one of the toughest, most reliable external hard drives the market has to offer. Dec 08, 2021 The technology of external hard drives and connection ports is constantly changing which is why we’ve taken a closer look at the best external hard drive for Mac of 2018. The great thing for Mac users is that external HDDs have never been cheaper and storage sizes have never been bigger. Best External Hard Drive For Macbook Backup. The technology of external hard drives and connection ports is constantly changing which is why we’ve taken a closer look at the best external hard drive for Mac of 2018. The great thing for Mac users is that external HDDs have never been cheaper and storage sizes have never been bigger. Best External Hard Drive For Macbook Backup. Since many users recommend LaCie as the best external DVD drive for Mac, we put the 1TB version on the top of the best external hard drive for Mac list.Claimed as being even rain-resistant, and pressure-resistant, it can be easily carried wherever you go. 700MB video file can be transferred with USB 3.0, which is quite satisfying in speed. Drive speed is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm), based on how fast the drive can spin. Most portable hard drives run at 5400 rpm. This reduced power draw helps preserve the battery life of the Mac you plug the drive into. Desktop external hard drives usually run at 7200 rpm to offer all the speed they can.

  1. Best External Backup Drive For Mac 2017 Vs
  2. Best External Backup Drive
  3. Best External Drive For Imac

Welcome to our guide to buying the best external hard drive or backup hard drive in 2019. When looking to buy the best external hard drive for your needs, there are quite a lot of things you need to consider - and this guide will help you.

Plus, with Amazon Prime Day 2019 rapidly approaching, there's a good chance that we're going to see some major price cuts to the best external hard drives out there. If you do find a killer deal for any of the drives on this best external hard drive list, then you can buy in full confidence that you're getting a brilliant external drive for your money.

This external hard drive has 4TB of capacity, and it offers very high data transfer speeds for a mechanical drive. In the end, it all depends on how serious you are with video editing. If you spend a lot of your time editing videos, you should get a proper SSD external hard drive with at least 1TB of storage capacity. Oct 05, 2018 The 4TB Seagate Backup Plus Portable Drive hard drive has more features and double the storage for $50 more, but if portability is your main concern, this drive is a.

  • The 4TB Seagate Backup Plus Portable Drive hard drive has more features and double the storage for $50 more, but if portability is your main concern, this drive is a straightforward and affordable.
  • We round up some of the best external hard drives for video editing on the market right now. This versatile hard drive is compatible with both Mac and PC, as well as shock, dust, and water-resistant. £269.00 View. G-Technology 1TB G-Drive Mobile USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt Portable Hard Drive.

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. Reliability is of the upmost importance here, as you do not want to buy an external hard drive that fails on you - making you lose all your important backups.

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.

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). Many external hard drives use USB 2.0 connections, but for faster speeds you'll want USB 3.0 or ideally the newer USB Type-C connection. You'll need to ensure your PC or laptop also has a USB Type-C port.

You'll also need to think about how much storage space you need. The best external hard drives offer a range of capacities. We'd recommend 500GB to start with, as that gives you plenty of space to store your files without costing too much money.

However, if you deal in large files, such as high resolution photos and videos, then you may want to consider buying a bigger drive, with external hard drives offering terabytes (TB) of storage space.

Seagate External Hard Drive For Mac

Buying the best external hard drive for your needs involves figuring out how much space you need. You don't want to buy an external hard drive that's too small, and end up running out of space, but neither do you really want to pay over the odds for storage space you'll never need.

So, we've listed the best external hard drives money can buy in 2019. Each external drive (or backup hard drive) on this page has been carefully picked to make sure it offers fast data transfer speeds – essential if you move lots of big files regularly – while also offering sturdy build quality so you don't have to worry about them breaking and losing your files.

When buying the best external hard drive for your needs, there are certain things you need to take into account. For example, you'll want to make sure you have a drive that offers fast data transfer speeds.

In this guide we list the best external hard drives with both traditional hard drives and faster (and more expensive) solid state drives.

Best External Backup Drive For Mac 2017 Vs

Still, the best external hard drives are also dependable and rugged, so you can safely store your data without worry. The best external drives will also be light enough to carry in your bag, with large capacities so that you can keep your data safe when travelling.

There's a huge range of external hard drives on offer, so we've put together this list of the best external hard drives to help you find the perfect one for your needs.

1. Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC external hard drive

Wireless security

Capacity: 2TB Interface: USB 3.0

Today's best Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC 2TB deals
Not the fastest drive

An external hard drive you can buy without breaking the bank, Buffalo's MiniStation Extreme NFC could be your match made in heaven.

With compatibility for both Mac and Windows machines, the Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC is very flexible, and comes with a rugged case that's dust and water resistant, along with a built-in USB 3.0 cable.

Not only is your data kept protected from knocks and drops with the rugged shell, but it's also got 256-bit AES security features and NFC (Near Field Communication) features as well.

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. Pretty neat!

  • This product is only available in the US at the time of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro
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2. Western Digital My Passport Ultra 4TB external hard drive

Comes with Encryption and a long warranty

Capacity: 4TB Interface: USB 3.0

Suite of applications

The latest generation of the Western Digital My Passport Ultra range of external hard drives has landed, coming in sizes from 1TB to 4TB. It features cloud storage and 256-AES encryption, along with WD's own software suite.

It is a good performer when it comes to data transfer speeds but doesn't come near the top of the leaderboard. Unsurprisingly, it doesn't reach the top speeds of solid state external drives, but for external hard drives based on traditional HDDs, this is the drive to consider.

3. Samsung T5 SSD external hard drive

The best external SSD of 2018

Capacity: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB Interface: USB Type-C

Expensive

If you'd rather have an external hard drive that took advantage of solid state drive (SSD) speeds, then the Samsung Portable SSD T5 is definitely the best external hard drive for you. Samsung has a brilliant reputation for external SSDs, thanks to products like the T3, and the T5 builds on its predecessor by adding a fast USB Type-C connection that ekes out every last drop of performance from the solid state drive inside. Of course, it's also backwards compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 if your PC doesn't have USB Type-C. It's expensive, but it's well worth the cash.

Read the full review: Samsung Portable SSD T5

4. Adata SD700 External SSD

Capacity: 256GB, 512GB or 1TB Interface: USB 3.0

No USB Type-C

The Adata SD700 will suit those looking for a rugged storage device that can provide ample capacity without costing too much. It performs superbly well and remains the only SSD we’ve seen that is IP68 rated.

Thanks to the solid state drive that resides in this external hard drive, it's a lot faster than external drives that use traditional spinning hard drives - so you're getting great transfer speeds as well as rugged protection.

It also comes in capacities up to 1TB, so you don't have to worry about missing out on storage space just because it uses an SSD - this drive really does hit all the right notes.

5. WD My Book Duo 4TB external hard drive

Capacity: 4TB Interface: USB 3.0 x 2

Expensive

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 huge 4TB (you can also get versions with up to 20TB) of storage space over two hard drives.

If you don't mind sacrificing some of the ample storage space you can set the drives up in a RAID array, so you have file backups of your files should one of the drives die.

This USB 3.0 drive has many of the features of a fully-fledged NAS device (including a high price), and if you have a router with a USB 3.0 port you could use this as a network attached storage device in its own right.

The device, which comes with two-year warranty, has 256-bit AES hardware encryption, and automatic backup software (WD SmartWare Pro).

Worth noting that the enclosure used is fully serviceable and that WD ships the drive already pre-formatted for Windows users (NTFS).

6. Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt external hard drive

Best Thunderbolt external hard drive

Capacity: 1TB, 2TB Interface: Thunderbolt, USB 3.0

Not SSD

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. It's also not especially expensive compared to other Thunderbolt drives. The price is kept down due to its use of a traditional hard drive, rather than an SSD, which limits the potential speeds. It also comes with a USB 3.0 port for people without access to Thunderbolt.

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the WD MyBook Duo

7. Seagate Backup Plus Desktop Drive 5TB

Capacity: 5TB Interface: USB 3.0

Today's best Seagate Backup Plus Desktop Drive 5TB deals
You pay more for the Mac-formatted version

If you want to combine speed and capacity, then the Seagate Backup Plus Desktop Drive 5TB is definitely worth considering. 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.

On top of this storage and speed, you get a decent amount of peace of mind thanks to Seagate's lower than average failure rates, especially in bigger capacity hard drives.

You also get backup software, and the drive is compatible with both Windows and Macs, though it's formatted for Windows out of the box unless you go for a Mac-specific hard drive - though these are more expensive.

8. Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro external hard drive

Capacity: 2TB Interface: USB 3.0 and Wi-Fi

Today's best Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro deals
Good battery life

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. The design, for one, has been overhauled and no longer resembles the My Passport Ultra or My Passport for Mac. Instead, there’s now a more premium feel to the My Passport Wireless Pro. It resembles an external DVD drive, but considering the onboard SD card slot, don’t worry about getting it confused with anything else. For photographers, this will make the Wireless Pro stand out.

For everyone else, there’s a massive 6,400mAh battery built into the device. This lets the drive be used completely free of wires over 2.4GHz or 5GHz channels. When it’s wired up, however, don’t expect cutting edge connection tech, as the My Passport Wireless Pro uses only USB Type-B to Type-A. Completely absent is the latest and greatest USB-C connection.

Where the My Passport Wireless Pro compromises on affordability, it’s able to benefit in just about every other area. Of course, not everyone needs a wireless hard drive or SD card support, but for those who do, it’s almost essential.

Read the full review:Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro

9. LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive 4TB

Capacity: 4TB Interface: USB-C

Today's best LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive 4TB deals
Expensive

You may have stumbled upon the LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive when perusing the Apple website for USB-C accessories. There’s a reason for that: the Porsche Design ships with both USB Type-C to Type-A and USB Type-C to Type-C connectors, making it a worthy candidate regardless of your setup.

It’s expensive for an external hard drive, don’t get us wrong, especially if you’re in the market for the top-end 4TB option. On the other hand, this is an HDD that could theoretically output speeds of up to 5Gbps, if it weren’t hindered by the limits of SMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording) technology.

Comprising five 800GB platters in a 15mm form factor, the LaCie Porsche Design Mobile is an excellent challenger to the Seagate M3, though it’s notably bigger in both weight and dimensions.

Sure, it packs an extra convenience factor in the form of USB-C, but it should be noted that the Porsche Design Mobile is still limited to USB 3.0 speeds. Plus, even an aluminum finish can’t prevent it from clashing with your Rose Gold MacBook. Nevertheless, LaCie’s offering is the best USB-C external HDD money can buy, at least for the time being.

Read our full review:LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive 4TB

10. iStorage diskAshur 2TB external hard drive

Best for security

Capacity: 2TB Interface: USB 3.0

Expensive

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.

If someone tries to tamper with your iStorage drive, you can configure it to self-desturct. 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. When you consider all that extra security, the prices won't scare you away either.

Sure, it's still expensive, four times the price of an equivalent 2TB drive, and unlikely to be the most nimble performer. But, you're paying for a product that's virtually uncrackable. Bear in mind, though, you'll get no help from the manufacturer if things go awry and you lose your password.

Best Mac External Hard Drives

Read our full review: iStorage diskAshur DT

Best External Hard Drive For Video Editing 2017 Mac

Gabe Carey and Matt Hanson also contributed to this article

VERDICT
REASONS TO AVOID

Included in this guide:

Seagate

Backup Plus 5TB external hard drive

WD

Elements 12TB external hard drive

SanDisk

G-Drive Professional 18TB external hard drive

ADATA

HD710 PRO rugged external hard drive

Sabrent

Rocket XTRM-Q 4TB USB / Thunderbolt external SSD

Buffalo

MiniStation Extreme external hard drive

WD

My Cloud Home 8TB external hard drive

WD

BLACK 5TB P10 Game Drive external hard drive

Aegis

Desktop 4 TB FIPS 140-2 encrypted external hard drive

Sabrent

Rocket Nano 2TB external SSD
(Image credit: TechRadar)

You may not believe how crucial it is to invest in the best external hard drives you can find. Whether you probably have extremely important, and irreplaceable, files or large projects to keep safe, an external drive can easily back those up. That way, if your laptop, Chromebook, or PC kicks the bucket, you have those files safely tucked away on that drive.

There are some fantastic secure drives and portable SSD drives that add some extra security to your files, and have exceptionally fast read and write speeds. Still, the best external hard drives are more reasonably priced, which means you can spend on getting more storage space. And, they might be the perfect solution if you don’t need the fastest speeds or something that can survive getting knocked around in the bottom of a bag.

Because you can take the best external hard drives wherever you go, and can store a ton of data, these drives are perfect for backing up important files and taking them on the go.

Best external hard drive 2021

Backup your NAS drive with this cloud storage solution
IDrive, the cloud storage veteran, delivers tons of storage online for an incredibly small outlay. 5TB for $3.98 for the first year is unmatched till now and so is the support for unlimited devices and the extensive file versioning system available.'>
Backup your NAS drive with this cloud storage solution

Backup your NAS drive with this cloud storage solution
IDrive, the cloud storage veteran, delivers tons of storage online for an incredibly small outlay. 5TB for $3.98 for the first year is unmatched till now and so is the support for unlimited devices and the extensive file versioning system available.

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. Reliability is of the utmost importance here, as you do not want to buy an external hard drive that fails on you - making you lose all your important backups.

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.

Buying the best external hard drive for your needs involves figuring out how much space you need. You don't want to buy an external hard drive that's too small, end up running out of space and buying another one. However, you also don’t want to pay over the odds for storage space you'll never need.

In addition, the best external hard drives must also be dependable and rugged, so you can safely store your data without worry. 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.

Best overall: this 5TB hard drive delivers excellent value for the price

Specifications
Interface: USB 3.0
Weight: 0.58lbs (265g)
Reasons to buy
+Affordable and portable+Available in several colors+Wide compatibility
Reasons to avoid
-Lacks Thunderbolt support-No built-in encryption/security features

For the price that until recently used to get you four, Seagate offers five TB of storage in a small device that fits in your pocket and can be used across many platforms. It measures 7.62cm by 11.43cm and is only 1.9cm thick (3 x 4.5 x 0.75 inches) and weighs slightly over 200 grams (about half a pound).

One differentiating factor is the offer of a 1-Year Data Recovery Warranty, although we should stress that they are not magic if your drive is wrecked. You should always backup your data. Yes, even your backups should have redundancy if you're serious about it. How good is your backup if when you're trying to restore it you find the drive is dead?

Speaking of 'backups of backups', this drive is available in several colors so you might want to buy it in red if you want it to stand out in a drawer full of black HDDs, or use different colours to separate different projects while keeping track of 'which drive contains what'. Beats reading stickers.

Its 5Gbps USB 3 interface makes it very fast and compatible with everything. Seagate would like you to install its 'Dashboard' software for Windows and Mac OS, yet the drive works perfectly fine on any OS without it. Space-thirsty XBOX One X users will love to fill with games. It has no security or built-in encryption, but there are plenty of more expensive drives that provide that functionality. Want to know more?

Read the full review:Seagate Backup Plus 5TB

Best price per terabyte

Specifications
Capacity: 3TB, 4TB, 6TB, 8TB, 10TB, 12TB, 14TB, 18TB
Dimensions: 4.80 x 13.49 x 16.58cm
Reasons to buy
+Large capacity+Most storage for the buck+Vertical format saves desk space+Great air flow
Reasons to avoid
-Not portable-External power adapter is required-Risky with kids around

WD has designed its Elements drives with an attractive case that stands vertically. This seemingly trivial fact not only saves desk space but also keeps the drive's internals cooler. Its top and bottom vent holes.

In the guts of the WD Elements you will find a 3.5-inch, desktop SATA drive capable of 6Gbs transfer rates with the added USB 3.0 to SATA interface. When stacked vertically and with plenty of air gap around, the drives should last much longer than internal ones packed close to a hot CPU or stacked horizontally on top of one another.

The product is pre-formatted with NTFS making it ready to use with Windows computers, a handy gesture considering that if you attempt to do a a full-format -as opposed to a 'quick format'- on a capacity as large as 12TB you might end up waiting all day for it to finish. Mac users, of course, can just plug and reformat the drive, after a little wait it will work as well.

As a desktop drive inside an external enclosure, the WD Elements are not USB-port powered drives, each comes with its own wall wart style power adapter about the size of the average cell phone charger -with a barrel connector.

While 12 terabytes should be enough storage expansion to keep you happy for a long time and store plenty of backups, work files or entertainment, larger versions are available:, capacities start at 3TB and go up to four, six, eight, ten, 12, 14, 16 and up to a whopping 18TB. If you’re looking for the most storage for your money, look no further.

3. SanDisk G-Drive Professional 18TB external hard drive

Best for Mac: Fast external storage that can be daisy-chained

Specifications
Interface: USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 (x1) Thunderbolt 3 (USB-powered)
Weight: 2.6lb (1.18kg)
Reasons to buy
+Five year warranty+Daisy chain up to six units using ThunderBolt+Fast 7200 RPM drive+AC-powered or USB-powered+Formatted for Mac
Reasons to avoid

If you take an enterprise hard drive and put it inside a durable aluminum case with a portable, stylish design you would get a great external hard drive. But if you added one USB-C port capable of working at 5 GBps and two Thunderbolt ports plus you pre-formatted the drive to be macOS ready, then you have the ultimate Mac external hard drive.

The G-Drive Pro delivers just that by using a fast 7200 RPM class Ultrastar HDD capable of up to 195 MB/s inside its attractive aluminum case. The 18TB version is the most impressive of a family of high capacity drives that start at 4TB. Its pair of Thunderbolt ports means you can hook six units to one another with a single cable going to a Mac (or PC).

The drive comes with an AC power adapter, but can function without it as well when powered via USB 3.2/Thunderbolt, making the power adapter optional and increasing the portability of the drive. Thick as a pair of books, it is small enough to to carry in a backpack without the AC adapter and the tangled mess of wires you get with other drives.

A Thunderbolt 3 cable is included and SanDisk also provides a generous 5-year warranty, making the case for choosing any other drive rather hard.

Best for outdoors

Specifications
Interface: USB 3.0
Weight: 0.86lb (0.39kg)
Reasons to buy
+Speedy+Very rugged silicone case+Good cable management
Reasons to avoid

With tiny moving parts, Hard disk drives (HDDs) are fragile. All your data can be inaccessible in a second just by a mishap. Most of the failures can be attributed to damaged disk surfaces caused by physical shocks; being hit, falling over or dropped. Sudden shocks, especially while in use, can cause the head to crash or damage the platter. Just exposing it to the elements can ruin your data and your day. That's why if you use external drives while outdoors a regular external hard drive becomes a risky proposition.

An IP68-rated device can withstand dust, dirt, and sand, and can be submerged up to 1.5m under water for 30 minutes. Sounds good? Well, that's the kind of certification rating the ADATA HD 710 Pro packs up its sleeve. The firm went above and beyond to protect HDD internals with a silicone casing, triple-layered construction and vibration sensing technology so it can withstand falls from 1.5m. We reviewed the earlier models when they were more expensive and less attractive, here.

It’s fast with a 5Gbps USB 3.1 interface and with its 4TB capacity it’ll suit the needs more than enough for the average mobile worker on the go. The firm provides this model in four colours which makes separating projects by color-coded drives a breeze, believe me you don't want labels in an outdoors environment. It's 'wrap-around' system means the cable is always with the drive so it doesn't tangle or get in the way. Super useful when taking the drive with you in a backpack.

The icing on the cake comes in the form of ADATA's three year warranty.

5. Sabrent Rocket XTRM-Q 4TB USB / Thunderbolt external SSD

Best for speed: a pocket speed demon available in QLC and TLC versions

Specifications
Interface: USB Type-C, USB 3.2, Thunderbolt 3
Weight: 4.55oz (129g)
Reasons to buy
+Super fast+Portable and lightweight+Supports Thunderbolt and USB 3.2+Available in QLC and TLC versions
Reasons to avoid

With an aluminum enclosure that ensures durability while providing great heat dissipation and a very portable size plus super fast speeds the aptly named Rocket leaves little reasons not to choose it. It is available in capacities of up to 16TB and with your choice of flash memory type. It supports the latest fastest standards like Thunderbolt plus you don't need to mess with ports as it's got only one: a USB-C connector in the back that automatically switches between TB3 and USB 3.2 modes.

Besides its superb compatibility with Windows, Mac and Linux, it offers blazing fast transfer speeds of up to 2700 MB/s when connected to a computer supporting Thunderbolt 3 or higher. If however you connect it to a computer with a USB 3.2 port, the speed drops down to a still very speedy 900 MB/s.

The performance of flash based storage also depends on the kind of flash memory used: QLC flash memory is best suited to read-intensive workloads, while TLC flash memory is best suited to write-intensive workloads. Sabrent wisely offers this drive in both QLC and TLC versions, letting you decide based on your work and usage requirements. The price difference is only $100 at time of this writing between QLC and TLC for the 4TB drive, and the TLC version offers speeds of up to 2400 MB/s and 1800 MB/s R/W.

It boasts an integrated temperature and health monitoring system that should prevent it from getting too hot. Something that worried owners of its 'Nano' sibling.

6. Buffalo MiniStation Extreme external hard drive

Best for wireless security: a tap from your smartphone is all that's needed to lock and unlock the drive

Specifications
Interface: USB 3.0
Weight: 0.66lb (0.30kg)
Reasons to buy
+Portable+Lock/unlock via NFC+Hardware encryption+No power adapter to carry around+Three year warranty
Reasons to avoid

Water-resistant and shock-proof, the MiniStation Extreme NFC from Buffalo isn't indestructible, but it's a nice change from some of the dangerously flimsy external hard drives available.

The rugged chassis stores a 2.5-inch laptop hard drive enclosed in shock-absorbent bumpers designed so the HD can survive drops from up to 1.2 meters (4 feet). It won't survive being dropped out of a window, but it'll be fine being knocked off a table. The IP5X certification means it is almost dust-proof, and the IPX3 certification means it can handle a water spray at up to a 60-degree angle.

A key feature is its 256-bit AES encryption with near-field communication (NFC) capability, allowing it to be unlocked with a simple touch of a smartphone. With NTFS pre-formatted, it can be used immediately with a Windows computer. Mac users can format it into HFS+ if they wish so, of course. Better yet, if you format it as exFAT, it will support Mac, PC and the Playstation 4 and 5 game consoles all at once.

The drive comes preloaded with Buffalo's 'ModeChanger' utility for Windows and Mac that switch it from Open to Secure and vice-versa. Mode switching takes less than a minute and the drive must be reformatted after that.

The LED lights at the front of the drive light up green for USB 2.0 and blue for USB 3.0 connection. Its wraparound USB cable -permanently attached at one end saves you from losing the cable but if you need a longer cable you'll have to use a male/female cable in between.

Read the full review:Buffalo MiniStation Extreme

Best for personal cloud: Access your data from wherever you are

Specifications
Interface: USB 3.0 and Ethernet
Weight: 2.3lb (1.1kg)
Reasons to buy
+Can stream video+Supports Windows, Mac, Android and iOS+USB port available to plug in other external drives
Reasons to avoid

While cloud storage is convenient, your data is at the mercy of your wallet. If you stop paying, your cloud account is gone and your data sinks into oblivion with it. The solution is to make a hard drive sitting at your premises its own cloud-accessible server.

Western Digital is no newcomer to this field, we reviewed one eight years ago. The latest iteration has the same vertical format, but with a minimalistic and stylish design that combines white and some textured silver at the bottom. It has great internal air flow thanks to ample vents at the top and bottom of the case. At its rear panel you will find a 5Gbps USB 3.0 port to plug an external drive or flash drive and a Gigabit Ethernet port.

Setup is as simple as plugging the power adapter, connecting the included network cable to the RJ45 socket and to your broadband router. Then you create a 'WD My Cloud' account and associate it with the Android or iOS app -although that’s not mandatory. You can also access its contents by loading mycloud.com into a web browser, from there you can download, upload and manage content, including streaming of photos and videos saved on your My Cloud device. Synchronization features with Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox are also provided.

With a single internal hard drive, it has no redundancy. You can plug into it an external HDD of identical capacity or purchase the “Duo' version that comes with dual, mirrored drives from the factory. WD's two-year worldwide warranty is the cherry at the top .

8. WD BLACK 5TB P10 Game Drive external hard drive

Specifications
Interface: USB 3.0
Weight: 0.51lb (250g)
Reasons to buy
+Ample storage+Compatible with all game consoles+Pre-formatted as ExFAT
Reasons to avoid

It's not a shipping container but it looks like one, a black rectangle with ribbed sides and hex screws. In includes the familiar small activity LED of many external drives. It features a USB 3.2 Gen-1 interface at 5Gbps connected via a USB Micro-B connector at the back side. A 18-inch (45.7 cm) A-to-Micro-B is also included.

What sets this drive apart aside from the gaming aesthetics is its total compatibility. Since it comes pre-formatted with the ExFAT file system in addition to being compatible with PCs and Macs it's plug-and-play compatible with the Sony PlayStation 4, PS5 and the Microsoft Xbox One.

Inside it there's a 2.5' 5,400 rpm SATA drive so don't expect SSD speeds, but 140MBps at most. This is intended mainly for storing downloaded games to move back and forth to your console's internal storage. For PC users, the WD Drive Utilities app and the WD Security app can be downloaded to set passwords, check the drive's health and perform maintenance tasks.

It is also well suited as long-term multimedia storage hooked up to a PC or large-screen smart TV from Sony or a recent Samsung as well - some smart TVs support NTFS and FAT32 or NTFS and ExFat, very rarely do they support all three file systems.

WD sales literature will tell you this stores 150 games, but game sizes vary widely. The firm puts the average size per game at 36GB while some reviewers claim it's 80GB nowadays. In any case, it's a lot of storage to expand your gaming system.

Drive

9. Aegis Desktop 4 TB FIPS 140-2 encrypted external hard drive

Best for security: unrivaled encryption and anti-hacking counter-measures

Specifications
Capacity: 2TB, 4TB, 6TB, 8TB, 10TB, 12TB, 16TB, 18TB
Dimensions: 11.43 x 18.28 x 3.81cm
Reasons to buy
+FIPS 140-2 certification+Brute-force defense and self destruct+Locks if unplugged from USB+Compatible with an OS+Software-free setup+Solid Aluminum enclosure
Reasons to avoid
-Not USB powered-Only one year manufacturer's warranty

If you deal with any sensible information leaving it in an unencrypted drive is risky. While encryption can be done in software with a high degree of fine-tuning, nothing beats a purely hardware-based solution that frees you from the software-configuration complexities.

The Aegis Desktop 4 TB drive from Apricorn is an encrypted external hard drive available in capacities from 2TB up to 18TB that comes in a sturdy aluminum casing 4.5”x7.2” and 1.5” thick. Its Padlock button panel at the top resembles the familiar cashpoint or ATM layout with 0-9 digits plus Cancel and a Lock/Unlock key. Three clear indicator lights show its status: locked (red), unlocked (green) or Admin Mode (blue). All the configuration is software-free.

There is a perforated ventilation panel on the front of the drive, on the back there’s its USB 3.0 port, power connector, an On/Off switch, and a lock slot for anchoring the drive to a desk. It comes formatted with NTFS file system but you can use any file system. Internally it uses a 3.5-inch encrypted hard drive, and the circuitry doing the encryption is covered by a layer of epoxy coating protecting it from physical attacks.

After initial set up with a 7-digit to 16-digit code, operation is worry-free and configuration-free. If you lose your password there is no way to access the drive, and if the internal drive is removed and inserted into another PC its contents are unreadable as the data is encrypted before being sent to the drive for storage.

It has handy features like unattended auto lock, and the drive can auto-lock as soon as the USB connection is lost -e .g. if the USB cable is removed. It is exceptionally suited for scenarios where software-based encrypted devices can't function such as diagnostic machinery or any embedded system.

Best for physical size: speedy and half the weight

Specifications

Best External Backup Drive

Interface: USB 3.1 - Gen 2
Weight: 2oz (56.7g)
Reasons to buy
+10 Gbps USB 3.1 - Gen 2 interface+Aluminum casing+Bus powered+Supports Mac and PC
Reasons to avoid

Sabrent's Rocket Nano drive comes in a fantastic aluminum case resembling a very large thumb drive and is powered by a USB 3.2 Gen 2 port which doubles performance over a USB 3.2 Gen 1 port. It is powered via the USB port and both USB-C and Type-A cables are included. It is also totally OS-agnostic, it works on Windows and Mac OS.

It is handy to put in your pocket -sadly there doesn't seem to be a way to attach it to a keyring- for PC work on the road. The rocket Nano measures 2.75' tall and weighs just 2 ounces, making it a great option for storing backups when upgrading a NVMe SSD. Benchmarks show impressive 967 MB/s read speeds, so this device is a good option to boot operating systems on systems with limited internal storage but supporting 10Gbps USB 3.2 Gen 2.

Best External Drive For Imac

Due to its passive cooling using the case itself for cooling some reviewers have complained that after extensive use the units gets hot to the touch. Might not pose a problem for people leaving it plugged in but caveat emptor. So far, SSDs can't get much smaller and lightweight than this. Maybe it’s got a niche for use in controlled temperature environments.

The best external hard drive: How we choose them

The biggest deciding factors when it comes to data transfer rates are the connection the drive uses, and whether it is a standard hard drive or a solid state drive (SSD). Many external hard drives utilize USB 3.0 connections. However, for faster speeds, you'll want USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 USB Type-C or Thunderbolt 3 or 4 connections. You'll also need to ensure your PC or laptop also has a compatible port.

You'll also need to think about how much storage space you need. The best external hard drives offer a range of storage space. We'd recommend 1TB to start, as that gives you plenty of space to store your files without costing too much money. That’s certainly good enough for most users.

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. Luckily, many external hard drives offer terabytes (TB) of storage space for not much more money.