Fastest Ssd External Hard Drive For Mac

The best external hard drives for Macs are more vital than ever, especially with the latest MacBook Pro 14-inch and MacBook Pro 16-inch being even pricier than their older counterparts. Hard drives are a vital tool for professionals, especially those in the creative field who deal with large files. But, with Macs and MacBooks making it expensive to upgrade their storage, these storage solutions have become indispensable.

Finding a reliable external hard drive for your Mac lets you acquire more storage space without having to shell out a lot of cash, making it the most cost-effective solution. That’s especially if you don’t really need something incredibly speedy – for even faster read and write speeds, you might want to consider an SSD. Even if you can afford to spend more, you’re getting more storage capacity with an external hard drive. As a bonus, these drives are also built to be light, portable, and rugged.

To help you pick the fastest external hard drive for mac, here, I’ve listed some top-of-the-line products along with my personal reviews. SAMSUNG X5 Portable SSD – Fastest External Hard Drive For Mac. The 2021 competition has been tough, with some of the best companies coming up with excellent SSDs as their uses are gaining popularity. The current best external hard drive deals. Samsung T7 Touch, 2TB: $369.99. Samsung T7 Touch, 2TB: $369.99 $299.99 at Amazon. Save $70: The Samsung T7 Touch is our all time favourite SSD, and so this $70 saving on the 2TB model is a great deal indeed. May 22, 2021 Sabrent Rocket Thunderbolt 3 SSD. The Sabrent Rocket Thunderbolt 3 External SSD for M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro is available in five different sizes: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, and 8TB. With the Thunderbolt 3 connection, it can deliver a transfer speed of up to 2700 MB/s when connected to Thunderbolt and 900 MB/s with USB 3.2 Mode. For the fastest, most reliable, and smallest external storage solution possible, solid-state drives or SSD drives are the way to go. This external storage type is generally smaller and quieter; plus, it uses less energy than traditional hard disk or HDD external drives. If this sounds like exactly what you need, then here's a list of the best external SSD for Mac. Tiny and mighty: Sabrent Rocket Nano; Great space: Crucial X6 4TB Portable SSD; Best design: Seagate Ultra Touch SSD.

Get one of the best external hard drives made for Macs for your storage upgrade needs. Here are our top picks below, alongside our price comparison tool so you can also get the best deal available.

Protect the data on your external hard 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.

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Protect the data on your external hard 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.

1. Western Digital My Passport 4TB external hard drive

Specifications
Interface: USB 3.0
Fastest Ssd External Hard Drive For Mac
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

This is the latest generation of the Western Digital My Passport external hard drives comes in capacities from 1TB to 4TB, and features cloud storage and 256-AES encryption, along with WD's own backup software. While transfer speeds aren't the quickest, due to its USB 3.0 connection, it offers a good balance between speed, capacity and price.

2. Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt external hard drive

Specifications
Interface: Thunderbolt, USB 3.0
Reasons to buy
+Low price compared to other Thunderbolt drives+Mac-formatted
Reasons to avoid

If you want to make use of your Mac's Thunderbolt port, then this is the best external hard drive for Macs. It provides twice the speeds of standard USB 3.0 drives. It still uses a traditional hard drive, rather than an SSD, and while this means speeds aren't quite as fast as possible, it at least keeps the price down, while offering large capacities. There's also a USB 3.0 port for connecting to computers that don't have a Thunderbolt port.

3. G-Technology G-Drive USB 3.0 4TB external hard drive

Specifications
Interface: USB 2.0, USB 3.0, eSATA, FireWire
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

This is one of the fastest high capacity hard drives you can plug into your Mac, with a huge 4TB of storage space that zips along its USB 3.0, eSATA or FireWire connection. The all-aluminium enclosure gives the drive a premium look and feel, while also protecting your data from knocks and drops, and keeping the drive cool when used.

Speedy and large

Specifications
Interface: USB 3.1
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

If you really want a super-fast external hard drive for your Mac, then the Samsung T3 SSD is easily one of the best. As it uses a solid state drive, the read and write speeds of this drive are much faster than external hard drives that use traditional hard drives. It does mean the price is higher, but if transfer speed is the most important consideration when looking for the best external hard drive for your Mac, then this is the drive to go for.

5. Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC external hard drive

Specifications
Interface: USB 3.0
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

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. This is a great external hard drive for your Mac if you are concerned about keeping your data safe and secure.

6. Western Digital My Passport Ultra external hard drive

Specifications
Interface: USB 3.0
Reasons to buy
+Large capacity+Type-C connector+Suite of applications
Reasons to avoid

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.

USB-C star

Specifications
Interface: USB-C
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-You need USB-C ports to take advantage of speed

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. With MacBooks coming with USB Type-C connections, this is an excellent - and stylish - external hard drive that makes the most of this speedy new port.

A brilliant external hard drive for extra security

Specifications
Interface: USB 3.0
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

If you're worried about people getting access to your data if your external hard drive is stolen, than you'll like the iStorage drive here. 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. It's more pricey than the other drives of its capacity, but the extra security it offers will be well worth it for many people.

What to look for in a external hard drive for your Mac

When choosing the best external hard drive for your Mac, you need to consider other things beyond storage capacity and price. Of course, those two things are absolutely vital. Finding one that’s not only affordable, but has enough storage space – a minimum of 1TB is highly recommended – for your present and future needs is definitely ideal, even if you have more than enough money to splurge for something expensive.

Another deciding factor, however, is the connection. Many external hard drives have USB 3.0 connections, but since MacBooks and Mac accessories rely on the power and data transfer speed of USB-Cs, USB Type-C or Thunderbolt 3 or 4 connections are certainly favorable.

If you’re storing very important files, especially for work, consider getting one that has more robust security features. There are other things as well, including a rugged build if you plan on taking it out in the field with you, and portability if you plan on traveling around with it.

Best external hard drives for Mac: How we chose them?

While we will talk mostly about hard drives as storage device write and read on spinning metal or glass platters, we have to mention SSD (solid state drives) as well as they have grown both in capacity and in performance. That however came at the cost of endurance, especially at the lower end of the market and is likely to be an issue if you use our SSD storage extensively.

All newer MacBook and desktop Macs (iMac, Mac Mini, Mac Pro) come with one or more Thunderbolt ports which are also compatible with USB Type-C. So we look not only at the versatility and general performance of the drives - across a number of benchmarks - but also their relevance to specific use cases, after sales and warranty as well as sheer value for money.

You might also want to check out the best PS5 external hard drives.

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(Image credit: Western Digital)

Bylast updated

Filling up the hard drive on your macOS machine isn't particularly difficult, which is where the best external hard drives for Mac come in: these plug-in drives add gigabytes of extra storage in an instant, giving you plenty of room for your photos, videos, music, podcasts and anything else you want to store. That's a fact.

You've got a huge amount of choice to pick from as well – from small and portable drives you can fit in your pocket, to hefty units that take up a substantial amount of desk space and can stream files to any computer on your local network.

You'll see two types of technology mentioned below – first HDD (Hard Disk Drive), which is the conventional, slower, mechanical technology. These can't compete on transfer speeds but do give you lots of capacity for not much money. Then there's SSD (Solid State Drive), faster storage technology with no moving parts for those who don't mind paying extra.

As we note in T3's best SSDs buying guide, these drives offer order of magnitude faster speeds than conventional HDDs, as found in many of the best external hard drives. Insane speed isn't everything though in extended storage, capacity is often the most important thing, so it's very much what product works best for a user's needs.

With so many makes and models out there, finding the best external hard drive for Mac can be tricky. Everyone's needs are different and the right drive for you depends on how you're going to use it, what you're going to store on it, how much you're willing to spend and several other factors.

Don't panic though because our buying guide will tell you everything you need to know: we've picked out the very best external hard drives for Mac machines that money can buy, and explained what makes each one so good.

The best external hard drives for Mac

The best external hard drive for Mac for most people

Specifications
Max read speed: 120MB/s
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

External hard drives don't have to be complicated at all, as the Seagate Ultra Touch HDD proves. It simply and efficiently gives you stacks of extra storage for your Mac, and at a very affordable price too. Here we've featured the cheaper, slower HDD version, but if you want to pay extra then a faster SSD model is available as well.

For most people, HDDs still offer the best value for money, even if you're going to have to wait a few extra seconds when you're copying large files over. Whether you go for the HDD or the SSD model, these drives are fully portable, so all you need is the drive and the USB3.0 cable (it has a USB-A connector but there is a USB-C adapter in the box).

A word too on the design of these drives, because they're some of the most stylish that we've come across. Whether you pick the white or the black finish, the woven fabric adds a touch of elegance to your Mac setup. As an added bonus, you get a 4-month subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud Photography thrown in for free.

The best premium external hard drive for Mac

Specifications
Max read speed: 1,050MB/s
Fastest Ssd External Hard Drive For Mac
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

It's hard to go wrong with a LaCie drive – the premium brand has been putting out external hard drives for years and years at this point, and while they might often cost more in terms of price-per-gigabyte than other models, the extra investment is usually worth it. Which brings us nicely to one of their latest drives, the LaCie Portable SSD.

The name says just about everything you need to know about this external hard drive for Mac: it has super-fast SSD technology (with read speeds of up to 1,050MB/s), it's made by Lacie, and it's portable, so you can take it anywhere you like without a separate power brick. It's also pretty stylish in our opinion.

With the SSD technology installed here and the USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface (a USB-C cable is included in the box), you can, for example, transfer around an hour of high-resolution video footage in under a minute. It's ideal if you're regularly shifting large amounts of data around on your computer(s).

The best external hard drive for Mac for storage capacity

Specifications
Max read speed: Not listed
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

The WD My Cloud Home Duo is certainly bulky, and it needs a separate power supply, but it's undoubtedly one of the best external hard drives for Mac in terms of overall storage capacity: depending on the disks you get installed inside the unit (and there are two bays), you can configure this to have up to 20TB of room.

That gives you the capacity for a lot of data, though you're going to have to pay accordingly. We're impressed by just how many configurations you can get this drive in – the capacities start at 4TB, so you really can choose a storage and price point to suit your needs and your budget, while getting all the usual Western Digital quality.

Besides storing your files, the Home Duo plugs directly into your router, which means it's instantly accessible from all the Macs in your home. It can work seamlessly with backup programs such as Time Machine, and the on-board software even lets you set up different slots of storage space for different users.

The best portable external hard drive for Mac

Specifications
Max read speed: 1,050MB/s
Reasons to buy
+No power supply required+2 metres drop resistance
Reasons to avoid

If you want an external hard drive that powers itself solely from the USB port it's plugged into, then the WD Elements SE SSD is absolutely worth a look: it's fast, it's stylish, and it's affordable, and it comes in capacities of up to 2TB as well. It's perfect for sliding into a bag or even a shirt pocket (depending on the size of your shirt pockets) while you're moving between computers and locations.

Western Digital has made this too tough, with drop resistance up to 2 metres (over 6 feet) and a tough plastic shell, as well as a 3-year warranty for some additional peace of mind. It makes use of a USB 3.0 interface and you get a USB-A cable in the box (check the ports available on your Mac to work out if you'll need an adapter).

While it's not the absolute fastest external hard drive for Mac you're going to come across, your files will still speed along as you transfer them to and from the drive, thanks to the SSD (solid-state drive) technology in play here. If 2TB is out of your budget, you can get it in 480GB or 1TB capacity configurations instead.

Fastest Ssd External Hard Drive For Mac Os

The best external hard drive for Mac for speedy transfers

Specifications
Max read speed: 1,050MB/s
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

For those looking to pick up one of the fastest SSDs on the market without paying over the odds, the Samsung T7 has to be on your shortlist: this incredibly compact, remarkably fast external drive is a showcase for the power and potential of SSD technology, and it's likely to become your constant external storage companion if you invest in it.

Fastest Ssd External Hard Drive For Mac 2021

Measuring just 85 mm x 57 mm x 8 mm and weighing in at just 58 grams, this is a very small drive – it's hard to visualise just how small it is until you've actually seen it for yourself, but it'll take up less room in your pocket or your bag than your smartphone will. It's definitely worth considering if you're on the move a lot and you like to travel light, and it's protected against drops of up to 2 metres, with a cool titanium exterior.

External Hard Drive Mac And Pc Compatible

It's the speeds that are the star of the show here though, with read speeds of up to 1,050MB/s and the latest USB 3.2 Gen 2 technology for connecting the device to your Mac. You get a USB-A cable included in the box, so you may need to pick up an adapter or another cable if you only have the newer USB-C on your Mac.

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