Thunderbolt Ssd External Drive For Mac

External drives are quick and easy to use, and they’re usually extremely portable. Transferring files from one computer to the next can be much faster with the help of an external hard drive. They’re often used to store backup files or files too large to keep on a primary computer.

If you find that you’re constantly running out of space — or your overall computer performance is beginning to suffer — an external hard drive can be very safe and secure way to move files around.

External hard drives vs. flash drives

External hard drives are basically hard drives (HDD) or solid state drives (SSD) that are wrapped in their own protective casing and connect to your computer from the outside as opposed to the inside. Flash drives are external drives, but they aren’t as fast, and they don’t usually store as much space as their larger external hard drive relatives. Some external hard drives get power directly from the computer connection. Others will need to be plugged into the wall. There are varying levels of storage capacity in an external hard drive, and the overall size of the HDD depends on the model.

Dec 04, 2021 Hello, I have an external Thunderbolt 3 SSD drive (formatted to HFS Plus) with the thunderbolt 3 cable built into the device. I am currently on a older Thunderbolt iMac running Mac OS X Sierra (10.12), and want to stay on that version as I still rely on certain apps that will not work once updated to OS X High Sierra or above (10.13). External Thunderbolt SSD as main boot drive. I have Apple iMac 'Core i5' 2.7 27-Inch (Mid-2011). It has a 1TB HDD. Considering the hasstle to add another internal SSD, I was thinking of the following solution: - Add an external thunderbolt SSD (250 GB) and use it as the main drive. Use the internal drive (partitioned) for TimeMachine.

There are hard drives that may hold values like 3TB, 6TB, and 10TB, but they are much less common than the standard hard drives that hold: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, and 8TB.

Key considerations

Formatting

For Mac users, buying an external HDD already formatted for your system makes getting started much easier. This is because when you initially connect an external HDD made for Mac (to a Mac computer), you won’t be required to format it before you begin transferring files. External HDDs that are not specific to Macs may also work, but you’ll need to reformat them first, which could take some time.

Even though Mac computers are capable of reading hard drives that are formatted for Windows, if you intend on using your external HDD as a bootable disk or want to use it to backup files with your Mac’s Time Machine, you must format it to be entirely Mac compatible.

Power

Your HDD will need to power itself by either an AC power cord or through its data cable that plugs into your computer. There are obvious benefits to getting power directly from your computer, but hard drives that are larger and more powerful may need the independent power source to optimize efficiency.

Storage capacity

In terms of storage space, 1,000GB is equal to 1TB (terabyte). Typically, 1TB is enough for 250,000 MP3s or 200,000 digital photos. This is also how much space you’d need for about 120 HD videos.

Common storage sizes for external HDDs include:

  • 500GB

  • 1TB

  • 2TB

  • 4TB

  • 8TB

Portability

Portable hard drives are designed for travel. They’re lighter, thinner, and will likely have extra protection for the casing. They’re made to easily slip in and out of a laptop case or bookbag, taking up very little space. The best external hard drives should be able to withstand an occasional drop or two.

Desktop

Some external hard drives are meant to stay relatively stationary. They tend to be bigger in size and don’t have as much protection against drops. These drives tend to pack a slightly larger punch than smaller, more portable HDDs.

When testing HDDs for Macs, a key factor is the power source. Some HDDs have independent power cables while others draw power from the data cable that connects to the computer.n
We consider the storage capacity of the external drive, testing models that store between 500 GB and 8 TB. Larger hard drives are helpful for gaming and movie storage, while smaller ones tend to be sufficient for backing up personal files and photos.
We tested internal HDDs already formatted for Macs as well as hard drives formatted for Windows to compare functionality and ease of reformatting.
In our testing, we consider the hard drives' portability. Portable external hard drives should be small enough to travel with but sturdy enough to withstand taking a little damage.
We compared the benefits of desktop external hard drives and portable ones. While portable hard drives tend to be sturdier, they are also smaller and offer less storage.
During testing, we compare the HDD's connection type. External hard drives for Mac tend to have Thunderbolt connections and USB, which all offer different transfer speeds.
We consider how much a consumer wants to spend on an external hard drive for Mac. HDD's that store between 500 GB and 3 TB of storage are available for under $100, while more expensive external drives can hold more than 10 TB.
When testing external hard drives, we consider the HDD's lifespan. Files should typically remain on an external hard drive until they are deleted or destroyed, but the lifespan can vary.n
We evaluate the external hard drive's ability to resist dust and water to protect its contents.n
During testing, we evaluate how easy it is to transfer data and how quickly the transfer takes place.

Connection types

USB 3.0

This is a common connection type for many external hard drives. USB is very compatible with Mac machines, especially those with older versions. It’s max transfer rate is 10 Gb/s. Most (but not all) Mac computers and will have at least one USB port that supports external memory.

USB-C

This is a newer form of USB connection that delivers more power and slightly faster speeds for Mac users. New hard drives will come with the proper connection cords to ensure compatibility. The max transfer speeds provided by USB is is 20 Gb/s.

Thunderbolt

Thunderbolt connections are the latest in data and power transfer and popular amongst Mac devices. Its strength is in its speed and power as well as its ability to chain more than one device to a single computer. Its max transfer speed is about double that of USB-C at 40 Gb/s.

It’s possible to install and run programs or games directly from your external HDD. There are a few downsides, however, such as longer loading speeds and the need to have the drive with you in order to play the game.

External hard drives for Macs: prices

Overall storage space will typically play the main role in the final price you’ll pay for an external hard drive.

$50 and under

In this range, you’ll find quality external drives that hold 500GB to 1TB of storage for Mac computers.

$60 to $80

If you’re looking for anywhere between 2TB and 3TB of storage space, you’ll be spending within this price range.

$100 to $150+

You won’t be able to find many quality HDDs that hold 4TB of space for under $100. As you get closer to 8TB of storage, you’ll be looking at spending $150 or more.

$200+

For those who want hefty amounts of storage — 10TB or more — you’ll need to invest $200 or more.

Tips

  • Avoid unplugging your hard drive before unmounting it from your computer. Disconnecting your HDD while it’s transferring or updating can cause files to become damaged or even lost forever. It can also put unnecessary stress on your computer and the hard drive itself.

  • Even though many external hard drives are built for portability, you’ll still want to take extra care of them so they last. If possible, look to keep them in a traveling pouch or case for greater protection. This will undoubtedly extend the overall life.

You can partition most HDD to support as many different operating systems and file formats as you’d like. A disk partition is a section of the hard drive that is separated from other segments.

FAQ

Q. How long will files last on a quality external HDD?

A. Typically, the files will remain until you delete or destroy them — intentionally or by accident. Generally, your external HDD for Mac should last anywhere between three to five years. A good indicator is how long your manufacturer's warranty is for, as studies have shown that they are fairly accurate when it comes to HDD lifespan.

Q. Can I use my HDDs with my Mac and Windows computer at the same time?

A. Technically, yes. Mac-compatible hard drives will come formatted for Mac right out of the box. If you want to use if for Windows also, you’ll have to partition your drive and create the needed space to support your windows files or disks.

The market is filled up with a variety of thunderbolt external drives, but the best thunderbolt external drives that suits your needs can be a bit difficult to find. But, if you leave it in the hands of experts, like us, then you can be assured that you will land up with a reliable and trusted thunderbolt external drives. So, without wasting any further time, let’s dive into the article.

We spent hours scouring the internet for the best thunderbolt external drives, reading reviews and pulling from our own personal experiences to bring you our list of the top ten available on the market right now. We have presented a variety of options, so that there’s something out there for everyone. If you ask us personally, then the ultimate choice, that we would recommend you is LaCie Mobile Drive 2TB External Hard Drive HDD – Moon Silver USB-C USB 3.0, for Mac and PC Computer Desktop Workstation Laptop (STHG2000400). If you are looking for something a bit on the cheaper side, then you have got your Sabrent Rocket XTRM 2TB Thunderbolt 3 External SSD (Up to 2400MBs/2400MBs R/W) (SB-XTRM-2TB). For the rest options, read the article till the very end.

All ten of the options on our list have their own unique features that make them great, it’s up to you to decide which one makes the most sense for you. if you are looking for an efficient and effective thunderbolt external drives, our comparison chart should be of great help to you. Here is our comparative guide to the thunderbolt external drives available as well as our recommendations

Best thunderbolt external drives

Product Title
G-Technology 4TB G-DRIVE with Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C Desktop External Hard Drive, Silver – 0G05363-1

Buy Now
9.9
Samsung X5 Portable SSD – 500GB – Thunderbolt 3 External SSD (MU-PB500B/AM) Gray/Red

Buy Now
9.6
LaCie Mobile Drive 2TB External Hard Drive HDD – Moon Silver USB-C USB 3.0, for Mac and PC Computer Desktop Workstation Laptop (STHG2000400)

Buy Now
9.2
Sabrent Rocket XTRM 2TB Thunderbolt 3 External SSD (Up to 2400MBs/2400MBs R/W) (SB-XTRM-2TB)

Buy Now
8.9
Plugable 1TB Thunderbolt 3 External SSD NVMe Drive (Up to 2400MBs/1800MBs R/W)

Buy Now

External Cd Drive For Mac

8.3
SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable External SSD – Up to 550MB/s – USB-C, USB 3.1 – SDSSDE60-1T00-G25

Buy Now
8.1
G-Technology 20TB G-RAID with Thunderbolt 3, USB-C (USB 3.1 Gen 2), and HDMI, Removable Dual Drive Storage System, Silver – 0G05763-1

Buy Now
7.8
G-Technology 6TB G-Drive with Thunderbolt

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7.5
OWC ThunderBay 8 RAID 5 Edition 32TB Enterprise HDD 8-Bay External Drive w/Dual Thunderbolt 3 Ports

Buy Now
7.2
Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt USB 3.0 1 TB Portable Hard Drive (HD-PA1.0TU3) Silver

Buy Now
6.4
Product Title
9.9
G-Technology 4TB G-DRIVE with Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C Desktop External Hard Drive, Silver – 0G05363-1

Buy Now
9.6
Samsung X5 Portable SSD – 500GB – Thunderbolt 3 External SSD (MU-PB500B/AM) Gray/Red

Buy Now
9.2
LaCie Mobile Drive 2TB External Hard Drive HDD – Moon Silver USB-C USB 3.0, for Mac and PC Computer Desktop Workstation Laptop (STHG2000400)

Buy Now
8.9
Sabrent Rocket XTRM 2TB Thunderbolt 3 External SSD (Up to 2400MBs/2400MBs R/W) (SB-XTRM-2TB)

Buy Now
8.3
Plugable 1TB Thunderbolt 3 External SSD NVMe Drive (Up to 2400MBs/1800MBs R/W)

Buy Now
8.1
SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable External SSD – Up to 550MB/s – USB-C, USB 3.1 – SDSSDE60-1T00-G25

Buy Now
7.8
G-Technology 20TB G-RAID with Thunderbolt 3, USB-C (USB 3.1 Gen 2), and HDMI, Removable Dual Drive Storage System, Silver – 0G05763-1

Buy Now
7.5
7.2
OWC ThunderBay 8 RAID 5 Edition 32TB Enterprise HDD 8-Bay External Drive w/Dual Thunderbolt 3 Ports

Buy Now
6.4
Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt USB 3.0 1 TB Portable Hard Drive (HD-PA1.0TU3) Silver

Buy Now

G-Technology 4TB G-DRIVE with Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C Desktop External Hard Drive, Silver – 0G05363-1


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G-Technology 4TB G-DRIVE with Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C Desktop External Hard Drive, Silver - 0G05363-1

2 new from $445.00
as of December 15, 2021 5:47 pm

Features

  • Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports and a single USB-C port with support for USB 3.1 Gen 1
  • Daisy chaining for up to 5 additional devices
  • High-speed data transfers
  • Solid, all-aluminum case makes for durability and stylish looks

Samsung X5 Portable SSD – 500GB – Thunderbolt 3 External SSD (MU-PB500B/AM) Gray/Red


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Samsung X5 Portable SSD - 500GB - Thunderbolt 3 External SSD (MU-PB500B/AM) Gray/Red

1 new from $249.00
Free shipping
as of December 15, 2021 5:47 pm

Features

  • THUNDERBOLT 3 AND NVMe POWER: First ever NVMe-based portable SSD from Samsung featuring Thunderbolt 3 technology, the X5 delivers up to 40Gb/s data transfer speeds
  • LIGHTNING FAST READ WRITE SPEEDS: Sequential read and write performance levels of up to 2,800 MB/sec seq. read and 2,100 MB/sec seq. write
  • DURABLE DESIGN: Full metal body with glossy top and non-slip bottom mat withstands drops of up to 2 meters; Shock resistant internal design features Dynamic Thermal Guard technology to help maintain optimal performance and temperature
  • SECURE ENCRYPTION: Optional password protection and AES 256-bit hardware encryption keeps your personal and private data more secure
  • Only compatible with Macs and Windows PCs with Thunderbolt 3 ports, Mac OS X Sierra, High Sierra (10.12 or higher) Windows 10 64bit RS 2 or higher. Not compatible with PCs with only USB interface.

LaCie Mobile Drive 2TB External Hard Drive HDD – Moon Silver USB-C USB 3.0, for Mac and PC Computer Desktop Workstation Laptop (STHG2000400)


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LaCie Mobile Drive 2TB External Hard Drive HDD – Moon Silver USB-C USB 3.0, for Mac and PC Computer Desktop Workstation Laptop (STHG2000400)

19 new from $89.99
11 used from $57.02
Free shipping
as of December 15, 2021 5:47 pm

Features

  • Enjoy 2TB of capacity for photos, playlists, docs, and more
  • Use seamlessly with Mac, Windows, USB-C, and USB 3.0
  • Back up files with a single click or schedule automatic backups
  • Turn footage into flawless productions with one free month of Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps Plan

Sabrent Rocket XTRM 2TB Thunderbolt 3 External SSD (Up to 2400MBs/2400MBs R/W) (SB-XTRM-2TB)


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Sabrent Rocket XTRM 2TB Thunderbolt 3 External SSD (Up to 2400MBs/2400MBs R/W) (SB-XTRM-2TB)

2 new from $399.99
Free shipping
as of December 15, 2021 5:47 pm

Features

  • SPEED - The built in Thunderbolt 3 technology enables amazing speeds of up to 2400+ MB/sec read and 2400+ MB/sec write. No external power supply required!
  • PERFORMANCE - Perfect for video editing, content creation, or any other tasks that require additional storage space.
  • CONPATIBILITY - Requires Thunderbolt 3-equipped interface. PLEASE NOTE: Does NOT support USB-C connections that do not feature Thunderbolt 3.
  • PLUG and PLAY and EASY to USE: No need for external power.
  • SUPPORTS: macOS Sierra and later. Bootcamp NOT supported. Windows 10, 8.1, or 7

Plugable 1TB Thunderbolt 3 External SSD NVMe Drive (Up to 2400MBs/1800MBs R/W)


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Plugable 1TB Thunderbolt 3 External SSD NVMe Drive (Up to 2400MBs/1800MBs R/W)

6 new from $349.00
Free shipping
as of December 15, 2021 5:47 pm

Features

  • THUNDERBOLT 3 SPEED - Reach your creative potential with the Plugable external Thunderbolt 3 NVMe SSD. Offers 1 TB of storage with up to 2400+ MB/sec read and up to 1800+ MB/sec write speeds featuring 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 technology
  • PERFORMANCE - Great for professional content creators needing to transfer and edit high-res content, gamers who want high-performance external libraries, or admins who want to run virtual machines at performance levels not possible before Thunderbolt 3. This 1TB SSD is bus powered with no external power supply required
  • DURABLE & PORTABLE - Full metal body designed to dissipate heat and protect your portable hard drive. With no moving parts, never worry about losing your data on-the-go. Only slightly larger than a smartphone this SSD is ideal for travel or office use. This SSD NVMe is made to take anywhere with an included carrying bag
  • COMPATIBILITY - Easy to use with any Thunderbolt 3 system. Drive is pre-formatted in exFAT for Windows, Linux, and Mac (late 2016-2019 MacBook Pro, 2017-2018 iMac/iMac Pro, 2018-2019 MacBook Air). Boot Camp not supported. Linux may have reduced performance in some scenarios. Does not support non-Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports. No drivers required
  • 3 YEAR WARRANTY - We love our Plugable products, and hope you will too. The TBT3-NVME1TB is covered by a 36 month or 700 TBW limited warranty as well as Seattle-based email support

SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable External SSD – Up to 550MB/s – USB-C, USB 3.1 – SDSSDE60-1T00-G25


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SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable External SSD - Up to 550MB/s - USB-C, USB 3.1 - SDSSDE60-1T00-G25

13 new from $139.99
1 used from $109.00
as of December 15, 2021 5:47 pm

Features

Mac
  • High-speed transfers with up to 550MB/s read speeds let you move hi-res photos and videos faster (Based on internal testing; performance may be lower depending on drive capacity, host device, OS and application.)
  • Ruggedized, water- and dust-resistant (IP55-rated) (IEC 60529 IP55: Tested to withstand water flow (30 kPa) at 3 Minch; limited dust contact does not interfere with the operation. Must be clean and dry before use.)
  • Shock-resistant solid state core for greater durability (Shock-resistant (up to 1500G) and vibration-resistant (5g RMS, 10-2000 HZ), Non-Operating Temperature (from ‐20°C to 70°C), operating temperature (from 0°C to 45°C))
  • Compact and pocket-sized
  • For PC and Mac users

G-Technology 20TB G-RAID with Thunderbolt 3, USB-C (USB 3.1 Gen 2), and HDMI, Removable Dual Drive Storage System, Silver – 0G05763-1


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G-Technology 20TB G-RAID with Thunderbolt 3, USB-C (USB 3.1 Gen 2), and HDMI, Removable Dual Drive Storage System, Silver - 0G05763-1

3 new from $1,624.94
2 used from $899.95
as of December 15, 2021 5:47 pm

Features

  • Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports and a single USB-C port with support for USB 3.1 Gen 2
  • Daisy chaining for up to 5 additional devices
  • Dual removable, Enterprise-class 7200RPM hard drives
  • Hardware RAID 0 (performance), RAID 1 (mirroring), or JBOD

G-Technology 6TB G-Drive with Thunderbolt


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G-Technology 6TB G-Drive with Thunderbolt


1 used from $289.23
Free shipping
as of December 15, 2021 5:47 pm

Features

  • Speed: 6TB storage capacity with 7200 RPM drive speed. Transfer rates of up to 250MB/s
  • Ports: Dual USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt ports / Single USB-C port with support for USB 3.1 Gen 1
  • High Performance: G-DRIVE with Thunderbolt 3 � An ultra-fast, high-performance storage solution featuring Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 Gen 1 interfaces in an all-aluminum enclosure. The G-DRIVE desktop storage is perfect for storage-intensive applications like audio/video editing or digital photography
  • Multiple Applications: Designed for storage-intensive applications like audio/video editing, digital photography, and more, the 4TB G-DRIVE Thunderbolt 3 External Hard Drive from G-Technology provides up to 4TB of enterprise-class storage, a rotational speed of 7200 rpm, and is equipped with two 40 Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 ports and one 5 Gb/s USB 3.0 Type-C port

OWC ThunderBay 8 RAID 5 Edition 32TB Enterprise HDD 8-Bay External Drive w/Dual Thunderbolt 3 Ports


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OWC ThunderBay 8 RAID 5 Edition 32TB Enterprise HDD 8-Bay External Drive w/Dual Thunderbolt 3 Ports

1 new from $1,999.00
as of December 15, 2021 5:47 pm

Features

  • Eight universal 2.5 or 3.5-inch SSDs/HDDs drive bays w/ Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports (Thunderbolt 2/Thunderbolt backward compatible)
  • Daisy-chain six units together for up to 768TB of storage capacity or five additional Thunderbolt devices with second Thunderbolt 3 port
  • DisplayPort 1.2 for connecting up to a 4K display
  • No drivers needed and includes Thunderbolt 3 cable
  • Thunderbolt certified for Mac and Windows w/ Up to 5 Year OWC Limited Warranty

Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt USB 3.0 1 TB Portable Hard Drive (HD-PA1.0TU3) Silver


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Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt USB 3.0 1 TB Portable Hard Drive (HD-PA1.0TU3) Silver

4 new from $236.29
as of December 15, 2021 5:47 pm

Features

  • Perfect for creative professionals and multimedia enthusiasts
  • Time Machine compatibility
  • Includes high performance USB 3.0 port
  • Interface speeds up to 10 Gbps
  • Thunderbolt 2 interface with cable included

This article was created with a hope that you will able to find the best thunderbolt external drives, suiting your requirements and we wish that we were able to succeed in our mission to do so. If you are looking for a cheap thunderbolt external drives because you will be making limited use of it, go for the G-Technology 20TB G-RAID with Thunderbolt 3, USB-C (USB 3.1 Gen 2), and HDMI, Removable Dual Drive Storage System, Silver – 0G05763-1 which will give you what you pay for. That being said, don’t forget to share the article with your friends and keep visiting geekydeck.com for more such informative and reviews articles.