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The Best External Hard Drives: Top 5 Picks

It may appear that the period of local storage is over as streaming and cloud storage become the standard. Don’t be fooled; this is far from the truth. Local storage devices continue to be useful. Hard drives are the best choice if you want to get the most bang for your buck. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of best hard drives whereby we will be looking at the best external hard drives in particular.

Things to Consider before Buying a Hard Drive

  • IDE VS. SATA Hard drive
  • IDE VS. SATA Hard drive
  • Internal VS. External
  • Rotational Speed
  • Storage Capacity

It isn’t rocket science to choose the right hard drive for your purposes, but there are a few factors to remember First and foremost, you must limit your use cases and goals.

A nice high-capacity internal hard drive is a good option if you need a lot of data storage but need not carry it around with you. Drives with higher endurance requirements would be ideal for storage-intensive software.

External hard drives, on the other side, have the ease of moving your data around. External hard drives come in a range of styles, so you can choose one based on your needs and level of adaptability.

WD My Passport Ultra

Seek no further than the Western Digital My Passport line for the best external hard drives. This is the most recent version, with capacities ranging from 1TB to 4TB. Cloud storage and 256-AES encryption are included, as well as WD’s own backup tools.

WD My Passport Ultra

It also has excellent data transfer rates. Although it doesn’t compare to solid-state drive devices in terms of speed, the Western Digital My Passport line strikes a great balance between large storage capacities and fast file transfers without driving up the price.

WD My Book

Set the drives up in a RAID 1 range if you don’t mind losing some of the adequate storage space, so you have file backups in case one of the drives fails. If you’re planning to use this system to back up indispensable data, like your creative work, WD My Book, one of the best hard drives, is a great feature to have because it provides a layer of security in case something goes wrong.

WD My Book

It is the best external hard drive that has two additional USB ports on the back for easy flash drive insertion. Automatic backup functionality is included, as well as 256-bit AES hardware encryption. It’s also worth mentioning that the drive comes pre-formatted for Windows users (NTFS), so you’ll need to rewrite it to fit with your Mac.

SanDisk Extreme v2

For content creators on the go, SanDisk’s Extreme v2 is one of the best portable 10 GBps SSDs. SanDisk’s Extreme v2 boasts twice the performance of its ancestor, thanks to a fast NVMe SSD and a USB 3.2 Gen 2 bridge chip, as well as improved protection with hardware-accelerated full disc encryption.

SanDisk Extreme v2 Best External Hard Drives

It is one of the fastest-writing portable USB 10Gbps SSDs for the price, not only when accessing your media files or documents but also when subjected to massive write transfers.

Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC

Protecting your valuable data is critical for any digital creative, which is why the Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC is one of our best external hard drives right now. You can take this drive around with you without worrying about it being damaged – and losing your data – thanks to its robust nature, which means that it can withstand knocks and drops.


Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC, the fastest external hard drive, also comes with 256-bit AES encryption for added stability. This means that if it’s lost or stolen, the data won’t be available, which is critical if you’re using it to store confidential data like customer information.

The Best Internal Hard Drives: Top 5 Picks

Samsung Portable SSD T5

The Samsung Portable SSD T5, one of the best external hard drives, pushes data transfer rates to new heights and introduces a whole new level of external storage. The T5 is genuinely easy to hold and store data safely, thanks to its lightweight and robust nature and password protection.

Samsung Portable SSD T5 Best External Hard Drives
Credit: Samsung

The T5 offers transfer speeds of up to 540 MB/s*, which is up to 4.9x faster than external HDDs**, thanks to Samsung V-NAND flash memory and a USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface. Large-scale data transfers and backups, such as 4K videos and high-resolution images, can be much faster.

The rounded uni-body and top-to-bottom metal style fit perfectly in the palm of your hand. The T5 is available in two aluminum finishes: an enticing blue for the 250 GB and 500 GB models, and a deep dark for the 1 TB and 2 TB models.

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