Best External Hard Drives Consumer Reports 2022

What are the best external hard drives? This is a question many people are asking themselves with all of the new data storage needs generated by things like 4K video and photography, gaming, and the increasing popularity of streaming services.

We’re here to answer that question for you! In this post, we’ll take a look at five of the best external hard drives available on the market right now. So whether you’re looking for a backup solution or just more storage space, keep reading to find out what our top picks are.

What is an External Hard Drive?

An external hard drive is a piece of hardware that allows you to store data on it, just like the hard drive inside your computer. The main difference is that an external hard drive is portable and can be connected to your computer via a USB cable.

Most external hard drives are powered by electricity, but there are some battery-powered options available as well.

10 Best External Hard Drives Consumer Reports Guide

1. SanDisk 2TB Extreme PRO Portable SSD (Best Portable SSD)

Sale
SanDisk 2TB Extreme PRO Portable...
  • Save time storing and transferring data with...
  • A forged aluminum chassis acts as a heat sink to...
  • Up to 2 meter drop protection and IP55 water and...
  • Help keep private content private with the...

The SanDisk 2TB Extreme PRO Portable SSD is our top pick for the best portable SSD. This external drive is very fast, rugged, and comes with a nice protective carrying case.

It utilizes the new USB-C connector as well as a traditional USB 3.0 connector and is backward compatible with older USB ports.

It offers transfer speeds of up to 950 MB/s which is about 3 times as fast as a regular external hard drive. This makes it perfect for things like 4K video editing, gaming, and large file transfers.

The SanDisk 2TB Extreme PRO Portable SSD is also one of the most durable portable SSDs on the market.

It’s been tested to withstand drops from up to 6.5 feet and can operate in temperatures ranging from -13°F to 185°F (-25°C to 85°C). It’s also IP55 water and dust-resistant.

All of this makes the SanDisk 2TB Extreme PRO Portable SSD a great choice for people who need fast, reliable, and durable for their data storage needs.

2. G-Technology 1TB G-DRIVE Mobile Pro SSD  (Best for Mac)

Sale
G-Technology 1TB G-DRIVE mobile SSD...
  • A durable design with IP67 water/dust resistance,...
  • Super fast transfer rates up to 560MB/s
  • Latest generation USB C connectivity (USB 3.1 Gen...
  • Shock and vibration resistant solid state drive

The G-Technology 1TB G-DRIVE Mobile Pro SSD is the best external hard drive for Mac users. This drive offers fast transfer speeds of up to 2800 MB/s, which is 4 times as fast as a regular hard drive.

It’s also one of the lightest and most portable SSDs on the market, making it ideal for people who need to take their data with them on the go.

The G-Technology 1TB G-DRIVE Mobile Pro SSD is also formatted for use with macOS and includes a Thunderbolt 3 cable for connecting to newer Macs.

For older Macs, there’s an included USB 3.1 Type-C adapter cable.

This drive is also compatible with Microsoft Windows 10 and offers a 3-year limited warranty.

3. LaCie Rugged USB-C 4TB External Hard Drive  (Best Rugged)

Sale
LaCie Rugged USB-C 4TB External...
  • Quickly and easily connect to the latest Windows...
  • Enjoy fast USB-C 5Gb/s file transfers, backups,...
  • Confidently tackle any terrain with drop, crush,...
  • Take advantage of a complimentary one-month...

The LaCie Rugged USB-C 4TB External Hard Drive is our top pick for the best rugged external hard drive. This drive is designed to withstand drops, water, and dust and is perfect for people who need a durable drive that can handle harsh environments.

The LaCie Rugged USB-C 4TB External Hard Drive comes with a built-in Thunderbolt 3 cable and is formatted for use with macOS. It’s also compatible with Windows 10.

It offers transfer speeds of up to 130 MB/s and includes LaCie’s Dashboard software for easy backups.

The LaCie Rugged USB-C 4TB External Hard Drive also comes with a 3-year limited warranty.

4. Samsung T5 Portable SSD (Best Overall)

Sale
SAMSUNG T5 Portable SSD 2TB - Up to...
  • Superfast read-write speeds of up to 540 MB/s
  • Top to bottom metal design that fits in the palm...
  • Optional password protection and AES 256-bit...
  • Includes USB type C to C and USB type C to A...

The Samsung T5 Portable SSD is our top pick for the best overall external hard drive. This drive offers fast transfer speeds of up to 540 MB/s, is very small and lightweight, and comes with a protective carrying case.

It uses the new USB-C connector as well as a traditional USB 3.0 connector and is backward compatible with older USB ports.

The Samsung T5 Portable SSD is also one of the most durable portable SSDs on the market.

It’s been tested to withstand drops from up to 2 meters and can operate in temperatures ranging from -13°F to 150°F (-25°C to 65°C).

It’s also IP68 water and dust-resistant.

All of this makes the Samsung T5 Portable SSD a great choice for people who need a fast, durable, and lightweight external hard drive.

5. WD My Passport 4TB Portable External Hard Drive (Best Value)

Sale
WD 4TB My Passport Portable...
  • Slim Design
  • Software for device management and backup with...
  • 256-bit AES hardware encryption
  • SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port (5Gbps); USB 2.0...

The WD My Passport 4TB Portable External Hard Drive is our top pick for the best value external hard drive. This drive offers a lot of storage space for a very reasonable price and is backed by a 3-year limited warranty.

It uses the USB 3.0 interface and is compatible with both Windows and macOS.

The WD My Passport 4TB Portable External Hard Drive offers transfer speeds of up to 5 Gb/s and includes WD’s backup software for easy data backups.

Overall, the WD My Passport 4TB Portable External Hard Drive is a great choice for people who need storage space at a very reasonable price.

6. Seagate Expansion Desktop 8TB External Hard Drive (Best for Gaming)

Seagate Desktop 8TB External Hard...
  • Ideal for the home, office, or dorm, the Seagate...
  • An external hard drive for Windows or Mac...
  • The perfect laptop hard drive or PC drive, just...
  • Includes an 18 inches USB 3.0 cable and 18 watt...

The Seagate Expansion Desktop 8TB External Hard Drive is our top pick for the best external hard drive for gaming. This drive offers a huge amount of storage space for all your games, as well as fast transfer speeds of up to 160 MB/s.

It’s also very easy to set up and use, with no drivers or software required.

The Seagate Expansion Desktop 8TB External Hard Drive is compatible with both Windows and macOS and includes a 1-year limited warranty.

Overall, the Seagate Expansion Desktop 8TB External Hard Drive is a great choice for gamers who need a lot of storage space for their games.

7. WD My Book 8TB External Hard Drive (Best Desktop)

Sale
WD 8TB My Book Desktop External...
  • Massive capacity, up to 18TB capacity (1 1TB = one...
  • Includes software for device management and backup...
  • 256-bit AES hardware encryption
  • SuperSpeed USB (5 Gbps); USB 2.0 compatible

The WD My Book 8TB External Hard Drive is our top pick for the best desktop external hard drive. This drive offers a huge amount of storage space and fast transfer speeds of up to 160 MB/s.

It’s also very easy to set up and use, with no drivers or software required.

The WD My Book 8TB External Hard Drive is compatible with both Windows and macOS and includes a 3-year limited warranty.

Overall, the WD My Book 8TB External Hard Drive is a great choice for people who need a lot of storage space for their files.

8. LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive 4TB External Hard Drive (Best Design)

Sale
LaCie Mobile Drive 4TB External...
  • Enjoy 4TB of enormous capacity for photos,...
  • Use seamlessly with Mac, Windows, USB-C, and USB...
  • Back up files with a single click or schedule...
  • Turn footage into flawless productions with one...

The LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive 4TB External Hard Drive is our top pick for the best designed external hard drive. This drive has a sleek and stylish design that is sure to turn heads.

It’s also very durable, with an aluminum enclosure that can withstand drops and bumps.

The LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive 4TB External Hard Drive uses the USB 3.0 interface and is compatible with both Windows and macOS.

It offers transfer speeds of up to 5 Gb/s and includes a 3-year limited warranty.

Overall, the LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive 4TB External Hard Drive is a great choice for people who want a stylish and durable external hard drive.

9. SanDisk Cruzer Glide CZ60 64GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive (Best Portable)

SanDisk 64GB Cruzer Glide USB 2.0...
  • Reliable storage for photos, videos, music and...
  • Available in capacities from 8GB to 256GB (1GB =...
  • Transfer with confidence when moving images and...
  • Retractable design keeps the connector safe

The SanDisk Cruzer Glide CZ60 64GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive is our top pick for the best portable external hard drive. This drive is small and lightweight, making it easy to take with you on the go.

It uses the USB 2.0 interface and is compatible with both Windows and macOS.

The SanDisk Cruzer Glide CZ60 64GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive offers transfer speeds of up to 20 MB/s and includes a 5-year limited warranty.

Overall, the SanDisk Cruzer Glide CZ60 64GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive is a great choice for people who need a portable and durable external hard drive.

10. Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC USB 1TB Rugged HDD (Best Durability)

Sale
Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC USB...
  • USB PC Compatible plug-and-play. Compatible w/ Mac...
  • Ruggedized (mil-spec)
  • Hardware Encryption
  • NFC technology

The Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC USB 1TB Rugged HDD is our top pick for the best durable external hard drive. This drive is designed to withstand drops and bumps, making it ideal for use in harsh environments.

It uses the USB 3.0 interface and is compatible with both Windows and macOS.

The Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC USB 1TB Rugged HDD offers transfer speeds of up to 5 Gb/s and includes a 3-year limited warranty.

Overall, the Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC USB 1TB Rugged HDD is a great choice for people who need a durable and reliable external hard drive.

How to Choose the Best External Hard Drives

When choosing the best external hard drive, there are a few things to keep in mind.

The amount of storage space you need

First, consider the amount of storage space you need. External hard drives come in a variety of sizes, from small drives that can hold a few gigabytes of data to large drives that can hold terabytes of data.

The transfer speed you need

Second, consider the transfer speed you need. USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 are the most common interfaces for external hard drives, with USB 3.0 offering faster transfer speeds.

The compatibility of the drive with your computer

Third, consider the compatibility of the drive with your computer. External hard drives are typically compatible with both Windows and macOS, but there are some that are only compatible with one or the other.

The price and warranty of the drive

Finally, consider the price and warranty of the drive. External hard drives can range in price from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars, and most drives come with a limited warranty.

By keeping these things in mind, you can choose the best external hard drive for your needs.

Leave a Reply