The best external hard drives are those HDDs and SSDs that guarantee the security of the data stored on them. There are many factors to consider when buying a new external hard drive, but the most important thing is to consider storage space, speed, portability and reliability. Given this multitude of factors, it is difficult for us to definitively call an external drive "the best", but it is possible to find several hard drives that, collectively, will suit everyone's needs.
Following the review of dozens of top external hard drives on the market, we recommend the Samsung T5 as a versatile and durable model, suitable for many purposes. If it's not to your liking, we have a few other favorite hard drives that are perfect for saving your files, no matter what situation you're in.
The Best External Hard Drives in 2021
ADATA Durable HD710 Pro – Resistant
Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim – Ultra Portable
Samsung T5 – SSD / Solid State Drive
Western Digital My Book Duo – Professional
WD Elements Portable – Value for money
Seagate Expansion – Apple Compatibility
Toshiba Canvio Basics – Reduced Budget
Western Digital My Passport – Cheap
Adata HD710 Pro is the best waterproof external hard drive, resistant to both dust and shocks. Given the silicone rubber coating (to absorb shocks) combined with the hard plastic case, the manufacturer claims that the HDD exceeds the IP68 standard, although it does not say if it was tested on IP68.
The unit can survive for up to 60 minutes, submerged in water at a depth of 2 meters and can survive falls of up to 1.5 m due to a "triple-layered" construction. There is a short 30cm USB cable that surrounds the outside of the shell and has a USB 3.0 type connector at one end and a simple USB connector at the other end. HD710M Pro hosts a 1TB HDD (WD10SPCX) i.
With a cache of 16MB and a rotation speed of 5400RPM with two turntables, the unit reached up to 131 and 119MB / s respectively on the popular ATTO benchmark. The hard did not become too hot to the touch during the test, and the cable does not seem to tend to come off. ADATA has equipped the HD710M with shock sensors that will automatically trigger internal protection mechanisms that, in theory, will protect the user's data.
If you are looking for a portable hard drive at a reasonable price, Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim is one of the best portable external hard drives. Not only does the mechanical unit weigh 135 grams and measure only a thickness of only 9.65 millimeters, but it has an affordable price (starting from 370 Lei for the 1TB version).
Driving speeds will not compete with those of an SSD, but our indicators show that they can compete with any external hard drive on the market, despite its extremely portable size. The case is available in metallic, silver or gold, and is mainly made of plastic, with only one side being made of aluminum.
The special design may make it not permanently available in retailers' stock, so a similar option is Seagate Backup Plus Slim Portable . Contrary to the lower price, this is only a second option given the more than 30 negative reviews reported by eMAG customers.
Samsung T5 – SSD / Solid State Drive
Inspired by its predecessors, the Samsung T5 is a compact, affordable and high-speed SSD that looks and feels like a top portable storage solution. Using Samsung's latest generation of 3D V-NAND technology, it stores up to 2TB of data in a small design, although it comes in a variety of storage sizes at different prices.
Enclosed in a solid aluminum case, Samsung claims that this outdoor unit can withstand a fall of up to two meters without difficulty. Although we do not suggest that you try this at home, it is important that the external drives – which are not protected by the cover of a desktop or laptop – be strong enough to withstand daily abuse.
Due to its speed, compact size, and additional features such as compatible encryption software, there is no other unit we can recommend as much as the Samsung T5 . Being considered the best external hard drive of the moment, it can be expensive when you reach the top of the storage space – with prices starting from 460 Lei for the 250 GB version. If you can afford this SSD, Samsung T5 is the external hard drive for you.
You can configure the two drives inside this enclosure as RAID, for file redundancy, or take advantage of each byte of storage. However, you will get a lot of storage space and a two-year warranty from a trusted brand. With a USB 3.1 interface for high-speed data transfer, the MyBook Duo 's case is user-serviceable, which means you can replace the hard drives inside if they break down, giving you the option to continue using the case.
Moreover, the best professional external hard drive provides full support for 256-bit AES hardware encryption, ensuring that no one can read your stored data outside of you.
WD Elements Portable is a cheap external HDD, with a storage capacity of 1 TB (the one we tested) and a performance of 5400 rotations per minute.
The WD external HDD has a simple and compact design, which allows it to work in optimal parameters with both laptops and desktops, as well as various game consoles. This device can be used either for storage expansion or as a backup unit. WD Elements Portable is especially recommended to expand the storage capacity of the devices you connect to, not for security or backup.
In the box you will also find the micro USB 3.0 cable needed for commissioning. Once connected, the HDD is ready to work on a Windows computer / laptop. If you have a Mac OS device, you will need a file system format supported in HFS +. Alternative formatting between Windows and MacOS requires exFAT formatting.
WD Elements Portable has a compact design, which makes it easy to carry and handle. It is important to know that the HDD is preloaded with WD SmartWare Pro, which can be used for free for 30 days. After this period you have to pay an additional cost around $ 20.
Seagate Expansion has a storage capacity of 2 TB and a compact design due to its small size. Although it has a performance of 5400 revolutions per minute, the energy consumption is quite low.
This external HDD from Seagate does not reach the performance of 7200 rpm, but only 5400 rpm, but this minus is compensated by the lower power consumption it registers. Seagate Expansion works, according to the standard configuration, on computers / laptops with Windows operating system, given the NTFS file system. What we liked is the possibility to work on a Mac through a format in HFS +, the process being a matter of only a few seconds. And if you want to work on both Windows and Mac, then you will need exFAT formatting.
The great advantage of this HDD is that it offers the possibility to be used not only to expand the capacity of the laptop / computer, but also with other devices, such as media players or game consoles. All you have to do is format it in the appropriate file system so that you can save your favorite games and applications or store your media files.
The ease of configuration and use of the Seagate Expansion HDD is due to the Drag & Drop function, USB cable power (included in the package) and USB 3.0 connectivity, with which you can make very fast file and data transfers.
Toshiba Canvio Basics has a storage capacity of 1 TB with sequential read and write speeds of up to 120 MB / second and 5400 RPM.
This external HDD from Toshiba achieves a performance of 5400 rotations per minute and is specially designed for working on a Windows device. If you want to use it with a Mac OS device, then formatting will be required, but the manufacturers do not provide details on how this process should be done correctly.
Toshiba Canvio Basics has a sequential read speed of 115 MB / second and a sequential write speed of 114 MB / second, average values that could confuse you if you have to work with large files and data. It also offers a fast USB 3.0 connection (compatible with USB 2.0). The HDD is not very noisy, which is an advantage.
We liked the following features: the micro-B USB cable included in the package, USB 3.0 to USB 2.0 compatibility, NTFS preformatting, USB port power and compact dimensions. Toshiba Canvio Basics is not the best external HDD on the market, but it does its job quite well considering the price category in which it falls.
Western Digital My Passport is not necessarily the lightest external hard drive on the market, but it has a three-year warranty and WD's reputation for reliability. It is often found in almost all the tops with the best external hard drives. What we liked most was that the unit does not require a separate power source.
Moreover, the fine and elegant design of the house easily explains why My Passport is probably the first choice for many. The HDD comes in six different colors, if the above red is not to your taste. The hard drive has an elegant exterior design, with a height of 90 millimeters and a length of 45 millimeters, with a thickness of less than 13 mm. It is equipped with a single type C USB port that handles both data transfers and charging responsibilities.
Western Digital has introduced a lot of security features to this drive, including password protection and 256-bit AES hardware encryption options. Users are also protected against other scenarios that could lead to data loss, with HDDs being tested to withstand a drop of up to 6.5 meters and up to 1500G of force.
WD offers My Passport versions with 1TB, 2TB, 3TB and 4TB storage spaces in the price range 260 – 530 Lei. The model is also available in the WD My Passport SSD version with prices starting from 450 Lei for the 256 GB version.