These are now found on all modern PCs, and Macs. This is the fastest external storage connection there is, and it provides very fast data transfer speeds, though Thunderbolt storage is considerably more expensive than plain old USB. If you're in the market for a new laptop, don't miss our post on the best laptops for graphic design.
Fancy getting your hands on the best external hard drive deals?
External hard drive storage considerations
Here's our pick of the very best deals we've found today:. Perfect for providing extra storage for your ever-growing collection of large files. View Deal. Its USB 3. When it comes to the best external hard drives, look no further than the Western Digital My Passport range.
This is the latest model to have launched, coming in sizes from 1TB to 4TB. It also offers top data transfer speeds. And while it doesn't quite offer a similar speed to solid state drive devices, the Western Digital My Passport range hits a brilliant balance between high storage capacities and quick file transfers without knocking the price way up. External SSDs may cost considerably more than hard disks, but the extra money and faster speeds go a long way. The downside is the pricing. There's an HDMI 2.
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Expect to pay a small fortune for the largest capacities, but thanks to the easy drive removal system, you could always buy a cheaper, lower capacity G-RAID and upgrade it with off-the-shelf hard disks yourself. If you want to make use of your Thunderbolt port, then this Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt is a great option, as it provides twice the speeds of standard USB 3.
It's also not especially expensive compared to other Thunderbolt drives. This is mainly down to the fact that it's a traditional hard drive, not an SSD, which means it's not quite as fast as it could be — though it will still give you an upgrade to your transfer speeds. This is also one of the most stylishly-designed external hard drives on this list, and it comes with a large 4TB capacity with other sizes available as well , and it performs brilliantly. The Adata SD will suit those looking for a rugged storage device that can provide ample capacity without costing too much.
Thanks to the solid state drive that resides in this external hard drive, it's a lot faster than external drives that use traditional spinning hard drives — so you're getting great transfer speeds as well as rugged protection. It also comes in capacities up to 1TB, so you don't have to worry about missing out on storage space just because it uses an SSD.
This Adata drive really does hit all the right notes. If you don't mind sacrificing some of the ample storage space you can set the drives up in a RAID 1 array, so you have file backups of your files should one of the drives die. This is an excellent feature if you're going to use this device to back up irreplaceable data, such as your creative work, as it adds a level of protection in case things go wrong. It provides two additional USB ports on the rear, so you can easily insert flash sticks.
It's also worth noting that the enclosure used is fully serviceable and that WD ships the drive already pre-formatted for Windows users NTFS , so you'll want to reformat it to work with your Mac. Read TechRadar's review here. According to Lacie it can apparently withstand the pressure of a one-ton car, and is resistant to rain.
Luckily, many external hard drives offer terabytes TB of storage space for not much more money.
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Buying the best external hard drive for your needs involves figuring out how much space you need. You don't want to buy an external hard drive that's too small, end up running out of space and buying another one. In addition, the best external hard drives are also dependable and rugged, so you can safely store your data without worry. The best external drives must also be light enough to carry in your bag, with large capacities so that you can keep your data safe when traveling.
There's a huge range of external hard drives on offer, so we've listed the best external hard drives money can buy in Each external drive or backup hard drive on this list has been carefully handpicked to make sure it offers fast data transfer speeds — essential if you move lots of big files consistently, boast sturdy build quality so you don't have to worry about them breaking and losing your files, and have more than enough storage space on offer however much you need.
What you need to know about Black Friday The Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals period has always been a good time of year to pick up an external hard drive. Every year that we've been covering the Black Friday sales, we've noticed that retailers have been pretty happy to cut the prices of external storage even SSDs by quite a lot, which means you could potentially save yourself a big chunk of change if you shop wisely.
But, that doesn't mean you shouldn't start shopping around right now, as our built-in price comparison tool scours the internet to find the very best deals so you don't have to wait. Not only is your data kept protected from knocks and drops with the rugged shell, but it's also got bit AES security features and NFC Near Field Communication features as well.
Essentially it allows you to unlock the drive to get to your files quickly and easily by tapping the supplied NFC card onto the drive's body. Pretty neat! Image Credit: TechRadar. 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. Image Credit: Samsung.
Best external hard drives of | TechRadar
If you'd rather have an external hard drive that takes advantage of solid state drive SSD speeds, then the Samsung Portable SSD T5 is certainly among the best external hard drive for you. Samsung has an excellent reputation for external SSDs, thanks to products like the T3, and the T5 builds on its predecessor by adding a fast USB Type-C connection that ekes out every last drop of performance from the solid state drive inside.
Of course, it's also backwards compatible with USB 3. The Adata SD will suit those looking for a rugged storage device that can provide ample capacity without costing too much. Thanks to the solid state drive that resides in this external hard drive, it's a lot faster than external drives that use traditional spinning hard drives, which means that you're getting great transfer speeds as well as rugged protection.
How to Format WD My Passport for Mac and PC
It also comes in capacities up to 1TB, so you don't have to worry about missing out on storage space just because it uses an SSD - this drive really does hit all the right notes. If you're looking for the absolute largest capacity external hard drive, then the WD My Book Duo 4TB is the one to get, offering a sizeable 4TB you can also get versions with up to 20TB of storage space over two hard drives. This USB 3.
Image Credit: Buffalo.
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If you have a device with a Thunderbolt port, then this is a great option, as it provides twice the speeds of standard USB 3. It's also not especially expensive compared to other Thunderbolt drives. The price is kept down due to its use of a traditional hard drive, rather than an SSD, which limits the potential speeds. It also comes with a USB 3.
It comes in a range of sizes up to 8TB and it beats the competition when it comes to read and write speeds as well.
On top of this storage and speed, you get a decent amount of peace of mind thanks to Seagate's lower than average failure rates, especially in bigger capacity hard drives. You also get backup software, and the drive is compatible with both Windows and Macs, though it's formatted for Windows out of the box unless you go for a Mac-specific hard drive - though these are more expensive.