Best of all, its fast: The My Passport zoomed through all of our performance tests, invariably showing up somewhere in the winners circle for each.

Restoro is an advanced PC optimization tool that can repair your PC and replace damaged windows files, frees up precious disk space, and removes malware threats. It may be shaped like a monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey, but our tests found that the WD My Book is the best external hard drive for the money. You can easily use it anywhere, and there's a newer model that offers twice as much speed. But with square corners and an antiquated, two-tone design, the drive isnt a looker. Find out about editing the registry and if it's safe to do so in our guide: Should you use Windows registry-editing software? The Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch is a portable HDD-based external hard drive for people who care at least as much about how their drive looks as how it functions (and maybe more). But factor in the price and one of these drives could be a reasonable choice if you and your data into unpredictable territory. Where necessary, we run other tests on the drives unique features to see how well they worked under real-life conditions and whether theyre likely to benefit you.

And for Tom's Guide readers, it's available at a 65% discount.

You can save money on other drives that will still be darn fast, so the X5 wont be worth it for most people. We didnt quite see the drives 1,000MBps-rated speeds in our tests, but the drive proved fast anyway. But these are small nitpicks that dont detract from one of the best external hard drives around. Since we tested the Extreme Pro Portable SSD, SanDisk has released a second version that integrates USB 3.2 (opens in new tab) to get speeds of up to 2,000Mbps but looks exactly the same as its predecessor.

(A color-coordinated 19.3-inch USB Type-A cable is included for connecting to your computer, as is a Type-C adapter.). The My Book might not be the latest and greatest in terms of drive technology, but it makes the absolute most of tried-and-true methods and will only cost you pennies per gigabyte. The My Passport SSD's software application gives you access to My Cloud Home Storage and lets you download other WD utilities. Its also pretty affordable, with the 1TB version we tested available online for under $130, and the 512GB version findable for about $80.

For capacity, traditional hard drives (HDDs) offer a lot more options, but SSDs are generally able to house the same amount of storage in a smaller amount of space. It meets the MIL-STD-810G 516.6 standard for impact resistance when dropped from 4 feet (1.22 meters). The Backup Plus Ultra Touchs two capacity options are highly affordable, so you can adopt the drives style without spending like its going out of style. If you care more about the Samsung name, the drives design, and the speed than you do about value, the T7 delivers more than enough to appreciate and justify itself. Suave looks?

The Samsung Portable SSD T7 looks like the T5, with its rectangular figure adorned by rounded corners, though its a little bigger and heavier and its software is identical. (A Type-A adapter comes in the package to ensure the drive will work with a wide variety of systems.) And its included USB Type-C cable is exceedingly short: 6.5 inches, which makes using this drive a bit of a hassle on either laptop or desktop computers. But if speed and portability arent of utmost importance, this is storage peace of mind you cant afford not to have. Thats been the thing about spinning hard drives (HDDs) for a decade: You pay for the cheap space with all the time you wont save.

Paul Wagenseil Carrying an external hard drive in your backpack or pocket gives you continuous access to your files, regardless if you're working from home or at the office.

Future US, Inc. Full 7th Floor, 130 West 42nd Street, The interface can also make a difference; Thunderbolt 3 will be a lot faster than USB, for example. Get Restoro for 65% off; prices start at $27.95 for a one-time repair (opens in new tab) Like other Seagate drives, its pretty bare-bones in terms of software but includes that two-month membership to the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan. The WD My Passport SSD with USB 3.2 doesnt look like its travel-enabling namesake, the My Passport Go, but its all ready to go places.

"The casing is attractive and gives the product a feeling of higher quality than a standard enclosure," says one reviewer. But if you need a spacious drive, but dont mind if its simple and slow, too, the Backup Plus Portable is not a terrible choice. The Samsung X5s performance was inconsistent, veering between mind-blowing and merely above average (and it did not top every test). The SanDisk Secure Access application applies general encryption, too. Some of these drives, especially the smaller SSD ones, have eye-catching designs and colors that could almost be considered fashionable.

Plus, capacities up to 18TB are available.

This product has been reviewed 243 times on Newegg and received an average of 4 out of 5 eggs.

Visit our corporate site (opens in new tab). Manufacturers these days frequently market portable drives as fashion accessories, selling them in various sizes, shapes, and colors.

Its rated for stratospheric speeds (2,800 MBps read, 2,300 MBps write), and it delivered on them in our tests. (This lights up in a satisfying sci-fi way when the drive is connected.). The best external hard drives are some of the most useful devices you can own. ), After your drive is registered, you can download Toolkit to enable automatic file backups or Mylio, for organizing your photos. Matthew Murray Our test suite comprised: Finally, we delve into the drives technology, features, aesthetics, cables and adapters, and other characteristics to get a broader picture of what the drives offer.

If you have several computers but have a slow local connection, they're absolutely crucial. Designed to be rugged, the G-Technology ArmorATD portable hard drive (HDD, not SSD) boasts three-tier shock resistance, with internal shock mounts, an aluminum enclosure, and a removable rubber bumper for additional drop protection; its also resistant to rain, dust, and crushing (up to 1,000 pounds).

Then we ran the same series of synthetic and real-world tests on the drives in the same order, so every drive would function as much as the others as possible. Its small and light enough to fit in your hand but not get lost in your pocket or bag. This not only saves you time but potentially money as well. If your computer has a Thunderbolt 3 port and if money is (more or less) no object, the Samsung X5 Thunderbolt 3 Portable SSD is the best external hard drive for you.

With a price per gigabyte of $0.19, the 1TB model is one of the most expensive drives we tested. Please refresh the page and try again. A large HDD-based external hard drive will do the trick for that, but if you want to create a second backup for peace of mind and keep that in a separate location, an SSD-based drive will be perfect. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. You will receive a verification email shortly. Convenient design? NY 10036. But with a cost of $0.23 per gigabyte, this is one of the most expensive drives weve seen (though you may be able to find it online for cheaper). Its larger and heavier than a typical external SSD, but sportscar stylish, with a glossy exterior, sloping lines, and a fiery-red undercarriage. You can use either a USB Type-A or a Type-C cable to connect this Type-C drive to your computer.

And the BarraCuda Fast isnt the cheapest USB 3.0 drive out there: If raw space is all youre concerned with, you can do better. The drive is a shade expensive, and the integrated carrying loop is too big to easily fit on a standard keychain. But factoring together the storage space, speed, and visual spark, the BarraCuda Fast SSD gives you quite a bit for your money. Matthew Murray is the head of testing for Future, coordinating and conducting product testing at Toms Guide and other Future publications. He has previously covered technology and performance arts for multiple publications, edited numerous books, and worked as a theatre critic for more than 16 years. Rated for 540 MBps (read) and 500 MBps (write), the Seagate BarraCuda Fast SSD is a midprice portable SSD that doesnt dishonor its name.

It's also very speedy for a portable hard drive. Tom's Guide is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher.

Otherwise, this is an excellent storage device that's ideal for heavy everyday use. Its rounded corners, black-and-red coloration, delicately pockmarked front and soft-touch back give it an appearance and feel that are both thoroughly modern and refreshingly classic. It boasts heavy-duty protection against shocks, falls, water, dust and crushing.

If you want something you can carry out of the house, the best portable external hard drive is the G-Technology ArmorATD. Every model listed here uses at least the USB 3.0 standard, which offers read and write speeds many times faster than the old USB 2.0 drives. Despite measuring only 4.5 x3.2 x 0.8 inches only slightly larger than a deck of cards the HDD-based Seagate Backup Plus Portable packs either 4TB or 5TB of storage. published 8 July 22, Here are the best external hard drives, based on our extensive testing. The good news is that these aren't the slow, heavy external drives of the past. Our own tests revealed that the best non-portable external hard drive is the WD My Book (model number WDBBGB), which offers the best balance of cost, capacity and other features. It offers hardware-based 256-bit AES encryption and WD Backup software, and it gives you 4TB of HDD space for about $100. And, yikes, is this drive expensive, starting at $200 for 500GB and going up to $600 for the 2TB configuration. And it finished near the bottom of all of our performance tests.

(A two-month membership to the Adobe CC Photography Plan, which includes Lightroom and Photoshop for organizing and editing your photos, is provided as well.). There was a problem. No matter what you want from the best external hard drive, the SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD delivers it. Restoro edits the Windows registry. This is also true if you need to regularly back up your computer.

We tested the 2TB and 4TB capacities; neither was notably fast (though the 2TB is rated for marginally higher speeds), and the drive comes with no file management software. Ok, how about speed? The Adata SE800 External SSD Ultra Fast measures just 2.8 x 1.7 x 0.4 inches and weighs 1.4 ounces and is rated for IP68 protection against dust and 30 minutes of submersion in 4.9 feet (1.5 meters) of water. Heres why you can trust us. (Our review unit was the former. Tom's Guide is supported by its audience. If you dont have Thunderbolt 3 (which uses the same ports as USB-C), you won't see all it can do.

Thank you for signing up to Tom's Guide. If its the first, SSDs store data in flash memory rather than on spinning platters the way traditional hard drives do and thus operate a whole lot faster. Those two capacities are your only options, and theres no pre-installed software, but the SE800 is otherwise an outstanding value that lives up to the promise of its name, whether compared with the noticeably slower Adata SC685 or many other smaller drives on the market. If youre willing to pay a premium, the best portable SSD hard drive is the SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD (model number SDSSDE80). A great portable hard drive that can take a beating, Protection against water, dust, and pressure, Superb balance of speed, price, and design, Software includes encryption, backup functionality, Requires Thunderbolt 3 for best performance, Sleek meets speedy with this portable SSD, Software allows basic password, encryption functionality, A hard drive that feels as good as it performs, We check over 250 million products every day for the best prices, (Image credit: Matthew Murray/Tom's Guide), 2TB: 5.1x 3.4 x 0.8 inches; 4TB: 5.2 x 3.5 x 1.2 inches, 2TB: 4 minutes, 14 seconds; 4TB: 4 minutes, 32 seconds, Daily Quordle #179 answers and hints for Friday, July 22, Cool down your car during a heat wave 7 essential tips, Today's Wordle answer and hints solution #398, Friday, July 22, Stage Manager is a game changer for your Mac heres how to use it, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 release date heres when it could launch, The best tech tutorials and in-depth reviews, Try a single issue or save on a subscription, Issues delivered straight to your door or device, BlackMagic Disk Speed Test 3.2.1 (5GB stress loads), CrystalDiskMark 7.0.0 (8GB workloads, single-thread sequential read and write, queue depths of 1 and 8). By The USB 3.1 version of the Extreme Pro Portable SSD is rated for sequential reads of 1,050MBps, and in our own performance tests, it routinely came out at or near the top of the rankings. But theres no better choice if you want the bleeding edge and are willing to pay for it. Sure, its on the bulky side, and it has to be plugged into a power outlet. The catches? Its small (3.9x 2.2x 0.4 inches) and attractive, with its shiny ridged surface and choice of five snazzy colors (blue, gold, gray, red, and silver). It completed our file copy test 20 seconds faster, for example. It looks cool, too: a svelte, rectangular slab of black metal with a raised square in the center, beneath which a flash of green may be glimpsed. An external hard drive makes it easy to quickly and seamlessly transfer large files between your machines.

The newer version costs twice as much, but if super-fast reads are your game, then go for it.