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The 5 Best External Hard Drives

We tested external hard drives from Samsung, Toshiba, LaCie, and more to find the best storage for your files
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Best External Hard Drive Review
Credit: Laura Casner

The Best External Hard Drives


Our team of tech experts researched over 40 of the best external hard drives available today before purchasing 13 of the best. During our comparative tests, we tested speeds across a Mac and Windows system with different USB outlets and a host of pressure settings. We manually dragged and dropped files of differing sizes to see which moved quickly and extensively tested durability. The result is a well-researched and tested review with an array of recommendations designed to help you find exactly what you need.

If you're seeking an even more portable digital storage solution, you might be looking for an excellent microSD card or the best USB flash drive.

Editor's Note: Our external hard drive review was revised on September 1st, 2023, adding the Samsung T7 Shield.

Top 13 External Hard Drives - Test Results

Displaying 1 - 5 of 13
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Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award   Top Pick Award 
Price Check Price at Amazon$140 List
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Pros Phenomenal transfer rates, very portable, convenient hoop, rubber coatedIncredibly durable, fast transfer rates, travel friendly sizeExtremely fast, very portable, compact, super compatibleMilitary MIL-STD-810G impact resistance, fantastic performance, very portable and compact, IP68 waterproof ratingFast read and write speed for its type, massive storage capacity options, good gig to dollar ratio
Cons Expensive, limited capacityExpensive, heavier than other travel-focused optionsPricey, no waterproof or shockproof certificationsPricey, limited memory capacity optionsRequires an AC wall outlet, not meant to be portable
Bottom Line A high-performance SSD that's durable, boasts exceptional transfer rates, looks good, and travels wellA durable, travel-sized SSD that doesn't compromise on performance in the name of portabilityA high-performance external SDD that's widely compatible and fits in the palm of your handThe ultimate external hard drive when it comes to durability, as it's waterproof and shockproofA great hard drive for space and speed, but at the sacrifice of portability
Rating Categories SanDisk Extreme Por... Samsung T7 Shield Samsung T7 Portable Adata SE800 Western Digital My...
Read/Write Performance (60%)
9.9
9.0
9.0
8.7
4.2
Convenience (30%)
8.8
9.3
9.3
8.6
7.9
Portability (10%)
9.0
9.7
9.0
9.7
2.3
Specs SanDisk Extreme Por... Samsung T7 Shield Samsung T7 Portable Adata SE800 Western Digital My...
Measured Max Speed in MB/sec 1066.51 MB/s 1063.64 MB/s 1063.64 MB/s 1009.29 MB/s 193.28 MB/s
Measured Max Drag and Drop 1000.00 MB/s 625.00 MB/s 625.00 MB/s 714.30 MB/s 166.67 MB/s
Drive Type SSD SSD SSD SSD HDD
Compatibility Windows and MacOS. Bonus: Works with Android (tested on Note 10+) Windows and MacOS. Bonus: Playstation 4/4Pro & 5. Xbox One & Series X|S. Works with Android (tested on Note 10+) Windows and MacOS. Bonus: Playstation 4/4Pro & 5. Xbox One & Series X|S. Works with Android (tested on Note 10+) Windows and MacOS. Bonus: Playstation 4/4Pro & 5. Xbox One & Series X|S. Works with Android (tested on Note 10+) Windows and MacOS. Bonus: Works with Android (tested on Note 10+)
Size 3.96" x 2.06" x 0.36" 2.3" x 3.5" x .5" 3.34" x 2.24" x 0.32" 2.86" x 1.73" x 0.48" 6.70" x 5.47" x 1.93"
Volume 2.94 cu.in. 4.02 cu. in. 2.39 cu.in. 2.37 cu.in. 70.73 cu.in.
Weight 2.02 oz 3.49 oz 2.19 oz 1.38 oz 29.94 oz
Storage Size Tested 2 TB 1 TB 2 TB 1 TB 4 TB
Storage Options 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB 1TB, 2TB, 4TB 500GB, 1TB, 2TB 512GB, 1TB 4TB, 6TB, 8TB, 12TB, 14TB, 16TB, 18TB


Best Overall External SSD


SanDisk Extreme Portable V2


95
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Read/Write Performance 9.9
  • Convenience 8.8
  • Portability 9.0
Drive Type: SSD | Weight: 2.02 ounces
REASONS TO BUY
Blazing speeds
Pocket-sized
Travel hoop
Rubberized
REASONS TO AVOID
Expensive

The SanDisk Extreme Portable V2 stands on top of the podium in the realm of external SSDs. During our speed assessment, this device showed superior results to any other model in our review. If you're looking for a hard drive that you can travel with or throw in a laptop bag, the V2 is a solid option — it's one of the most compact and lightest versions we've seen. This model even has an integrated hoop on the device's body to attach a carabiner or clip. The rubber coating on the device's casing adds a degree of shock protection while helping to keep the drive from slipping around during use.

Although we didn't find many flaws while testing the SanDisk Extreme Portable V2, we must mention that it's very pricey. A one-terabyte model will already dent your bank account, but if you're looking at a two or four-terabyte version, be prepared to drop extra funds for the added memory capacity. That said, we often find that in the tech world, if you want the best, it will cost you. This is the best external SSD that we've seen to date.

Read more: SanDisk Extreme Portable review

external hard drive - if you&#039;re looking for an external solid-state drive, it&#039;s hard to...
If you're looking for an external solid-state drive, it's hard to beat the SanDisk Extreme.
Credit: Laura Casner

Best Overall External HDD


Western Digital P10


50
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Read/Write Performance 3.2
  • Convenience 8.1
  • Portability 6.0
Drive Type: HDD | Weight: 4.97 ounces
REASONS TO BUY
Compatible with Windows, Mac, PS4, and Xbox with no formatting
Aesthetic look
USB powered
Highly compatible
REASONS TO AVOID
No impact protection certification
Faster drives available

If you're looking for an external HDD, we can't say enough good things about the Western Digital P10. Wrapped up in a sleek metal-plated body, this model was about as fast as the other models of comparable physical size during our read-and-write performance assessment. We love that it's ready to go right out of the box whether you're planning to use it for Mac, Windows, or gaming. Unlike many HDDs that offer this much storage, the P10 is entirely powered by USB, freeing you from an AC adapter.

If you need the storage capacity of an HDD but want something that's also lightning-fast, there are more extensive AC-powered options that are faster than the Western Digital P10. We like the size and portability attributes of this device, but be careful with it. Although Western Digital claims that the P10 is “durable,” it lacks genuine certifications, while some models offer military-grade shock protection. A burlier model is recommended if you are prone to damaging gear or often travel with your drive. Shortcomings aside, we highly recommend the P10 for anyone seeking a high-performance and user-friendly HDD that looks great.

Read more: Western Digital P10 review

external hard drive - the wd p10 offers superior performance in the realm of external hdds.
The WD P10 offers superior performance in the realm of external HDDs.
Credit: Laura Casner

Best Bang for the Buck


Western Digital Elements


42
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Read/Write Performance 3.3
  • Convenience 5.3
  • Portability 6.0
Drive Type: HDD | Weight: 4.71 ounces
REASONS TO BUY
Decent overall performance
Affordable
No AC cord
REASONS TO AVOID
Unimpressive speed
Does not offer high-capacity options
No shock protection

Not everyone needs a top-of-the-line, high-performance external hard drive. If you're looking for a simple, easy-to-use model with many storage capacity options, look no further than the Western Digital Elements. The Elements does not use AC power as it is entirely powered by USB. Although this model is far from the fastest, it shows comparable results to most HDD models during our write and read speed assessment. Best of all, it's affordable. While some external hard drives can cost several hundred dollars, the lower memory capacity versions of the WD Elements will hardly hit your pocketbook.

Although the Western Digital Elements shows similar speeds to most of the other HDD models, it was substantially slower than the best. It's also only offered in one to five-terabyte versions. If you need a lot of memory and want to write and read your data quickly, you will need to invest in a higher-performing drive. We are slightly wary of the construction of the Elements. While several other models boast rubber coating, metal plating, or actual shockproof certifications, this device seems to be a bit susceptible to damage if dropped on a hard surface. Despite our small list of flaws, we think the Western Digital Elements is a fantastic option for those shopping for a quality external HDD on a tighter budget.

Read more: Western Digital Elements review

external hard drive - the wd elements offers many of our favorite features but at a...
The WD Elements offers many of our favorite features but at a fraction of the price of the elite models.
Credit: Laura Casner

Rugged Design at Lightning Speed


Samsung T7 Shield


92
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Read/Write Performance 9.0
  • Convenience 9.3
  • Portability 9.7
Drive Type: SSD | Weight: 3.47 ounces
REASONS TO BUY
Waterproof
High Drop-test Rating
Slim Profile
Impressive performance
REASONS TO AVOID
Expensive
Heavy compared to other travel-sized models

If you're searching for the best travel companion you can find in an external hard drive, look no further than the Samsung T7 Shield. With an impressive drop test rating of 9.8 feet and an IEC IP65 rating, the rubber-coated T7 Shield can handle the rigors of travel- whether that travel includes a coffee spill, some light rain, or a windy day at the beach. Where other hard drives compromise durability for performance and size, the Samsung T7 Shield has some of the faster read/write speeds in our review while still offering one of the smallest profiles of an SSD. This hard drive offers the full package with one, two, or four terabyte options and is compatible with Mac, PC, and gaming consoles.

While we were impressed with the Samsung T7 Shield's durability, there are other models that offer waterproof construction, and some can even be fully submerged for up to 30 minutes. If you know you're likely to take a dunk with your hard drive, we recommend getting a drive that is not just water-resistant but waterproof. The T7Shield does have an IP65 rating, which means it's fully dust-proof and can handle three minutes of light water spray, but if you need the toughest SSD, we'd look elsewhere. There are also options for SSDs that have slightly faster read/write speeds, though the Shield was still near the top of the pack. The Samsung T7 Shield is a true all-around champion, blending performance, convenience, and portability.

Read more: Samsung T7 Shield review

We confirmed the IP65 rating by spraying the T7 Shield with water for three minutes and retesting read/write speeds.
Credit: Zach Joseph Lovell

Best for Storage Capacity


Western Digital My Book Desktop


51
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Read/Write Performance 4.2
  • Convenience 7.9
  • Portability 2.3
Drive Type: HDD | Weight: 29.94 oz
REASONS TO BUY
Excellent optimal read
Impressive actual speeds
Simple to use once set up
Auto backup and software goodies included
Surprisingly durable
Compatible with Mac, PC, Xbox, PS4
REASONS TO AVOID
Very bulky, not meant to travel
Not water-resistant and scratches easily

If you're seeking a backup for your desktop with automatic updates, the Western Digital My Book should be on your radar. It features consistent read and write speeds, a performance feature you'll be hard-pressed to find in the external hard drive world. Optimal rates were measured at 192 MB per second on Windows. Actual speed tests averaged 150 MB second, the fastest HDD speeds in this review. Moreover, these speeds stayed fairly consistent across all file sizes and didn't slow down with larger files. Another remarkable finding is that it has some drop resistance despite its large and seemingly fragile design. It surprisingly survived a waist height drop test onto carpeted and hard surfaces. We were impressed because it's not rated to withstand these tests.

This drive is not meant for travel. It's heavy, scratches easily, and requires an additional power source to use, so it's best when it lives attached to a desktop or stationary in your home office. Although we didn't test water resistance (it is not rated to deal with water), we suspect it wouldn't survive because the case has many ventilation holes that lead directly to the hard drive inside. However, if you want automatic backups, we recommend this one.

Read more: Western Digital My Book review

external hard drive - if you&#039;re looking for a model with tons of storage that won&#039;t be...
If you're looking for a model with tons of storage that won't be transported often, the WD My Book is the way to go.
Credit: Laura Casner

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price
95
SanDisk Extreme Portable V2
Best Overall External SSD
$125
Editors' Choice Award
92
Samsung T7 Shield
Rugged Design at Lightning Speed
$140
Top Pick Award
91
Samsung T7 Portable
$160
88
Adata SE800
$110
51
Western Digital My Book Desktop
Best for Storage Capacity
$135
Top Pick Award
50
Western Digital P10
Best Overall External HDD
$85
Editors' Choice Award
42
Western Digital Elements
Best Bang for the Buck
$70
Best Buy Award
42
Toshiba Canvio Basics
$70
42
Seagate Portable
$71
42
WD My Passport Portable
$80
42
Seagate Ultra Touch HDD
$110
41
Seagate Expansion Portable
$90
41
LaCie Rugged Mini
$110

external hard drive - the toshiba canvio basics is the right size for those in the market...
The Toshiba Canvio Basics is the right size for those in the market for a portable HDD.
Credit: Laura Casner

Why Trust GearLab


To start our review process, we researched more than 40 different drives. We chose twelve highly rated hard disk drives (HDD) and solid-state drives (SSD) that offer outstanding performance. We then purchased each one and began our comprehensive testing regiment. We tested read and write speeds using both sequential and random tests. We did this on PC and Mac computers, using all USB ports. Reported optimal rates are averaged using three different GB loads. We also performed “actual” speed tests where we dropped files of three different sizes: 1 GB, 5 GB, and 10 GB. Averaging these results, we learn how different “optimal” speeds can be from “actual” speeds. This defines performance differences. For any 'rugged' drive that claimed water, dust, pressure, or drop ratings, we actually tested it to see if they'd hold up. Yes, we even drove over two of them with a car! Finally, we weighed and measured each, so you have the info you need if you're shopping for a travel drive.

Our external hard drive testing is divided into three rating metrics:
  • Read/Write Performance (60% of overall score weighting)
  • Convenience (30% weighting)
  • Portability (10% weighting)

This review is brought to you by experienced gear testers Matt Spencer, Zach Lovell, and Ross Patton. Matt has built his own computers and has been managing hard drive storage for video game play since age nine. His passion for architecture and C.A.D. (computer-aided design) has kept him juggling storage needs, and he has tested over 100 tech products in the last few years. Zach has spent all of his adult life working intensively with hard drives for storage-conscious projects from photography to web design to audio engineering. He's a true gear junkie in many realms and started working with GearLab four years ago. Ross has spearheaded many categories for GearLab, including WiFi extenders, iPhone gimbals, and jump starters. His background is in Environmental Science, so he is no stranger to the lab or the field.

The Samsung T7 connects directly to USB C ports without any special...
The Samsung T7 connects directly to USB C ports without any special hubs or adapters.

Analysis and Test Results


This review features a group of Solid State Drives (SSD) and Hard Disk Drives (HDD). We chose this selection to reflect the best options on the market. After all the hands-on testing, we rated each based on three critical metrics: drive speed (including optimal and actual read and write speeds), convenience, and portability. Using these metrics, we provide recommendations to help you find the best option for your needs.

SSD vs. HDD
HDDs (hard disk drives) are mechanical devices with a motor and a spinning disk inside. SSDs (solid-state drives) use non-mechanical flash memory; thus, no moving parts. HDDs are generally slower, more affordable, and offer a larger memory capacity than SSDs, while the latter are pricier and substantially faster but have limited storage capacities. The mechanical parts make HDDs more fragile, while SSDs are more shock-resistant. Most tech nerds will tell you that HDDs are best for backing up large files, movies, games, and photos, while SSDs are superior when it comes to frequently used files and operating systems.


Value


The value of an external hard drive will significantly depend on the purpose for which you intend to use the device. If you don't have a ton of files to store, you don't plan on using the device all of the time, and you aren't planning to travel with your drive, then there is no reason to spend more than the cost of the WD Elements. If you're looking for a high-performance USB-powered HDD that looks great sitting next to your console, the WD Black P10 is worth every penny. For those in the market for a large-capacity AC-powered desktop version, it's hard to beat the byte-to-dollar ratio of the WD My Book. If you're going to be using your external hard drive in the field or want the absolute ultimate in data protection, it will cost you a few extra dollars to protect your files, but the Samsung T7 Shield has you covered. Finally, our top-scoring SSD model, the Sandisk Extreme Portable V2, is undoubtedly pricey, but given the incredible performance, this is no surprise.

external hard drive - external hard drives come in an array of shapes and sizes.
External hard drives come in an array of shapes and sizes.
Credit: Laura Casner

Read/Write Performance


Backing up data or playing files right from your external drive should be fast and efficient. To test this, we measured two different things: optimal speed and actual speed. The optimal speeds were measured using AmorphousDiskMark and CrystalDiskMark speed tests for macOS and Windows systems, respectively. The actual speeds are based on manually timed drag-and-drop tests with five different file sizes. This gave us pertinent information to help us understand the real-world performance of each drive. Overall, the fastest SSDs were the SanDisk Extreme Portable V2, Samsung T7 Shield, and Samsung T7 Portable, with the Adata SE800 very close behind. The WD My Book Desktop 3.0 is the fastest and most consistent HDD.


Our tests show that all manufacturers exaggerate read and write speeds. No product achieved actual speeds that were as high as the manufacturer claimed. It's also important to note that read and write speeds are affected by several variables, such as the type of USB port, cord, platform function, computer type, background programs running, and more. For that reason, only use the speeds of these drives as a comparative reference. It's likely that if you test these speeds at home, they will be different, but the same comparative relationships should hold.

external hard drive - the measured read and write speeds of the extreme portable v2 while...
The measured read and write speeds of the Extreme Portable V2 while using Mac OS were simply unmatched during our assessment.
Credit: Matt Spencer

Optimal Speeds


This test shows us how fast a drive can perform when only drive performance is isolated and system functionality is limited. To test Mac systems, we used the AmorphousDiskMark. For Windows PCs, we used the CrystalDiskMark. With this CrystalDiskMark test, we gathered data from both sequential and random tests, as well as speed information on USB-C and USB-A ports. Sequential tests show how well a drive reads a file from point A to point B, while random tests show how well it can access random data points in a large database.

external hard drive - while testing read &amp;amp; write sounds on windows os we found that...
While testing read & write sounds on Windows OS we found that the Western Digital My Book was the fastest HDD.
Credit: Matt Spencer

Unless you work off your hard drive directly, the sequential test should be more important than the random one. This tells us how fast the drive can read and write a large chunk of data and how quickly it might transfer from one place to another. The speeds are also much faster than random tests. For SSD versions, the SanDisk Extreme Portable V2 is the best model for this assessment portion, showing a phenomenal high read speed of 1066 MB per second using Windows and 774 MB per second running Mac OS. Showing a commendable 192 MB per second for Windows OS and 191 MB per second for Mac OS, the Western Digital My Book was the fastest HDD.

external hard drive - our team crunched a whole lot of data to ensure our readers are...
Our team crunched a whole lot of data to ensure our readers are getting the best advice possible.
Credit: Ross Patton

The random tests tell us how fast it can access random data without a sequential pattern. It dives into a database of information to find a file, read, and write it. Once again, the SanDisk Extreme Portable V2 drive achieved the best random speed results with a rate of 271 MB per second with Windows and 30 MB per second using Mac OS, making it an incredible external drive to work from directly. The Samsung T7 Shield and T7 Portable were slightly slower than the V2, with recorded rates of 20 MB per second with Mac OS and 222 MB per second with Windows.

external hard drive - the samsung t7 portable is one of the fastest ssds that we&#039;ve tested.
The Samsung T7 Portable is one of the fastest SSDs that we've tested.
Credit: Laura Casner

Actual Speed Tests


While the AmorphousDiskMark and CrystalMark tests gave us significant data to see how these drives would perform in optimal conditions, the more critical test was the 'actual speed test.' For this test, we built three different file sizes of 1 GB, 5 GB, and 10 GB. We then manually timed each drive to see how long it took to drag and transfer the file from our Mac desktop to the external hard drive. Afterward, we calculated the MB per second and averaged all the different file sizes. Most external drives showed a significant decrease in speed as file size increased. The only drives that stayed relatively consistent across file sizes were the LaCie Rugged Mini and the Western Digital Elements.

external hard drive - here we time how long it takes to transfer files of three different...
Here we time how long it takes to transfer files of three different sizes.

For SSDs, the SanDisk Extreme Portable V2 offers the fastest actual speed while using Windows OS at 422 MB per second. While testing Mac OC, we recorded an astonishing rate of 714 MB per second for the Adata SE800. For HDDs, the fastest is, again, the Western Digital My Book with a top speed of 152 MB per second for both Windows and Mac OS. When you buy a drive, you can generally expect the actual speed to be around half the claimed speed.

external hard drive - by using amorphousdiskmark and crystalmark testing software, our...
By using AmorphousDiskMark and CrystalMark testing software, our team was able to compare how each hard drive performs on either Windows or Mac OS.
Credit: Ross Patton

Since most of these external drives are built around platforms supported by different PCs, you'll likely have faster actual times on a Windows platform than a Mac.

Convenience


With the current state of technology, we like to deal with the least amount of setup, formatting, driver installation, and overall headache possible regarding our devices. For this section of our review, we looked at the out-of-the-box state of each drive, its compatibility capabilities, storage options, and connections.


The highest scoring models for this metric are the Samsung T7 Portable and the Samsung T7 Shield. These drives work seamlessly and interchangeably with Mac OS, Windows, Android, Playstation, and Xbox consoles without any formatting.

external hard drive - simply take this ssd out of the box and plug it in!
Simply take this SSD out of the box and plug it in!
Credit: Zach Joseph Lovell

For HDDs, the champion of this metric is the Western Digital My Book. This model is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, Android, and gaming consoles right out of the box. It offers a three-year warranty and comes with multiple USB cords. Because it is designed to be a desktop device, the lowest memory option provided by the My Book is 4 TB — the highest is a baffling 18 TB. Included with the purchase of this model is a version of Western Digital's WD Backup software, which can program your drive to automatically back up your data. It can also perform auto backups using Apple Time Machine if running a Mac.

external hard drive - the wd my book has a usb port along with an ac plug on the back of...
The WD My Book has a USB port along with an AC plug on the back of the drive body.
Credit: Laura Casner

We found the other Western Digital models, the Elements and the P10, incredibly convenient. Like their larger cousin My Book, these devices can be used with Mac OS, Windows, and phones. The P10 is also specifically compatible with game consoles. It should be noted that the Elements need to be formatted when switching between the various operating systems. Each of these models is available in up to 5 TB models and includes a three-year warranty.

external hard drive - the p10 is ready to plug into just about any modern computer or...
The P10 is ready to plug into just about any modern computer or gaming console directly out of the package with no formatting necessary, but you may need a cable adapter.
Credit: Laura Casner

The Adata SE800 is ready to work with Mac OS, Windows, and most gaming consoles out of the box but needs to be formatted to work with Android. This model only offers a maximum of 1 TB for storage space. This model includes two cords — USB C to USB C and USB C to USB A.

external hard drive - the adata se800 works with mac os, windows, and most gaming consoles...
The Adata SE800 works with Mac OS, Windows, and most gaming consoles without messing with formatting.
Credit: Laura Casner

Finally, the LaCie Rugged Mini does not require formatting but only works with Mac OS or PC. If you're looking for a gaming or Android backup storage drive, you'll need a different model. The LaCie uses the less common Micro-B port on the drive, including a cord for USB A and a cord for USB C.

external hard drive - the lacie rugged mini works with mac or pc and includes cables for...
The LaCie Rugged Mini works with Mac or PC and includes cables for USB A and USB C.
Credit: Laura Casner

Portability


In a fast-moving world of constant traveling, remote work, and the endless quest for adventure, device portability can be critical when shopping for an external hard drive. If you aren't planning on moving your drive, there's no reason to drop extra money on a shockproof device. Conversely, if you're always on the go, you need a drive that transports easily and has added durability. For this metric, we look at the physical attributes of each model in our review.


For those taking their drive on a real-deal expedition, there is no other choice than the Adata SE800. This model is certified waterproof, military-grade shockproof, and is the size of an old-school iPod. The notion that you could accidentally go swimming with all your most precious data in your pocket and it would do no harm sounds ridiculous, but that's a reality with the SE800. The SE800 is only 2.9" x 1.7" x .5", and it weighs a mere 1.38 ounces.

external hard drive - weighing a mere 39 grams, not only is the se800 incredibly small...
Weighing a mere 39 grams, not only is the SE800 incredibly small, but it is also incredibly light.
Credit: Laura Casner

If you need portability with higher performance than the SE800, look no further than the Samsung T7 Shield. This model is water-resistant, has a drop-test rating of 9.8 feet, and easily fits in a pants pocket. You could accidentally drop your hard drive down the stairs or spill coffee on it, and it would still offer some of the highest transfer speeds we've found in testing. At 2.3" x 3.5" x .5", this model is about half the size of the average modern smartphone.

We tested Samsung's claims of a 9.8 drop rating, it passed!
Credit: Zach Joseph Lovell

The Samsung T7 Portable and SanDisk Extreme Portable V2 are incredibly compact. The V2 weighs 2.02 ounces and is 4" x 2" x 0.4". The T7 Portable is a bit smaller than the V2, but the latter has a hoop for attaching to whatever you please with a carabiner or clip. These models are SSDs, so they have an added degree of durability compared to the HDD models.

external hard drive - for many people, portability is key.
For many people, portability is key.
Credit: Laura Casner

If you're looking for a portable HDD, the Seagate Ultra Touch HDD, Toshiba Canvio Basics, and Western Digital My Passport are all in the ballpark of 4.5" x 3" x 0.5" and around five ounces. To put things in perspective, we'd say these three models are about the size of a large wallet.

external hard drive - with a rubberized coat and a hoop for attaching to a carabiner, the...
With a rubberized coat and a hoop for attaching to a carabiner, the SanDisk Extreme Portable V2 can go just about anywhere.
Credit: Laura Casner

Conclusion


The market is saturated with different types of external hard drives. To help, we conducted countless objective and unbiased tests, which allowed us to determine which models outperformed the others. We recommend putting your money into a high-quality product; as such, we've noted which are the highest performing, which offer the best value for your dollar, and which fall in the niche category. We hope this review has been helpful so that you can find the perfect product for your budget and needs.

We've also employed our head-to-head testing on a wide variety of other electronics — everything from the best WiFi routers and our review of photo printers to the top-rated charging stations.

external hard drive - hdds don&#039;t get much smaller than the seagate ultra touch.
HDDs don't get much smaller than the Seagate Ultra Touch.
Credit: Laura Casner

Ross Patton, Zach Lovell, Matt Spencer, & Austin Palmer