The 7 Best Portable Hard Drives

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Whether your laptop storage is almost at its limit or you need to backup essential photos and videos, portable hard drives have never been more affordable.

External SSDs are consistently getting cheaper, slimmer, and offer more storage. They are fast, durable, and reliable, so they’re worth considering if you require some extra portable storage.

Here are the seven best portable hard drives.

1.        Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro

Image result for Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro

The Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro is an excellent portable drive option thanks to its high capacity, decent performance, and wireless capabilities.

You can use it in both wired and wireless modes. As a result, it is a versatile and easy-to-use option for a range of situations. It also means multiple devices can connect to the drive without being physically near it.

The wireless transfer speeds on the Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro are not ideal, taking over five minutes to transfer less than 700MB. There’s also no way to pause or cancel the file transfer. However, if speed isn’t a priority, the drive is incredibly convenient.

KEY FEATURES

  • Wireless 802.11ac
  • Up to 10 hours battery life
  • USB power bank to charge mobile devices

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Brand: Western Digital
  • Capacity: 2TB
  • Power: N/A
  • Speed: 130 MB/s
  • Connection: USB 3.0, Wi-Fi
  • Portable: Yes

PROS

  • Integrated SD 3.0 slot
  • Variety of storage capacities
  • Wireless portable hard drive

CONS

  • Wireless transfer speeds are poor

2. LaCie Mobile Drive 2TB

Image result for LaCie Mobile Drive 2TB

The LaCie Mobile Drive 2TB offers solid value for money and performs well. Not only that, it looks great and makes it a good contender for the best portable hard drive.

This drive is compatible with Windows and Mac and has a USB-C and USB 3.0 connection making it extremely versatile. On Windows, the LaCie Mobile Drive 2TB performs well. However, it overtakes nearly all other contenders on a Mac with its fast read and write speeds for data transfer.

The only minor irritation with the LaCie Mobile Drive 2TB is that the LaCie Toolkit software isn’t included on the drive. You’ll need to download it, but in reality, that doesn’t take too long.

KEY FEATURES

  • LaCie Toolkit software
  • Compatible with Windows and Mac
  • One month free of Adobe Creative Cloud

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Brand:LaCie
  • Capacity:2TB
  • Power:N/A
  • Speed:140 MB/s
  • Connection:USB 3.0
  • Portable:Yes

PROS

  • Stylish design
  • Feels solid
  • Performs well

CONS

  • Toolkit requires download

 

3. Western Digital My Passport 5TB

 

Image result for Western Digital My Passport 5TB

The Western Digital My Passport 5TB is a great looking portable hard drive that performs well in read/write speed tests against other hard drives. The large 5TB storage capacity is ideal for backing up data and storing large amounts of photos and videos.

With built-in tools for automatic backups and encryption, it ticks all the right boxes. If you’re looking for a portable hard drive that will withstand a beating, this may not be the best option. But it is excellent as a high-capacity storage drive.

KEY FEATURES

  • 256-bit AES encryption and password protection
  • Automatic backups
  • Three-year warranty

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Brand: Western Digital
  • Capacity: 5TB
  • Power: N/A
  • Speed: 105 MB/s
  • Connection: USB 3.0, USB 2.0
  • Portable: Yes

PROS

  • Small and light
  • Large capacity
  • Includes apps for backup/restore

CONS

  • 5TB version has a higher cost per gigabyte than 4TB version

4. ADATA HD830 2TB

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The ADATA HD830 2TB is one of the toughest portable hard drives around. Although it doesn’t boast a sleek and slim build, it makes up for it in durability and great value for money. There’s a choice of two colors and a range of storage capacities.

However, the 2TB version is by far the cheapest way to host a lot of files. This portable hard drive is ideal for users on the move, at a worksite, or around kids. It can take a severe beating and has read/write speeds competitive with other drives on the market.

KEY FEATURES

  • Withstands 3,000KG of downward pressure
  • IP68 waterproof and dustproof
  • Durable

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Brand: ADATA
  • Capacity: 2TB
  • Power: N/A
  • Speed: 150 MB/s
  • Connection: USB 3.1
  • Portable: Yes

PROS

  • Chassis can withstand a lot
  • Choice of colors
  • Competitive price

CONS

  • Heavy and bulky

5. Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch

Image result for Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch

The Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch is an excellent portable hard drive with a stylish woven fabric cover, taking it to the next classiness level. The built-in security and password protection is a considerable benefit of this affordable storage solution.

The Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch performs similarly to other portable hard drives, so it is fast and easy to copy files across. The company’s portable hard drives are generously bundled with Mylio Create, free for one year and four months free access to Adobe Creative Cloud Photography.

The only downside of this portable drive is the fabric cover. As attractive as it is, it can slip from your hands if you’re not careful.

KEY FEATURES

  • Includes a four-month free Adobe Creative Cloud Photography subscription
  • Password protection with AES-256 hardware encryption
  • Works with Windows and Mac

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Brand: Seagate
  • Capacity: 1TB
  • Power: N/A
  • Speed: 140 MB/s
  • Connection: USB 3.0, USB-C
  • Portable: Yes

PROS

  • Small and lightweight
  • Seagate Toolkit
  • Data protected by password and AES-256 encryption

CONS

  • Fabric cover can be hard to grip

6. Western Digital My Book 3TB

Image result for Western Digital My Book 3TB

The Western Digital My Book 3TB is a great portable hard drive for backing up files and storing data like photos, videos, and more. This portable hard drive has a large base capacity of 3TB but can go up to 28TB in the model’s range.

It’s a versatile alternative to other storage devices weighing just 2.12lbs. It isn’t the most stylish portable hard drive on the market, but it does the job, and it does it well.

Performance-wise, the Western Digital My Book 3TB sits around the middle mark. It isn’t the fastest portable hard drive, nor is it the slowest. For backups, it produces good speeds that won’t drive you mad waiting, but there are better alternatives for more specialized purposes.

KEY FEATURES

  • Includes WD Backup software and Time Machine
  • USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 compatible
  • Range of storage options

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Brand: Western Digital
  • Capacity: 3TB
  • Power: Mains power required
  • Speed: 145 MB/s
  • Connection: USB 3.0
  • Portable: Yes

PROS

  • Three-year warranty
  • Affordable
  • Decent backup speeds

CONS

  • External power adapter required

7. G-Technology ArmorATD

Image result for G-Technology ArmorATD

The G-Technology ArmorATD not only comes with a protective bumper around the hard drive, but it’s also reasonably stylish given its rugged nature. The portable hard drive performs well in speed tests with high read and write speeds.

It’s an excellent option for taking on adventures; whether you’re facing a sandstorm or going SCUBA diving, the G-Technology ArmorATD can withstand a lot.

Unfortunately, this portable hard drive doesn’t come with any backup utilities or software. There are also equally well-performing rugged drives out there that are more affordable. However, the G-Technology ArmorATD still offers great quality and won’t disappoint.

KEY FEATURES

  • 1,000lbs crush rating
  • Triple layer shock resistance
  • Compatible with Windows and Mac

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Brand: G-Technology
  • Capacity: 1TB
  • Power: N/A
  • Speed: 140 MB/s
  • Connection: USB 3.0, USB-C
  • Portable: Yes

PROS

  • Good looking despite being a rugged drive
  • Protective bumper
  • USB Type-A and Type-C

CONS

  • No backup utilities or other tools