How to choose best external hard drives

Even with the advent of many innovative technological advancements like cloud storage, hard disk drives have held their ground fine.

Above all storage options available hard drives prove to be more affordable, more capacious and easier to maintain.

Most importantly, you do not have to pay a monthly subscription fee for storage like iCloud or OneDrive; rather you get your hands on a more affordable option that is an external hard drive disk.

Best External Hard Drives 2017

In this review, we are going to have a good look at some of the best external hard drives that you can buy to expand the storage of your personal computer.

With the evolving technological solutions, hard drives are made more capacious, powerful, premium yet affordable.

Perhaps the first thing you need to be sure of before procuring a hard disk drive is how much storage capacity you really need.

If you’re looking for an external hard disk to cater to your professional needs such as accounting, management, photography, and videography, you will need larger storage capacity.

If you are a student, you might be on the hunt to get a hard drive that is portable. Small business owners or proprietors would require a durable, robust, larger storage capacity hard disk with speedy transfer time.

Let’s have a look at the nine best external hard drives you can boost your storage with in the year 2017.

1) Editor’s Choice: Seagate Backup Plus Drive

Offering variable storage capacities up to 2 TB, 3 TB, 4 TB, 5 TB, 6 TB and 8 TB drive for different user needs, Seagate is the most popular and extensively used external hard drive of 2017. It allows powerful, speedy and flexible execution that comes with an affordable price tag.

The external hard drive comes with a Seagate Dashboard backup utility, which is the best pro of buying this. With the software, users can upload photos and videos to social media platforms like Facebook, Flickr, Pinterest and YouTube channels. Downloading of photos and videos from the various sites can be done too. With the drive connected, users can easily set up automatic backups.

The design of Seagate Backup Plus Desktop Drive has the standard, conventional look of single external drive storage with a solid plastic cover. The ventilation holes on the outer sides of the hard drive facilitate unrestrained and better air flow. With a spindle speed of 7,200 RPM, the hard drive boasts higher functionality and speedy transfers. It features write speeds of 95.5 MBps, and 127.0 MBps read speeds. The best part? It is highly affordable for all types of users.

2) Best Portability and Transfer Speed: Western Digital My Passport

WD external hard disk

If you are on the hunt for an external hard drive that does not cost you a lot yet offers fast transfers and promising portability that matches high-end competitors, Western Digital My Passport is a catch. The 3.0 USB port paired with a power-packed disk controller allows the speedy execution and transfer speed that raises this hard drive over its competitors.

With a transfer speed of 174 MBps read, 168 MBps write, My Passport is available in sizes 1 TB to 4 TB. With a simple design, My Passport packs a WD’s SmartWare software. It features an external storage space drive and a factory-loaded software drive. The device has a very intuitive and innovative visual interface, with easy management setting and quick installation. It features very keenly and easy to use backup and retrieval settings that allow you to recover lost or deleted files, or older versions of files. It also features a very reliable password protection, cloud storage, and 256-AES encryption.

My Passport is not only tech-savvy but environment-friendly too. The manufacturers of the hard drive have aimed to reduce the carbon footprint by utilizing recycled material yet does not compromise on the quality or durability of the product. It is a very savvy option for those who are looking for portability and rapid transfer speed.

3) Best Portability and Travel-Friendly: Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB

If you are someone who is always traveling or on the go and portability is a deal breaker for you, Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB’s design and performance will enthrall you. It can store large digital files with its spacious storage. The storage capacity ranges from 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and 3TB.

The device is plug-n-play; just connect it to your PC or laptop via the USB 3.0 port, and you’re good and running. Toshiba Canvio promises the smoothest transfer speeds than a USB 2.0 port. It features the rotational speeds of about 5400 RPM.

It has a built-in internal shock sensor and very responsive ramp loading technology that provides your important files added security. So next time doesn’t gasp in terror when you accidentally drop your device, as your files will not be damaged. Not only it is very durable, affordable and has a smudge friendly design. So anywhere you take the device with you, it will not be an unattractive companion. Another reason why it’s very travel-friendly is that of its plug and play operation that does not need any software to be installed in order to start functioning.

4) Best flexibility and Wireless Security: Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC

Not only is Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC a very affordable choice for users but a flexible one too. Featuring NFC ((Near Field Communication) security, this external hard drive is compatible with both Mac and Windows.

Packed in water and dust resistant, rugged case, it features an inbuilt USB 3.0 port for connection. The sturdy case ensures that any accidental knocks or drop doesn’t cost you your critical data.

Buffalo MiniStation packs 256-bit AES security features and NFC features for the users. The device was designed with the motive to increase user’s accessibility, allowing users to unlock the drive to access important files with ease and speed by just tapping the NFC card onto the device.

5) Best Durability: Silicon Power 1TB Rugged Armor A60 Military-Grade

If you are an accident prone individual or are someone who just wants to be extra cautious with their digital files, Silicon Power’s Armor A60 external hard drive is the best option for you.

The portable hard drive is close to impossible to dismantle particularly because of it’s the textured packing that has silicon embedded on the edges making it water resistant (IPX4), drop-proof up to 122 centimeters, scratch-proof, slip-proof and shock-proof! Now that is what you call durability in a device that is bound to stay with you in the long run.

Also, features the smoothest read/write speeds via its speedy transfer via USB 3.0 port. Silicon Power 1TB Rugged Armor has an SP Widget software that is great for data restoration and backup, AES 256-bit encryption and reliable cloud storage. The software proves to be a life saver when it comes to systematic and reliable data management. The storage capacity can be availed up to 5TB. Power 1TB Rugged Armor A60 Military-Grade comes with a 3-year warranty that covers technical assistance.

6) Good Performance and Durability: Adata SD700 External SSD

Compatible with,

  • Windows
  • Mac OS
  • Android

Adata SD700 is the hard drive that promises not just good performance but also a good storage capacity bundled with affordability. It is perhaps the only SSD of its range that is IP68 rated, dust and water resistant.

This rugged hard drive is speed personified, credit to its solid-state drive encased in the external hard drive. This means that along with excellent transfer speeds, users can also avail fool-proof rugged security.

The device has the storage space up to 1TB but making sure it does not disappoint any user with the capacity issues it uses an SSD. The read/write speed is up to awesome 440MB/s. It features military-grade shockproof technology and 3D NAND Ruggedized Portable SSD. Now that what we call a real deal.

7) Best All Rounder Performance: Toshiba Canvio Connect II 2TB Portable Hard Drive

Matching pace with the leading names like Seagate and Western Digital in the best external hard drive league, Toshiba has proved that it’s still the best all-rounder device out there.

Measuring about 4.3 x 3.1 x .08 inches, weighing only.5 pounds, with the storage capacity ranging from 500GB to 3TB, it is a reliable device for all users. Setting up the device with the PC is very simple and basic; users just have to connect the USB port to their PCs to get started.

The read speeds on the drive are up to 5400rpm, with 98MB for small files and 103 MB for bigger files, with the write speeds being 112 MB for small and medium files. Larger files are read and write at 109 MBs and 112.4 MB respectively.

Additionally, it features a very reliable password protection, cloud storage with 10 gigabytes of online storage available. Toshiba Canvio Connect II 2TB Portable Hard Drive comes with the promise of a two-year warranty. The best part? The device is pocket sized; now you just shove it in your pocket and get going anywhere.

8) Best for Commercial Use: Seagate Expansion 1TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0

Compatible with;

  • Windows
  • Mac (reformatting required)

If you are looking for an external hard drive to serve your commercial business needs, you need to consider a lot of factors that can be a deal breaker. For commercial business needs, you must need a hard drive that has a large storage capacity, good transfer speeds and is cost effective at the same time.

Seagate Expansion Portable Hard Drive is the ideal choice then, offering storage capacity in 1TB, 2TB, 3TB and 4TB models. This 4.8 x 3.2 x .6 inches portable device weighs just 6.4 ounces, making it super lightweight and travel-friendly. So next time you have an urgent meeting to attend, this small portable device can travel along without creating much hassle for you.

It is packed with a drive that has 5,400 rpm, which is conventionally less than some other faster models with 7,200 rotations per minute. Despite this, Seagate Expansion Portable Hard Drive promises great execution with 120MB/s and 130MB/s for writing and reading. Do not be bummed its slower speed; it just means that is consuming less of your power!

9) Best for MacBook users: Seagate Backup Plus 4TB

Many of the external hard drives available on the market despite being compatible with the MacBook, may require reformatting which can take up some precious time and often technical difficulties.

Seagate Backup Plus ‘s 4TB external hard drive has been designed being compatible with Apple Time Machine making it an ideal external storage option for the users. Users are supposed to download the Seagate Dashboard software on their PCs and can drop any media on it as well, for instance, favorite movies or songs.

Seagate Backup Plus packs good cloud connectivity, provides backup for the social media accounts, making it ideal for people who have YouTube channels, are photographers, etc. It also allows users to create easy customizable backup plans.

The device features a sleek silver design that compliments the look of MacBook. It provides high-quality connectivity with a USB 3.0 port which means that the device does not rely on external power. The lightweight and portable design of the device makes it extremely travel-friendly. With Seagate Backup Plus 4TB, you are always ready and on the go.

  • Updated August 19, 2017