The Best 10 External Hard Drives of 2020

The Best External Hard Drives

The external hard drive is a useful device that can help you store more games, documents, files, videos than your computer can.

If you decide to get an external hard drive, just connect it with your computer and you can access your files.

Nowadays, there are many external hard drives with different storage capacities and different compatibility.

Make sure to get the one that supports your computer operating system.

They can connect to your computer via USB, FireWire, eSata, or wirelessly.

To help you find the best storage device, check our list of top ten external hard drives.

Highest Rated External Hard Drives (by Customer Reviews)

WD 4TB Yellow My Passport Portable External Hard Drive
WD 4TB Yellow My Passport Portable External Hard Drive See prices on Amazon.com
Toshiba Canvio Advance 1TB Portable External Hard Drive
Toshiba Canvio Advance 1TB Portable External Hard Drive See prices on Amazon.com
Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB Portable External Hard Drive
Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB Portable External Hard Drive See prices on Amazon.com
Seagate Expansion 2TB Portable External Hard Drive
Seagate Expansion 2TB Portable External Hard Drive See prices on Amazon.com
Toshiba HDTB410XK3AA Canvio Basics 1TB Portable External Hard Drive
Toshiba HDTB410XK3AA Canvio Basics 1TB Portable External Hard Drive See prices on Amazon.com
Seagate Game Drive for Xbox 2TB Green
Seagate Game Drive for Xbox 2TB Green See prices on Amazon.com
WD 8TB My Book Desktop External Hard Drive
WD 8TB My Book Desktop External Hard Drive See prices on Amazon.com
Seagate Expansion 8TB Desktop External Hard Drive
Seagate Expansion 8TB Desktop External Hard Drive See prices on Amazon.com
WD 4TB Black My Passport Portable External Hard Drive
WD 4TB Black My Passport Portable External Hard Drive See prices on Amazon.com
WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive
WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive See prices on Amazon.com
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1

WD 4TB Yellow My Passport Portable External Hard Drive

WD 4TB Yellow My Passport Portable External Hard Drive
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The external hard drive from Western Digital has improved design and is available in six colors, including red, white, blue, etc.

The drive is compatible with  Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7.

If you wish to use it with MAC OS X, you will have to reformat it first.

The storage capacity is 4TB and it comes with a 3-year manufacturer warranty.

Check the current price on Amazon >>

Pros

  • Interesting design
  • Auto backup
  • Password protection

Cons

  • Not compatible with MAC OS X
Jake's TakeJake's Take

If you want something modern and reliable, make sure to check this Passport Portable drive from Western Digital.

The capacity is high and the auto backup software is useful.

>> Click here to see pricing, ratings, and reviews on Amazon.com <<

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2

Toshiba Canvio Advance 1TB Portable External Hard Drive

Toshiba Canvio Advance 1TB Portable External Hard Drive
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This hard drive from Toshiba is compact so it won’t take a lot of space, you can use when traveling or take it with you to work every day.

It supports the Toshiba Storage Backup Software, so you can download it and don’t worry about your content.

The hard drive is compatible with Microsoft Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, and needs reformating for MAC OS.

It comes in four colors and two styles – contemporary and aluminum and the capacity is 1 TB.

Check the current price on Amazon >>

Pros

  • Compact
  • Password protection

Cons

  • Optional backup software
Jake's TakeJake's Take

This Toshiba hard drive has a smaller capacity, but it is easy to use.

If you are worried about your data, simply install the backup software and enable pass-protect.

>> Click here to see pricing, ratings, and reviews on Amazon.com <<

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3

Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB Portable External Hard Drive

Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB Portable External Hard Drive
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This Seagate portable hard drive features a very slim design so it can fit even in your back pocket.

The unit is compatible with PS4, Windows and MAC computers.

It supports automatic back up and is easy to schedule it.

The capacity is 2 TB, there are four colors available and it comes with a 2-year warranty.

Check the current price on Amazon >>

Pros

  • Shock-resistant design
  • Easy to use
  • Slim design

Cons

  • Stiff cord
Jake's TakeJake's Take

This Seagate drive is a budget-friendly option and it looks stylish.

You can use it for backups, and it can provide excellent performance in those terms.

>> Click here to see pricing, ratings, and reviews on Amazon.com <<

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4

Seagate Expansion 2TB Portable External Hard Drive

Seagate Expansion 2TB Portable External Hard Drive
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This Seagate external drive, model Expansion is portable and compatible with Windows and MAC computers.

It is easy to use, and you don’t have to install drivers, just plug it in and start transferring your files.

The drive uses USB connection 3.0 and 2.0 and weighs just over 6 ounces.

The drive comes with 18 inches long USB cable.

Check the current price on Amazon >>

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • The long USB cable included
  • Works with PS4

Cons

  • No auto backup
Jake's TakeJake's Take

If you need something simple for extra storage space, this might be the right solution.

It will improve your storage capacity for 2TB.

>> Click here to see pricing, ratings, and reviews on Amazon.com <<

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5

Toshiba HDTB410XK3AA Canvio Basics 1TB Portable External Hard Drive

Toshiba HDTB410XK3AA Canvio Basics 1TB Portable External Hard Drive
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This Toshiba portable hard drive has a 1 TB storage capacity.

It has a sleek design with a matte finish, which makes it stain-resistant and easy to carry on wherever you go.

It is available in two styles – classic and contemporary and has a 1-year warranty.

It is compatible with PS4, Windows and requires reformatting for MAC OS.

Check the current price on Amazon >>

Pros

  • Ready to use with PS4
  • Stain-resistant
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • For MAC, actual formatted capacity may vary
Jake's TakeJake's Take

This Toshiba drive has a simple plug-and-play operation, which makes it easy to use.

It is lightweight and doesn’t and perfect for traveling.

>> Click here to see pricing, ratings, and reviews on Amazon.com <<

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6

Seagate Game Drive for Xbox 2TB Green

Seagate Game Drive for Xbox 2TB Green
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This Seagate hard drive is designed to work with Xbox360 and Xbox one.

It comes in vibrant green color and has a 2TB capacity for games.

The drive is Xbox licensed and uses simple USB 3.0 capacity without the need for the power cable.

It is easy to install with your game console and allows you to have your game with you wherever you go.

Check the current price on Amazon >>

Pros

  • Travel-friendly
  • Simple setup

Cons

  • Trial not included
Jake's TakeJake's Take

If you more space for new games, this Seagate drive is for you.

Just plug it in or take it with you to your friends and enjoy the games.

>> Click here to see pricing, ratings, and reviews on Amazon.com <<

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7

WD 8TB My Book Desktop External Hard Drive

WD 8TB My Book Desktop External Hard Drive
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This WD 8TB My Book Desktop portable hard drive has a capacity of 8 TB.

It comes equipped with WD Backup software, Time Machine compatibility and has password protection enabled.

The WD drive uses USB 3.0 port but it is compatible with 2.0 as well.

It is easy to use and provides endless storage possibilities.

Check the current price on Amazon >>

Pros

  • Universal connectivity
  • High storage capacity
  • Cloud storage import enabled

Cons

  • A bit bulkier
Jake's TakeJake's Take

This external hard drive has an extreme capacity to assist you in your work and help you store everything you want.

It comes ready to use out of the box.

>> Click here to see pricing, ratings, and reviews on Amazon.com <<

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8

Seagate Expansion 8TB Desktop External Hard Drive

Seagate Expansion 8TB Desktop External Hard Drive
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This desktop external hard drive from Seagate allows you to expand your storage space for up to 8 TB.

The setup is straightforward without the need for software, just plug it in and start using it.

The drive comes with an 18 inch USB 3.0 cable and 18 Watts power adapter, but you can connect it via 2.0 port as well.

It comes with a 1-year warranty.

Check the current price on Amazon >>

Pros

  • High capacity
  • Simple setup
  • SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port

Cons

  • Needs reformatting for MAC
Jake's TakeJake's Take

This desktop drive is a solution to your photos, movies, TV shows, files, e-books and everything else.

You will never have to delete anything, just because you’ve got a full memory.

>> Click here to see pricing, ratings, and reviews on Amazon.com <<

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9

WD 4TB Black My Passport Portable External Hard Drive

WD 4TB Black My Passport Portable External Hard Drive
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The WD portable hard drive comes with an auto back up feature, which is a useful and effortless way to always be in peace with your files.

The capacity is 4 TB and the drive looks modern sleek.

It is compatible with Windows and needs reformatting for MAC OS.

The drive has a 3-year manufacturer warranty and compatibility with USB 3.0 and 2.0 port.

Check the current price on Amazon >>

Pros

  • 3-year warranty
  • Interesting design
  • Password protection and auto back up

Cons

  • Not shock resistant
Jake's TakeJake's Take

This modern-looking drive gadget has high capacity and is easy to use.

You can pick one of six colors available to match your style.

>> Click here to see pricing, ratings, and reviews on Amazon.com <<

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10

WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive

WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive
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This WD external drive has a capacity of 2 TB and can improve your PC performance.

The drive offers fast data transfers with USB 3.0 and 2.0 port connectivity.

It can work with Windows and MAC, but you have to reformat it first.

This WD hard drive is compact and lightweight, so you can carry it on with you in your bag and have your content on the go.

Check the current price on Amazon >>

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Fast transfers
  • Universal compatibility

Cons

  • No auto backup software
Jake's TakeJake's Take

WD hard drives are a reliable way to store important data and files.

With this external drive, transferring has never been easier and you are getting great value for the money.

>> Click here to see pricing, ratings, and reviews on Amazon.com <<

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External Hard Drives Buying Guide

Many experts advise storing your data on the cloud, but what happens when there is no internet?

Cloud storage is secure and easy, but with the external drive, you can have all your data buy your side any time.

You won’t depend on the connection quality to transfer files or have access to them.

If you have never owned an external hard drive, you might need more information about it.

Our buying guide will focus on the most significant factors that determine a reliable buying guide.

external hard drive

What is an External Hard Drive?

In short words, the external hard drive is a device you use for storing and accessing your data.

The external hard drive works outside the computer and has its enclosure.

It is easy to use and a simple way to get extra storage on your computer.

Some people use it to back up the data from their computers; another way you can use is for storing sensitive information.

Because they are portable, people use external drives for their daily jobs and easy access everywhere.

However, external hard drives come with different features and have different storage capabilities, so you might struggle to decide.

Keep reading and find out how to pick the best external hard drive.

Things to Consider When Buying External Hard Drive

The first thing to consider when getting an external hard drive is reliability.

You want to make sure that your data will be safe and always accessible.

On the other hand, there are other factors to consider.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Storage Capacity

The most obvious characteristic that you should analyze is storage capacity.

There is no point in getting a fancy hard drive with encryption, fast transferring speed, and remote access when you won’t have enough space to store everything you need.

Also, if you decide to get one with massive capacity, without the actual need for it, it doesn’t make sense.

So you might be wondering, what capacity should I aim for in external hard drive?

External hard drive storage capacity goes from 500 GB to 1TB, 2TB or even 5TB.

For example, 500GB is equivalent to 500.000 photos.

So, it is a decent capacity for people who want to back up their memories and keep them safe.

On the other hand, you can store 500 movies on the external hard drive with a capacity of 500GB.

Therefore, think about things you would store on the drive.

If you are a photographer or videographer and you create media files in high resolution, you should get something with a slightly larger capacity.

High-resolution media files need more space.

Also, if you want to use a hard drive to regularly back up your computer, you will need a drive with a better capacity.

If you can afford hard drives with 1TB capacity or more, it might be a good choice, because you can hardly ever run out of the storage space.

However, there is one more thing to have in mind.

Hard drives with massive capacity tend to be bulkier than those of 500 GB capacity.

For example, if you are a professor and you need the drive to store your lecture presentation and keep them with you every day, you don’t need a bulky and extensive hard drive.

Therefore, to determine the appropriate capacity of a hard drive, first, you need to identify your needs.

Software engineers might need something with more capacity, while teacher needs something portable and easy to travel with whenever they go.

People who want to store 4K video need the biggest capacity.

The capacity determines the price.

For example, a 2TB external drive can come with the price tag from $150 to $200+.

Ask yourself, do you need it?

Therefore, you won’t spend money on something you won’t even use.

Compatibility with Windows and MAC?

Some hard drives come ready to use with Windows OS.

If you wish to use it with MAC OS, you might need to reformat it first.

However, keep in mind that after reformatting, the storage capacity may change, but not significantly.

If that bothers you, buy the one that is compatible and ready to use with your devices.

Connecting and Speed

You want to get the external drive with fitting transfer speed.

If you are going to use it daily, you don’t want to wait forever to transfer two videos.

Therefore, look at the product specifications and terms related to reading and writing speed.

The transfer speed is connected with the type of connector a drive uses.

Older models use USB port 2.0 and slow transfers.

The next category is 3.0 with improved speed up to 5Gbps, while USB 3.1 has a maximum transfer speed up to 10Gbps.

The Thunderbolt-based devices are the fastest, with speed up to 40 Gbps.

There is an older alternative using eSata or Fire connections, but we recommend avoiding it because there are quickly going out of use.

Power Source

Some external hard drives come with an AC adapter.

Those devices usually have more storage space and need an additional power source.

The external drives with AC adapters are not as portable as those without it.

The external drives that use power from your computer are easy to use and you can connect it anywhere.

Just keep in mind, that it can drive the power of your computer a bit quickly.

external hard drive1

Backup Software and Security Features

Nowadays, external hard can have built-in backup software and software for file recovery.

Sometimes, the drive comes without it, but you can simply download it and install it following the manufacturer’s guidelines.

If you want a hassle-free hard drive, we recommend getting the one that comes with the software.

That way, your external drive will be safe and reliable even if it experiences malfunction and lose all the data.

As for security features, the most common are password protection and encryption.

If you plan to store some sensitive and valuable data, consider getting one of these units.

Therefore, you don’t have to worry about unauthorized access to your files.


Conclusion

An external hard drive is a useful device that allows you to expand the storage space of your computer, to keep your files close and ready whenever you need them.

They come with different storage capacities and different price ranges.

First, determine what kind of files you will store on the drive, and then pick the appropriate capacity.

If you plan to use it only for documents, you might not need expensive hard drives with more than 1 TB capacity.

On the other hand, if you are into videos, especially those with the highest resolution, consider investing in a durable drive with large capacity.

Pay attention to compatibility and transfer speed.

Drives that use USB port 3.1 and 3.0 are fast enough to save you time and be reliable in daily tasks.

Keep in mind that for sensitive data, you might need some security features, such as password protection and encryption.

What's your take on External Hard Drives? You think they're just a luxury or a must-have item? Don't hesitate to share your comment below with your opinion!


Highest Rated External Hard Drives (by Customer Reviews)

WD 4TB Yellow My Passport Portable External Hard Drive
WD 4TB Yellow My Passport Portable External Hard Drive See prices on Amazon.com
Toshiba Canvio Advance 1TB Portable External Hard Drive
Toshiba Canvio Advance 1TB Portable External Hard Drive See prices on Amazon.com
Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB Portable External Hard Drive
Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB Portable External Hard Drive See prices on Amazon.com
Seagate Expansion 2TB Portable External Hard Drive
Seagate Expansion 2TB Portable External Hard Drive See prices on Amazon.com
Toshiba HDTB410XK3AA Canvio Basics 1TB Portable External Hard Drive
Toshiba HDTB410XK3AA Canvio Basics 1TB Portable External Hard Drive See prices on Amazon.com
Seagate Game Drive for Xbox 2TB Green
Seagate Game Drive for Xbox 2TB Green See prices on Amazon.com
WD 8TB My Book Desktop External Hard Drive
WD 8TB My Book Desktop External Hard Drive See prices on Amazon.com
Seagate Expansion 8TB Desktop External Hard Drive
Seagate Expansion 8TB Desktop External Hard Drive See prices on Amazon.com
WD 4TB Black My Passport Portable External Hard Drive
WD 4TB Black My Passport Portable External Hard Drive See prices on Amazon.com
WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive
WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive See prices on Amazon.com

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About the Author: Jake

Hey! I'm Jake, I LOVE doing research online to find the best products. Join me as I review the top 10 products in various categories and help you find what you want to buy.

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