The Best External Hard Drives and SSD of 2020

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Best External Hard Drives TheForbiz

If you are wondering what is the best external hard drive or SSD available, we recommend you take a look at our guide with the best external hard drives and SSD on the market to help you make the most successful purchase decision

The idea of ​​having a solid state device or SSD can be very attractive, but if you are looking for more capacity without spending too much, you may be more attracted to the idea of ​​acquiring a classic hard drive.

The available capacities of drives with portable discs inside now extend to 4000 GB, more commonly known as 4 terabytes (TB).

Most portable USB drives are powered by the connected computer, so you can use them anywhere without connecting to the mains or using batteries.

Some even connect to your phone or tablet and allow you to expand storage that way or simply transfer files to free up space.

Before choosing the external hard drive or SSD, we recommend you consider features such as capacity, performance, protection, reliability, security and, of course, the price.

  • Capacity

Even in the smallest portable units you can at least enjoy 128 GB of extra storage, which is enough to host thousands of CDs in FLAC format without losses, or even more in MP3 or AAC format of worse quality.

Downloading your music collection from a computer to a portable unit can be a blessing since you will free up enough space that will come in handy if your laptop has somewhat limited storage.

You can also save backup copies of your computer files to the external hard drive to avoid losing something if it stops working.

Some portable units include software that helps automate this backup process, keeping the files you want synchronized whenever you connect the unit or according to the daily schedule you choose.

  • Performance

Now that USB 2.0 has been removed from all types of storage systems, we find USB 3 as the standard for connection, allowing these portable units to work as fast as the small disks inside allow it.

If you opt for older drives that still use USB 2.0, the transmission speed will be limited to 35 MB / s. This means that 100 GB of multimedia files would take almost an hour to transfer with a USB 2.0, and less than 20 minutes with a 3.0.

If you store or make backup copies of many small files, it is normal for general performance to crash, as hard drives have to suffocate with smaller files.

So while large files can be compressed at 100MB / s, smaller ones will probably travel at less than 1MB / s, or at a hundredth of that speed.

The fastest SSD drives reach 550 MB / s and this speed depends largely on the device to which it is connected.

  • Protection

If you have an idea of ​​transporting the external hard drive from here to there, it is recommended that you look at a unit with a solid and resistant case that can protect the disk and everything it carries inside.

Look at the shock resistance ratings such as the MIL-STD-810F 516.5 (Transit Drop Test) of the United States Army. This means that the unit is able to withstand up to 26 falls on hard ground, once on each face, edge and corner, from a height of 1.22 meters.

Flash storage, better known as SSD, can survive a more brutal treatment, and some portable units are even waterproof. If you accidentally drop a portable SSD into the water, as long as the port covers are tightly closed, it will work well after it has dried completely.

  • Reliability

It’s hard to say which manufacturer makes the most reliable hard drives. Although there is a big difference between the technology used in traditional hard disk drives and SSD drives, both have a limited lifespan, and this is the reason why the warranties are relatively short, usually two or three years.

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The important thing is that you have a well thought-out backup process and that you don’t depend on a single unit to store valuable files.

Ideally, you should have three copies: one on a PC, phone or tablet, another on an external hard drive or SSD, and another on a cloud storage service.

Security

The larger the unit, the greater the storage capacity and the greater the risk of losing it if it is lost or stolen.

There are two ways to ensure that data is illegible to other users. You can encode the content through hardware encryption. Or you can use a software application to encrypt part or all of the unit.

Price

For many users, the price will be the deciding factor. If you need an approximate value of what a gigabyte of storage costs, we could say that each gigabyte costs around € 0.50 approximately.

Adata SD600Q

$ 39.99 (240GB); $ 59.99 (480GB); $ 99.99 (960GB)

You may give up the modern USB-C standard for connectivity, but the Adata SD600Q is still a good device that will work for anyone looking for a portable SSD and not having many demands.

The SD600Q offers a good combination of design, affordable prices and a variety of more than decent capabilities (if you don’t need more than 1TB).

It is also fast enough to copy files without waiting for years and you can also make use of Adata’s free software if you wish, an option to take into account without a doubt.

Samsung Portable SSD T5

$ 129.99 (250GB), $ 189.99 (500GB), $ 379.99 (1TB), $ 749.99 (2TB)

The Samsung T5 SSD is not cheap, but it offers performance that will be difficult to improve for any other unit.

However, if your idea is to use it as a hard drive for a laptop, it will be largely useless, since the advantages of total speed can only be achieved if used in combination with an internal SSD.

In addition the elegance of the design of this device is impossible to ignore. Metallic, with curved edges and small. It will look wonderful next to your computer or any device you want to connect.

Samsung Portable SSD T3

If you are looking for a large capacity portable unit to back up your photos, videos, music and other valuable data, the Samsung T3 is an excellent choice.

However, keep in mind that a traditional hard drive is still much, much cheaper, so it will be a better option if the data and file transfer speed is not your top priority.

Specs:

  • Price per GB (at proven capacity): 32p
  • Proven capacity: 2 TB
  • Capacity range: 250-, 500GB, 1-, 2TB
  • Storage Type: Flash NAND
  • Sequential performance: 406.9 / 211.2 MB / s
  • 4K performance: 21.9 / 2.3 MB / s
  • Interfaces: USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type C
  • Encryption: 256-bit AES encryption
  • Software: T3 security enabler
  • Dimensions: 58x74x10.5mm
  • Weight: 51g
  • Warranty: 3 years

G-Technology G-Drive Mobile

$ 109.95 (500GB); $ 189.85 (1TB); $ 299.95 (2TB)

It may not be the cheapest option, but if you are looking for a portable SSD that is durable, then the G-Drive Mobile is the way to go with its IP67 protection rating of water resistance and the housing you can use.

The performance is also very good, there is little that can disappoint us of this device beyond the cables that come in the box that, for us, are too short.

Transcend ESD400K

$ 94.99

Transcend ESD400K is a very light SSD disk, easy to transport and incredibly fast. Its 56 grams of weight are able to compete with some of the most powerful external hard drives on the market.

This device uses NAND flash to provide very fast SSD speeds. Through its USB 3.0 the unit is capable of achieving a sequential read / write of 410.8 / 163.8 MB per second, somewhat less than the manufacturer claims, but still impressive.

Specs:

  • Price per GB (at tested capacity): 39p
  • Proven capacity: 256 GB
  • Capacity range: 128-, 256-, 512GB, 1TB
  • Storage Type: Flash NAND
  • Sequential performance: 410.8 / 163.8 MB / s
  • 4K performance: 16.1 / 2.7 MB / s
  • Interfaces: USB 3.0
  • Encryption: None
  • Software: Transcending Elite data management
  • Dimensions: 62x92x10.5mm
  • Weight: 56g
  • Warranty: 3 years

SanDisk Extreme 500 Portable SSD

$ 92.99

For those who need high speed storage, the Extreme 500 is a good option. Its capacity can reach up to 480 GB, a capacity that will be sufficient for most.

However, if you need more storage, then we recommend the Samsung T3.

SanDisk is known for its flash memory, and the Extreme 500 is a portable SSD that joins the most famous products of this brand: SD cards and flash drives.

Unlike many other units, it will be able to resist dust and water (water splashes, rather), so if resistance is one of your priorities, this can be a very good option.

Specs:

  • Price per GB (at proven capacity): 31p
  • Proven capacity: 240 GB
  • Capacity range: 120-, 240-, 480GB
  • Storage Type: Flash NAND SSD
  • Sequential performance: 398.3 / 203.4MB / s
  • 4K performance: 19.8 / 3.7 MB / s
  • Interfaces: USB 3.0
  • Encryption: 128-bit AES encryption
  • Software: SanDisk SecureAccess
  • Dimensions: 75.7×75.7×10.7mm
  • Weight: 78.9g
  • Warranty: 3 years

WD My Passport 4TB

$ 114.99

Western Digital has updated and improved its WD My Passport range, in this case the eighth generation hard drive becomes a portable hard drive that offers cloud storage and hardware encryption.

If you are looking for a large capacity, WD offers you nothing more and nothing less than 4TB of storage capacity with a fairly respectable performance for a hard disk.

Specs:

  • Price per GB (at proven capacity): 4p
  • Proven capacity: 4 TB
  • Capacity range: 1-, 2-, 3-, 4TB
  • Storage Type: HDD
  • Sequential performance: 119.3 / 112.8 / s
  • 4K performance: 0.5 / 1.6 MB / s
  • Interfaces: USB 3.0
  • Encryption: 256-bit AES encryption
  • Software: WD Backup & WD Utilities
  • Dimensions: 81.5x110x16.3mm
  • Weight: Unknown
  • Warranty: 3 years

Toshiba Canvio Connect II

$ 104.99

If you are looking for a high capacity external hard drive that is available in different sizes and colors, then Toshiba Canvio Connect II 3TB is the drive you are looking for.

It will not work as fast as an SSD, but it will allow you to backup and store all types of files at a fairly affordable price compared to the rest of the units in this article.

Specs:

  • Price per GB (at proven capacity): 3p
  • Proven capacity: 3 TB
  • Capacity range: 500 GB, 1-, 2-, 3TB
  • Storage Type: HDD
  • Sequential performance: 131.1 / 135.5 MB / s
  • 4K performance: 0.5 / 1.2 MB / s
  • Interfaces: USB 3.0
  • Encryption: None
  • Software: NTI Backup Now EZ, Tuxera NTFS for Mac and Pogoplug PC
  • Dimensions: 78x109x19.5mm
  • Weight: 230g
  • Warranty: 2 years

Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim 2TB

$ 89.99

The Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim portable drive is not high-performance, but with its 2 TB storage capacity and super slim design, Seagate becomes a fantastic device for backing up documents.

Portable hard drives offer a large storage capacity at a low cost, but they are often bulky and not ideal for transport.

The Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim is true to its name (slim is thin in Spanish), since with a thickness of only 9.6 mm, this unit is as thick as most smartphones.

Specs:

  • Price per GB (at proven capacity): 4p
  • Proven capacity: 2 TB
  • Capacity range: 1 TB, 2 TB
  • Storage Type: HARD DISK
  • Sequential performance: 134.6 / 34.8 MB / s
  • 4K performance: 0.6 / 0.2 MB / s
  • Interfaces: USB 3.0
  • Encryption: None
  • Software: Seagate Dashboard
  • Dimensions: 76×113.5×9.6 mm
  • Weight: 125g
  • Warranty: 2 years

Transcend ESD230C

From $ 59.99

It is common that, when we think of an external memory, the first image that comes to mind are large and heavy devices. Can you imagine being able to transport all your files on a device smaller than your identity card?

Stop imagining why it is possible with this Transcend SSD. It is a very good way to save backup copies without taking up much space, and you will also like its versatility: compatible with Windows and macOS and with USB A or USB C port.

Specs:

  • Proven capacity: 960 GB
  • Capacity range: 240-, 480-, 960 GB
  • Storage Type: 3D NAND Flash
  • Read throughput: 520 MB / s
  • Write performance: 460 MB / s
  • Interfaces: USB 3.1
  • Software: Transcending Elite data management
  • Dimensions: 77 x 55.7 x 9.6 mm
  • Weight: 35g
  • Warranty: 3 years

Freecom mHDD Slim 1TB

£ 85.99

The Freecom mHDDD Slim 1TB provides large amounts of storage, as well as offering an elegant and stylish look. It also has good read / write speeds.

The unit comes in three elegant colors similar to those of Apple: gray, silver or gold. It can also be found in sizes 1 and 2 TB.

Specs:

  • Price per GB (at proven capacity): 9p
  • Proven capacity: 1 TB
  • Capacity range: 1-, 2TB
  • Storage Type: 5400RPM Hard Disk
  • Sequential performance: 134.1 / 132.8 MB / s
  • 4K performance: 0.6 / 1.4 MB / s
  • Interfaces: USB 3.0
  • Encryption: None
  • Software: Nero Backup Essentials, Green Energy Saver Button, Hard Disk Eraser, Formatter
  • Dimensions: 76x114x9mm
  • Weight: 150g
  • Warranty: 3 years

Freecom Tablet Mini SSD

£ 83.99

If you are specifically looking for a portable unit that can connect to your phone or tablet for additional storage or use as a backup of your photos and videos, Freecom is a decent option.

It is not the most stylish model of all (there are much more attractive designs in this article), nor is it the cheapest option, but it works well and is convenient to use thanks to the built-in USB cables.

Specs:

  • Price per GB (at proven capacity): 75p
  • Proven capacity: 128 GB
  • Capacity range: 128 GB
  • Storage Type: Flash NAND
  • Sequential performance: 410.4 / 178.3MB / s
  • 4K performance: 16.8 / 16.2 MB / s
  • Interfaces: USB 3.0
  • Encryption: None
  • Software: Nero BackItUp, Hard Disk Eraser, Formatter
  • Dimensions: 58x92x15mm
  • Weight: 58g
  • Warranty: 2 years

Transcend StoreJet 25H3

$ 56.49

Transcend is one of our trusted brands for storage devices, whether they are SD cards or external hard drives such as your StoreJet 25H3, which is available in three different capacities: 1 TB, 2 TB and 4 TB.

Its weight, 197 g or 258 g depending on the capacity, may not be ideal for carrying it up and down in your hand, but you should not notice its weight too much if you store it in your backpack or laptop bag.

In addition to its excellent performance and fast writing and reading speeds, what we like most about this external memory is that it comes with a rubber case that protects it at all times from possible bumps or falls.

Specs:

  • Proven capacity: 4 TB
  • Capacity range: 1 TB, 2 TB or 4 TB
  • Storage Type: 2.5 “HDD
  • Interface: Gen 3.1 USB 3.1
  • Encryption: AES
  • Software: Transcend Elite
  • Dimensions: 131.8 x 80.8 x 19 mm (1 TB and 2 TB) or 131.8 x 80.8 x 24.5 mm (4 TB)
  • Weight: 197 g (1 TB and 2 TB) or 258 g (4 TB)

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