Best External Hard Drives and Solid State Drives of 2021

Technology

Looking for the best External Hard Drives or Solid-state Drives to buy? Then you just landed on the right page.

Maybe you need some extra storage for your files, or you need to back up vital files in your windows laptop or Mac PC, or perhaps you need to offload footage from your camera, while on the go, an external hard drive is very necessary.

In this article, we will review the best External hard drives and also the best solid-state drives out there, available for your purchase. We will also reflect here the things you need to consider before you purchase one of these external hard drives.

Difference between an External Hard Drive and a Solid State Drive

Both External Hard Disc Drive (HDD) and Solid State Drive (SSD) look very similar in their physical specifications, but they however store data very differently.

An External Hard Drive is made up of one or more magnetically-sensitive, circular disc, known as platter, which stores your data. It is also made up of an actuator arm with a read/write head on it for each platter.

The disc spins, allowing the read/write actuator arm to read data on the disc, or write data to it, as it passes. The faster the platter spins, the faster the hard drive works.

A Solid State Drive on the other hand, have no moving parts. It is solid, as the name implies, it uses NAND flash memory. The storage capacity of a Solid State Drive is determined by the amount of NAND (Negative AND) memory chips, it has.

Without moving parts, SSDs are faster, more durable, run cooler and use less energy.

The decision of whether to use an Eternal Hard Disc Drive or an External Solid State Drive, depends largely on what you want to store.

Buyer’s Guide: Things to consider before buying an External Hard Drive or a Solid State Drive

Speed: A Solid State Drive is faster than an External Hard Drive. Because HDDs use a spinning platter, it’s speed is mostly dependent on the RPM (Revolutions per minute) the drive is capable of. Most cheap hard drives have a RPM of 5,400, which is the slowest speed of a modern hard drive.

If you must get an External Hard Drive, consider going for one that can achieve 7,2oo RPM, which is considered the common rate of most modern HDDs.

If you need an external storage device that is fast, you may need to consider buying an SSD.

Durability: You need to consider an external storage device that would last long for your storage needs. Solid State Drives are generally known to be very durable, also there are External Hard Drives that are likewise durable, it all depends on how you handle it.

Capacity: HDD capacities range from 40GB up to 12TB, while SSD capacities range from 500GB to 4TB. If you want to store lots of large files, like videos, photos, and games, you may need to consider getting eternal hard drives, instead of solid state drives.

Price: Your budget for an external storage device is a big consideration before you go shopping, External Solid State Drives are more expensive than Hard Drives.

Top 5 Best External Hard Drives

Out of the numerous External Hard Drives we considered based on a variety of factors such as capacity, durability and price, the 5 External Hard Drives below come out tops.

Name Feature Where to Buy
1. WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0 and 2.0 compatible, Portable, fast data transfer, Get it on Amazon
2. Seagate Portable 5TB External Hard Drive HDD Large storage space, works with windows and mac PC, USB 3.0 cable Get it on Amazon
3. Seagate Desktop 8TB External Hard Drive HDD Suitable for PC, laptop and Mac computers, it includes an 18 inch USB 3.0 cable and 18 Watt power adapter Get it on Amazon
4. Seagate Game Drive for Xbox 2TB External Hard Drive Great external hard drive for your games, easy step by step set up, no power cable needed, USB 3.0 cable Get it on Amazon
5. Silicon Power 1TB Rugged Portable External Hard Drive It works with PCs and Mac, High speed USB 3.0, Military-grade shockproof Get it on Amazon

A Closer look at the Best External Hard Drive of 2021

1. WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive

This WD 2TB Portable Hard Drive is one of the best external hard drive to buy in 2021. It gives you enough space for your file; videos, pictures, music and more.

It is compatible with USB 3.0 and 2.0. You need not worry about slow transfers as data transfer is fast. WD 2 TB is a Portable external hard drive you can carry with you, even in your pocket.

Easy to install and reliable, this external hard drive is easy to use and durable. Great to back up your files with. This external hard drive gives you good value for money spent.

Pros Cons
Durable Mac systems may need re-formatting
Easy to use
Technical support available

2. Seagate Portable 5TB External Hard Drive HDD

This External Hard Drive has a large storage capacity. You can easily store and access your files. It is compatible with windows and Mac systems.

The USB drive gives you an easy and simple plug and play with the included 18 inch USB 3.0 cable. Set up is a walk over, just connect to your laptop or desktop.

It is portable and light weight. This External Hard Drive is one of the best out there to buy, a good option that gives value for your money spent.

It also comes with a 1 year limited warranty, just in case you have any issues with it.

Pros Cons
Durable May be slow in writing very large files
Large storage space
Light weight

3. Seagate Desktop 8TB External Hard Drive HDD

This Seagate Desktop 8TB Hard drive is one of the best Hard drive that your money can get you. It has a large storage capacity and it can be used for office, home or school.

Suitable for Windows and Mac system. It includes an 18 inch USB 3.0 cable and 18 Watt power adapter and also comes with 1 year limited warranty.

Easy to use, just plug it to your computer. It does not require any software installation. Consider this as a good option when looking for an External Hard Drive.

Pros Cons
You can use it for PS4 games Writing may be slow
Affordable
Large storage

4. Seagate Game Drive for Xbox 2TB External Hard Drive

If you you love games, then you would love this Seagate Game Drive for Xbox 2TB External Hard drive. You can store more than 50 games titles.

It is easy to install and gives you a large storage capacity. This portable hard drive is optimized specifically for Xbox, so you can enjoy smooth gaming time.

It features the classic green design of the original Xbox logo, this gaming hard drive is the perfect accessory for any setup.

This is a good option of External Hard drive for all you game lovers.

Pros Cons
Great for gaming May not be durable
Easy to install
Affordable

5. Silicon Power 1TB Rugged Portable External Hard Drive

Also on our 5 Best External Hard drive is this Silicon Power 1TB Rugged Portable External Hard Drive.

One great attribute of this hard drive is that it is rugged, with Military-grade shockproof.

It has a cable storage design, which makes movement of cable, simple and easy. Compatible with windows and Mac systems.

Pros Cons
Portable Software required to run hard drive
Durable
Affordable

Top 5 Best External Solid State Drives

Out of the numerous External Solid State Drives we considered based on a variety of factors such as capacity, durability and price, the 5 External Solid State Drives below come out tops.

Name Feature Where to Buy
1.Samsung X5 Portable SSD 1TB – Thunderbolt 3 External Solid State Drive Features Thunderbolt 3, unbelievably fast read/write speed, very durable with metal body Get it on Amazon
2. Sabrent Rocket Nano 2TB USB 3.2

Easy to use, with high speed, very portable, yet durable Get it on Amazon
3. SanDisk 2TB Extreme Portable External SSD 2TB solid state drive, high speed for transfers, water and dust resistant, compact Get it on Amazon
4. Samsung T5 Portable SSD – 2TB 5TB portable Solid State Drive, super fast speed, features optional password protection Get it on Amazon
5. G-Technology 2TB G-DRIVE Mobile SSD Super fast transfer rates up to 560MB/s, USB C connectivity Get it on Amazon

A Closer look at the Best Solid State Drives of 2021

1. Samsung X5 Portable SSD 1TB – Thunderbolt 3 External Solid State Drive

The Samsung X5 is the first ever NVMe-based portable SSD from Samsung featuring Thunderbolt 3 technology, the X5 delivers up to 40Gb/s data transfer speeds.

It is very portable and also very durable, as it has a full metal body, with glassy top.

It features Dynamic Thermal Guard technology to help maintain optimal performance and temperature. This External Solid State drive is definitely one of the best Solid Drives out there.

It is amazingly fast, which allows you transfer heavy files in no time.

Pros Cons
Super fast May not work on Mac systems
Durable, as its made with quality materials
Easy to use

2. Sabrent Rocket Nano 2TB USB 3.2

This External Solid State Drive is so sleek and compact, yet it is durable. The Rocket Nano’s built in USB 3.2 interface provides speeds of up to 1000MB/s.

It is compliant with both Windows and Mac OS. No installation required, simply plug and play.

The enclosure is designed to absorb the heat and protect the drive from overheating ensuring a long life expectancy from your drive.It has an Ultra slim aluminum alloy sandblasted shell.

It is available in 6 different colors. This is a good option when thinking of buying an External Solid State Drive.

Pros Cons
Super fast read/write speed May get heated during long hours of use
Suitable for Windows and Mac PCs
Portable and durable

3. SanDisk 2TB Extreme Portable External SSD

This External Solid State Drive is a good consideration when shopping for an External Solid State Drive. With 2TB, you have enough storage space for your files.

Transfer of files is high, with 550MB/s read speed. This Solid State Drive is rugged, water and dust resistant. 

Shock resistant solid state core for greater durability (Shock resistant (up to 1500 G) and vibration resistant (5 gram RMS, 10 2000 HZ).

So portable and easy to use, the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD delivers high-performance and capacity in a drive that’s smaller than a smartphone.

Pros Cons
Portable You may need to format before use
Fast speed
Light weight

4. Samsung T5 Portable SSD – 2TB

We know Samsung to manufacture some of the best, sleek and highly functional devices. This Samsung T5 Portable SSD- 2TB is no different.

It is Super fast, with read/ write speeds of up to 540 MB/s. It’s metal design from top to bottom fits perfectly in the palm of your hand. 

It features an optional password protection with AES 256-bit hardware encryption, which keeps your personal and private data more secure.

This External Solid State Drive also come in different colors and it is a good option to pick when shopping for an external solid state drive.

Pros Cons
Very Portable May need re-formatting
Easy to install
Durable

5. G-Technology 2TB G-DRIVE Mobile SSD

On our list of the 5 Best External Solid State Drive, is this G-Technology 2TB. It features a durable design with IP67 water/dust resistance, also, a protective aluminum core helps prevent overheating and maintains high performance, while a custom enclosure insulates the drive when in use

You can transfer your files in no time as it is super fast, with transfer rates up to 560MB/s. USB C connectivity (USB 3.1 Gen 2)

It is shock and vibration resistant. This External Solid State Drive is a good option to consider, when shopping for a solid state drive.

Pros Cons
Easy to install May need re-formatting
Portable and durable
Made of quality material

Conclusion

If you have gone through this review, it implies you’re looking for the Best External Hard Drive or Solid State Drive to buy. All the external hard drives we’ve reviewed here are well designed, durable, easy to use, and are of great value. That being said, if you are ready to buy, we suggest that you take some more time to go through each item again before deciding on which product to buy.