Keeping the images safely is undoubtedly a great concern for any photographer. A problem that can be more evident than ever now, during the holidays when many bring their memory cards loaded with photos that have to be stored somewhere and safeguard from possible problems. For this, nothing better than using an external hard drive like the ones we are going to show you in one of its different formats.

Taken into practice, this would basically encompass two scenarios. A temporary one that affects the need to store and safeguard our photos when we are moving (either on a trip or in a job), and a permanent one that would be the way we keep the photographs permanently on our computers.

In both cases, we have these devices, the hard drives, which are becoming cheaper and offer an affordable Gigabyte / Euro ratio. A circumstance that undoubtedly makes these solutions ideal for fixing our space problems.

best hdd for photographers

Different possibilities

Before getting into concrete models you have to know a little about the technology they use and the different types that we can find in the market. First of all, if what we are looking for  a backup solution for the data stored in our computer, we must take into account that we can choose desktop hard drives (usually fixed, but laptops can also be used) or NAS(storage ) systems network) that require a more complex structure and some knowledge.

That is why we are going to focus on the first ones, devices that are usually very simple to install and manage and, therefore, require little prior knowledge, while the latter would be more thought for professional areas.

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Leaving this clear, we must also talk about the two technologies that use, today, the hard disks of the market: basically conventional hard disks and SSD disks. The first, although they continue to improve with new technologies such as helium, are “those of a lifetime” (the first dates from 1956), ie devices that record data on several discs with magnetic technology and thanks to the use of mechanical parts that, of course, are subject to failures. There are two sizes, 2.5 and 3.5 inches, which are usually used for portable and desktop disks (respectively).

On the other hand, SSDs are a non-volatile memory that does not require moving parts, that is to say basically like the Flash memory used by the cards of our cameras. This technology has obvious advantages that our Xataka colleagues have already told us in this article. In summary, you have to know that SSDs are much faster (like five times more, at least), and they are also smaller, quieter, generate less heat and consume less. Then why have not they definitely imposed themselves?

ssd hdd

For a simple matter of price and capacity. The advantages are obvious but the price to pay is still very high (although every day is reduced a little), and above all, it is still difficult for SSDs to compete in the capacities they can offer. Thus, while you can buy a conventional hard drive of 10 TeraBytes (and in development, there are much more capable units), the SSD still has to settle for values of about two TeraBytes and at almost prohibitive prices.

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Changing the third, apart from using one or another technology we also have to know that external hard drives are presented in different formats according to the use for which they are intended. In this sense, we would have portable and desktop disks. The first ones, as you can suppose, are designed to be carried on their small size and usually do not use an external feeder (just the one provided by the USB interface).

Finally we have the desktop disks, which are usually of conventional 3.5-inch type because here the size does not matter as much (and in relation to Gbyte / Price are still unbeatable), they need additional power, usually include a fan (to lengthen your useful life) and are designed to be placed next to the computer, either to expand the available memory or to make a backup.

What model to choose?

Knowing the types of units available, at the time of choosing you have to be clear about what you need and what your budget is  and maybe you should also take into account other issues related to connectivity (USB 2.0 and 3.0 are the most common but there are also newer and faster connectors such as USB-C and Thunderbolt 3).

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Once all these details have been decided, it is time to choose. So, let’s go there with our suggestions of what could be the ten best external hard drives for photographers.

Best Wireless Hard Disk for Photographers

WD My Passport Wireless Pro

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The last of the specific models that allow us to dump our photographs on the fly is the WD My Passport Wireless Pro, a portable hard drive with wireless capabilities and storage capacity of up to 4 Terabytes. Designed to be the photographer’s ideal companion, it allows you to download, edit and transmit photos and videos in a simple way. For this, it has a USB port and SD 3.0 card reader in addition to 802.11ac wireless connectivity.

The model of 4 Tbyte can be purchased for around 200 dollars.

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Best Rugged Portable HDD for Photographers

Lacie Rugged Mini

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We started the section of “conventional” portable hard drives with the least conventional model of all: Lacie Rugged Mini. A representative of a subtype that we mentioned earlier, the Lacie Rugged Mini is an excellent example of a device designed to withstand everything (it has an IP54 specification).

Available in different capacities, you can count on a conventional 2.5 “hard drive or SSD and with different types of connections, so its price is very variable, but in Amazon, you can get this model with 2 TB and USB 3.0 for only 170 dollars .

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Best Portable SSD for Photographers

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD

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In this case under the same brand that manufactures the well-known memory cards (a signature that in turn belongs to Western Digital). The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD is a unit that, has as a great claim to combine the performance of a portable SSD (read speeds of up to 430 MB / s) with a minimum weight (only 78 grams) and an all-terrain and water-resistant finish.

It comes in versions from 120 Gbytes to 1 Tbyte and its prices are, therefore, very variable, but we can buy Amazon ‘s version of 250 GB on Amazon for around 100 dollars.

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Best Slim Portable HDD for Photographers

Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim

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We continue with a good representative of that class of hard drives that stand out for their lightness and stylized design, ready to take them anywhere taking a small portion of our luggage. The Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim is the thinnest in the family of portable hard drives in the house, with a thickness of only 9.6 mm, and allows automatic backup of our data easily thanks to the included Seagate Dashboard software.

Available in capacity of one and two Terabytes, the first can be obtained in Amazon for around 80 dollars.

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WD My Passport

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The last of our recommended portable discs based on conventional hard drives is another device that stands out for offering a large amount of information in a size that fits in the palm of your hand.

The product is also available in capacities of 1, 2 and 3 & 4 T bytes.

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Samsung T3

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We could not finish this section without including this portable hard disk model based specifically on SSD technology from the Korean multinational Samsung, one of the leading brands in this field. The Samsung T3 is a small disk that promises read / write rates of up to 450 MB / s , four times faster than a conventional external disk. It is also very small and light (74 x 58 x 10.5 mm and 51 grams), although it has an external case to protect it, and is compatible with USB 3.1.

Available in capacities from 250 Gbytes to 2 Tbytes, the 500 Gbyte model can be purchased right now on Amazon for around 200 dollars.

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Best Desktop Hard Drives for Video & Photo Editing

Toshiba Canvio Basics

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We now turn to desktop hard drives, which, as we have mentioned, are used as a complement to the computer to store data or make backups of its contents. And we started with a hard drive that would be the most basic step , a simple but affordable product for those who have a tight budget but need to expand their storage capacity. The Toshiba Canvio Basics allows you to store up to 3 Terabytes and is ready to connect to computers with Windows system without any installation to start storing files easily and quickly through a USB 3.0 interface.

But the best is its price, which means that you can get a terabyte of information for just over 80 dollars.

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Seagate Expansion Desktop

Seagate Expansion 8TB Desktop External Hard Drive USB 3.0 (STEB8000100)

Another device designed to remain on our desk is this hard drive with a slightly more careful finish than the previous one, but whose mission is also to offer a simple solution to add additional storage to our computer. Designed to drag and drop files from the first moment and without installation (on Windows systems), the Seagate Expansion Desktop allows a fast transfer of data thanks to USB 3.0. It also includes an automatic energy management system to improve energy expenditure and Seagate Dashboard software to easily make backup copies.

Available from two to eight Terabytes, Amazon can now get the highest capacity for around 150 dollars.

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LaCie Porsche Design Desktop Drive

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The last of the products we have included is similar to the previous ones but with the added bonus of the exclusivity provided by the Porsche firm. The disc is the result of the collaboration of LaCie with this exclusive German car manufacturer emerged in 2003 and noted for its elegant aluminum housing (certainly there are also portable versions). Inside it houses a hard disk of variable capacity that promises speeds of up to 5 GB / s (to transfer a video file of 700 MB in less than seven seconds). Of course it also allows you to create backup copies of our data ” that will surely last for years “, according to the manufacturer.

There are versions from 3 to 8 Terabytes costing maximum 200$.

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Best HDD With Memory Card Slot for Photo and Video Editing

Canon CS100

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If you have a Canon you may be interested in this device designed by the firm for its users. More than a hard drive it is a Connect Station that includes a Terabyte disk drive and also has NFC connectivity, WiFi, Secure Digital and Compact Flash card slot and multimedia player functions. The main idea of the Canon CS100 is that you can make backup copies easily, simply by zooming in on a camera equipped with NFC, although it also has other possibilities thanks to its features.

A very specific product for photographers whose price is around $200.

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Nexto DI ND2901

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It is really a case with a specific design in which a 2.5-inch hard drive is inserted and allows the direct dumping of SD and CF memory cards and USB devices very quickly. According to the manufacturer, it says, it is capable of transferring 4.5 Gbytes in one minute from a CF card. The Nexto DI ND2901 includes a small LCD for viewing photos and is able to synchronize and create a second copy on an external USB disk.

Designed by a Korean company, the Nexto DI ND2901 is not a cheap product nor has a very wide distribution  (it is much more popular in markets like the US), but it can be obtained through Microgamma. The model with a hard disk of 1 TB included is currently exhausted, but to get an idea its price is about 325 dollars.

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