In this post we will talk about the best external hard disks in general, differentiate their types, give tips on how to properly take care of them and more. All this to help you choose the best external HD for you.
Types of External Hard Drives
There are two types of external HD’s: the external HD’s desktop and the portable. Both are highly recommended, but it is important for you to analyze which one will be most appropriate for your utility.
But if you’re interested in just keeping your data somewhere else, whether it’s for backup or just not using your notebook or computer storage, we recommend you buy a desktop HD, which has more storage capacity but are approaching 3.5 “.
Regardless of your choice, by default, it will have a USB output (be it 3.0 or 2.0) that will allow the transfer of data from your device to the HD.
We should also mention the latest technology in this area, which is the USB-C outputs. It is faster than the conventional USB 3.0, however, as it is an extremely recent technology, there are few drivers and devices that are already found with these inputs natively.
This type of HD usually stays fixed on a desk at home or at work. They are about 3.5 inches and weigh more than laptops. It is worth remembering that this type of device must be connected to an external source of energy to operate.
If this is your case and an HD of this type is what you are looking for, it is highly recommended to look for a model that has a built-in cooling fan or system, as this will improve its performance and increase the life of the device.
These desktop models have a capacity ranging from 6 TB up to 8 TB and are more suitable for large companies and offices, serving well as a great place to store your photos and documents.
When dealing with portable HDs, they are most often used and recommended for users whose mobility is a relevant factor. They are lighter and smaller, and because of that, they are easy to transport. Depending on the model chosen, it can even fit in your pocket.
They have a 2.5-inch mechanism and are powered through a single cable connector, without the need for an external power source to operate.
However, these portable models have lower capacity compared to desktop models. The same can vary from 1TB up to 4TB and are most often used to make backups and store some files. They are best suited for home use or even small offices.
Factors to consider when purchasing an external hard drive
Regardless of your choice, we expect the device to meet our needs for several years, but like every appliance, this also has a limited shelf life. But of course we can increase this useful life by taking due care of, for example:
- Purchase a case that will protect it against dust and moisture
- It is not recommended to access your external hard drive on public computers because of the risks of it being infected by some virus
- High temperatures are also harmful to the appliance, so keep it away from sources of excessive heat
- The HD stores the data on a magnetic disk and, if exposed to magnets or other magnetic devices (such as microwaves, speakers, etc.), they can permanently damage the device, rendering it unusable
For those users who still want to go a step further, it is worth remembering that some external HD models have the option of encrypting the data, which is always a viable option, because in this way if your device is stolen, thieves will not have access to your data.
For the question of the speed of the HD, we have 2 factors that influence and much in this question. We will deal with them next, but first, we must have the concept of speed well defined.
When we refer to the speed with which an HD works, we are talking about the agility of the HD in accessing and working with the data contained in it and this “agility” is measured by the RPM number (or revolutions per minute) that the same
Regarding the other factor, we have to analyze the connections that the HD has. Nowadays, the standard adopted is the USB 3.0 connections, which have transfer rates close to 5 Gbps (something between 150 and 250 MB / s). But of course we have several types of connections beyond this and we will cite a few below:
- USB 2.0: Works at a slower speed than the current standard (USB 3.0), achieving something close to 100 MB / s.
- USB 3.1: Which can be found in both USB-A (the best known standard model) and in its innovative new USB-C format (which we will talk about soon). It still reaches more than 600 MB / s, and is becoming increasingly popular, and may become the new standard in a few years.
- USB-C: It has a single and symmetrical input that can be plugged in from either side and reaching more than 400 MB / s when downloading and accessing files.
- Thunderbolt: With the USB-C format, it is the top of the line of this generation, but this connection is becoming very popular, due to the high price and the high energy consumption through it. Thunderbolt 3 is even faster than USB 3.1, easily reaching 1 TB / s.
It’s easy to replace a monitor, a keyboard, a mouse, or even the processor, but not your data, so do not take the chance and do the right thing for your external hard drive.
Now with the tips and information provided above you are ready to choose the best external HD and to help you, we have made a list of the best external HD. You can check our individual evaluation on each of them below.
Portable Hard Disk – The Best List
- Type: Laptop
- Capacity: 500GB, 1TB
- Ports: USB 3.0 and 2.0
- Rotation speed: 5400 rpm
- Weight: 230 g
- Dimensions: 79mm (Width) x 15mm (Height) x 119mm (Depth)
Toshiba is a Japanese company that develops and designs from electronic devices to cell phones and elevators. Innovation is part of the Eastern giant’s portfolio, which is one of the most well-known and valued companies in the hard drive segment, always bringing us products with excellent quality, good construction and data access speeds that easily leave many other companies behind.
Its design is innovative and very well thought out, compact and stain resistant. The Toshiba Canvio Basic still has an LED indicator at the top right that will ascend when the device is in use.
It is worth remembering that just like its predecessor, the Canvio Basics, it also has rounded edges, reinforced housing with excellent construction and minimalist appearance showing only the brand logo on the front of the device.
Access and share your files from anywhere on the internet by simply installing PogoPlug software that works as follows: The user on your computer chooses which folders you want to share access to and log in with the PogoPlug account. From there just go to the browser, log in again and you will have access to all the folders chosen in the previous step.
Canvio Basics is easy to set up and use, thanks to Plug & Play technology, whereby the user simply connects the device’s USB to their computer and Canvio Basics is ready for use.
Although small and simple, Canvio Basics has excellent read and write speeds, easily reaching 200 MB / s using its USB 3.0 port. Not to mention that you can still schedule your backups and protect them with a password.
Its 500GB capacity, even if it sounds like little, will surely be more than enough to store your data with confidence and security. Suitable for domestic use.
Key Features of Western Digital Elements 1TB
- Type: Laptop
- Capacity: 1 TB
- Ports: USB 3.0 and 2.0
- Rotation speed: 5400 rpm
- Weight: 134 g
- Dimensions: 78mm (Width) x 126mm (Height) x 15mm (Depth)
Western Digital knows how important your data is to you and because of that you build internal and external drives within our demanding long-term durability, tolerability and reliability requirements. The HDs are protected with a durable case designed for styling and protection.
Featuring an elegant design and a matte gray finish throughout the device and a minimalist look giving full emphasis to the brand logo stamped on the front of the HD. Its edges are rounded and have a rubbery texture, avoiding falls and accidents.
It also has an LED indicator on the top of the device, next to the SATA input port, which will turn on when the HD is in use.
Connect your HD to any USB port and as the device makes use of Plug & Play technology, there is no need to install any software other than the drivers themselves by simply plugging and using.
Western Digital’s HD Elements provide easy and enviable storage using a USB 3.0 port, reaching approximately 200 MB / s in transferring and manipulating your files.
With its 1TB storage capacity, you can easily store all your files and data. Very suitable for small businesses, offices and even for domestic use.
Key Features of Seagate Expansion
- 1TB and 2TB Model: Portable
- 3TB and 4TB Model: Desktop
- Capacity: 1 TB, 2TB, 3TB and 4TB
- Ports: USB 3.0 and 2.0
- Rotation speed: 5400 rpm
- Weight: 170g
- 1TB and 2TB models: 80mm (Width) x 14.8mm (Height) x 117mm (Depth)
- 3TB and 4TB models : 80 mm (Width) x 20.9 mm (Height) x 117 mm (Depth)
Seagate is a larger, older, independent US company focused on the production of hard drives (HDs) that serve the vast majority of users and are compatible with a wide variety of computers and devices.
Seagate HD designs are among the best, toughest and most recommended today. We have an extremely durable plastic finish in matte black color, with a texture in a triangular format that allows for a safer footprint, leaving it with a modern and unique design.
The HD has an LED that when connected turns on in blue color. One thing he missed was the fact that he does not have any rubberized feet to keep him safely on the table, which causes the device to slip on some surfaces.
To use Seagate Expansion you do not need to install any specific software, just the drivers themselves. Thanks to plug & play technology, you simply plug it into a USB port on your computer/notebook and start using it without major problems.
As it has a USB 3.0 port and its internal hardware maintains the quality proposed by the American company. Seagate Expansion easily reaches 160 to 180 MB / s for both recording and reading the data contained in the HD.
The Seagate Expansion comes with a 2TB storage, which is a great choice for anyone looking for a quality, reliable device with plenty of space to store your files at an affordable price.
Western Digital My Passport Ultra
We started our guide to the best external hard drives, Western Digital My Passport Ultra is an excellent option if you are looking for an external hard drive with a very compact size and all the reliability of one of the most reputable brands in the sector. With a weight of only 159 grams, it offers all the advantages of external storage in a size like that of a purse. It is offered in capacities from 500 GB to 4 TB so you can choose the one that best suits your needs and your budget.
For maximum security, the Western Digital My Passport Ultra includes hardware 256-bit AES encryption and is available in blue, red, white, black and blue or silver metallic finishes.
As always we recommend our guide to the best SSD drives on the market.
Seagate Backup Plus Slim
We all look for more attractive devices that offer the best advantages. You would be surprised what this device offers:
This disc has an aluminum housing that gives it a solid design. It is available in 5 storage capacities, that is, 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB, 4 TB and 5 TB. It should be noted that 5 TB is the largest size of an external hard drive on the market today. The size of the gadget is 4.47 x 2.99 x 0.48 inches.
Another area where we can improve the attractiveness of the device and customize it at our will? Let’s have it:
The width of all Seagate Backup plus hard drives, except 5 TB, is 0.5 inches and is available in 4 colors, for example, black, silver, red and blue. In addition, the width of the 5TB hard drive is 0.8 inches and is only in black.
It is slim, elegant, fast, lightweight and easy to operate. It’s easy to partition. The cable is not very long or short. The transfer speed is very satisfactory.
The 21st century is about adjusting performance so that our devices are faster and more efficient. This product is not different:
It’s about half as fast as Backup Plus Fast when I compared. This unit is a single volume, while the Fast unit is RAID-O. When testing its two versions, 2TB and 4TB, I have found that both show remarkable performance.
Observe how this product can fit with the daily use of your computer hardware and software:
This unit has USB 3.0 connectivity and provides different types of backups. These backup copies are PC backups, mobile backup, and social backup. You can connect directly to the windows, but you need a driver to connect to the Mac device.
Provides 200 GB of online storage capacity for a unit for one year.
All your favorites, such as photos, audios, videos, and movies, can be backed up with the help of Seagate Dashboard software that can be downloaded. Guys, you can now easily run a single backup or schedule a scheduled backup plan to save your records to your additional Backup Plus Slim portable drive whenever the time is right. It is also called Seagate external hard drive.
It has a 2-year warranty from Seagate, which guarantees that the product is efficient and durable.
If what you want is maximum protection for all your content then you should opt for a rugged external hard drive like the LaCie Rugged. This solution offers you maximum protection against bumps and falls so it is ideal if you are going to have it in an environment that is not as quiet as you would like or if there are children in between. Thanks to its armoring it can withstand falls from a maximum height of approximately 20 meters without being damaged. Another great feature of LaCie Rugged is its Thunderbolt port for faster data transfer than the USB 3.0 port, which incidentally also includes it. It is offered in capacities of 1 TB, 2 TB, and 4 TB so you can choose the one that best suits you.
Transcend StoreJet 25M3
Let’s take out the new innovative hard drive from Transcend, its StoreJet 15M3. The Transcend Storejet 25 M3 is a shock-resistant hard drive that easily absorbs any shock. It has been approved as shock resistant to military grade. It has 3 stage shock protection that allows it to withstand difficult conditions.
The features actually talk about the performance and eminence of a gadget, without a man, without a sales agent. So, let the features of this device talk about that.
The Transcend Storejet is available in 4 sizes, ie 500 GB, 640 GB, 750 GB, 1 and 2 TB. It is a SATA device of 5.1 x 3.25 x 0.8 inches and provides a higher data rate since it supports USB 3.0 in addition to the USB 2.0 version. Bookmark Sync, Cloud, and Crypto are other important features that are integrated into this device. You have 10 minutes of energy saving mode.
It has an instant backup button on the back that allows the user to back up the disk with the push of a button.
The presence of 2.5 SATA hard drives inside the store jet increases its performance variety. The disk sequential speed tests show that it can read and write more than 135 MB / s, which is very fast.
It has also been seen that the unit remains almost silent during use and benefits from its shock-absorbing frame and the outer shell of silicone rubber.
As far as hard drive security is concerned, it has been equipped with 256 AES encryption keys that make it a secure storage.
It has an excellent 3-year warranty that is even more than the thin backup of Seagate.