Best external drives for backup, storage, and portability

    Anyone who makes use of a PC ought to have an exterior drive. It’s each a helpful means of information backup and storage, and a solution to transport recordsdata out of your desktop or laptop computer to a different gadget. Xbox One X customers, as nicely, could be sensible to spend money on an exterior drive as a method of augmenting the console’s measly 1TB onerous drive (the exterior drive must be USB 3.0-compatible and will likely be formatted while you insert the drive). 

    Two issues are for positive: No one ever stated they needed much less space for storing, and nobody ever stated they needed a slower drive. Our newest high picks for greatest exterior efficiency drive (SanDisk’s Extreme Pro Portable and Samsung’s T7) are blazing-fast, nice information in case you’re shifting round massive quantities of information. If backup or connectivity are your priorities, we’ll additionally stroll you thru our different high picks, and every little thing you’ll want to know to purchase the most effective exterior drive to your wants.

    And whereas we’re speaking about storage drives, know how one can monitor the health of your hard drives—the preservation of your treasured information will depend on it.

    The greatest exterior drives 2020

    Best exterior backup drive

    Our decide for greatest moveable exterior backup drive for 2020 is Western Digital’s My Passport 5TB drive. Why? Well, you’ll be able to by no means have sufficient, are you able to? Sure, the 4TB model is definitely a tick decrease in cost-per-terabyte, however that additional house might be invaluable if it permits you to jam all of your beneficial recordsdata onto this drive earlier than gently putting it in a secure. After all, they don’t name it bulk storage for nothing. (Read our full review of the WD My Passport.)


    Our runner-up for this well-liked class is Seagate’s Backup Plus Portable. Like the WD above, it’s a USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps) drive. It tops out at 5TB in a single drive and will also be had in 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB capacities. There’s even a “fast” 4TB model that makes use of two onerous drives in RAID for extra efficiency.

    In our checks of the 4TB model, we discovered the Seagate to be barely quicker with massive file transfers (assume motion pictures) however worse with small file transfers (assume Office paperwork). It’s nonetheless a worthy runner-up, although. (Read our full review of Seagate’s Backup Plus Portable.)

    Best efficiency USB drive

    This is the one: SanDisk’s Extreme Pro Portable SSD (1TB) is the quickest USB 3.1 Gen 2 exterior SSD we’ve seen up to now. Burst efficiency is roughly on a par with the runner-up Samsung T7’s, however it blows that drive out of the water throughout lengthy writes.

    SanDisk’s drive doesn’t supply the T7’s useful and enjoyable fingerprint safety, however it’s about the identical value and gives software-based password safety if safety is a priority. Read our full review

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