Best External SSDs In 2021
With the consistent evolution of the digital age, preservation of information has become more important than ever. From videos to pictures and other creative files, there’s a need to store our personal files for posterity as well as for later use. Choosing the Best External SSD ensures that your data and documents are kept in safe hands for as long as you need.
When it comes to storage devices, External SSDs tend to be more favored than traditional hard disc on the tech market because they function at a much greater speed. Being of a higher caliber, choosing one to buy is no hassle at all. Here’s a list of the best available options to choose from.
The Best External SSD
When it comes to choosing External SSDS, the Samsung T5 Portable SSD – 1TB is, without a doubt, your best bet. This SSD, which is compatible with Windows 7, Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks), Android 4.4 (KitKat), or higher, has made data management easier than ever before. Its new intuitive software allows the device to be compatible with most modern-day smartphones and laptops, ensuring that you can easily transfer data and files from your devices. The Samsung T5 Portable SSD with a sturdy shock resistance body and no moving parts – this means it can handle drops from up to 2 meters.
The device also comes with optional password protection coupled with AES 256-bit hardware encryption to keep your personal and private data secure. Our guide to the best mini PCs features more portable options like this.
Read-write speeds of up to 540 MB/S
Optional password protection
AES 256-bit hardware encryption
- Weight1.76 ounces
The Western Digital My Passport Portable SSD stands out on the market for an array of reasons, one of which is its Auto Backup feature which you can schedule for whenever you want and how often you want; thereby minimizing the loss of important files or documents. It comes in multiple colors to choose from and also effortlessly fits into your hand, allowing you to carry your treasure trove of photos, music and videos wherever you go. The Western Digital My Passport Portable SSD is an easy to use device with a massive storage capacity that makes it worth the purchase. For more amazing storage options, check out our guide to the best network storage devices.
USB 3.0 port
3-year manufacturer’s limited warranty
USB 3.0 Port; USB 2.0 compatible
Auto backup with included WD backup software
- BrandWestern Digital
- Weight8.6 ounces
The SanDisk Extreme Portable External SSD – USB-C has become a favorite on the market due to its ability to transfer files of large sizes in a relatively short amount of time. It is the perfect option for you if you’re always on the move and thanks to its compact design, you can always have it with you.
Beyond its ability to move files quickly, the SanDisk Extreme Portable External SSD is known for being shock resistant, vibration and water resistant, making the device highly durable while simultaneously protecting your data from loss. If you are looking for some connectivity improvements, be sure to check out our guide to the best thunderbolt 3 docks.
High speed transfers with up to 550MB/s
- Weight1.44 ounces
The WD My Passport SSD Portable Storage has been commended for its sleek and attractive compact design. Beyond its appearance, it is also known for being efficient and easy to use. What’s more, it is compatible with many available smartphones and laptops on the market.
Like many Solid State Drives from Western Digital, WD My Passport SSD Portable Storage is superiorly made and provides fast file transfers. It can also import data from your cloud and social media, an uncommon feature with storage devices. For more handy products like this, check out our reviews of the best USB hubs.
Social media and cloud storage import
File transfers with read speeds up to 540 MB/S
3-year manufacturer’s limited warrant
USB Type-C and USB 3.1 gen 2 ready; USB 3.0, USB 2.0 and USB-A compatible
- BrandWestern Digital
- Weight1.44 ounces
The G-Technology G-DRIVE Mobile SSD Durable External Storage is one device that should not be overlooked. To start with, it comes with an industry-leading 5-year limited manufacturer warranty. Beyond that, the External SSD is also 1000lb crush resistant, ensuring it can survive even the toughest traumas, protecting your information.
Thanks to its transfer speed, you can easily save, edit and archive large media files efficiently. During internal testing, this device could survive immersion in water for 30 minutes at 1 meter; this serves as proof that this SSD is committed to protecting your data at all costs. You may also be interested in some of the best microSD cards from our list, so take a moment to check them out.
A durable design with IP67 water/dust resistance
5-year limited warranty
Transfer rates up to 560MB/S
Latest-generation USB-C connectivity (USB 3.1 Gen 2)
- Weight3.04 ounces
With the Samsung X5 Portable SSD, you’ll be getting a superior storage device. To start with, it comes with Thunderbolt 3 connectivity interface with delivers 40Gb/s which offers fast data transfer at a practically unheard of speed. It is also the perfect option for those in the tech industry or tech-savvy professionals in general.
The Samsung X5 Portable SSD also comes with Thermal Management Technology which helps the device maintain optimal temperature for high-quality performance. The exciting news is that this only the tip of the iceberg of what this External Solid State Drive offers. Don’t forget to also check out our top picks of the best USB flash drives for more great storage options.
Shock-resistant internal frame
First-ever Nvme-based portable SSD from Samsung featuring thunderbolt 3 technology
Non-slip bottom mat
Full metal body with glossy top
- Weight5.3 ounces
If you’re looking for one of the more affordable options on this list, look no further than the Pioneer 3D NAND External SSD. Though this external SSD is cheaper than most of the aforementioned devices, it still offers a wealth of features that make it worth your time.
Not only is the Pioneer 3D NAND External SSD compatible with any system, which is to be expected, it is also four times faster than the traditional external hard drive. It is also easy to use, lightweight and efficient without consuming too much power.
Low power consumption
- Weight0.96 ounces
While the Seagate Fast SSD 500GB External Solid State Drive has a lot to offer, its most exciting feature is that it comes with a complimentary two-month membership to the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan which provides access to amazing video and photo editing app. As such, this one External SSD every creative-minded person needs to have.
The fact that the Seagate Fast SSD 500GB Solid State Drive comes from a highly trusted brand in the data storage industry is another reason why this is a must-have. An understated feature that ought to be appreciated is that this gadget comes with folder syncing abilities which aids in organizing files across devices.
Three years limited warranty
540 Mb/S transfer speed
SSD comes with older syncing capabilities
- Weight2.88 ounces
Sabrent might not be as well-known as Seagate, SanDisk, or Samsung, but they are quickly becoming an important player in the SSD market. There are a few different products in Sabrent’s Rocket series, depending on what you’re looking for from your SSD. Our favorite, the Sabrent Rocket Nano has quickly become a best-seller on Amazon and other online marketplaces.
Why do we like this SSD so much? Well, it packs a lot of storage space and impressive data transfer speeds into a tiny package (hence the name). Measuring about the same as a thumb drive, this SSD offers one terabyte of space (512GB and 2TB options are available) and ultra-fast 10Gbps throughput. Plus, it’s easy to carry around and has a sleek alloy sandblasted shell.
Ultra-fast 10Gbps throughput
1TB storage space
Alloy sandblasted shell
Firmware is upgradable
- Weight6.4 ounces
The Samsung T7 Touch Portable SSD is one of the most high-tech consumer SSDs on the market. This model has 2TB of storage space, can read up to 1050MB/s, and writes at up to 1000MB/s. So, it’s fast but it’s not the best performing SSD on the market. But, while it’s not the fastest or even the best value SSD on the market, it does have some innovative features that users love.
The most obvious feature is the built-in fingerprint scanner, which helps you keep your data secure on a physical level. In addition to this, it has hardware encryption to add another level of protection. Plus, it’s one of the toughest SSDs around. SSDs in general are much more robust than HDDs but this one takes it a step further with a shock-resistant casing that can withstand drops from up to 6 feet. You may also be interested in some of the best encrypted drives from our list, so check them out.
2TB storage space
Reads up to 1050 MB/s and writes up to 1000 MB
- Weight6.4 ounces
The WD My Passport Wireless SSD External Portable Drive is another External Solid State drive from Western Digital to make the list. This unique designed SSD comes with a built-in sd card reader and can effortlessly import data. With this SSD, you can also preview and export RAW images on Android and iOS. Beyond that, it comes with a long-lasting battery with which you can watch videos, and view your photos with the accompanying My Cloud app.
This is not your average SSD, like many of its Western Digital peers, it is leagues ahead of its peers. It comes with a one-touch copy button that makes backing up content easy and fast.
Built In SD card readers
All day battery
Wirelessly stream 4k videos and view photos from the my cloud app
- BrandWestern Digital
- Weight1.01 pounds
The Seagate Game Drive for Xbox External Solid State Drive was created exclusively with gamers in mind. While this SSD has a lot of amazing features to offer, here are some that will appeal to its target audience. This device comes with more than enough space to boot games faster and even store up to 15+ titles. What’s more, it comes with access to 100+ games and access to the Xbox Games Pass for a limited time membership.
This device also comes with a multi-year warranty and a quick step-by-step setup. It is fun, easy to use and adaptable to your gaming life, but also makes an amazing gift for gamers in your life.
Exclusively for Xbox
Plug-And-Play USB 3.0 connectivity – no power cable needed
Boots games faster
- Weight3.04 ounces
External SSD Buying Guide
How We Chose Our Selection Of External SSDs
Reviews - When choosing our selection of External SSDs, it was important to us to consider the reviews available. We curated our list from the most positively reviewed and highest rated items on the market. We also selected items with detailed reviews that provided an insight to how the item works and what to expect when you make a purchase.
Price - When putting together our list of External SSDs, ‘Price’ was one of the most important factors considered. We selected options that offered a variety of services and features without demanding a lot in terms of cost. While External SSDs are a little costlier than traditional hard drives, there’s a notable difference in the services they offer, making SSDs worth the money. The options listed above are the most pocket friendly options which offer a high selection of features.
Features To Look For In External SSDs
Transfer Speed - When purchasing an SSD, you should first take into account how often you plan to use it. If you’re transferring files in and out of your SSD very often, then you should prioritize one with an impressive transfer speed so you don’t have to spend an obscene amount of time moving your files back and forth. When checking for transfer speed, you need to take a closer look at the storage technology and the connector it uses to influence your choice.
Connectivity - Connectivity is an important factor to consider when choosing an external Solid-State Drive. The connectivity, which is instrumental in how fast the drive functions, can be checked by type of interface the SSD has. Most of the solid state drives have a USB interface, with the most common being the USB 3.1 Gen 2 which offers up to 10Gbps transfer speeds.
Durability - It goes without saying that a long lasting device should be considered when buying an external Solid State Drive. The recent iterations of SSDs come with rugged casing to protect them from suffering any damage when they are dropped. Consider External SSDs with sturdy casings when you are making your purchase. Because an SSD has no moving parts, it becomes a more durable option when compared to a typical hard drive.
Storage Size - The storage size of an External Solid State Drive is, without a doubt, the most important factor to consider before you make a purchase. The size you need varies depending on what you intend to use the Solid State Drive for.
If you’re looking to use your External SSD as a device to store memories like photos and videos over the coming years, you’re advised to get one with substantial space (ex. – 5 TB) since it will be used for multiple years. However, if you’re looking to get one to transfer relatively bulky files easily and efficiently from one system to another, then you don’t need an SSD with enormous space but a less voluminous one (ex. – 500 GB) since you are conveying items and not storing them on the device.