Desktop-style external hard drives are larger, are based on the beefier and more capacious 3.5-inch drives used in full-size desktop PCs, and require their own AC power source. ", Also works with USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 and Gen 2 ports, Extreme ruggedness against dust, water, drops, crush pressure. Western Digital My Passport 4TB external hard drive; 1.3 3. The first time you plug in an external drive, Time Machine will ask if you want to use it as a backup drive. (Check out our favorite rugged drives.). A solid-state drive (SSD) offers quick access to your data because it stores your bits in a type of flash memory rather than on spinning platters. We spent over 30 hours researching and testing 20 different external hard drives and found that HDD capacity, warranty, and backup speed were most important. We've tested SSDs and platter-based drives alike. G-Technology Portable External Hard Drive 2TB . Seagate Toolkit provides handy backup/recover functions, as well as mirroring. Even if you do have the funds to spend, wouldn’t you rather spend the same amount of money for even more storage capacity? Ships with apps for backup/restore, reformatting and checking drive health, and more. Some highly specialized external drives might not work with Macs even if they're formatted correctly, but consumers looking for extra space simply to store backups or large video collections aren't likely to encounter them. With USB-only drives, some manufacturers include a USB Type-C cable for people who own a USB Type-C-only MacBook, and you can always pick up a converter for a few dollars online if the drive you're eyeing doesn't offer one. Follow him on Twitter @branttom. Of course, you can easily reformat most external drives, so you're not limited to buying only those intended for use with Macs. Even some Mac-specific drives are still sold with USB 3.0 connectors. Here's how how to share an external hard drive between Mac and Windows. SSDs are often smaller and lighter than spinning external drives, as well, which is also thanks to the lack of moving parts. With MacBooks coming with USB Type-C connections, this is an excellent - and stylish - external hard drive that makes the most of this speedy new port. There's also a USB 3.0 port for connecting to computers that don't have a Thunderbolt port. In his spare time, he's written on topics as diverse as Borneo's rain forests, Middle Eastern airlines, and big data's role in presidential elections. The Seagate Backup Plus Slim is the best external hard drive for Mac you can carry around with you at all times. Need to download utilities to manage the drive. Unsurprisingly, it doesn't reach the top speeds of solid state external drives, but for external hard drives based on traditional HDDs, this is the drive to consider. Neither Apple File System nor HFS+ works with Windows, however. Can set to RAID 0 for higher speed and capacity, or to RAID 1 for drive mirroring. Before we get to Thunderbolt 3, we need to address a basic building block of hard drives that has always affected compatibility, and probably always will: the file system. Five-year warranty with five years of Data Rescue recovery. You may have stumbled upon the LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive when perusing the Apple website for USB-C accessories. You could pay more than 25 cents per gigabyte for an SSD, while spinning drives can be had for less than 10 cents per gigabyte—and often much less. Photographers have different specs for an external hard drive: portable drives, backup drives, and internal hard drive extensions. The Western Digital External hard drive scored high marks in every category and is our top pick. As it uses a solid state drive, the read and write speeds of this drive are much faster than external hard drives that use traditional hard drives. This is the latest generation of the Western Digital My Passport external hard drives comes in capacities from 1TB to 4TB, and features cloud storage and 256-AES encryption, along with WD's own backup software. Can use RAID 0 for higher speed and capacity, RAID 1 for drive mirroring, or JBOD (RAID off). Our picks for the best external hard drives for Mac devices are simply the best and most affordable way to fix your storage troubles. Click here to make sure you pick the right hard drive for your needs. Both USB Type-C and USB Type-A cables provided. 1.5.1 Pros; 1.5.2 Cons; 1.6 6. Your subscription has been confirmed. The Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB is one of the more compact non-SSD drives, making it the best external hard drive for those who are looking to save some space. It does mean the price is higher, but if transfer speed is the most important consideration when looking for the best external hard drive for your Mac, then this is the drive to go for. It provides twice the speeds of standard USB 3.0 drives. It features cloud storage and 256-AES encryption, along with WD's own software suite. The silver lining is that Thunderbolt 3 via USB Type-C supports a blazing maximum potential throughput of 40Gbps, double the speed of the old Thunderbolt 2 standard and many times the 5GBps that USB 3.0 offers. Aimed at multimedia professionals, the CalDigit AV Pro 2 is a well-designed, Mac-formatted external drive that comes in SSD and spinning disk versions, and includes both a USB hub and Thunderbolt 3 support. Combining on-point performance and strong encryption, Seagate's Backup Plus Ultra Touch portable drive is a great choice for everyday backups and security-first use alike. Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt keeps the price down. Not only that, but some of these external hard drives are typically thin, light and portable so you can take them anywhere, as well as built with a rugged design so they can survive the elements when you’re on the field. And Mac desktops all still come with USB 3.0 ports, so they won't require adapters. 8 Best external hard drives for mac. Moreover, the Thunderbolt 3 drives you can buy are constrained by the maximum throughput of the drive itself, rather than the Thunderbolt 3 interface. Given their differences, pushing files between a Mac and a PC can be quite annoying. Unless your drive is never going to leave your home or office, you should also consider its physical durability. Best Rugged External Hard Drive – LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C If someone tries to tamper with your iStorage drive, you can configure it to self-desturct. It still uses a traditional hard drive, rather than an SSD, and while this means speeds aren't quite as fast as possible, it at least keeps the price down, while offering large capacities. The Best Mac External Hard Drive and SSD Deals This Week* WD Elements 4TB USB 3.0 Portable Drive — $94.99 (List Price $139.99) Seagate Expansion 4TB External USB 3.0 Hard Drive — … And at … It’s expensive for an external hard drive, don’t get us wrong, especially if you’re in the market for the top-end 4TB option. Best for Photo and Video Pros in the Field, Best for Security-Concious Frequent Travelers, Best for Maximum Flexibility, Data Protection, Best for Outdoor Enthusiasts and Business Professionals, Best for Content Creators Seeking Extreme Speed. Requires software for fingerprint unlocking on a PC or Mac. NY 10036. Drive is easily removable from its enclosure. It does mean the price is higher, but if transfer speed is the most important consideration when looking for the best external hard drive for your Mac, then this is the drive to go for. Here are some of the best external hard discs for photographers in 2021. It's ideal for anyone who works in the field and produces oodles of data. The best external hard drives are a handy way to add lots of storage to your PC without the hassle of cracking open the case and messing with power and SATA cables. It is a good performer when it comes to data transfer speeds but doesn't come near the top of the leaderboard. Compare that with external spinning drives, which are easy to find even in capacities in excess of 8TB. Four and eight terabyte versions are available, more than enough for most people. Please refresh the page and try again. The Western Digital My Passport is a reliable solid state drive you can trust. Even if you use cloud storage to back up all of your data, you should always have a safe "hard" copy on a hard drive if your data is important. Its combination of solid performance, hardware encryption, and useful utilities makes the 5TB WD My Passport a strong contender for everyday backup of sensitive data or storing a massive collection of videos, photos, and documents. This portable external hard drive from Western Digital, encased in a stylish silver body, will perfectly match any modern computer rig and will let you safely store and encrypt massive … Built-in fingerprint reader and LED status indicator. G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 (4TB) 1.6.1 Pros A graduate of Middlebury College, Tom also has a master's degree in journalism and French Studies from New York University. Protect the data on your external hard drive with this cloud storage solution. CNN Underscored tested seven top-of-the-line external drives, including options from SanDisk, Seagate, Samsung and more. Plus, a fabric coat adds appeal. However, that speed ceiling is rising. The best Thunderbolt 3 SSD and hard drives for your MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac mini, or iMac. iStorage diskAshur 2TB is encrypted by the 256-bit AES protocol. Seagate Backup Plus Slim (2 TB) 1.3.1 Pros; 1.3.2 Cons; 1.4 4. An external drive's file system is the most important factor that determines whether or not it's readable by Macs, PCs, or both. Amazon’s price for the 8 TB version makes it a no-brainer—that’s less than most other companies’ 4 TB drives. But there’s more. Drives with rated peak reads and writes in the 1,000MBps to 3,500MBps range indicate one of these newer-tech drives. You may unsubscribe from the newsletters at any time. Lexar's speedy SL100 Pro external SSD is a useful, affordable bit of storage kit for general users and media pros alike. Bolster the storage capacity of your Apple machine. TechRadar is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Using a Mac? G-Technology G-Drive USB 3.0 protects your data from knocks and drops. Seagate’s Backup Plus Hub for Mac is designed for the Mac and compatible with Time Machine out of the box. Finally, you might want to consider how the drive will look when it's plugged into your Mac. If you're worried about people getting access to your data if your external hard drive is stolen, than you'll like the iStorage drive here. Western Digital My Passport Ultra features cloud storage and 256-AES encryption. Insist on Thunderbolt 3 support if you have a late-model Mac and you know you need all the speed you can get. After weeks of testing, we landed on the best hard drive… Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC comes with a rugged case. If you decide in favour of hard drives, see our roundup of the best Mac hard drives. Bundled cables for USB Type-A and Type-C on PC side. © 1996-2021 Ziff Davis, LLC. While you can customize backup options in System Preferences, such as asking Time Machine to exclude certain folders, there's no action required on your part if you're happy with the default settings. New York, This is a great external hard drive for your Mac if you are concerned about keeping your data safe and secure. With a cloud storage provider like iDrive you can rest easy knowing you have a backup copy of your files in the cloud if worse comes to worst. As a result, they are typically external SSDs, or multidrive RAID arrays, which means they're also very expensive. If you're shopping for a fast, Mac-matching external SSD that will look just as good in the boardroom as it will on the side of a mountain, the Envoy Pro EX With USB-C is the drive for you. High price per gigabyte, due largely to ruggedization and RAID design. LaCie's two-drive Rugged RAID Shuttle offers the choice of high capacity and fast performance (in striped mode), or of half the capacity with all data mirrored on the second disk. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and—unlike the file system—the type you buy is the type you're stuck with for the life of the drive. This drive is preformatted just for you, offering a high transfer rate for fast file access and connects easily via USB-C. Offering excellent performance and easy-to-use security, Samsung's credit-card-sized, fingerprint-reading Portable SSD T7 Touch is a versatile external solid-state drive. For anyone who works in the 1,000MBps to 3,500MBps range indicate one of leaderboard. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, New York University small, light, even... Plus Slim ( 2 TB ) 1.4.1 Pros ; 1.4.2 Cons ; 1.4 4 with most drives topping out around! It ’ s less than most other companies ’ 4 TB drives. ) drive when perusing the website. 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