With the pandemic closing offices and limiting social interaction, it’s needless to say that working or studying from home has now become a necessity.
And while computers are the most obvious essential device for at-home work stations, having a reliable external hard drive that can keep up with your daily tasks can make your life a lot easier. Not only will you get expanded storage but also have peace of mind that your files are kept safe and protected should anything happen to your computer.
There are quite a number of options of external hard drives out there to choose from, ranging from ultra-portable flash drives to fast, high-performance SSDs. It can be dizzying to figure out the right one so we’ve picked some of the best that you can use depending on what you need. Read on to find out which best suits you!
If you’re a professional who works with photos or videos or just someone who deals with large amounts of heavy files, one of your best moves is to invest in a high-speed, high-performance drive that can keep up with your workload.
WD G-DRIVE mobile Pro SSD – SSDs, in general, are faster than the average HDD, and pairing it with Thunderbolt 3 technology gives the assurance of consistently fast speeds. According to WD, this drive can transfer a terabyte of footage in just seven minutes or even less. It’s also pretty durable, shock resistant, and can withstand a 3-meter drop.
Samsung SSD X5 – Boasting of speeds that are 25x faster than a regular HDD, the Samsung SSD X5 is another great high-speed, Thunderbolt 3 drive. It can deliver speeds of up to 40Gb per second and is supported by NVMe transfer technology that makes even really heavy files a breeze to transfer. To lessen the toll on the drive during long working hours, Samsung has equipped the X5 with its own thermal management technology. It has Dynamic Thermal Guard to maintain optimal internal temperatures and a heat sink that keeps temperatures below 45 degrees Celsius.
WD G-DRIVE Mobile USB-C – SSDs offer incredible transfer speeds but are limited in storage options and are generally more expensive. If you still need fast transfer speeds and portability, then you might want to consider this. Measuring just four inches in length, the G-DRIVE Mobile USB-C offers up to 5TB storage and utilizes a USB-C port so transferring files are still pretty swift. Store and back-up your files in this sleek and stylish drive that even comes in a very pretty rose gold color.
There are times when you require a little more from your hard drive. Luckily, these next drives offer useful connectivity features that will allow you to easily transfer or store between devices or to the hard drive itself.
WD My Cloud Home – Described as an “easy-to-use, personal cloud storage device”, My Cloud Home allows you to connect the device to your Wi-Fi router so you can store your files in an online, centralized location. Users can then access the drive remotely through the My Cloud website or through accompanying apps for Mac, PC, Android, or iOS. Also built with a collaboration feature, teams or families will be able to share folders or files with ease.
SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive Go – One of the major downsides of Apple devices is its limited storage. And if you need to free up some space on-the-spot, you might have to sacrifice a couple of photos or videos to do so. The iXpand Flash Drive Go is a tiny, pocketable flash drive that provides Apple devices additional storage of up to 256GB.
Simply plug it into your phone or tablet’s charging port and easily move files off your phone. Don’t have time to transfer? You can record photos and videos directly to the drive so you won’t have to worry about filling up your phone’s built-in storage.
To stay productive, it’s best to keep things close to you or within reach so you won’t encounter any distractions. And when you’re the kind of worker who’s always out and about, you’ll need a hard drive with a certain degree of ruggedness to withstand always having to move.
ADATA HD770G – Not only is this drive extremely durable but its also the world’s first durable external hard disk with built-in RGB lighting. It has an IP68 rating meaning its both waterproof and dustproof. In addition to that, it’s designed with triple-layer construction to make it shock-resistant as well. Storage capacity goes up to 2TB and transfers via USB-3 with patented port covers to protect water or dust from entering the device.
SandDisk Extreme Portable SSD – Need a really fast hard drive that you can, quite literally, fit in your pocket? The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD is not just smaller than a smartphone, it’s pretty rugged too. With an IP55 rating, it can withstand rain, splashes, dust, and even spills. It’s capable of up to 2TB of storage and utilizes a USB 3.1 Type C to either Type-C or Type-A to fit both new and old devices.
Seagate Backup Plus Slim – The Seagate Backup Plus is an easy-to-use, no-frills portable drive that’s also slim and stylish. Available in a range of colors, it’s also a pretty affordable drive that can offer up to 2TB of storage. It’s not as fast as an SSD but it does offer USB 3.0 which still transfers files relatively fast. Unfortunately, this drive isn’t as rugged as the first two mentioned above so you’ll need to handle it with a bit of care.
Keep it safe and secure
Files and information can be hijacked in a second and can cause major damages to your work or personal life. If you want that added layer of security, then it’s best to get a drive that offers password protection and/or some kind of encryption.
Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC – Both rugged and secure, this portable hard drive boasts military spec shock protection as well as water and dust resistance meaning you won’t have to worry about damage when tucked away in your bag or pocket. For security, the MiniStation Extreme has 256-bit AES Full Data Encryption which is the most secure encryption method available today. Should you ever lose your drive, contents can be locked and made inaccessible to anyone but the owner. In addition to that, the drive is equipped with NFC which users can use to unlock their files with the included smart card.
WD My Passport – Trusted and reliable, My Passport ticks the checkboxes for all your most basic hard drive needs plus a few little extras. It has a slim and portable form factor and comes in a handful of fun colors to suit any style.
Capable of up to 5TB storage space, it’s also packaged with WD Backup software and WD Discovery which lets you connect to your social media accounts to directly import, organize, and share files. As for security, you can keep your files locked away with built-in password protection and 256-bit AES hardware encryption.
Like with any tech, choosing the best hard drive will depend on what you, as the user, will need. Some will need super-fast SSDs while others will get by just fine with just having a regular HDD. Ruggedness and security are also aspects you have to think about and whether or not they are of importance to you. Keep these in mind and sort them in order of their priority to you and you’ll end up with a hard drive you’re sure to love.