With so many lists focused on computers in both desktop and laptop form, we thought it only fitting to have a gift guide centered around the top 10 external hard drives. For various reasons, external hard drives can be a useful thing to have, mainly because it can help you get extra storage if your computer doesn't have enough built-in, but also because they can be handy for keeping backups of your system as well as all of your other files in case things get corrupted. Here's our list of the top 10 best external hard drives.
Seagate Backup Plus Slim 1TB Portable Drive
Like PC machines, Macs need external storage too sometimes which is why we have this slim portable unit from Seagate on the list. It comes in a sleek and slender design to match the aesthetic of the Macbook Air and other Mac laptops, and it has 1TB of external storage space so it's not only easy to carry with you, but it has loads of extra room for your backed up files or anything else. In addition to the 1TB of onboard storage with this drive, it also comes with a 2-year offering of 200GB of OneDrive cloud storage. Ituses the USB connection for power so there's no need to plug in an adapter, and transferring files should be simple and quick thanks to the USB 3.0 standard.
LaCie Rugged 2TB External Hard Drive
If you're tough on your electronics or simply want to be prepared, then you'll want to check out this rugged external drive from LaCie. It doesn't compromise space for protection and still carries 2TB of storage space, but is built for drops and dings so it can handle unexpected surprises as it's shock, rain, and pressure resistant. It also has integrated password protection, and supports both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0.
Samsung T1 Portable 1TB SSD
Although they can be a little more expensive, a solid state drive can be much faster at reading and writing files than a traditional hard disk drive thanks to the lack of any moving parts on the inside, which makes them worth the extra cost as you'll be able to use things much faster when engaging with the SSD. Samsung's T1 portable SSD is slim, lightweight, and comes with 1TB of space for loads of extra storage that works quickly with a 450MB/s transfer rate. It also has integrated security thanks to the embedded AES 256-bit encryption.
Western Digital My Passport Ultra 1TB Drive
WD hard drives are great and you'll often be able to find them a little bit less of a cost than brands like Seagate. The My Passport Ultra drive comes in a slim form factor making it easy to carry around with you or leave sitting on your desk while taking up little space. It also has an option for AES 256-bit encryption and it can backup your files automatically whether local files or files stored in the cloud. It also comes with 1TB of space and supports the USB 3.0 standard.
Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB Drive
While not the most popular brand when it comes to external drives, Toshiba still offers up some decent options. The Canvio Basics 1TB drive has plenty of space for you to backup and store anything you need, and if you hate smudges the unit has a smudge-free design to the outside. Toshiba boasts a plug-and-play experience meaning you can simply connect it to the USB 3.0 port on your computer. It's also fairly compact so it's easy to take for travel, and it saves space on the desk.
Samsung T1 Portable 500GB SSD
Here we have the exact same drive as the Samsung T1 Portable unit earlier on this list, but with 500GB of space instead of 1TB, which is going to make it about half of the cost. All of the features and functions are the same which means a super fast read and write speed and a compact design, but half the storage space. If you want an SSD but don't need that much extra room, you can save some money by picking up this model instead of the 1TB version.
Western Digital My Passport Ultra 2TB Drive
Just like with the Samsung T1 above, the WD My Passport Ultra 2TB drive is the exact same as the 1TB model earlier on this list, but with double the storage space if you need more than 1TB of additional HDD storage. You're also not looking at double the cost for double the storage which makes this a pretty good deal, and almost a better option than the 1TB model. It also comes in multiple colors just like the 1TB model.
Seagate Expansion 5TB Drive
If lots and lots of extra space is what you need then the Expansion model external drive from Seagate comes with 5TB of additional hard drive space. It's a little bigger than the other drives on this list which makes it better suited for home or office use, so it won't be as portable, but you get a lot more storage for quite a low cost. It can also be used in conjunction with the Xbox One to expand the storage amount for games and other media if you need it to. Connection is simple and it stays powered up by the USB port, and it supports both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0.
Western Digital My Book 4TB Drive
This is another external hard drive best suited for stationary use either at home or at work due to the actual size of the unit. It has 4TB of space which is quite a bit and should give plenty of extra room for your files. It also works off of a USB 3.0 connection making transfer rates much faster, and it comes with optional-use software to backup your files automatically called WD SmartWare Pro. It comes in black, and it does need to be plugged into an outlet for power.
Seagate Expansion 1TB Portable Drive
Rounding out this list is a portable drive from Seagate in their Expansion line. It works with both PC's and Xbox One systems to give them an additional 1TB of hard drive space for games, movies, or other media, and it can even be reformatted for use with Mac systems if you need it for that. It's slim and portable design make it easy to carry with you no matter where you go, and thanks to the USB 3.0 connection file transfers will happen fast.