Best external hard drives of 2022

The most effective exterior laborious drives are the unsung heroes of the gadget world. So long as you recurrently put them to work, they supply a useful security web towards laptop crashes and different varieties of digital catastrophes. Choosing the proper mannequin is essential. Individuals gained’t undergo the common backup course of if it’s tedious or annoying. This record of drives offers suggestions for some widespread customers. These magical little bins can maintain your picture archive, your music assortment, and anything you don’t need fading into the digital aether within the case of a pc meltdown.

There are some decisions you’ll must make with a view to get the right mannequin. What sort of connectivity do you want? How briskly ought to your drive be? And can or not it’s staying in your desk or going out into the world with you? We’ll stroll you thru the method of selecting the very best exterior laborious drive for you.

  • Finest for PC: Western Digital My E book
  • Finest for photographers: LaCie Rugged
  • Finest for Mac: WD My Passport Extremely for Mac
  • Finest for gaming: Toshiba Canvio Gaming
  • Finest with encryption: Apricorn Aegis Padlock

How we picked the merchandise

I’ve been writing about devices and laptop gear for practically twenty years now. I’ve additionally labored as an expert photographer and videographer. Throughout that point, I’ve gone by means of actually dozens of various laborious drives, which has given me precious private expertise.

Along with first-hand analysis, we additionally scoured on-line sources and editorial critiques. We straight in contrast dozens of drives on standards reminiscent of worth, function set, dimension, and reliability. We additionally gathered enter from different professionals and customers.

Issues to contemplate earlier than shopping for an exterior laborious drive

Listed below are some issues you must know earlier than digging into the world of exterior laborious drives.

Exhausting drives vs. strong state drives

It’s value understanding the distinction between SSDs and HDDs. All of the entries on this record are laborious drives, which implies they’ve spinning platters inside to retailer their knowledge. SSDs, nevertheless, don’t have shifting elements. SSDs are sometimes quicker and smaller, however sometimes restrict the quantity of knowledge they’ll maintain.


On the subject of capability, you must have an actual concept of how a lot knowledge you have got and the way a lot you’ll have sooner or later. Most drives measure their capability by terabyte, which represents 1,000 gigabytes. Plenty of storage is sweet to have, however you don’t need to pay additional for house that may sit unused for the lifetime of the gadget. Additionally, when you don’t want quick switch speeds or giant capacities, you may additionally have the ability to go for a conveyable drive that doesn’t want exterior energy.

Energy necessities

Some drives can draw sufficient energy from their USB ports, whereas others require an AC adapter related to the wall. Transportable drives sometimes provide smaller capacities and sometimes slower switch speeds, so that they aren’t preferrred in the event that they’re at all times going to take a seat in your desk otherwise you’re attempting to again up large libraries of knowledge.

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Virtually any drive will work on PC or Mac. Some, nevertheless, may want reformatting earlier than they’ll connect with one of many platforms. Sometimes PCs can count on to attach and instantly begin utilizing a drive. Macs usually tend to require formatting the drive.


You’ll need to be certain your drive will connect with your laptop. Most present drives use a mix of USB-C and USB 3.0. Make sure that the drive you select comes with the right cable or purchase an upgraded cable to get you the connection you want.

The most effective exterior laborious drives: Critiques & Suggestions

Finest for PC: Western Digital My E book

Why it made the minimize: WD’s strong fame and intensive suite of helpful utilities make this a easy approach to deal with storage for most individuals. It’s top-of-the-line exterior laborious drives for PC.


  • AC energy
  • Capacities as much as 18 TB
  • USB 3.0

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  • Plenty of capability choices
  • Included safety and backup software program
  • Comparatively quiet
  • Dependable


  • Not moveable
  • May have formatting to work with Mac

This Western Digital exterior drive guarantees capacities from an already roomy 3 TB all the best way as much as an absurdly spacious 18 TB in case you’re storing tons of knowledge. It’s meant to take a seat on a desk, so it wants an exterior energy provide, however that makes it particularly straightforward to make use of with a desktop laptop.

In comparison with the corporate’s extra primary fashions, WD’s My E book line presents a comparatively intensive suite of included utilities, together with an computerized backup answer and several other safety measures to maintain your knowledge secure from prying eyes. It connects to a pc by way of USB 3.0, so it’s loads quick for backing up, however you shouldn’t count on to make use of it for skilled video enhancing or something comparable. At 5.5 x 1.9 x 6.7 inches, it doesn’t take up a lot room in your desk.

This mixture of worth, built-in options, and capability choices make this a really strong selection for nearly anybody who needs to seek out the best approach to preserve their knowledge backed up. We advise getting two of them and mirroring them simply to be sure to have a second backup in case one fails. It appears like overkill till all of your stuff is gone after the cat goes rampaging throughout your desk.

Finest for photographers: LaCie Rugged

Why it made the minimize: That is the very best exterior laborious drive for photographers and videographers. These rugged drives are sufficiently small to flip right into a digital camera bag, however can stand as much as the trials of engaged on the highway.


  • USB-power
  • Capacities as much as 5 TB
  • USB-C or USB-3

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  • No exterior energy provide required
  • Resists water, drops, and dirt
  • Small and light-weight
  • Excessive-visibility orange bumper


  • Restricted capability

Photographers have been utilizing these LaCie Rugged drives for years. Many have converted to high-speed SSD variations, however the HDD variations are nonetheless very helpful and sometimes significantly cheaper. These slim drives connect with a pc by way of USB-C or USB 3.0 with an adapter. It guarantees as much as 130 MB/s switch speeds for fast backups within the area. Regardless of its capability and velocity, it nonetheless weighs properly underneath a pound.

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The orange bumper really helps shield the drive from drops along with making it simpler to identify and tougher to by accident go away behind. As a result of it doesn’t require exterior energy, the drive can pull all of the juice it wants proper out of your laptop computer. That makes backing up within the area easy.

In case the drive ought to endure a failure, LaCie presents a two-year knowledge rescue restoration service together with the gadget with a view to attempt to save your knowledge. It’s unlikely, although, for the reason that aluminum physique resists rain, drops, and even crushing. So, by accident sitting in your laborious drive isn’t an enormous deal.

Finest for Mac: WD My Passport Extremely for Mac

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Why it made the minimize: That is the very best exterior laborious drive for Mac and consists of useful primary options like password safety.


  • USB energy
  • Capacities as much as 5 TB
  • USB-C or USB 3.0

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  • No formatting wanted for Mac use
  • Mild (0.51 kilos)
  • Slim (0.5-inches thick)
  • No exterior energy required


  • PC customers might want to format

Macs and Home windows-based machines play nicer now than they ever have previously. However, many laborious drives will nonetheless require you to format them proper out of the field if you wish to use them with an Apple laptop. It’s not an enormous deal, nevertheless it’s an additional step in an already un-fun course of.

WD’s My Passport Extremely for Mac comes pre-formatted so you possibly can merely plug it in and begin utilizing the drive together with your iMac or MacBook Professional. It presents as much as 5 TB of storage and doesn’t require an exterior energy supply so it’s simply moveable. It weighs simply over a half-pound and is only a half-inch thick, which makes it straightforward to slide into most baggage or perhaps a pocket in a pinch.

With a purpose to step up the Mac theme, the steel case matches the look of typical silver-hued Mac computer systems. The USB-C connection is backwards appropriate with USB 3.0. The quick, dependable connection is a vital function for a drive you’ll need to depend on.

Finest for gaming: Toshiba Canvio Gaming

Why it made the minimize: Firmware tweaks preserve this drive operating on a regular basis to serve the wants of data-hungry consoles, making it the very best exterior laborious drive for gaming.


  • USB energy
  • Capacities as much as 4 TB
  • USB 3.0

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  • Appropriate with PlayStation 5 and Xbox Collection
  • Personalized for gaming
  • Additionally accessible in 4 TB


  • Doesn’t embody password safety software program

Present-gen video video games have climbed in dimension to properly over 100 GB, which shortly eats away a console’s built-in storage. This USB-powered drive has an “at all times on” mode in its firmware that may preserve the drive from hiccuping and screwing up your gameplay. It really works with current-gen consoles together with the PS5 and Xbox Collection X, nevertheless it’s additionally backwards appropriate with the PS4 and the Xbox One. It additionally works with PCs.

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It is available in 1 TB, 2 TB, and 4 TB choices relying on how a lot additional storage you want. Additionally, when you resolve you’re performed with gaming and simply need to use the drive to backup your regular knowledge, you are able to do that, too.

The design presents a number of colour choices, which permits customers to decide on a hue that matches their gaming setup. That is finally a reasonably barebones drive, which is what you need on this state of affairs. It’s actually plug-and-play.

Finest with encryption: Apricorn Aegis Padlock

Why it made the minimize: This super-secure drive has a built-in keypad and military-grade encryption to maintain knowledge secure.


  • USB energy
  • Capacities as much as 2 TB
  • USB 3.0 connection
  • Constructed-in keypad and encryption

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  • Tremendous safe FIPS PUB 197 Validated Encryption Algorithm
  • Self-destructs if hackers strive too laborious to get in
  • Sealed outer shell to stop ingress


  • Costly per GB
  • Chunky

When you’re storing particularly delicate knowledge otherwise you’re simply tremendous into safety, a drive just like the Apricorn Aegis Padlock may offer you peace of thoughts. It has as much as 2 TB of storage inside and a built-in USB-3 connector.

The case itself is sealed with powerful epoxy, so anybody attempting to bodily get into the gadget may have a really laborious time. The drive makes use of a military-grade FIPS PUB 197 Validated Encryption Algorithm to maintain the information on it secure from even probably the most refined hacking instruments. The damage-resistant keypad on the entrance lets customers kind in a code to unlock the gadget. LED indicators additionally present when the drive is related, safe, and unlocked.

There are even backup safety measures. For example, if a foul actor tries to make use of a brute pressure assault (which quickly tries many alternative entry codes in succession), the drive can self-destruct and go away the information onboard ineffective.

It solely weighs half a pound, however your capability choices are restricted and the drive itself seems to be quite dated. However, in case your main concern is safety, that doubtless doesn’t matter all that a lot.


Ultimate ideas on the very best exterior laborious drives

When you’re not recurrently backing up your digital knowledge, you have to be. Selecting the very best exterior laborious drive will make the method easy and fast, which implies you’re loads prone to really undergo with it.

It’s possible you’ll not want the largest, quickest, or most safe drive on this planet, so selecting the best choice on your wants can prevent cash, house, and trouble.

Please see more summary list Best 14TB External Hard Drives ranked by customer satisfaction.


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