Best External Hard Drives For Mac and Windows

Yes, even in a world renewed by the wonders of cloud computing, the external hard disk drive, or HDD for brief, fits. With desktops on the wane and laptops preferring quick and mobile SSDs over high capabilities, our virtual file cabinets are running out of area for not only our initial files however our backups as well.

External Hard Drives

All things thought about, you do not have to pay out a month-to-month subscription fee for iCloud or OneDrive when you can merely acquire an external HDD. Not only is it more economical in the long-run, however you can get more area for less than even a solid state drive With the right external hard disk drive like, say, Seagate’s gigantic 10TB Barracude Pro, you’ll be able to keep all your crucial files without compromise, no Internet connection required.

The concern stays nevertheless: how do you understand which external HDD is best for you? Thankfully, we’re here to help. In the following list, we’ll discuss external hard drives that are both effective and premium, affordable yet functional as well as a handful that play friendly with the cloud. Let’s begin, shall we?

1. Best external desktop disk drive

  • Maxtor D3 Station
  • $109

Maxtor D3 StationWith compatibility for both Mac and Windows devices, the Maxtor D3 station draws power from a mains adapter and boasts support for a number of distinctively tailored applications such as AutoBackup, Secure Drive and SecretZone, each of which are currently preloaded on the device. Naturally, if you do not like bloatware, you can wipe the drive clear out of the box.

Likewise consisted of with the D3 Station is a three-year guarantee along with a USB 3.0 cable. It won’t break any speed records with its mere 32MB of cache and 5400RPM spinners, but for a low-capacity drive, you will not find a much better offer.

2. Best external desktop disk drive (performance)

  • Seagate 5TB Expansion
  • $118

Though the Seagate 5TB expansion is older than the above, it likewise boasts more storage for the dollar. In fact, you can expect to pay out simply under ₤ 20 per TB if you’re in the UK or a little less than $24 in the US.

Like its sibling, the Seagate 5TB Expansion has 64MB of cache and demands an external power supply system to obtain it going.

Unlike the D3, however, it has a 7200RPM unit within, implying that is, unless you go with the more as much as date version from Curry’s, which isn’t really rather as quick. Great if you wish to reduce its power intake, not a lot for everything else. Both drives boost a two-year service warranty.

This drive is perfect for gamers as it complements rather perfectly the internal storage of gaming consoles like the Xbox One.

3. Best external desktop hard disk drive (capability)

  • Seagate STEB4000200 4TB Expansion
  • $109

When it comes to external hard disk drives, this is as simple as it gets: a desktop hard disk drive, a power supply and an enclosure plus the most inexpensive TB price in the UK for sub- ₤ 100 systems.

Seagate attempted to make the device as appealing as possible with a textured side (it’s developed to be saved on the side instead of flat vertical) and a black surface.

It has a 4TB capability, a 5900RPM rotational speed, 64MB of cache and, because it is a 3.5-inch design, will also need to be linked to the mains to work.

Note that this hard drive is actually more affordable than its internal equivalent. To puts it simply, it costs less in spite of shipping with an external power supply, a connection cable and an enclosure.

4. Best external desktop HDD (high capability)

  • WD My Book 8TB
  • $249

There are just 3 8TB external hard disk drives in the UK and this one is not just the more affordable but likewise, arguably, the harder employee.

Unlike the competitors, this one does not use SMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording), rather swapping air for helium.

That makes your drive cooler to run and more prudent when it concerns power consumption; the drives are 5400RPM and include 128MB cache due to the size.

Keep in mind that the drive is more affordable than a comparable 8TB internal hard disk which indicates that if you require a lot of high capability drives for your NAS, you may conserve yourself hundreds of pounds by buying those and taking the hard disk drive out.

5. Best external desktop HDD for capacity (mobility)

  • Seagate Innov8 8TB
  • $349

Seagate Innov8 8TBThe Seagate 8TB Innov8 range deserves a mention. It is a normal-size 3.5-inch desktop hard disk drive but doesn’t need an external power supply to run.

Instead, it needs to be powered by means of a USB Type-C connector without which it will not work. It does pave the way for clients to move staggering quantity of data around without being tethered.

What sets the Innov8 apart from the competitors is the design. All metal with fins to keep the drive cool and a minimalist approach to the drive’s building.

If outright efficiency paired with ease of use is what you are yearning for, then for a small business user or someone working in the creative market, the Innov8 is a no-brainer.

Others will probably go for far cheaper however less sophisticated choices like the WD My Book mentioned previously.

6. Best external desktop-attached storage (efficiency)

  • WD My Book Duo 16TB
  • $549

This item can just be purchased on request but deserves the wait. It has two 3.5-inch 8TB WD Red HDD at its heart and although this is a NAS (network attached storage), it can still be used as a DAS.

The Red drives– which are also used in the WD My Book 8TB – are developed for always-on performance with 128MB cache and a spinning speed of 5400RPM.

The device, which includes two-year guarantee, has 256-bit AES hardware file encryption, an automated backup software (WD SmartWare Pro) and can be configured either in RAID-1 or RAID-0.

Worth keeping in mind that the enclosure used is completely functional and that WD ships the drive already preformatted for Windows users (NTFS).

Note that you will likewise be able to augment its internal capability by means of two USB 3.0 adapters.

7. Best external portable disk drive (capability)

  • Maxtor M3 4TB disk drive
  • $151

Maxtor, a hard drive brand bought by Seagate a few years ago, has silently been restored and is our general best buy when it comes to portable hard disk drive, models that can be powered using the USB port just.

At 4TB, it is the biggest 2.5-inch drive you can purchase; surprisingly, it is even more affordable than the most inexpensive 4TB internal drive of this size and by a really, really wide margin (₤ 55).

In truth, you would be much better buying these and pry them opened to get the drives. That and the Samsung M3 Portable seem twins with identical dimensions and patterned surface.

The drive features a three-year warranty, even bigger than some of the more expensive professional drives, along with a number of bundled applications.

8. Best external portable hard disk drive (wireless)

  • Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro
  • $229

Though our feelings were lukewarm on the My Passport Wireless of yesteryear, the 2016 “Pro” variant of the HDD restores faith in the Western Digital name. The design, for instance, has actually been revamped and no longer looks like the My Passport Ultra nor My Passport for Mac. Rather, there’s now a more premium feel to the My Passport Wireless Pro. It looks like an external DVD drive, however thinking about the onboard SD card slot (and a dedicated SD transfer button), don’t worry about getting it confused with anything else. For photographers, this is the Wireless Pro’s killer app.

For everyone else, there’s a huge 6,400 mAh battery developed into the device. This lets the drive be used totally devoid of wires over 2.4 GHz or 5GHz channels. When it’s wired up, however, do not expect cutting edge connection tech, as the My Passport Wireless Pro uses only USB Type-B to Type-A. Completely missing is the most recent and greatest USB-C connection.

Where the My Passport Wireless Pro compromises on affordability, it’s able to benefit in almost every other area. Obviously, not everybody needs a wireless hard disk or SD card support, but for those who do, it’s nearly necessary.

9. Best external portable hard disk drive (USB-C)

  • LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive 4TB
  • $219

You might have stumbled upon the LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive when browsing the Apple site for USB-C devices. There’s a reason for that: the Porsche Design ships with both USB Type-C to Type-A and USB Type-C to Type-C connectors, making it a worthy prospect despite your setup.

It’s pricey for an external hard drive, don’t get us wrong, especially if you’re in the market for the top-end 4TB alternative. On the other hand, this is an HDD that might theoretically output speeds of approximately 5Gbps, if it weren’t prevented by the limitations of SMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording) technology.

Making up 5 800GB platters in a 15mm type aspect, the LaCie Porsche Design Mobile is an exceptional opposition to the Seagate M3, though it’s significantly larger in both weight and dimensions.

Sure, it packs an extra benefit consider the type of USB-C, however it should be noted that the Porsche Design Mobile is still restricted to USB 3.0 speeds. Plus, even an aluminum finish can’t avoid it from encountering your Rose Gold MacBook. Nonetheless, LaCie’s offering is the best USB-C external HDD money can purchase, at least for the time being.

10. Best external desktop disk drive (safe)

  • iStorage diskAshur 2TB
  • ₤ 176

iStorage diskAshur 2TBUsually, iStorage hard disks cater best to federal governments and multinational organizations around the world, for good factor too– they use tight security like no other drives around.

If somebody attempts to damage your iStorage drive, you can configure it to self-desturct. What’s more, the information is secured by the 256-bit AES protocol, with multiple types of security in place to guarantee the bad men do not get in no matter how consistent. When you consider all that additional security, the rates won’t frighten you away either.

Sure, it’s still costly, 4 times the price of a comparable 2TB drive, and unlikely to be the most nimble performer. But, you’re paying for an item that’s practically uncrackable. Keep in mind, however, you’ll get no help from the maker if things go awry and you lose your password.


Last updated on September 16th, 2019

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