Best portable external hard drive for mac


Add Storage to Your Mac

Until we have more reliability data, we still recommend the older versions. If speed is the most important factor for you, pick up a portable SSD instead. Toshiba has also released a new Canvio Slim. We have not tested the 2 TB model yet, but it has the same small-review-pool problem as the Seagate models.

Since then, however, the failure rate has gone way up: In early May , we calculated a rate of They were slower in most of our file transfer tests, too, although they were about as fast as our top pick in Time Machine testing. It was as quick as the Slim in Time Machine testing, too. Plus, the Expansion is larger and heavier than the Slim, and it comes with a short one-year warranty. It has a percent reported failure rate. Of all the drives we tested in , it had the slowest HD Tune reads and writes— The Toshiba Canvio Basics has a one-year warranty, no software, and a bulkier design than the Slim.

All three drives are rated to survive going up to 1 meter about 3. Our pick. Also great. Everything we recommend Our pick. What to look forward to The competition Footnotes Sources Why you should trust us Wirecutter has researched and recommended hard drives since early , and our PC team has over eight years of combined experience testing hard drives and solid-state drives. These are the features you should look for in a portable hard drive, in rough order of importance: Reliability: Although reliability is the most important factor for any storage device, solid information on reliability can be hard to come by.

Only three companies still manufacture hard drives—Seagate, Western Digital, and Toshiba—and all of them make reliable hard drives. But all hard drives die. Build quality: Your portable hard drive should be able to withstand normal wear and tear from being handled and thrown into your bag often. Rugged portable drives are bulkier and more expensive than the portable drives we recommend for most people.

You can read more about rugged drives in the Competition section. Physical size and weight: The smaller and lighter, the better. Your portable hard drive should also draw all the power it needs from the USB port, no power adapter necessary. Speed: Even though portable hard drives are generally slower than their desktop brethren, speed is still important. We considered only those drives with USB 3. While a higher-capacity drive is more cost-effective per terabyte, 4 TB portable hard drives cost nearly twice as expensive as 2 TB drives and supply more storage than most people need.


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Since many portable drives nowadays have similar performance, lower-cost options are better. We focused on 2 TB drives because of their balance of value and total cost. Warranty and customer service: A good warranty is important in case you get a lemon.

While the majority of portable hard drives we tested have two-year warranties, a couple have three-year warranties. Responsive customer service is important, too, in case you have trouble backing up your data. Backup software: While backup software is a nice perk, you can find lots of free alternatives and other great options for online backup services. We're going to start seeing deals pop up even sooner this year, and luckily our price comparison tool will make sure you're in the loop.

And, of course, when Black Friday hits, make sure you keep an eye on all the Black Friday ads. While transfer speeds aren't the quickest, due to its USB 3. If you want to make use of your Mac's Thunderbolt port, then this is a great option, as it provides twice the speeds of standard USB 3. 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.

There's also a USB 3. This is one of the fastest high capacity hard drives you can plug into your Mac, with a huge 4TB of storage space that zips along its USB 3. The all-aluminium enclosure gives the drive a premium look and feel, while also protecting your data from knocks and drops, and keeping the drive cool when used.

12 Best External Hard Drives

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. 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.


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Not only is your data kept protected from knocks and drops with the rugged shell, but it's also got bit AES security features and NFC Near Field Communication features as well. This is a great external hard drive for your Mac if you are concerned about keeping your data safe and secure. It is a good performer when it comes to data transfer speeds but doesn't come near the top of the leaderboard.

Need more space or a safe place for your data? Just connect a USB HDD or SSD

Lots of storage for less than the competition, attractive styling, and good performance with small files highlight this USB 3. An excellent bargain. One of founding fathers of hardcore tech reporting, Gordon has been covering PCs and components since Home Storage Updated. Your desktop setup is incomplete without an assist from external storage. Email a friend.


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    The Best External Hard Drives For Mac In 12222

    At a Glance. Samsung T3 USB 3. Cons HIgh cost per gigabyte. Samsung T5 SSD. Pros Excellent performance Super small and light. Cons Expensive. SanDisk Extreme Pros Good looking Fast Thin profile Apple-like styling. Cons Expensive compared to hard drives. Cons Weak performance when writing lots of smaller files and folders Expensive for the capacity. Seagate Backup Plus Portable. Pros Up to 5TB in a 2. Cons Slow writing small files and folders.

    Backup Drives for Your World

    Pros Excellent cost per gigabyte Nice styling Comprehensive software suite. Cons Slower than average with large files.

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    best portable external hard drive for mac Best portable external hard drive for mac
    best portable external hard drive for mac Best portable external hard drive for mac
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