Best Portable External Hard Drives in 2020

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The portable external hard drives come in handy in this new technological era. Storing important files directly on the computer or laptop is risky because we might face losing those files when the computer or laptop unexpectedly becomes unusable.

With the possession of a good portable external hard drive, the users can feel safe from losing their important documents or schoolwork. Whereas using a poor-quality one is a nightmare for schoolwork and, importantly the project that will be presented to the CEO the next day.

Because of the wide-ranged product available on the market, people are having trouble considering which product is ideal for them. We have made a list of 13 highly-recommended portable external hard drives in 2020. Moreover, we also offer you some buying guides, tips, and features of each product.

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13. HWAYO Ultra Slim Portable External Hard Drive HDD Storage

13. HWAYO Ultra Slim Portable External Hard Drive HDD Storage

  Buy on Amazon.com

The first item on the list is a 1TB portable external hard drive. This product comes with an ultra-slim and simple design which is convenient for the buyers to carry around and put in. Not only is it slim, but it is also light in weight, and the construction of this hard drive is reliable and durable.

Another feature of this device is the plug and play feature, which does not require any software to install. We can simply just plug it in and use the device. This product also comes with ultra-fast data transfers that can transfer up to 5Gbps and work with USB3.0 and USB2.0.

What We Like

  •  The ultra-slim design is easy for users to carry around
  •  Does its job well
  •  Acceptable durability
  •  Easy to use

What We Don’t Like

  •  Few complaints about its problem connecting to Xbox

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12. G-Technology ArmorATD All-Terrain Rugged Portable External Hard Drive Thunderbolt

12. G-Technology ArmorATD All-Terrain Rugged Portable External Hard Drive Thunderbolt

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The second item of the recommendation is a portable external hard drive from G-Technology. The hard drive comes with 5TB of storage to store your important documents or files. Furthermore, this device is solid due to its durable design with triple-layer shock resistance.

The durability of this external hard drive was also enhanced with rain and dust resistance and 1000lb crash ratings. This 5TB device is compatible with USB-C, USB-3.0, and Thunderbolt 3, but there were some negative reviews about its Thunderbolt 3 compatibility.

What We Like

  •  It does what it is intended to
  •  The durable is highly-recommended
  •  Fast-speed data transfer
  •  Triple-layer shock resistance
  •  Rain and dust resistant

What We Don’t Like:

  •  Some claimed it is not really Thunderbolt 3 compatible

11. KESU Portable External Hard Drive Type C White

11. KESU Portable External Hard Drive Type C White

  Buy on Amazon.com

This KESU portable external hard drive is the third recommendation on the list. This drive comes with USB-C 3.1 connection type which can transfer up to 10Gbps. It is also compatible with USB 3.0/ USB 2.0.

Moreover, the design of this drive is highly-recommended because it is small in size and easy to carry around. Besides, it is brushed design with waterproof, drop, and scratch-resistant.

The compatibility of this product is that it is compatible with Windows/ Mac/Linux/ Android OS and many more. The external hard drive receives many good comments on its size and transfers speed.

What We Like

  •  The transfers speed is fast
  •  Easy to carry around
  •  Durable, Waterproof, Drop-and-scratch resistant

What We Don’t Like:

  •  Some have a hard time connecting to the computer

10. SP Silicon Power 5TB Rugged Armor Shockproof Portable External Hard Drive

10. SP Silicon Power 5TB Rugged Armor Shockproof Portable External Hard Drive

  Buy on Amazon.com

If you are looking for an armored external hard drive, this product might be a good deal. This drive comes with an ultra-rugged rubber casing and internal suspension system which are the shields to protect from crushes, dust, and water.

Not only it protects from those device-threatened problems, but it also has anti-slip and anti-scratch designs that can keep your device looks new. Furthermore, this product has SuperSpeed USB 3.0 which can transfer up to 5Gbps.

In addition to the well-protected design, it comes up with a 3-year warranty that ensures customers’ trust. This device is compatible with Interface USB 3.1 Gen1/ USB 3.0, and USB 2.0.

What We Like

  •  It works like a charm
  •  The durable is well-recommended
  •  Easy to carry around

What We Don’t Like:

  •  Need installation for Mac users

9. AmazonBasics SATA Portable External Hard Drive

9. AmazonBasics SATA Portable External Hard Drive

  Buy on Amazon.com

The fourth recommendation is a product by AmazonBasic which 5-pack of hard drives which are SATA I, SATA II, and SATA III HDDs. The pack comes with a smooth inner surface that protects the devices from scratches.

The product is very convenient for users because it needs no installation; you can just plug and see the magic works. The installation of HDD does not need any tool to install. These drives support Windows, Mac OS X, and later systems.

Furthermore, the product allows the transfer of up to 5Gbps that compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0.

What We Like

  •  Very well design
  •  Easy to install
  •  Support high capacity drives very well
  •  The data rate is high

What We Don’t Like:

  •  The enclosure of the USB 3.0 is not good
  •  Some negative comments about its durability

8. Transcend 4TB Portable External Hard Drive 3.1 Gen StoreJet

8. Transcend 4TB Portable External Hard Drive 3.1 Gen StoreJet

  Buy on Amazon.com

Meet Transcend, the fifth recommendation of the list. This 4TB Transcend external hard drive is compatible with USB 3.1 Gen 1 with the support of UASP. The special feature of this drive is that it comes with a one-click backup button that ensures the safety of your files.

The light of this product is light and small, which is easy for you to carry around in your bag and even with your bare hand. Also, it is designed with a three-stage shock protection system that allows the users to avoid being shocked.

What We Like

  •  The data security is high
  •  Small and easy to carry around
  •  Durable and sturdy

What We Don’t Like:

  •  Some negative comments about its cable
  •  It requires a software installation to maximize its performance

7. ADATA 2TB HD Pro Portable External Hard Drive IP68 Resistant

7. ADATA 2TB HD Pro Portable External Hard Drive IP68 Resistant 

  Buy on Amazon.com

The sixth item on the list is from ADATA. The device is made triple-layered and tested to ensure its durability. In addition to its durable construction, it includes IP6X dust-tight protection with the G-Shock technology of vibration sensing.

Moreover, it is compatible with USB 3.1 Gen 1 which can transfer up to 5Gbps. The device can be put 2m underwater for up to an hour without any problem, and it also has a port cover that protects the drive from water. The cable management on the side of the drive allows the users to organize their cables.

What We Like

  •  Cable management
  •  Durable and tough
  •  Easy to use
  •  The transfer speed is well-recommended

What We Don’t Like:

  •  The only limitation of this is the connector size

6. LaCie Mini 5TB Portable External Hard Drive Water Shock Drop Dust Resistant

6. LaCie Mini 5TB Portable External Hard Drive Water Shock Drop Dust Resistant

  Buy on Amazon.com

The last sixth of the list is an introduction for a mini portable hard drive. This LaCie product is constructed durably which protects from drops, crushes, and also water. Additionally, this product can be connected via USB 3.0.

Buying this product will enable you to get a one-month membership to all Adobe Creative Cloud applications plan. That is not all for the software advantages. It also comes with easy backup software which is offered by LaCie toolkit with folder syncing across multiple devices. This LaCie product is also attractive due to its cute colorful design.

What We Like

  •  Attractive and colorful design
  •  Easy to carry around
  •  Fast speed transferring data

What We Don’t Like:

  •  Negative comments about the cord

5. Maxone 2TB HDD Ultra-Slim Portable External Hard Drive Rose Pink

5. Maxone 2TB HDD Ultra-Slim Portable External Hard Drive Rose Pink

  Buy on Amazon.com

Another incredible item of the review is an ultra-slim portable hard drive from Maxone. This product is made of aluminum anti-scratch that keeps this device looks new and tough.

Moreover, it is very convenient to use because you can just simply plug in and enjoy the device. This hard drive is powered by USB 3.0 technology, and it is compatible with USB 2.0.

Additionally, it is a recommended drive for PS4, PS4 Pro, Xbox One, Windows, and Mac Os. The ultra-slim design of this device allows the users to carry this device with them easily.

What We Like

  •  Easy to use
  •  Easy to carry
  •  Does what it was invented for

What We Don’t Like:

  •  Require above average current input connecting to Wii USB 2.0port
  •  There are negative comments on the durability of this device

4. Toshiba Canvop Advance 4TB Portable External Hard Drive

4. Toshiba Canvop Advance 4TB Portable External Hard Drive

  Buy on Amazon.com

The other recommendation is a portable external hard drive from Toshiba. The Toshiba product comes with 4TB storage capacity to store your important files and documents and bring it along with you wherever you go.

With the downloadable security software from Toshiba, it enhances the security of the files inside of this device. In addition to the security software, Toshiba also has downloadable software for backup lost files.

This device comes with USB 3.0 that allows you to transfer data and backup files acceptably fast. The hard drive is compatible with Windows 10, 8.1, 7, and Mac OS.

What We Like

  •  Work well
  •  There are official software for backup and enhancing security

What We Don’t Like

  •  There are some negative reviews about the transfer speed
  •  The cable quality is not recommended

3. Transcend 2TB StoreJet Rugged External Hard Drive Grey

3. Transcend 2TB StoreJet Rugged External Hard Drive Grey

  Buy on Amazon.com

Here is another recommendation for the Transcend product. Not far different from the Transcend product above, it is installed with the USB 3.1 Gen 1 interface with UASP as a buffer.

Furthermore, this product is constructed with three-stage shock resistance that avoids harmful shock to the users. Besides storing data, Transcend also provides elite data management software and data recovery software.

The Storejet 25M3 also comes up with a one-touch auto-backup button on the drive that allows the users can instantly back up the data.

What We Like

  •  It is durable and sturdy
  •  One-touch auto-backup button
  •  Three-stage shock resistance
  •  Great for backing up important files

What We Don’t Like:

  •  Hard to use if don’t know how to reformat
  •  Sometimes it got overheat

2. Seagate 1TB Expansion Portable External Hard Drive for PC Laptop Black

2. Seagate 1TB Expansion Portable External Hard Drive for PC Laptop Black

  Buy on Amazon.com

You will be impressed by Seagate portable external hard drive. The portable external hard drive has a storage capacity of 1TB that let the purchasers use it to store their essential files. On top of that, this device is equipped with USB 3.0, but it is also compatible with USB 2.0.

The drive works well with Windows, but in Mac Os, the owners have to reformat to use this product. This Seagate device is well-known for its slim and eye-catching exterior design, and it is easy to carry around.

What We Like

  •  The speeds are good
  •  Eye-catching and slim design
  •  Easy to use and carry
  •  Help to carry your stuff around effectively

What We Don’t Like:

  •  It a bit too light which sometimes lead to a drop
  •  Hollow-sounding when tapped

1. WD 5TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0 Elements HDD

1. WD- 5TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0 Elements HDD

  Buy on Amazon.com

This is the final recommendation of our list which is a product from Western Digital. It is a 5TB element portable external hard drive that is equipped with USB 3.0, but it is also compatible with USB 2.0 which can transfer up to 5Gbps.

It is quite similar to the device above since it works well with Windows but need reformat for Mac Os. This product receives many good recommendations in terms of its transfer speed. There is also one blow since it requires an external power source to operate.

What We Like

  •  The speed is reliable
  •  The construction is acceptable
  •  After reformatting, it receives many good comments for using on Mac Os
  •  Works well with its compatible systems

What We Don’t Like:

  •  It requires an external power source
  •  The cable comes with the product is not reliable

Buying Guides to Choose the Best Portable External Hard Drives

The portable external hard drive is very important for students, workers, or those who work related to computers and technology. Purchasing the right device will help you a lot in your task.

Not only can it save money, but it also provides the users the security and protection to their important stuff. Moreover, a good product will save the buyers time because the speed of data transfer is reliable and fast.

Choosing the wrong product will cost you a lot of money, and it might cost you the data, project, or assignment that you put your heart and soul into it. Not every product comes with ideal quality.

Some are created without considering the quality critically; that is why we arranged this list to give some points for you to consider before buying one. Below are a few tips for you to think of before purchasing any portable external hard drive:

Consider the Storage Capacity

First thing first, you need to think of the storage capacity. It is an essential element to consider. What the point of buying a high-quality product but not enough space to store all your files, and what the point of buying a big storage capacity hard drive but use only one-third of it. That is why you need to think of the capacity. Choose an external hard drive with a reasonable capacity for your file, so it can save you money and fulfill your need.

Consider the Transfer Speed

This point is a time-saving tip for those who are looking for an external hard drive. If you want to buy a product that worth your money, buy a fast-speed data transfer one. The external SSDs can process faster than HDDs, but it costs more.

Furthermore, the transfer speed also based on the connectors. The USB 2.0 is the outdated one, and its speed can only reach up to 480Mbs while the newer connectors such as USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Gen 1, USB 3.2 Gen 1 can reach up to 5Gbps, USB 3.1 Gen 2 and USB 3.2 Gen 2 can reach up to 10Mbps, USB 3.2 can reach up to 20Gbps. If you have a USB-C port (Thunderbolt 3), it can reach up to 40Gbps.

Consider the Durability and Design

The durability and design of the portable external hard drive are very important. No one wants to use a device that will stop working after one or two drops. The portable external hard drive is a device that you always carry around with you, so it is likely to face rain, dust, drop, and other damaging factors. That is why you should find a product with durable construction and design.

Consider Security and Compatibilities

These two are important things for you to consider. For those who just want to find a place to store their data, it is okay to use the security that encrypted in software, but for those who are very careful with their data, you should seek hardware encryption drives. Compatibility is also important. Make sure to choose the drive that has ideal compatibilities.

Conclusion

In short, choosing the ideal portable external hard drives are problematic for new users. Not only choosing the wrong product waste your money and time, but it also put your important files or assignment at risk.

With the wrong product, a small drop can destroy your whole device packed with your important files. That is the reason we create this list of 13 best portable external hard drives in 2020 reviews with the buying guides to assist you in choosing the right one. After reading this, I hope you can get the right one for you.

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