Best External Hard Drives For Mac (SSD & USB-C)

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External hard drives are one of the most popular computer accessories. They offer a quick and easy way to increase storage space on your computer, and they’re portable, so you can take them wherever you go. But with so many external hard drives on the market, knowing which one is right for you can take time and effort. 

In this article, we will list the best external hard drive for Mac that you cannot miss up to now. We also include a buying guide so that you can improve your knowledge and find other solutions on your own.

What is an External Hard Drive?

An external hard drive is a storage device connecting to a computer via a USB or Thunderbolt port. They typically store large files such as photos, music, and videos. External hard drives come in various sizes, and some include built-in backup software for added convenience.

The best external hard drive for your needs depends on how you plan to use it. Any basic model will do if you need a place to store files. However, if you plan to use the drive for backups or intensive applications like video editing, look for a high-performance model with a fast interface and plenty of storage space.

USB 3.0 vs Thunderbolt 3

Choosing a suitable interface is one of the most critical decisions when shopping for an external hard drive. The two most common options are USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt 3, which offer advantages and disadvantages.

  • USB 3.0 is the most common interface found on external hard drives. It’s compatible with various devices, including PCs, Macs, and Android smartphones. USB 3.0 offers data transfer speeds of up to 5Gbps, which is fast enough for most uses.
  • Thunderbolt 3 was announced in 2015 and developed by Intel. It is significantly faster than USB 3.0, with data transfer speeds of up to 40Gbps. Thunderbolt 3 is mainly used by creative professionals who need extra speed for video editing or other demanding applications.

Best External Hard Drive For Mac (HDD)

LaCie Mobile Drive 1TB External Hard Drive

LaCie Mobile Drive 2TB External Hard Drive HDD

Brand: LaCie – Model Number: STHG2000400 – Digital Storage: 2TB – Connectivity: USB-C

The LaCie Mobile Drive is the perfect way to back up and store your content quickly. With up to 5TB of storage capacity, it’s ideal for extensive collections of photos and videos. And with its Mac/Windows compatibility, you can easily use it with your existing computer setup. There is no need to reformat; connect the drive to your computer via the USB Type C interface, and you’re ready to go.

The LaCie Toolkit software makes keeping your content safe and secure easy, while the quick start guide ensures you can get started immediately. You can get one free month of Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps plan with a purchase to easily edit and share your photos and videos.

The Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps plan provides access to Adobe’s creative software, including Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. USB-C cable is included so you can immediately connect the drive to your computer.

Seagate Portable 2TB External Hard Drive

Seagate Portable 2TB External Hard Drive HDD

Brand: Seagate – Model Number: STGX2000400 – Digital Storage: 2TB – Connectivity: SuperSpeed USB

Seagate Portable 2TB External Hard Drive Portable is one of the best external hard drives for Windows and Macbooks. It is easy to install and has a slim design. The digital storage capacity is two terabytes, which is enough for most users who need extra storage space. 

It is easy to install and use and fast. The digital storage capacity is 2 TB, which is more than enough for most people. It is also compatible with PS4, PC, gaming console, and Mac. The connectivity technology is USB, and the hard disk form factor is 3.5 inches. The read speed is 120 megabytes per second, which is very fast. This product requires no software, and the USB cable is included in the package.

SanDisk Professional 12TB G-DRIVE

SanDisk Professional 12TB G-DRIVE Enterprise-Class Desktop Hard Drive HDD

Brand: SanDisk – Model Number: ‎SDPH91G-012T-NBAAD – Digital Storage: 12TB – Connectivity: USB-C

The SanDisk Professional 12TB G-DRIVE Enterprise-Class is a premium external hard drive that uses USB-C to connect to your Mac. It has a fast 7200RPM Ultrastar drive inside and can achieve read and write speeds of up to 240MB/s. This makes it an ideal choice for regular and professional users who need to transfer large files quickly.

The SanDisk drive can hold up to 18TB of data, making it an excellent option for those who need a lot of storage space. It also comes with a premium, all-aluminum enclosure that looks great and is very durable. Plus, it’s Apple Time Machine ready, so you can easily back up your data. It can also be easily reformatted for use with Windows. The drive also supports USB Power Delivery, which allows it to be powered by your Mac’s battery for up to 45 watts.

Seagate Ultra Touch HDD 2TB External Hard Drive

Seagate Ultra Touch HDD 2TB External Hard Drive

Brand: Seagate – Model Number: STHH2000400 – Digital Storage: 2TB – Connectivity: USB-C

The Seagate Ultra Touch HDD 2TB External Hard Drive features a woven fabric design in either black or white, which makes it look great and helps keep it from getting scratched up. With a digital storage capacity of 2 TB, the Seagate Ultra Touch has plenty of space for all your files. Whether you’re storing photos, videos, or music, you can keep everything you need on this drive.

One of the best features of the Seagate Ultra Touch is that it’s plug-and-play for both Windows and Mac. That means you won’t have to go through any hassle to get it up and running. Just plug it in, and you’re good to go.

The Seagate Ultra Touch also comes with an 18-inch USB 3.0 Cable and a USB-C adapter, so you can easily connect it to any device. With a two-month membership to Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan, you can access all of Adobe’s latest tools and features to make your photos look their best.

WD 5TB My Passport for Mac Portable

Western Digital 5TB My Passport for Mac

Brand: Western Digital – Model Number: WDBA2F0050BBL – Digital Storage: 5TB – Connectivity: SuperSpeed USB

The design of the WD 5TB My Passport for Mac is very sleek and modern. It is about the size of a smartphone and fits easily in the palm of your hand. The digital storage capacity of the WD My Passport is 5TB, which is plenty of space for storing photos, videos, and other files. 

The hard disk interface has a read speed of 130 megabytes per second and comes with two cables, USB-A to USB Micro-B and USB-C to USB Micro-B, so it can be easily connected to various devices. The WD My Passport for Mac is an incredible external hard drive for Mac users, but it can also be used with a PC. If you want to use the drive with a PC, you have two options: reformatting to NTFS or installing the HFS+ driver.

Reformatting to NTFS will clear all the data on the drive, so make sure you have a backup before doing this.

If you don’t want to reformat, you can install the HFS+ driver for Windows provided by Western Digital or other NFTS software for Mac. This will allow you to keep the original formatting and files on the drive, making switching between Mac and PC easy.

Seagate FireCuda Gaming 1TB

Seagate FireCuda Gaming Hard Drive External Hard Drive 1TB

Brand: ‎Seagate – Model Number: STKL1000400 – Digital Storage: 1TB – Connectivity: USB-C

The design of the Seagate FireCuda Gaming Hard Drive External is sleek, and it has a bold look. The LED lighting on the Seagate drive is customizable so that you can choose the right color for your needs. 

You can also control the brightness of the LEDs. The drive is also compatible with Razer Chroma™ RGB, so you can further customize the lighting. The drive has a storage capacity of 1 TB or up to 16TB, which is ample for most people’s needs. You can store a lot of data on this drive, and it will be accessible whenever you need it.

The ports on the Seagate FireCuda Gaming Hard Drive External are very convenient. There are two additional USB ports on the front, one type A and one type C. The drive is compatible with 3-year Rescue Data Recovery Services and a 1-year limited warranty.

Silicon Power Armor A60 Hard Drive

Silicon Power 5TB Rugged Portable External Hard Drive Armor A60

Brand: SP Silicon Power – Model Number: SP050TBPHDA60S3K – Digital Storage: 5TB – Hard Disk Interface: USB 1.1

Silicon Power Armor A60 Hard Drive is another ultra-durable hard drive from the Silicon Power brand, which is assured of quality with a 3-year warranty. Additionally, because of its cable-carry design, it is ideal for people who frequently lose their cables and want an easy way to store them.

The speedy USB 3.0 interface lets users transfer large files with blazing-fast speed performance. Extensive libraries of high-resolution photos and HD videos or several bulky documents can be transferred easily in a few seconds to several minutes. 

The Silicon Power Armor A60 hard drive is pre-formatted to FAT32. Clients utilize it instantly on both Mac and Windows platforms without formatting it. Nevertheless, if you want to transfer a single file larger than 4GB, you must first reformat the hard drive to the exFAT format. (You might like to back up your drive before reformating it.)

Sabrent Rocket Nano 2TB External SSD

SABRENT Rocket Nano 2TB USB 3.2 10Gb/s External Aluminum SSD

Brand: SABRENT – Model Number: SB-2TB-NANO-BLK – Digital Storage: 2TB – Connectivity: USB-C

The SABRENT Rocket Nano 2TB is a high-speed external hard drive perfect for your Macbook. It has a sleek, durable aluminum design and is very compact and portable, making it ideal for traveling. The SABRENT drive is available in various colors: blue, red, gold, pink, black, and silver.

The device has a built-in USB 3.2 interface that allows you to transfer data at speeds up to 1000MB/s. The hard drive has a 2TB capacity, making it perfect for storing large multimedia and gaming files. 

The SABRENT Rocket Nano 2TB is compatible with Windows and Mac OS. It comes with an 8″ Type-C to Type-C cable and a 12″ Type-A to Type-C cable, so you can easily connect it to your laptop or desktop. The hard drive is also plug-and-play, so you don’t need to install any drivers.

SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD

SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD

Brand: SanDisk – Model Number: SDSSDE61-1T00-G25 – Digital Storage: 1TB – Connectivity: USB-C

The SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD is an incredible external hard drive for your MacBook Pro, Laptop, and other Smartphone devices. It has up to 1050MB/s read and up to 1000MB/s write speeds, so you can quickly transfer your data to and from your computer. 

It has up to 2 meters of drop protection and IP55 water resistance, so you don’t have to worry about losing or damaging your data. The Hard Disk Interface on the SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD is USB 3.2, allowing fast data transfer speeds. 

This is especially beneficial if you have a lot of data that needs to be transferred, as it can be done much more quickly with this interface than with other interfaces. The included USB-C to USB-3 adapter and a USB-C to USB-C makes it easy to connect to various devices, and the compact design makes it easy to take on the go.

WD 1TB Elements SE

Western Digital 1TB Elements SE – Portable SSD, USB 3.0, Compatible with PC, Mac

Brand: Western Digital – Model Number: ‎WDBAYN0010BBK – Digital Storage: 1TB – Connectivity: USB-C

The WD 1TB Elements SE design is very sleek and compact. It is easy to transport with its lightweight and small form factor. The hard drive is also drop-resistant up to 2 meters, making it a durable option for on-the-go use. Additionally, the WD 1TB Elements SE plugs in and plays without additional software or drivers, making it a user-friendly option.

The WD 1TB Elements has a maximum read speed of 400MB/s, allowing you to access your stored data quickly. This fast and reliable hard drive will be able to keep up with your needs. The device is also compatible with various devices, including laptops, gaming consoles, desktops, televisions, and tablets. This hard drive is a versatile option that can be used with many devices.

There is only one downside to the WD 1TB Elements SE: the lack of a USB-C connection. The hard drive only comes with a USB 3.0 cable, so if you have a USB-C device, you must use an adapter or a USB-C hub.

SAMSUNG SSD T7

SAMSUNG SSD T7 Portable External Solid State Drive

Brand: Samsung – Model Number: MU-PC1T0T – Digital Storage: 1TB – Connectivity: USB-C

The SAMSUNG T7 SSD drive is designed with a sleek, minimalist style. It is made with a solid aluminum unibody construction that gives it a strong and durable build. It also has a color choice of gray, blue, or red to fit your style. 

The lightweight and small size make it easy to take on the go, and the USB 3.2 Gen 2 speed allows for quick and easy data transfers. The read/write speeds of up to 1,050/1,000 MB/s also make it a fast drive. Plus, with ePCM technology and Dynamic Thermal Guard, your data will be safe from overheating.

The digital storage capacity of the SAMSUNG T7 SSD drive is 1 TB. This gives you plenty of space to store all your essential files and data. The drive is also compatible with macOS, Windows, and Android. The drive also has a USB Type-C to C cable and a USB Type-C-to-A cable for easy connectivity. And with a 3-year limited warranty, you will have peace of mind knowing your drive is covered.

How to Choose an External Hard Drive For Mac

1. Storage Capacity

Of course, more storage means extra cost. However, hard drive storage is inexpensive. If you are not struggling with your life, you should purchase at least a 1-TB model.

When you need more storage capacity, upgrading to 2TB, 3TB, or even 5TB is more cost-effective and convenient than buying multiple hard drives simultaneously.

2. Speed

The interface and rotational speed generally determine the data rate. The faster the spindle rotates, the higher the data rate.

5400rpm is suitable for general office use and light multimedia editing, while 7200rpm is better for more demanding tasks such as video editing. 

If you want to improve performance further, choose an SSD with a USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface.

3. Durability

For most people, the durability of an external hard drive is a big concern. Shockproof is the most critical protection for a hard drive because its moving parts will likely be damaged permanently after a drop. 

Sturdy drives should feature a rubber coat that decreases impact forces or a rugged enclosure that can stand against normal pressures.

While some models are water-resistant, few are rated IP67, like an iPhone X. In other words, a few can endure the underwater environment, and some can prevent liquid drops or fluid splashes. 

4. Connectivity

It would help to consider connectivity when choosing an external hard drive for a Mac. Most drives use USB, which is compatible with most computers. However, some newer models use Type-C or other types of connections.

In some cases, you should buy a USB-C hub for Mac, which offers more than one port to connect different devices simultaneously, which is very useful.

5. Warranty

When choosing an external hard drive for a Mac, you need to ensure that it comes with a good warranty. This way, you will be covered if the drive fails within the first few years. Look for a drive with at least one or a three-year warranty.

Conclusion

So, we have found out how to pick the best portable hard drive for Mac and learn through five good examples of them. Ask us in the comments if you need that. Thanks for reading!

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Solomen
Solomen

Solomen is the founder of MrHow.io, and he is happiest when working with technology and able to help others. In his free time, he often listens to Baroque music, swims or runs. Feel free to contact him on social media!

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