Best External Hard Drive

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External hard drives are a convenient solution for instantly adding more storage space without taking your computer apart. They can also be useful when larger files must be transferred between computers, or if you need your data on the go.

Best External Hard Drive Overall:

For the mainstream user, the external hard drive serves various purposes. You may simply need to expand your storage capacity without the trouble of cracking open your PC case or replacing a smaller laptop drive. You may need to transfer many large files to and from various PCs. You may be looking for a reliable way to keep backups or archived data. But no matter why you need an external drive, you'll need one with sufficient capacity, durable construction, and efficient transfer speeds. We think these drives are the very best because of their overall value with respect to their capacity, features, warranty guarantees, and of course the price with respect to all of these aspects.

ioSafe SOLO G3 Fireproof/Waterproof 3TB USB 3.0 External Drive

ioSafe's SOLO G3 is perhaps the perfect external hard drive, offering not just high capacity and high speed performance, but also protection against fire, water, drop, burglary, and so much more. With a 3-year warranty, but a rather high price, this drive offers so much and is certainly the best, but isn't cheap. Read Full Review

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    ioSafe SOLO G3 Fireproof/Waterproof 3TB USB 3.0 External Drive

    Seagate Backup Plus 4 TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive STCA4000100

    Seagate is a name widely associated with high quality drives, and the Seagate Backup Plus 4TB External Drive is the perfect drive for those who need great storage at a great price and nothing more. This is the drive to get if you need this and only this. Read Full Review

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      Seagate Backup Plus 4 TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive STCA4000100

      WD My Passport 2TB Portable External USB 3.0 Hard Drive Storage (WDBY8L0020BRD-NESN)

      Western Digital is one of the top hard drive makers out there, and their ultra-portable and ultra-sleek My Passport Essentials series of portable external drives is perfect for many in need of high-capacity storage in a tiny, portable unit. This 2TB drive offers a huge capacity at a great price and without the need of a power adapter either. Read Full Review

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         WD My Passport 2TB Portable External USB 3.0 Hard Drive Storage (WDBY8L0020BRD-NESN)

        BUFFALO DriveStation Axis Velocity 3TB External Drive

        This BUFFALO DriveStation Axis Velocity 3TB External Drive offers plenty that will satiate even the most critical buyer. With a high-capacity drive inside this unit, not to mention Wii U compatibility, integrated encryption support for Windows and so much more, this drive is a great option for many and their storage needs. Read Full Review

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          BUFFALO DriveStation Axis Velocity 3TB External Drive

          Verbatim Store n' Save 2TB External Hard Drive

          Verbatin's Snore n' Save 2TB External Hard Drive doesn't offer many thrills, but one eye-opening feature of this drive is certainly its seven year warranty. While some products won't have six months under warranty, this drive has essentially a warranty good for as long as this drive will be. Read Full Review

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            Verbatim Store n' Save 2TB External Hard Drive

            Best Portable External Hard Drive:

            Portable hard drives are essentially laptop 2.5-inch hard disk drives in an enclosure. Due to their lower power draw than conventional 3.5-inch desktop hard drives, they don't require external power sources to operate, eliminating the need for bulky AC adapters. While they often run a bit more slowly in transfer rates due to the reduced power, their small size and USB/Thunderbolt-only connectivity ensures wonderful versatility. These external drives were chosen because they offer up better than average transfer rates, are built by quality vendors, and of course are considered best buys based on user reviews, current pricing, additional functionality, and of course their overall value as portable USB drives.

            WD My Passport 2TB Portable External USB 3.0 Hard Drive Storage (WDBY8L0020BRD-NESN)

            It's portable, it's fast, and it's cheap. The WD My Passport doesn't have any fancy features beyond its huge 2TB drive capacity, but if storage and speed is all you're worried about for your external drive, then this fairly priced, brand-name piece of hardware is just what you need. Read Full Review

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               WD My Passport 2TB Portable External USB 3.0 Hard Drive Storage (WDBY8L0020BRD-NESN)

              ioSafe Rugged Portable 1 TB USB 3.0 External Hard Drive (PA51000U1YR)

              ioSafe's Rugged 1TB Portable External Drive is truly one of the most rugged pieces of hardware out there. Capable of handling 10 feet drops or 10 foot floods this drive can handle just about anything you may throw at it. It's a small fortune, but this drive may be worth it depending on your portable needs. Read Full Review

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                 ioSafe Rugged Portable 1 TB USB 3.0 External Hard Drive (PA51000U1YR)

                BUFFALO MiniStation Extreme 1 TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive - HD-PZ1U3B

                BUFFALO's MiniStation Extreme 1TB Portable External Drive can handle much more than the average external drive may survive, and this offers added peace of mind to the owner. Plus, this rugged external drive with added security features won't break the bank either, allowing you to have a semi-rugged external drive on a budget too. Read Full Review

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                   BUFFALO MiniStation Extreme 1 TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive - HD-PZ1U3B

                  Samsung P3 Portable 1TB 2.5-Inch External Hard Drive (HX-MTD10EF/G2)

                  The SAMSUNG P3 series of external hard drives combines not only the reliability of SAMSUNG hard drives, but also an extended 3-year warranty and added security features like SafetyKey. All of this functionality, along with the awesome price, make this external drive a great option for those who need low-cost drives and added security features. Read Full Review

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                    Samsung P3 Portable 1TB 2.5-Inch External Hard Drive (HX-MTD10EF/G2)

                    Seagate Expansion 500 GB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive STBX500100

                    If you're looking for "no-frills" storage for the larger files you have that a USB drive can't handle, then look no further than Seagate's Expansion drives. With modest storage, a 1-year warranty, great transfer speeds, and an excellent price, this drive is perfect for those who need bare-bones portable storage. Read Full Review

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                      Seagate Expansion 500 GB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive STBX500100

                      Best High Capacity External Hard Drive:

                      Whether you need portable media or stationary backup, the higher-capacity external drives give you storage to spare. External drives offer up portability to some extent, as well as more space if you own a laptop or ran out of drive bays. What matters for high-capacity external drives is not just a high capacity, but of course the functionality, quality of the drives, warranty coverage, and what efforts are made to help the drive resist the elements or transfer files faster. We rate all these factors and more along with the price to figure out the value and why these drives are the best for your needs.

                      ioSafe SOLO G3 Fireproof/Waterproof 3TB USB 3.0 External Drive

                      Most drives couldn't handle a splash or water or a hot summer day, but the ioSafe can survive even environments you wouldn't dare coming near. It's a small fortune, but this 3TB drive offers not only a high-capacity drive to store files in, but a peace-of-mind you will absolutely want for your files. Read Full Review

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                        ioSafe SOLO G3 Fireproof/Waterproof 3TB USB 3.0 External Drive

                        BUFFALO DriveStation DDR 3 TB Ultra Fast USB 3.0 Hard Drive with DDR3 RAM Cache - HD-GD3.0U3

                        BUFFALO's DriveStation may seem like any other run-of-the-mill external drive, but you'd be mistaken to think so. The DriveStation has its own 1GB DRAM cache called MegaCache, and as a result it offers insane read and write speeds compared to most hard drives out there, and is a great option for many who need a reliable external drive. Read Full Review

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                           BUFFALO DriveStation DDR 3 TB Ultra Fast USB 3.0 Hard Drive with DDR3 RAM Cache - HD-GD3.0U3

                          Seagate Backup Plus 4 TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive STCA4000100

                          Seagate is well known for their internal hard drives, and their Backup Plus external drive is all you'd expect from their internal drives stuffed into a 4TB external unit. With a great price and plenty of storage this drive will be perfect for most in need of external drives. Read Full Review

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                            Seagate Backup Plus 4 TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive STCA4000100

                            WD My Book Essential External 3TB 3.5" Hard Drive

                            Focusing on pricing and drive capacity as opposed to special features, Western Digital's My Book is a pretty standard high-capacity external drive that will suit the needs of pretty much most users. While it can't handle rugged environments or have extreme cache capabilities it's a good external drive with USB 3.0 connectivity and what most would want out of their external drives. Read Full Review

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                              WD My Book Essential External 3TB 3.5" Hard Drive

                              HGST Touro Desk Pro 4TB External Drive 0S03503

                              HGST was the first to come out with 4TB drives, and now their 4TB external drive is continuing the task of winning consumers over for its high capacities and great price point. The Touro Desk Pro in particular is a great option for those who need cheap external drives with a high capacity and 7200RPM drive speeds. Read Full Review

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                                HGST Touro Desk Pro 4TB External Drive 0S03503
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