Best External Hard Drives 2022 – Buying Guide

How about you drop the greedy act of “saving money from buying something cheap” and buy yourself one of the best external hard drives of 2022 to include to your computer – whether you use a desktop PC or a laptop. It is not just a sound enhancement when you have massive files, but it can also be a good way of finding something quality-filled at a reasonable price. Most manufacturers like Apple charges users cash just for upgrading their storage space, and buying an external hard drive with better capacity sounds like a much better idea, not to mention long-lasting as well.

At a Glance:

Sale season is the best time to go home with a good and feature-filled external hard drive. So, whenever you see a sale sign on external hard drives, our list of hard drives will help you to find which one is the best one for your computer setup. Our selection of external hard drives does not a doubt because we have tested them and given honest reviews about them according to their stature. With full confidence, we can say that these external hard drives will not fail you, and they will do an exceptional job in keeping your files safe and secure all the time.

Every one of the hard drives listed in this review offers a fast transfer of data, which is very beneficial when you want to move big files. What’s more? These drives increase the performance of your system and make sure that you deserve all the space you need to store your important files. It doesn’t matter whether you are in search of the best external hard drive to use as a backup for your files or to be your main storage corner, each of our listed products will have something to offer for you.

Our Recommendations for Best External Hard Drives 2022

AwardDesignRetailer
Best Gaming External Hard Drive
WD my Passport External HDD
Check Price
Best Overall External Hard Drive
Best PickWD Elements
Check Price
Best Budget External Hard Drive
Budget PickToshiba Canvio Basics
Check Price
Best Value External Hard Drive
Seagate Expansion (Desktop)
Check Price
Best PC External Hard Drive
Seagate Expansion (Portable)
Check Price
Best MAC External Hard Drive
Seagate Backup Plus
Check Price
Best Premium External Hard Drive
Staff PickWD My Passport Ultra
Check Price
Best Photos External Hard Drive
Lacie Mobile Drive
Check Price
Best Performance External Hard Drive
G-Technology Armor ATD
Check Price

Let’s have a look at our best picks.

WD my Passport External HDD

WD my Passport External HDD
WD my Passport External HDD
Brand:Western Digital
Capacity:8 TB
Interface:USB, USB 3.0, USB 2.0
Compatible Devices:Mac, PC

The WD My Passport External HDD is really something special. This drive is not just physically appealing, but it is extraordinarily durable and fast, as well. It is 3.5” x 1.8” x 0.39”, and the drive comes in chrome and black textured casing that is not just pleasing to stare at but also shock-resistant as well. Other than this, it has a solid structure proved from a drop-test that includes a 6-foot drop, so there is no need for you to trouble yourself about it getting potentially damaged due to falls. This is a great drive for all the users who work in outdoor and office environments.

Furthermore, the WD My Passport is suitable for Mac and PC, and it is compatible with USB Type-A and USB Type-C ports. Other than that, it can also be used with USB 3.0, USB-A, USB 3.1, and USB 2.0. The Type-C port has the most privilege to transfer speeds of higher levels, making it the fastest hard drive to date. When it comes to using this SSD, it is straightforward to use the WD My Passport because all you have to take the drive out from the box and plugs it in. The device comes with WD Backup software, which saves your files to your drive or Dropbox automatically.

Moreover, you also have the opportunity to set a password from the pre-installed 256-bit AES Hardware Encryption software with WD codes and security. Moreover, when buying this piece of equipment, you can get it from anywhere you want. One benefit of shopping online from Amazon is that you can receive many discount offers and have your pick. This Western Digital hard drive is available in chrome and black textured and quality-filled casing. The drive offers 540MB of speed per second. This is mainly why this external hard drive has been the fastest one in this entire list of best external hard drives.  Other than that, it offers amazing performance and great data backup.

Pros

  • It comes with WD Backup software
  • Immediate performance
  • Has the capacity to withstand a 6-foot drop
  • Stylish casing

Cons

  • If the device is not ejected safely, there might be some complications

WD Elements

Best Pick
WD Elements
WD Elements
Brand:Western Digital
Capacity:8 TB
Interface:USB 3.0
Compatible Devices:Mac, PC

If you want an external hard drive that is a high-quality monster and doesn’t really dig holes in your wallet, then you’ve reached the right product. The WD elements are a high-quality yet compact external storage device that does a good job of keeping your files secure. For 1Tb, you can get this external drive for just $55. Without a doubt, we can title this product as one of the cheapest hard drives on the market. However, if 1Tb isn’t enough for you, you can get the 2TB version for only $85.

The only catch to this hard drive is that it is not a runner in the performance category, as it has been said. Else, it also comes with a short warranty and has no other options like security, and the WD SmartWare Pro backup software only offers a thirty-day trial offer. When we compare the WD Elements with Seagate, both are kind of equal in performance, but WD Elements’ design is straightforward, and it works great with both game consoles and computers as not just a back drive, but a storage expansion space as well.

With that being said, if you demand a hard drive that indulges easy data transfer or enhances your storage space, the WD Elements is a great buy. On the other hand, if you demand features like backup storage, better warranty, and security, you should check out other options in this list of the best external hard drives. Despite not having the above-said features, WD Elements is a low-cost external hard drive that is easy to use and of high capacity. You can buy this external hard drive from an online store or a hardware shop; the choice is yours. The WD Elements might not be the best external hard drive for performance or security features, but it still has some kicks. It is a reliable hard drive for having a large storage capacity that comes at a reasonable price. In addition to this, it is a reliable option for gamers.

Pros

  • Portable
  • Offers large storage space
  • Affordable
  • Simple design

Cons

  • The backup storage feature isn’t included
  • No security features
  • A short warranty timeline

Toshiba Canvio Basics

Budget Pick
Toshiba Canvio Basics
Toshiba Canvio Basics
Brand:Toshiba
Capacity:1 TB
Interface:USB 3.0
Compatible Devices:Desktop

This section of the best external hard drives is time to review the Toshiba Canvio Basics hard drive. It’s been a long time since Toshiba provided the hardware industry with products worth the investment. Every one of Toshiba’s production performs well and offers optimal features. As the name implies, the Toshiba Canvio Basics is a fundamental external hard drive in the entire Toshiba lineup. Unfortunately, the drive doesn’t include fancy features like password encryption or software backup; it is still considered one of the cheapest drives to store heavy files.

This drive is an all-black shroud that is featured with a USB micro type-B port and activity LED. It is ideal for storing data but not suitable for anything else. The exciting part about the Toshiba Canvio drives is that they don’t arrive in low-quality bubble wraps or plastic inserts, but they arrive in firm bubble packaging in which spinning drives get shipped in. You can even compare the Toshiba canvio basic drives as spinning drives, but you can do better with Western Digital Elements.

When we talk about performance, the Toshiba Canvio basics aren’t the best drives for that purpose. On the other hand, it is a cheap buy and is ideal for normal data storage. Furthermore, you can buy it from Amazon or get it physically from a hardware store. The Toshiba Canvio Basics is the best option for an external drive for official and personal use. You can use it in both your office and home like a pro. It is a worthy hard drive that deserves your investment, and its guarantee is flawless. In addition to this, it is a portable external hard drive that comes at an affordable value.

Pros

  • Stunning speed results
  • Free of bugs
  • Solid containing
  • Affordable 2TB and 4TB versions

Cons

  • Drive gets hot during running
  • There are no macOS instructions
  • No backup software
  • No password encryption

Seagate Expansion (Desktop)

Seagate Expansion (Desktop)
Seagate Expansion (Desktop)
Brand:Seagate
Capacity:8 TB
Interface:USB 3.0
Compatible Devices:USB 2.0, and includes a 4′ USB 3.0 cable

When affordability and convenience are your priorities, the Seagate Expansion Desktop is an affordable and fast drive that will easily fit into your pocket or purse. You can get its 2TB version for under $90. It is the best suggestion for those looking for a drive with extra storage to have on the go. Furthermore, if you want less storage capacity, you can go with the 1TB available at $60. Other than different capacities, both versions offer the same features and kicks. This feature-filled hard drive doesn’t have any added value, and there is neither software backup nor password encryption.

In addition to that, the warranty time period is also short, one year. This Seagate Expansion Desktop hard drive is perfect when you demand fast performance and more space. It has a straightforward look, and the drive is great to support a non-computer crowd, such as a media player or game console. You can title the Seagate Expansion Desktop hard drive as one of the best portable hard drives in the hardware industry because it is as big as it needs to be in a square box and still manages to provide you convenience. If you plan to use the Seagate Expansion Desktop in a Max and Windows environment, you can easily format it with an exFAT file procedure.

Other than computers, this drive can also accommodate other hosts, like media players or game consoles. Just make sure that you format your file system before usage. When buying this piece of equipment, you can get it from an online store or a retail hardware store. The best advantage of buying this hard drive online is that you will receive many discounts offers not always available in stores. Consider buying from Amazon if you are going for the online option. Well,  if you want many bells and whistles, this drive might not be the best option to go for. But it still delivers a ton of storage and offers quick data transfer, and it is a great investment. You can use it for gaming and regular purposes, as well. In addition to this, it has a compact size which enables you to store it in your pocket for traveling purposes.

Pros

  • Quick functioning
  • It offers a lot of storage capacity
  • Compact size
  • It can be used with both game consoles and computers

Cons

  • The drive doesn’t include backup storage
  • It has a short warranty period

Seagate Expansion (Portable)

Seagate Expansion (Portable)
Seagate Expansion (Portable)
Brand:Seagate
Capacity:4 TB
Interface:USB 3.0
Compatible Devices:USB 3.0

When it comes to providing excessive storage, Seagate is the man. It all begins with its 3.5-inch external hard drives and ends on M.2 SSDs made for both game consoles and computers. In clear words, Seagate has pretty much done it all. In this review, we will discuss the Seagate Expansion Portable external hard drive. This external hard drive is all about simple designs, simple internal structure, and offering huge amounts of storage at a reasonable price. Other than this, Seagate provides extra utilities that make it one of the best external hard drives in the market.

When it comes to the features, the Seagate Portable drive offers simplicity. The black, blank box is covered with only the logo of Seagate on the bottom right corner, and it has a long yet fragile activity LED on the top. Other than that, it is bare. The chief benefit of owning a Seagate Portable external hard drive is that you get varieties of utilities. In many cases, utilities offered by manufacturers are mostly reserved for expensive models with high-end features, like the Western Digital My Book. Luckily, that isn’t the case here. Seagate lets you use and install all of its utilities on your portable hard drive, and you have multiple options to choose from.

In addition to that, many tools will help you back your data upon your drive, diagnose problems, copy the data on the drive, and if you are willing to a few more bucks, you can even get recovering lost data. However, the only drawback to this external hard drive is that it is prolonged. When it comes to buying this beautiful piece of hardware, you can either get it online from Amazon or a hardware store; the choice is all yours. The brand new Seagate Expansion 1TB external hard drive is a combination of cost-effectiveness and fast performance. It has a small size and can easily be fitted in anyone’s pocket or purse. In addition to this, a faster version, 2TB, is also available at a higher price, and the 500GB version is also a must-try. However, the warranty time period can be a letdown for some people.

Pros

  • Quick instruction guides for macOS and Windows
  • Affordable recovery service
  • One-year warranty
  • Back utility

Cons

  • Slow performance
  • Bad transfer rates

Seagate Backup Plus

Seagate Backup Plus
Seagate Backup Plus
Brand:Seagate
Capacity:5 TB
Interface:USB 3.0
Compatible Devices:Laptop

Seagate recently launched its latest portable external hard drive, the Seagate Backup Plus Portable. It is available in both 4TB and 5TB capacity. This is the best solution for those searching for a hard drive that can backup large media libraries. It is featured with a USB 3.0 (can also be used with USB 2.0) port and is compatible with both Windows and Mac. In addition to this, the drive offers automatic file arrangement, which gives you the advantage of backing up your data effortlessly. For the people using the preceding version launched in 2016, finding differences other than the model number might be troublesome.

In fact, both also come in the same colors, but the only difference is that the new version is available in a light blue color rather than dark blue. There is never a lot to explain when it comes to building and designing portable hard drives. Still, Seagate has created the Backup Plus Portable hard drive by giving it a modern look with its polished aluminum and textured finish. In addition to this, you can choose this hard drive in three unique colors – light blue, silver, and black. On the face of the hard drive, you will find the Seagate logo and the indicator light as well. Once you flip the hard drive, you will notice a sticker of labels containing information such as part number, capacity, and regulatory compliances.

Other than being incredibly great, there are a few drawbacks to this external hard drive. Firstly, the design and structure of the USB connectors aren’t that appealing; they are flat. Secondly, it breaks our heart to say; the Mylio Create is not software found everywhere. If you want to own a high-capacity external hard drive available at a low price, the best option for you is the Seagate backup plus hard drive. The newest and most amazing innovation of this hard drive is that it contains the Mylio create software. In addition to this, it is an excellent hard drive for massive storage purposes, and it comes at a very reasonable price. Furthermore, it has a nice two-year warranty.

Pros

  • Mega storage
  • Reasonably priced
  • The software bundle is affordable

Cons

  • The USB connector is flat
  • Mylio Create is omitted worldwide

WD My Passport Ultra

Staff Pick
WD My Passport Ultra
WD My Passport Ultra
Brand:Western Digital
Capacity:2 TB
Interface:USB 3.0
Compatible Devices:USB-C,3.0,2.0

You can’t always prioritize looks for storage devices, but it wouldn’t hurt to find a hard drive with stunning looks as well as performance. In that case, the WD My Passport Ultra is a combination of best looks and awesome performance. This hard drive is the best because it has great storage space, is useful with bundled software, and has fast performance.

The WD My Passport Ultra is a new version of the similar-looking WD My Passport. But, this new version is much faster and much better looking than the previous one. It offers 2Tb worth of storage and is available with WD SmartWare backup software, and you can buy it in four unique colors: blue, black, titanium, and red.

The WD My Passport Ultra is a bit expensive than the previous version regarding the price. However, the price shouldn’t be a big deal if you are receiving nice features with it. You can purchase the WD My Passport Ultra from an online or a hardware store. Both your options are great, but you will receive nice discount offers if you choose to buy it from an online store, such as Amazon. If you demand a portable external hard drive that provides you fast and easy transfer of data, then the WD My Passport Ultra is everything you need. It has a nice build and design, offers a stunning data transfer, and is available with the bundled software. Unfortunately, the manufacturer has not released the 2TB version of it yet.

Pros

  • It is compact
  • Good looking
  • Offers fast performance
  • It is included with a stunning bundled software

Cons

  • Highly expensive
  • The 2TB capacity version is not available yet

Lacie Mobile Drive

Lacie Mobile Drive
Lacie Mobile Drive
Brand:Lacie
Capacity:5 TB
Interface:USB 3.0
Compatible Devices:Mac, Windows

This year, LaCie just announced a brand-new addition to their hard drive lineup with a portable one, the LaCie Mobile Drive. This wonderful piece of hardware has a storage solution with a diamond covering. You can purchase the LaCie Mobile Drive in the 5TB capacity and not mention the USB-C interface. As we all know, digital videos and photos demand quality once they increase in size.

Many files are near and dear to many users, and each demands an ideal storage solution. When it comes to the looks of this external hard drive, it is equipped with a stylish yet simple look, and that’s what most users want. With the LaCie Mobile, users can back up their data on the go with easy-to-operate software, with only a single click or with an automatic backup routine. Thanks to the 5TB storage capacity, users have the chance to back up at least 500,000 high-resolution files.

In addition to this, the LaCie external hard drive is compatible with both Windows and Mac, and the space grey color is particularly created to match the aesthetics of MacBooks. The LaCie Mobile Drive is featured with a sleek body and an Apple-like texture. However, it is priced a bit high when we consider its performance rates, but other than that, it is quite appealing. So, if you are interested in looks and free Adobe Creative cloud, this drive is a good option for you.

Pros

  • Nice aesthetics
  • Solid quality
  • Great build
  • USB-C to USB-A cables and USB-C

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not much performance nor the capacity

G-Technology Armor ATD

G-Technology Armor ATD
G-Technology Armor ATD
Brand:G-Technology
Capacity:1 TB
Interface:USB-C ready; USB-3.0 and Thunderbolt 3
Compatible Devices:Mac, Windows

Who says you can’t do brawny and classy at the same time? Think again, the G Technology Armor ATD external hard drive is a smart-looking beast. It is 0.8 x 3.4 x 5.1 inches, and it is equipped with a stunning-looking case with blue brushed aluminum, covered with a rubber casing. When it comes to performance, the Armor ATD is not only a fast runner, but it is also an attractive addition to your hardware.

You can find a more reliable version of the external hard drive from another manufacturer because of the price of this model. Still, a few bucks wouldn’t hurt to get yourself something premium and good-looking. All aspects aside, the price of the Armor ATD is based on its performance per gigabyte, so the choice of gigabyte is yours. If you choose a higher version, you won’t be disappointed by the results.

When buying the G-Technology Armor ATD, you can get it either from an online store or physically from a hardware store. Buying online comes with a lot of benefits; you get to experience great discount offers. So, you can reduce its hefty price with the discounts offered by Amazon. The Armor ATD is a brand-new innovation of G-Technology, and despite its rough and rugged looks, it is a pretty sweet hard drive for storage purposes. It has cables for both connectors, and it has a protective and removable bumper. However, it is a bit expensive.

Pros

  • Nice looks for a rugged hard drive
  • Removable bumper
  • Protective casing
  • Includes cables for both Type A and Type C USBs

Cons

  • There is no activity light
  • Zero backup utilities
  • No subscription deals
  • Very expensive

Summary for Best External Hard Drives 2022

AwardDesignRetailer
Best Gaming External Hard Drive
WD my Passport External HDD
Check Price
Best Overall External Hard Drive
Best PickWD Elements
Check Price
Best Budget External Hard Drive
Budget PickToshiba Canvio Basics
Check Price
Best Value External Hard Drive
Seagate Expansion (Desktop)
Check Price
Best PC External Hard Drive
Seagate Expansion (Portable)
Check Price
Best MAC External Hard Drive
Seagate Backup Plus
Check Price
Best Premium External Hard Drive
Staff PickWD My Passport Ultra
Check Price
Best Photos External Hard Drive
Lacie Mobile Drive
Check Price
Best Performance External Hard Drive
G-Technology Armor ATD
Check Price

Conclusion

A regular computer user must demand a high-capacity storage device that lets them store their important files, whether music, videos, or something related to work. Your standard hard drive cannot handle the data you have on your PC, which is why you need an external hard drive to ensure that your data is kept safe and secure. Thankfully, we have given you a list of some of the top best external hard drives that have the features to fulfill your storage needs. Other than being fantastic in performance, some of our reviewed drives are cheap, as well.

Every product has its own perks and has the features to fulfill particular requirements. So, you need to figure out the type of data you want to store and then decide on an external hard drive. In conclusion, all of our external hard drives have something special to offer, so have your pick.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an external hard drive?

Internal storage is inside your PC, and an external hard drive is connected to your PC via a port. It provides more storage space to save your Data.

What are the benefits of external hard drives?

There are many benefits to an external hard drive. You can use them as your emergency backup, and it has a plug and play system, which makes the installation very easy. If you use an external hard drive as the main drive on your MAC, you can even increase the speed performance since internal drives are slower.

How do I use an external hard drive?

Just plug it into your USB port and use it as a backup drive or scratch disk. You can also use it as your main drive if your internal drive is slow, or you can use them to clone your current hard drive.

Are external hard drives reliable, and how long do they last?

It depends on many factors, i.e., how it is stored and whether it has any physical damage or not. On average, the last 3-5 years, and even if they don’t, you should replace them to ensure that your data remains safe.

When is SSD External Hard Drive recommended?

If you don’t care about speed, you can get an external HDD. But if speed is your top priority or you want loading screens to take less time while gaming, you should go for SSD. They are fast and reliable with expensive price tags.

How are External Hard Drives Powered?

External Hard Drives have a plug-and-play system that is very easy to use as you have to connect them to your USB port.


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Atif Liaqat
By Atif Liaqat

I have been fond of computer technology for a long time, ever since childhood, and was always meddling with various hardware and software. With graduation in computer engineering from a recognized university like NUST was a dream come true and enabled me to pursue my dreams in swift ways.



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