Best external drives 2020: Reviews and buying advice

Anybody who makes use of a PC ought to have an exterior drive. It’s each a helpful means of knowledge backup and storage, and a solution to transport recordsdata out of your desktop or laptop computer to a different system. Xbox One X customers, as nicely, can be clever to spend money on an exterior drive as a method of augmenting the console’s measly 1TB arduous drive (the exterior drive must be USB three.Zero-compatible and might be formatted while you insert the drive). 

Two issues are for positive: Nobody ever mentioned they needed much less cupboard space, and nobody ever mentioned they needed a slower drive. Our newest prime picks for greatest exterior efficiency drive (SanDisk’s Extreme Pro Portable and Samsung’s T7) are blazing-fast, nice information when you’re transferring round massive quantities of knowledge. If backup or connectivity are your priorities, we’ll additionally stroll you thru our different prime picks, and all the pieces it’s essential know to purchase one of the best exterior drive on your wants.

The very best exterior drives 2020

Finest exterior backup drive

Our decide for greatest moveable exterior backup drive for 2020 is Western Digital’s My Passport 5TB drive. Why? Nicely, you possibly can by no means have sufficient, are you able to? Positive, the 4TB model is definitely a tick decrease in cost-per-terabyte, however that further house might be invaluable if it lets you jam all of your precious recordsdata onto this drive earlier than gently inserting it in a secure. In any case, they do not name it bulk storage for nothing. (Learn our full overview of the WD My Passport.)


Our runner-up for this common class is Seagate’s Backup Plus Portable. Just like the WD above, it’s a USB three.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps) drive. It tops out at 5TB in a single drive and can be had in 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB capacities. There’s even a “quick” 4TB model that makes use of two arduous drives in RAID for extra efficiency.

In our exams of the 4TB model, we discovered the Seagate to be barely sooner with massive file transfers (assume motion pictures) however worse with small file transfers (assume Workplace paperwork). It’s nonetheless a worthy runner-up, although. (Learn our full overview of Seagate’s Backup Plus Transportable.)

Finest efficiency USB drive

That is the one. SanDisk’s Excessive Transportable Professional SSD (1TB) ($230 Now) is the quickest USB three.1 Gen 2 exterior SSD we’ve see to this point. Burst efficiency is roughly on a par with the runner-up Samsung T7’s, nevertheless it blows that drive out of the water throughout lengthy writes.

SanDisk’s drive doesn’t provide the T7’s useful and enjoyable fingerprint safety, nevertheless it’s about the identical worth and provides software-based password safety if safety is a priority. Learn our full overview. 


Samsung’s Transportable SSD T7 Contact runs a detailed second to the SanDisk Excessive Professional Transportable. In comparison with its predecessor the T5 (which is able to nonetheless be out there) it’s thinner, a considerably sooner reader, and it additionally sports activities a fingerprint scanner.