Best Portable External Hard Drives 2017 Buying Guide

best external hard driveAre you looking for a best portable external hard drive for mac or pc or xbox one this list of top ten portable hard drive of 2017 with reviews contains high speeds drives with read and write speeds.

You must be thinking that hard drives have been replaced with some new latest storage technologies like Solid state drives or Solid State Hard Drives(SSD + hard disk)

You are right !!!

The market is shifted towards SSD’s but that doesn’t mean that hard drives have become useless.You might be thinkging why hard drives are still usefull.

Let me tell you

External hard drive plays an important role for protection of your data and are used most of the time to store an extra copy of your images, games, movies, songs, videos, files or other important documents.Also when SD card of your camera is full, copy all the images in the external hard drive and Snap more picture.

Not only backup but also useful when your computer or phone ran out of storage. External hard drives are way more cheap than portable SSD’s that are so expensive.And are portable enough that you can take them with you while on the go.

So , how would you know that what is the best external hard drive to buy.

We have done that hard work for you and crafted a list of best external hard drives by different brands in the market.We have selected only top external hard drives that are perfect and wrote down the honest reviews to help you pick the best portable hard drive 2017.

Best External hard drives 2017

See our comparison table of best hard drives that highlights all the features of hard drives and helps you pick your best external hard drive 2017.

Device NameCapacityTransfer(speed)Weight 
Samsung T3 Portable
(Editor’s Choice)
250GB450MB/s1.8 Ounces
Samsung T1 Portable
USB 3.0
250GB430MB/s1.1 Ounces
SanDisk Extreme 900
(Editor’s Choice)
480GB850MB/s7.4 Ounces
SanDisk Extreme
500 Portable
240GB415MB/s2.7 Ounces
MyDigital SSD OTG
(Editor’s Choice)
256GB456MB/s4.8 Ounces
U32 Shadow™Portable
USB 3.0
256GB525MB/s10.4 Ounces
Shadow Mini™ Portable
USB 3.0
256GB420MB/s7.2 Ounces
Intel Solid-State
240GB500MB/s2.4 Ounces
Lexar Portable
256GB450MB/s8 Ounces

Featured Portable External Hard Drive Reviews

With that said, In our list of external hard drive reviews you can find hard drives for all budgets and requirements, like portable, cheap, affordable, best for the money, for xbox one, for MAC, for perofessional photographers and videographers.

For students, small business which tend to look for storage capacity, durability and transfer time.So have a deep look at these reviews and get the best for you.But if you want a close look at hard drive features and how to buy a good one then see this hard drive buying guide.We are glad to tell you that few of these hard drives will be our best externa hard drives 2018 in the next year.

Without further ado let’s get into the best external hard drives reviews.

1) Western Digital My Passport – Best Portable External Hard Drive

best external hard drives 2017WD My Passport is one of the greatest hard drives that offers outstanding performance and is an inexpensive drive.Western Digital My Passport comes with a 3.0 USB port and an excellent disk controller.My Passport is available in 1TB to 4TB sizes. WD offers the maximum transfer speed of 174 MBps read, along with 168 MBps write.

It’s named as passport because it’s same as the size of an actual passport and it weighs little more than eight ounces which makes it one of the lightest and smallest drive available.The bus-powered feature allows transfers and power supply through a single cable.It’s protected by four rubber feet which keep it secure on any surface and a single blue light shows the drive is active when it illuminates.The Manufacturers tried to lessen the carbon footprint by making the casing with recycled materials but in plastic casing it’s still most durable external hard drive.

The WD’s SmartWare software comes pre-loaded with WD My passport and all it’s features are tailored for the simplicity.When plugged in one drive with external storage space and one with factory-loaded software it represents as of two separate devices.The great visual interface and built-in software allows the easy installation of drive and management of setting.Each time you connect the drive with your computer or device you will be able to make incremental backups due to the Backup and retrieval options available.

The deleted files from WD My Passport can be retrieved, as a older version of files.The 256-bit AES data encryption and password protection increases the security of this hard drive one level up. Available in different color options the WD comes with a longer-than-average warranty to a solid portable hard drive.Available in 1TB to 4TB range of external hard drives.

Overall , it’s a good performer with good data transfer speeds, large capacity and in the list of traditional HDDs its the best to get.
  • Excellent cost per gigabyte
  • Nice styling
  • Comprehensive software suite
  • Slower than average with large files

2)Seagate Backup Plus Desktop Drive – Top External Hard Drive

best portable hard driveNot the top-rates but the best external hard drive which is fast, affordable and flexible and offers multiple capacities(2 TB, 3 TB, 4 TB, 5 TB, 6 TB and 8TB).This little hard drive is compatible with Mac and windows and includes a backup software called Seagate Dashboard backup utility.

The capability of this included software is great it allows uploading photos to social media like Facebook, Flickr and videos to YouTube. Furthermore, it can download photos and videos from these social media sites.When the drive is connected by a user this software allows them to set up automatic backups.

The standard and straightforward look of this single external drive storage device represents it as a small external hard drive and originally it’s bit larger than a standard 3.5-inch internal hard drive.It’s protected by a chassis made of plastic and feels quite solid.The drive never get’s heated due to the ventilation holes on side and bottom which makes the easy air flow.

The spindle speed of this drive is 7,200 RPM and write speeds of 95.5 MBps and 127.0 MBps read speeds.The great Seagate Backup Plus Desktop Drive offers excellent speeds, easy setup, simple functionality and affordable price makes it one of the best portable hard drive.By default it’s formatted for windows unless you go for a Mac-specific hard drive which can be more expensive.

With great read and write speeds,fast data transfer speeds and bigger capacity with lower average failure rates it tops in storage and speed. It’s worth having this hard drive as your external storage.

Overall , it’s a good performer with good data transfer speeds, large capacity and in the list of traditional HDDs its the best hard drive to get.
  • Includes valuable backup software
  • It’s capacious, fast, flexible, and affordable
  • Two-year warranty is short for a drive of such capacity.

3) Seagate Backup Plus 4TB – Best External Hard Drive For MAC

Seagate Backup Plus 4TBSeagate Backup Plus 4TB external hard drive is a great drive and is compatible with Apple Time Machines, which makes it a perfect external storage option for the users of Apple ecosystem.

Simply download the software called Seagate Dashboard on your laptop and drag and drop any movies, songs, photos or other files.The social media backup and cloud connectivity makes it great for the YouTubers who have large collection of files they want to backup or photographers with a large collection of pictures on Flickr.

Backup Plus matches with your Macbook with sleek portable silver design and enables with high-speed USB 3.0 connectivity.Except any external power supply, connect it via USB.The lightweight box in which drive comes weighs about half a pound and it is 4.5 inches long, which makes it portable enough to carrying in a bag.If you do not need the 4 terabytes version there are also three smaller sizes that you can order one of them.

Overall it’s the best external hard drive for mac and offers speedy storage with a personal cloud in a reasonable price makes it perfect hard drive for mac.

  • Includes valuable backup software
  • Compact and fast
  • No USB-C port

4) Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB Portable Hard Drive(HDTB310XK3AA) – For Xbox One

Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB PortableToshiba Canvio basics 1tb external hard drive is bigger than a deck of card but slightly.The Toshiba Canvio Basics portable hard drive is so simple and portable that you can take your files along while your are travelling.

It comes in the sizes ranging from 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and 3TB models and works when plugged by USB 3.0 port into your PC.Note that, it comes pre-formatted for windows but to use or Mac just reformat the drive to an OS X-compatible format and it’s pretty easy to do.

It gives faster transfer speeds as compared to USB 2.0 technology, and it’s backwards compatible(can be used with USB 2.0 ports).It’s spinning trays rotate at rotational speeds of up to 5400 RPM and offers ramp loading technology and internal shock sensor to keep your fies safe and protected.

Overall, Toshiba Canvio connect is a great 1TB external hard drive with pretty cool features, durable and portable and worth buying.

  • Durable
  • Easy to use
  • Pre-formatted for windows not for mac(its simple to format it for Mac)

5) Silicon Power 1TB Rugged Armor A60 Military-Grade

Silicon Power 1TB Rugged Armor A60 Military-GradeThe great Silicon Power Armor A60 external hard drive a storage wonder.The Rugged Armor is drop-proof for up to 122 centimeters and water-resistant(IPX4) along with that the textured casing on the sides and edges with silicon material makes it scratch-proof, shock-proof and slip-proof.

It comes with USB 3.0 technology which allows impressive read/write speeds which enables it to deliver blazing fast transfer times.Silicon Power 1TB is also compatible with both Macs and PCs and a software included called SP Widget which simplifies data backup and restore, gives AES 256-bit encryption(hardware encryption) and cloud
storage for the efficient data management for better use.

The manufacturer gives three-year warranty with complete service and technical support and the maximum storage capacity this drive comes in is 5TB.

Overall, this pocket size hard drive give faster transfer speeds with USB 3.0 technology and better data managemet software and high data protection makes a great hard drive to buy.

  • Water-resistant, Dust and Drop resitant.
  • Fast, flexible, and affordable
  • No Traditional Micro-USB 3.0 cable
  • No backup software

6) Toshiba Canvio Connect II 2TB portable hard drive

Toshiba Canvio Connect II 2TB portable hard driveSeagate and Western Digital maybe the top external hard drives but Toshiba Canvio Connect II 2Tb portable drive is not less than these.This little storage beast measures 4.3 x 3.1 x .08 inches and just weighs about .5 pounds.The size range versions are available from 500GB to 3TB, aand is compatible and works with mac and windows hardware.

Its simple to setting up the drive, It has only one USB port for connection to the computer and the same for powering up.This 5400rpm drive gives read speeds at 98MB/s for small files and offers 103 MB/s for medium-sized files, similary it gives write speeds 112 MB/s for small and medium files. This drive gives large files read at 109 MB/s and write at 112.4 MB/s.

Securing you backup is easy because of the password protection.It also offers online storage of cloud backup with 10 gigabytes bouns which allows accessing your data on-the-go.This small portable hard drive comes with two-year warranty.

Overall the Toshiba Canvio Connect II 2TB is fully armored hard drive for your data protection with great read write speeds for all kind of files in reasonable price which allows you to give it a try as your storage option.

7) Seagate Expansion 1TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0

Seagate Expansion 1TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0When we talk about hard drive for business where large capacity is required and need to copies files quickly then only one drive comes into play that meet all those requirements and it’s none other than the Seagate Expansion Portable Hard Drive.

The different size ranges it comes in are 1TB, 2TB, 3TB and 4TB models, it’s formatted already to work with windows computers.To use it for Mac you need to reformat the hard drive which take few seconds.

Note: Buying a Mac-designated drive can be pricier than buying a drive much cheaper and pre-formatted for Windows which can also be used as a storage for your Mac by reformatting it.

Measuring 4.8 x 3.2 x .6 inches and only weighing 6.4 ounces, It’s small and light enough that you can toss in your bag while on way for a business meeting.The inside housed drive spins at just 5,400 rotations per minute, compared to some faster 7,200 rpm models but still gives a respectable performance: like 120MB/s for writing and 130MB/s for reading.Whereas, slower speeds indicates it consumes less power.

8)Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC

Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFCBuffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC is a best budget external hard drive. This flexible hard drive is compatible with both Mac and windows machines and comes in a rugged case which keeps it dust and water resistant and a built-in USB 3.0 cable to not to lose it.It’s increased security is due to the NFC card and reader of this portable hard drive.

The rugged shell keeps the drive protected from knocks and drops as well as the 256-bit AES security features and Near Field Communication(NFC) features.

Simply unlock the drive by tapping the supplied NFC card to get your files quickly and easily onto the drive’s body. From speed perspective this drive is not the fastest drive.

Overall a good external hard drive but lacks in faster speeds so not a best option to spend your hard earned money.

9) LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive 4TB

LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive 4TBLaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive is a USB Type-C to Type-A and similary USB Type-C to Type-C connectors and it’s worthy candidate despite the scale of your setup.

It’s not that expensive hard drive but in the market of top-end 4TB option it’s cheaper.The SMR or Shingled Magnetic Recording technology hinders it to give theoretically output speeds of up to 5Tbps.

The excellent LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive holds five 800GB platters into a 15mm form factor making it bigger in weight and dimension.

With a USB-C it adds an extra convenience factor to it, but Porsche Design Mobile is limited still to USB 3.0 speeds and it will be clashing with your Rose Gold Macbook with the existence of aluminium finish.Whereas, it’s the best USB-C external HHD that money can buy right now.

10) iStorage diskAshur 2Tb

Typically all around the world the governments and multinational organizations tend to go for iStorage hard disks.The very good reason for this is that they offer very tight security which no other drive offers.

But if someone intentionally tries to tamper with your great iStorge drive , you have to option to configure it to self-destruct.Whereas, the data is encrypted throught the 256-bit AES protocol,along with that multiple forms of protection in order to make sure that the bad guys don’t get inside the drive no matter how persistent it is.After checking all the marks for extra security the prices may put you thinking.

Yes , because it’s expensive, four times the original price of any equivalent 2TB drive.But keep in mind that you’re paying for a virtually uncrackable product and you won’t be able to get any help from the manufacturer if your lose your password or any other thing happens.

11) Western Digital My passport Wireless Pro

My Passport Wireless is the winner from 2016 as a Pro variant of HDD restores his faith in WD.This Wireless pro doesn’t resembles with My Passport Ultra in design and now with My Passport for Mc.Instead My Passport Wireless Pro feels more premium.It looks like an external DVD drive, but it has SD card slot and a dedicated SD transfer button.It’s best external hard drive for photographers.

There is a built-in 6,400mAH battery in this device.So you can use the drive on 2.4GHz or 5GHz without wires.It is not a cutting edge connection tech when it’s wired up, because it uses USB Type-B to Typa-A, but it lacks the latest and greatest USB-C connection throughout.

Wireless pro is popular and common to its 2TB capacity and it has 3.0 Wifi interface and a good battery life with wireless AC.

You may find My Passport Wireless Pro affordable hard drive but it benefits in many other areas.But you are not bound to buy a wireless hard drive or SD card support it depends on your requirements so get what you need.

We are working on NAS network attached storage and SD card storage and USB flash drives storage and reviews guides will be live soon.

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Adam Barton. A Tech geek and hardware engineer.Started 17oxen to provide unbiased reviews in the form of Top 10 Lists.

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