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The Best External SSD - 2021

Last updated on April 11, 2021
Best External SSD

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Our Picks For The Top External SSDs

Show Contents
Our Take
  #1

Crucial X6 500GB Portable External SSD

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Crucial

X6 500GB Portable External SSD

Overall Take

  #2

SABRENT Rocket Nano 2TB External SSD

SABRENT

Rocket Nano 2TB External SSD

Overall Take

  #3

Western Digital 1TB Portable External SSD Hard Drive

WD_Black

Western Digital 1TB Portable External SSD Hard Drive

Overall Take

Large StorageThis external SSD has up to four terabytes of storage.

  #4

Samsung MU-PA2T0B/AM T5 Black External SSD

Samsung

MU-PA2T0B/AM T5 Black External SSD

Overall Take

Fast Read-Write Speeds This external SSD has read-write speeds of up to 540 megabytes per second.

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Guide written by Anam Ahmed
Last updated on April 11, 2021

An SSD, or solid-state drive, is an external data storage device for your computer. If you already have a lot of large files stored on your internal hard drive, or if you need a portable storage device that can connect to different devices, then an SSD is a sound option. Consider an SSD like a more sophisticated and advanced version of a USB memory stick.

When looking for an SSD, one of the first things you need to consider is compatibility. You will have to look at which device you want to use the SSD with, such as laptop or desktop, because the type of SSD you need must work with the hardware connections it has. Most slim laptops work with an M.2 form factor SSD, which is shaped like a stick. Some computers and laptops will be able to accommodate the 2.5-inch SSD drive.

Another important element to look at is storage capacity. There are a number of different options, ranging anywhere from 128 gigabytes to four terabytes and above. This will depend on your needs and also on the performance of the SSD. For example, some smaller SSDs in the 128-gigabyte range have much slower performance than their larger counterparts. Plus, the cost difference between this class and the next level is usually negligible, so you may be better off purchasing a larger size in this case.

The Best External SSDs

3
  #3

Western Digital 1TB Portable External SSD Hard Drive

You will have plenty of space for saving games and large media files on this four-terabyte SSD. It is shock resistant and portable. It is designed specifically for gamers.

Features


Specifications

Brand
WD_Black
Model
4
  #4

Samsung MU-PA2T0B/AM T5 Black External SSD

This external SSD is perfect for those who are looking for fast read-write speeds. It also has optional password protection and hardware encryption for extra security. The SSD is shock resistant and durable.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Samsung
Model
5
  #5

SanDisk 1TB SDSSDE80-1T00-A25 External SSD

This external SSD has lightening-fast transfer speeds and high performance. It has a ruggedized design which protects the SSD core from impact, dust and more. It is lightweight and pocket-sized for easy travel.

Features


Specifications

Brand
SanDisk
Model
9

Seagate Barracuda STJM1000400 1TB External SSD

You can use this external SSD with gaming consoles like Xbox and PlayStation, in addition to other devices. It can store large media files on the one terabyte of space. It features a minimalist design with a sleek LED light.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Seagate
Model
10

Western Digital 2TB WDBAGF0020BBL-WESN External SSD

This external SSD is highly durable, with a long warranty and shock resistance. It can reach transfer speeds of up to 1,050 megabytes per second. It is also password enabled.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Western Digital
Model

Our External SSD Buying Guide

An SSD, or solid-state drive, is an external data storage device for your computer. If you already have a lot of large files stored on your internal hard drive, or if you need a portable storage device that can connect to different devices, then an SSD is a sound option. Consider an SSD like a more sophisticated and advanced version of a USB memory stick.

When looking for an SSD, one of the first things you need to consider is compatibility. You will have to look at which device you want to use the SSD with, such as laptop or desktop, because the type of SSD you need must work with the hardware connections it has. Most slim laptops work with an M.2 form factor SSD, which is shaped like a stick. Some computers and laptops will be able to accommodate the 2.5-inch SSD drive.

Another important element to look at is storage capacity. There are a number of different options, ranging anywhere from 128 gigabytes to four terabytes and above. This will depend on your needs and also on the performance of the SSD. For example, some smaller SSDs in the 128-gigabyte range have much slower performance than their larger counterparts. Plus, the cost difference between this class and the next level is usually negligible, so you may be better off purchasing a larger size in this case.

DWYM Fun Fact

Your computer or laptop has a perfectly good hard drive, so why do you need an SSD? One of the biggest advantages of an SSD is its durability. Hard drives can easily get damaged if they are dropped. However, an SSD is far more hardy and will not result in corrupted files even if it is jolted while reading or writing data. If you require moving around data from one place to another, then SSDs are a faster choice than a typical hard drive. They can take seconds to move large files whereas hard drives will take minutes.

The External SSD Tips and Advice

  • When it comes to larger SSD sizes like two terabytes, this is optimal for those who are storing large media files or games. You usually won’t need a larger size than this for personal use. The four terabyte class of SSDs are quite rare and also come with a price premium. This larger range is more for enterprise use, so be sure you really need this amount of storage space when considering this use.
  • It can be tempting to focus on the controller of the drive, which acts kind of like the processor in your computer. This plays a big role in performance and speed. However, instead of just focusing on the controller specs, it’s better to look at the performance of the drive overall as there are other factors that can affect the speed.
  • For those who are making a considerable investment into an SSD, it’s important to look at longevity and endurance. Most SSDs are made to last between three and five years on average. If you plan on using the SSD for longer than that timeframe, or plan on writing to the drive on a high-frequency basis, then be sure to look for one that has a long-term warranty and high endurance ratings.

About The Author

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Anam Ahmed 

Anam Ahmed is a professional copywriter and essayist based in Toronto. She has been writing on technology, travel, parenting, and business for over 10 years, and works with a number of high-profile organizations. As a gadget junkie, she values finding the best products to make people's lives easier. Anam earned a master's degree from the University of Toronto and a bachelor's degree from Queen's University.