The 12 Best External Hard Drives for 2021

The 12 Best External Hard Drives for 2021Our editors have compiled this directory of the best external hard drives based on Amazon user reviews, rating, and ability to add value.

If you’re running out of storage space on your laptop or desktop, external hard drives can be a great way to resolve the issue. External hard drives can vary widely in terms of physical size, capacity, interface, how rugged they are, and cost. These external drives are often cheaper than external solid state drives (SSDs), which makes them a good fit for users looking for capacity above all else. However, with so many options on the market, determining which hard drive is the best for your needs can be an overwhelming process. 

The editors at Solutions Review have done the research for you, curating this directory of the best external hard drives on Amazon. The products have been selected based on the total number and quality of user reviews, as well as the ability to add value. Each of the external hard drives listed in this compilation meets a minimum criteria of 50 reviews and a 4-star-or-better ranking. Many of these drives also come in a range of capacity options.

Note: Products are listed in no particular order.

Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC USB 3.0 2 TB Rugged Portable Hard Drive 

 Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC USB 3.0 2 TB Rugged Portable Hard Drive (HD-PZN2.0U3B)From the manufacturer: “MiniStation Extreme NFC is a rugged portable hard drive equipped with a unique wrap-around USB cable and secure hardware encryption. Built-in NFC technology allows users to unlock and access files on their hard drive using the included smartcard without having to remember a password. Automatic 256-bit AES Full Data Encryption (FDE) protects your data from unauthorized access. If your MiniStation Extreme NFC is ever lost, the data will be inaccessible to anyone besides the owner.”

Popularity: 96 ratings and 4.5 stars.

WD 4TB My Passport Ultra Blue Portable External Hard Drive, USB-C – WDBFTM0040BBL-WESN

 WD 4TB My Passport Ultra Blue Portable External Hard Drive HDD, USB-C and USB 3.1 Compatible - WDBFTM0040BBL-WESNFrom the manufacturer: “The My Passport Ultra is trusted, portable storage in a design that brilliantly pairs metal and matte finishes to create a sophisticated style. It has plenty of space to store all the content you love. Social media and cloud storage import, WD Backup software and password protection help keep all your memories safe and secure. Easy to use, just plug it in to start saving and backing up.”

Popularity: 5,624 ratings and 4.6 stars.

WD 4TB My Book Duo Desktop RAID External Hard Drive, USB 3.1 – WDBFBE0040JBK-NESN

WD 4TB My Book Duo Desktop RAID External Hard Drive, USB 3.1 - WDBFBE0040JBK-NESNFrom the manufacturer: “The My Book Duo drive is desktop RAID storage with massive capacity ideal for storing photos, videos, documents and music. RAID-0 mode provides super-fast performance with up to 360MB/s(2) sequential read speeds (using the USB Type-C port). Switch to RAID-1 configuration for redundancy and to mirror your data. A USB Type-C port with all cables included makes it universally compatible (supports USB 3.1 Gen 1/3.0/2.0).”

Popularity: 7,289 ratings and 4.5 stars.

Seagate Backup Plus Portable 5TB External Hard Drive HDD – Silver USB 3.0 for PC Laptop and Mac

Seagate Backup Plus Portable 5TB External Hard Drive HDD – Silver USB 3.0 for PC Laptop and Mac, 2 Months Adobe CC Photography (STDR5000101)From the manufacturer: “Looking for easy, on the go storage? Seagate Backup Plus Portable offers just that with 5TB of huge capacity. The perfect compliment to personal aesthetic, this portable external hard drive features a minimalist metal enclosure and easy USB 3.0 connectivity. Giving files extra protection is practically effortless—simply back up with a single click or schedule automatic daily, weekly, or monthly backups. Plus—take advantage of a complimentary two month membership to the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan for access to awesome photo and video editing apps!”

Popularity: 32,436 ratings and 4.5 stars.

WD 3TB My Passport Wireless Pro Portable External Hard Drive, Wifi USB 3.0 – WDBSMT0030BBK-NESN

 WD 3TB My Passport Wireless Pro Portable External Hard Drive, Wifi USB 3.0 - WDBSMT0030BBK-NESNFrom the manufacturer: “High-capacity, wireless mobile storage designed to accompany photographers on-the-go to easily offload, edit and stream RAW photos and 4K drone videos without a laptop. Created to work seamlessly with mobile devices and equipped with a built-in SD 3.0 card reader and one-touch copy button, My Passport Wireless Pro is the all-in-one drive you need to streamline your workflow.”

Popularity: 1,410 ratings and 4 stars.

LaCie Rugged USB-C 4TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD – USB 3.0, Drop Shock Dust Rain Resistant Shuttle Drive

 LaCie Rugged USB-C 4TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD – USB 3.0, Drop Shock Dust Rain Resistant Shuttle DriveFrom the manufacturer: “LaCie Rugged USB C is a powerful, trusted external hard drive for Mac and Windows computers. Quickly and easily connect to the latest laptops and PCs using Rugged’s reversible USB C cable—or the included USB 3.0 adapter for legacy USB 3.0 devices. Enjoy a high-speed USB C 5Gb/s interface and confidently tackle any terrain with drop, crush, and rain resistance. Plus—take advantage of a complimentary one-month membership to the Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps Plan for access to awesome photo and video editing apps! It even includes a two-year limited warranty protection plan and Rescue Data Recovery services for long-term peace of mind.”

Popularity: 3,611 ratings and 4.7 stars.

iStorage diskAshur2 HDD 2TB Black – Secure Portable Hard Drive – USB 3.1 IS-DA2-256-2000-B

iStorage diskAshur2 HDD 2TB Black - Secure portable hard driveFrom the manufacturer: “The diskAshur2 USB 3.1 HDD/SSD is an ultra-secure, PIN authenticated, hardware encrypted portable hard drive / solid state drive. Using the device couldn’t be easier, simply connect the integrated cable to any computer and enter a unique 7-15-digit PIN. The diskAshur2 securely encrypts, stores and protects data to ensure compliance with stringent regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA & CCPA.”

Popularity: 92 ratings and 4.6 stars.

LaCie 2big RAID 8TB External Hard Drive Desktop HDD – USB-C USB 3.0 7200 RPM Enterprise Class Drives, Recovery Service (STHJ8000800)

LaCie 2big RAID 8TB External Hard Drive Desktop HDD – USB-C USB 3.0 7200 RPM Enterprise Class Drives, Recovery Service (STHJ8000800)From the manufacturer: “Ideal for photographers, indie filmmakers, and YouTubers, 2big RAID is an external desktop storage solution offering 8TB of space and powerful speeds of up to 440MB/s. Enjoy seamless compatibility with USB-C and USB 3. 0 computers and easily configure RAID 0/1 using the step-by-step wizard to optimize the system for performance or redundancy. 2big RAID comes equipped with hot-swappable IronWolf Pro enterprise-class drives for long-term performance, and a five-year limited including Rescue Data Recovery Services for superior peace of mind.”

Popularity: 59 ratings and 4 stars.

Toshiba (HDTB420XK3AA) Canvio Basics 2TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0

 Toshiba (HDTB420XK3AA) Canvio Basics 2TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0From the manufacturer: “The Canvio Basics portable external hard drive allows you to collect your files and take them anywhere, offering high storage capacity, simple plug and play operation, and reliable performance. It features a compact design with a classic matte, black finish that is USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 compatible.”

Popularity: 33,315 ratings and 4.7 stars.

Seagate Desktop 8TB External Hard Drive HDD – USB 3.0 for PC, Laptop And Mac, 1-Year Rescue Service (STGY8000400)

 Seagate Desktop 8TB External Hard Drive HDD – USB 3.0 for PC, Laptop And Mac, 1-Year Rescue Service (STGY8000400)From the manufacturer: “Ideal for the home, office, or dorm, the Seagate Desktop Drive offers 8TB of enormous desktop storage for photos, movies, music, and more. Backing up and transferring content is incredibly easy—just drag-and-drop to get set up, connect the external hard drive to a Windows computer for automatic recognition—no software required. For Mac computers, simply reformat. Included is an 18 inch USB 3.0 cable and 18W power adapter.”

Popularity: 118,499 ratings and 4. 7 stars.

Maxone 500GB Ultra Slim Portable External Hard Drive HDD USB 3.0 for PC, Mac, Laptop, PS4, Xbox one

Maxone 500GB Ultra Slim Portable External Hard Drive HDD USB 3.0 for PC, Mac, Laptop, PS4, Xbox oneFrom the manufacturer: “Maxone Ultra Slim external hard drive is ready to use without external power supply or software installation needed. Simply drag-and-drop files you want to save. Offering high storage capacity up to 2TB, this drive is made to free up more space and effectively improve the performance of your PC and laptop. All-Aluminum anti-scratch model offers stronger exterior protection, delivering remarkable strength and durability. Yet this drive is also compact and light weight. Easy to carry around wherever you go.”

Popularity: 21,510 ratings and 4.6 stars.

WD 12TB Elements Desktop Hard Drive HDD, USB 3.0, Compatible with PC, Mac, PS4 & Xbox – WDBWLG0120HBK-NESN

 WD 12TB Elements Desktop Hard Drive HDD, USB 3.0, Compatible with PC, Mac, PS4 & Xbox - WDBWLG0120HBK-NESNFrom the manufacturer: “Western Digital elements desktop storage with USB 3.0 offers reliable, high-capacity, add-on storage, fast data transfer rates and universal connectivity with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 devices. The sleek design features up to 12TB capacity plus Western Digital quality and reliability.”

Popularity: 14,259 and 4.7 stars.

NOW READ: The Best External Solid State Drives for 2021

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Tess Hanna

Tess Hanna is an editor and writer at Solutions Review covering Backup and Disaster Recovery, Data Storage, Business Process Management, and Talent Management. Recognized by Onalytica in the 2021 "Who's Who in Data Management." You can contact her at thanna@solutionsreview.com
Tess Hanna

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