Computer & AccessoriesElectronics

The 9 Best External SSD Hard Drives for Fast Backup in 2020

An external SSD hard drive is an almost-instant form of storage for your files. Instead of having to upgrade your computer to add more space, you can add files to this solid-state drive and benefit from a convenient form of additional space.

The external SSD hard drive market is vast, with many leading brands jumping on the bandwagon to provide storage solutions. However, not every drive is going to cater to your needs. Take the time to view these options below, then purchase the unit that suits your needs the best.

Pay careful attention to the size, price, warranty, functionality, and compatibility. You will be surprised at how they differ and work differently with each computer and set up.

9. SanDisk 250GB Portable External SSD Hard Drive

If you want data transfer to go smoothly, with your files safe and secure and away from your computer, then reach for this external SSD hard drive from SanDisk. Even though this hard drive might be more expensive than other options, you will soon realize it’s entirely worth it. Its hardiness is worth its weight in gold.

It’s resistant to dust, water, shock, and vibration, and it’s easy-care as well. Even though it runs hot during large data transfers, it protects itself to protect your files. In saying that, its encryption options are not the best. If you want security, you’re best to look at another external SSD hard drive.

However, there are so many features of this hard drive you will love. You can buy it in four sizes, one or two TB, or 250 or 500GB. You even use it with a PC or Mac for additional convenience.

This external SSD hard drive is effortless to use, operates smoothly no matter the files you are moving, and it comes with a three-year warranty. Therefore, if you’re not happy with its performance, you can return it with no questions asked. It might have a few issues, but this external SSD hard drive is worth a closer look.


  • Four size options – 1TB, 2TB, 250GB, and 500GB
  • 550MB/s read speed
  • Water-resistant
  • Dust-resistant
  • Shock-resistant up to 1,500G
  • Vibration-resistant
  • PC and Mac compatible
  • Three-year warranty


  • Hardy and built to last
  • Variety of sizes to suit
  • Lightning fast read speed
  • Will handle water, dust, vibrations, and shock
  • Easy-care


  • It runs hot with large data transfers
  • Expensive to buy
  • Encryption options are clunky
  • The USB is not long enough

8. Samsung T5 Portable External SSD Drive

If you prefer to stick with reputable brands when it comes to data storage, then opt for this Samsung external SSD hard drive instead of something else. Reputation counts for a lot, and you can rely on Samsung to deliver the goods.

While you don’t get a choice on color, you do get to choose the size of the external SSD hard drive you prefer. Select from 1TB, 2TB, 250GB, or 500GB. You are sure to find they are external SSD hard drives that tick all the boxes for your needs.

Then, you can begin reaping the rewards right away. This hard drive offers exceptional rewriting speeds of 540mb, as well as two USB types of C to C and C to A to suit your requirements. It’s robust, metal, offers unique password protection with 256-bit hardware encryption, and you get a three-year warranty with it too.

The icing on the cake is that you can use this hard drive with Windows, Mac, and Android. However, be wary that it installs hard-to-remove software on Macs without your say-so. It can also run hot and setup is a challenge, but you will enjoy everything else this external SSD hard drive has to offer.


  • Four sizes – 1TB, 2TB, 250GB, and 500GB
  • 540mb rewrite speeds
  • USB type C to C and C to A cables
  • Metal design
  • Password protection
  • AES 256-bit hardware encryption
  • Windows, Mac, and Android compatible
  • Three-year warranty


  • Compact and portable size
  • Sleek style
  • Reputable brand
  • Compatible with a wide range of Mac and Windows computers
  • Generous warranty period
  • Lighting fast read and write speed
  • Two USB options


  • It installs software on Mac computers which is hard to uninstall
  • Runs hot during transfer
  • Setup is confusing

7. SanDisk Extreme 500 Portable SSD

If you pride yourself on being gentle with every computer and accessory you own, then there’s no reason why you won’t enjoy using this SanDisk external SSD hard drive. Regarding function, this external SSD hard drive packs a punch and offers everything you require to get the job done.

However, if you were to review it on its robustness, you would probably be more inclined to look at another option. Even though SanDisk goes the extra mile to make it appear rugged, it doesn’t meet the mark. It can fall apart quickly, and the cable quality is inferior too. If you are going to buy this external SSD hard drive, swap the USB cable for the one you know will last the distance.

In saying that, there is still a lot of things to like about this external SSD hard drive. The first and most standout feature is the size options. While they are strange sizes, there are plenty of them. You can pick from 500, 480, 250, 240, 120GB and 1TB. Each of these sizes provide high-speed storage and a three-year warranty.

The unit itself is resistant to shock and vibration, but only the more updated and expensive models are resistant to water. The more you pay, the longer they will last. You also get access to SanDisk Secure Access encryption software to make your data safer, as well as compatibility with both Mac and Windows. It’s not the best external SSD hard drive on the market, but it’s by no means the worst.


  • Six sizes – 1TB, 120GB, 240GB, 250GB, 480GB, 500GB
  • High-speed storage
  • Shock-resistant
  • SanDisk Secure Access encryption software
  • Three-year warranty
  • Vibration resistant
  • Mac and Windows compatible


  • Plenty of size options
  • Sleek design
  • Effortless to use
  • Works quickly
  • Inferior quality cable


  • Only the most expensive option is the hardest
  • Costly to buy
  • Strange size options
  • Deteriorates quickly

6. SanDisk Extreme 900 Portable SSD

If you’re in dire need of a quality and fast external SSD hard drive to get you through, then set your sights on this SanDisk model. Even though you might need to replace the cord quicker than you would with others, and the speed is often not as fast as advertised, it’s still an excellent choice.

You can choose from three sizes – 1.92TB, 480GB, and 960GB. They are unique sizes, but for someone who has a lot of files to transfer and store, it ticks all the boxes. It’s also a solid state external SSD hard drive which means there are no moving parts to cause its untimely demise.

The read and write speed is also what lures many people to this external SSD hard drive. While SanDisk advertises a read and write speed of 850 megabytes per second, not every user of it experiences this. In saying that, it’s still a fast and high-capacity unit.

To keep your files safe, SanDisk comes to the party here too. This external SSD hard drive offers SanDisk Secure Access encryption software, making your data more secure than ever before. It’s also a lightweight and portable device you can keep on you at all times. This external SSD hard drive is not perfect, but it’s an excellent option for many people.


  • Three sizes – 1.92TB, 480GB, 960GB
  • Solid state drive
  • 850mb/s read and write speed
  • USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface
  • SanDisk Secure Access encryption software
  • High-capacity unit
  • 7.4 ounces


  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Fast read and write speed
  • Ideal for large files
  • Robust
  • Sleek style
  • Plenty of size options
  • Portable


  • Not as fast as the advertised speed
  • The cable stops working

5. Western Digital WD 500GB My Passport Go Cobalt External SSD Storage Drive

If you don’t need the best external SSD hard drive on the market, but you want one that looks striking and gets the job done, then check out this one from Western Digital. In cobalt blue with black, it looks stunning, rugged, and robust.

You can buy it in a size of either 500GB or 1TB while benefiting from premium SSD technology and a solid state drive. With no moving parts, it’s likely to last far longer than one with moving parts. What you will also enjoy is its compatibility. You can use this external SSD hard drive with Windows computers, Mac, and even a PS4 or XBOX One. The sky’s the limit for how convenient this external SSD hard drive can be. It also offers automatic Windows backups while coming with a three-year warranty.

Another feature that makes this external SSD hard drive stand out from the crowd is its integrated USB cable. Most external SSD hard drives come with an external one – and they often fail. This USB cable is embedded within the unit, meaning you won’t lose it. However, it does mean that if it fails, you will not be able to use the hard drive anymore.

This is not the fastest external SSD hard drive on the market, nor is it the best. But, it’s affordable, hardy, and built to last.


  • Two sizes – 1TB or 500GB
  • Two-meter drop resistance
  • SSD technology
  • Solid state drive
  • PC and Mac compatible
  • Automatic Windows backup software
  • Integrated cable
  • Three-year warranty
  • Works with XBOX One and PS4 gaming consoles


  • Striking color
  • Unique style
  • Solid state drive makes it more reliable
  • Compatible with a wide range of computers and consoles
  • You can drop it, and it won’t break
  • Affordable price tag
  • Generous warranty period


  • The integrated cable means if it goes bad, you can’t use the drive
  • Not as fast as other hard drives
  • Doesn’t work with older computers

4. Glyph Production Technologies Atom Black 500GB SSD

If you are a Mac user and only want the best of the best when it comes to an external SSD hard drive to use with it, then take a look at this one from Glyph Production Technologies. This external SSD hard drive is formatted for use with a Mac, whereas most others are more suitable for Windows. However, if you do own a Windows PC, you can also reformat it to use with it. How is that convenience for you?

Even though you only get to choose from one size – 500GB, you do get the option of four colors. Choose silver, black, grey, or gold, and enjoy the sleek and stylish design you are bound to love. While this external SSD hard drive is a relatively fast unit with a 480mb/s speed, there are other things to like about it too. The cover is shock-resistant, while it also features non-slip material to make it more secure when you are holding it or setting it down somewhere.

It’s affordable, easy to use, and features a solid-state drive with no moving parts. There’s every reason to add this external SSD hard drive to your wish list today.


  • 3.1 Gen 2 USB C-type
  • 500GB size
  • Solid state drive
  • 480mb/s transfer speed
  • Shock-resistant cover
  • Non-slip design
  • Formatted for Mac computers
  • Four colors – silver, gold, black, and grey


  • You can choose the color you like
  • Solid state drive to last longer
  • Hardy and robust
  • You can reformat it to use it with Windows
  • Affordable price tag
  • Relatively quick data transfer speeds


  • Only one size
  • Incorrect warranty information

3. LaCie Rugged 500GB SSD Portable Hard Drive

If you use an external SSD hard drive quite a bit, then you are going to need something hardy and robust to handle daily wear and tear. This external SSD hard drive from LaCie could be it. As a drop, crush, and rain-resistant unit, it’s indeed built to last.

You can throw it around, drop it, get it wet in the rain, and it will continue to operate at its best. It also gives you the option to run it in Thunderbolt mode for quick transfers, while still being leagues ahead of the competition in normal situations as well.

You can buy this external SSD hard drive in two sizes – 500GB or 1TB, but both options are orange. If you don’t like that color, you’re out of luck! But it comes with Rescue Data Recovery services for three years, along with a warranty for that same period. As an added perk, you get a one-month Adobe Creative Cloud membership, but Adobe’s trial period is one month for free anyway, so it may be more of a marketing ploy than anything else.

This external SSD hard drive is expensive, there’s no denying it, but it’s also superior to many other external SSD hard drives on the market. Therefore, you may not mind paying so much.


  • Two sizes – 500GB and 1TB
  • Orange color
  • Thunderbolt style
  • USB C style
  • Three-year warranty
  • Rescue Data Recovery Services
  • USB 3.0 adapter
  • PC and Mac compatibility
  • Bus-powered
  • Drop resistant
  • Crush resistant
  • Rain resistant
  • One-month Adobe Creative Cloud membership


  • Many perks of purchasing
  • Built to last
  • Funky color
  • Hardy and robust
  • Can handle anything you throw at it
  • Fast data transfer
  • You get Adobe Creative Cloud for a month.


  • You get a free membership to Adobe for a month under a free trial, so it’s not the biggest perk
  • Expensive price tag
  • You need adapters to run it in Thunderbolt mode

2. G-Technology 500GB Mobile SSD External Storage Drive

If you are nervous about buying a new external SSD hard drive because you know there are many inferior products on the market, then set your sights on this model from G-Technology. While you might strike inferior products with other brands, this unit will impress time and time again.

It offers solid-state storage of either 1TB, 2TB, or 500GB, and is available in a sleek, black color scheme. However, the aesthetics and storage capabilities are not all you will enjoy – even if they are the standout features. The sheer durability of this unit will impress. It will resist crushing of 1,000 pounds while being resistant to water, dust, and vibrations too. It doesn’t matter what you do with this external SSD hard drive; it will handle the pressure and pain. It’s also very affordable, lighting fast, and will impress on all levels. This external SSD hard drive is well worth your inspection.


  • Solid state storage
  • Three sizes – 1TB, 2TB, and 500GB
  • IP67 water and dust resistance
  • Drop-resistant up to three meters
  • 1,000-pound crush resistance
  • 560mb/s transfer speed
  • USB-C connectivity
  • Shock-resistant
  • Vibration-resistant


  • Affordable price tag
  • Exceptionally tough and robust
  • You can throw it around a bit
  • Sleek and stylish design
  • Three sizes to choose
  • Lightning fast transfer speeds
  • Less to go wrong with solid state
  • Works perfectly


  • Only one color

1. Seagate Fast STCM500401 SSD Hard Drive

Even though this external SSD hard drive is simplistic in design and functionality, it’s still going to suit a lot of people’s needs very well. While you don’t get to choose the color, you can select the size out of four. Opt for 1TB, 2TB, 250GB, or 500GB – all very manageable and priced well too.

These units are resistant to shock, feature solid state hard drives to last longer with fewer hassles, and even offer folder syncing software too. There are so many convenient features you are bound to love.

What’s more, the transfer speed is relatively good too, at 540mb per second, as well as offering future-proofed USB-C technology. This external SSD hard drive still has a way to go, but it’s undeniably offering premium bang for your buck.


  • Four sizes – 1TB, 2TB, 250GB, 500GB
  • Shock-resistant
  • Solid state
  • Folder syncing software
  • USB-C technology
  • 540mb/s transfer speed


  • Plenty of size options
  • Compact size
  • Very portable
  • Sleek style and design
  • Affordable to buy
  • Solid state to work better
  • Future-proofed technology
  • It syncs your data


  • Not as fast as other hard drives

Considerations for Purchasing an External SSD Hard Drive

The market is full of high-quality external SSD hard drives, but unfortunately, it has equally as many hard drives of low quality as well. You now can’t go online, choose a hard drive, and buy it knowing it’s going to the job. Unless you do your research, it can be hit and miss. If you’re in the market for a new external SSD hard drive and want the best that money can buy, you need to factor in the following. 

  1. Size

    When you’re buying a new external SSD hard drive, the size counts for a lot. However, it’s not the unit size that matters – the storage does. Think about the files you will be transferring to and from your new hard drive. You can buy all manner of hard drives – anywhere from around 100GB through to into the terabytes. The sky’s the limit. The more space they offer, the more expensive they are. 

  2. Speed

    The reading and writing speed of an external SSD hard drive counts for a lot. After all, you don’t want to be waiting for hours for your files to transfer – with the hard drive getting hotter and hotter by the minute! Take note of the megabyte-per-second rating. Anything over 400 megabytes is going to be worth your time. 

  3. Compatibility

    As more and more computer types hit the market, compatibility comes to mean a lot more. You can’t purchase an external SSD hard drive and think it’s going to work for your computer. It may not. Pay attention to the compatibility. Some hard drives are pre-formatted for Mac or Windows or both. Some are also ideal for use on Android products, or with gaming consoles such as PS4 and Xbox One. 

  4. Style

    Finally, pay attention to the style. Is it hardy? Will it handle daily use? Can you drop it? Get it wet? Throw it around a little bit? The best external SSD hard drive on the market is one that can handle daily use and handle it well. You pay more for ruggedness, but it can often be worth it.


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