The best portable SSDs have become an integral part of many people’s computer setup, especially laptop owners who need that extra boost in storage. Even the more casual users need more storage space for their digital files and high-resolution media as they move away from traditional hard copies. The demand, therefore, for these external SSDs have grown over the years.
Not just for having additional storage space, the best portable SSDs are handy for other things as well. They also keep your important files portable, making them easy to take with you when traveling and access at a moment’s notice. Because these external SSDs don’t have moving parts, unlike portable hard drives, they’re faster and more durable as well. That means that they’re less likely to break, keeping your files secure and protected. Finally, quite a few of them have a rugged build to survive falls, drops and even the harshest elements.
Although external SSDs are typically a bit more expensive than external hard drives, they bring quite a few benefits to the table that HDDs simply can’t. So, if you have a bit of extra cash to spare, they’re definitely worth considering if you’re thinking about getting additional storage for your laptop or computer. Lucky for you, we picked out the best portable SSDs to make your search for the ideal one a whole lot easier.
Best portable SSD on Amazon Prime day and Black Friday
Some of the best portable SSDs of 2020 are bound to get nice price cuts on Amazon Prime Day and Black Friday. So, you might be able to find a portable SSD on this list for much less, saving you more money to use for something else.
If you’re buying one of the best portable SSD for yourself or as a gift, it would be wise to wait until these major deal events of the year. Luckily, Amazon Prime Day is on October 13 and Black Friday rolls around at the end of November, so you won’t have to wait for long.
Get access to your data quickly with this cloud storage solution
While a portable SSD will allow you to take your data anywhere, pulling out the cord and plugging it in can be a hassle sometimes so why not keep a copy of your important files online for easy access by using a cloud storage provider like iDrive.
Samsung is a company that has made some brilliant portable SSDs, and you’ll see a number of its devices on this list, however the Samsung Portable SSD T5 is our pick of the best portable SSD of 2018. It builds on the brilliant design and performance of its predecessor, the Samsung T3 SSD (also on this best portable SSD list), but brings it up to date with an incredibly fast USB Type-C connection that ekes out every last drop of performance from the solid state drive inside. Of course, it’s also backwards compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 if your PC doesn’t have USB Type-C. It’s expensive, but it’s well worth the cash.
Read the full review: Samsung Portable SSD T5
Seagate is a well-known brand when it comes to storage, and it’s brought its impressive experience to the portable SSD market with the brilliant Seagate Fast SSD. This is an impressively slim external SSD, at only 9mm thick with a footprint of 94 x 79mm. Best of all, it’s affordable – with prices likely to drop – and it’s an excellent performer, relatively small, plus it has a nice design and a three-year warranty. Well worth considering if you’re looking for a the best portable SSD for a low price.
Read the full review: Seagate Fast SSD 500GB
If you want speed above all else, and money is (almost) no object, than the Samsung X5 Portable SSD is the best portable SSD for you. It comes with a Thunderbolt 3 connection that takes full advantage of the super-fast speeds of the brilliant Samsung 970 Evo NVMe SSD that comes inside. However, that pure dedication to speed comes at some expense. First, there’s the financial expense, as this is a pricey external SSD. It’s also larger and bulkier than the Samsung T3 or Samsung T5, which are also on this list. The device is fairly heavy at 150g, triple the weight of the Samsung T5, and at 116 x 60 x 18mm, it can best be described as portable rather than miniature. However, when it comes to performance, the Samsung X5 Portable SSD is definitely the portable SSD to go for.
Read the full review: Samsung X5 Portable SSD
This small and compact external hard drive offers very decent speeds, as well as a rugged body that keeps it safe from water – as well as drops and knocks. It’s not the fastest drive out there – as it’s still reliant on the aging SATA technology, rather than the newer – and faster – NVMe tech, but for the money you’re still getting a brilliant performer. Adata claims this is the most compact external SSD, and with dimensions of 72.7 x 44 x 12.2mm and weighing only 37g excluding the cable, it is smaller and lighter than Samsung’s T3 and T5 drives – which are also on this list of the best portable SSDs. While it is pricey compared to some of the other external SSDs we have on this list, remember that it comes with military-certified protection. The stringent MIL-STD-810G 516.6 impact resistance test so it should survive accidental drops and shocks without much damage. If you shop around, you can also get it for less than its RRP.
Storage giant Western Digital is no stranger when it comes to storage gear aimed specifically at pro photographers, and with the WD My Passport Wireless SSD it has created another brilliant device that photographers (or even regular users) will love. It joins WD’s growing stable of wireless hard drives, which allow you to view and move files via a Wi-Fi connection, rather than with a cable, which is handy. However, over Wi-Fi, you’re not utilising the full speed of the SSD. It also connects via USB 3.0, which offers very good speeds, but not quite as fast as USB Type-C or Thunderbolt. But the flexibility and durability of the WD My Passport Wireless SSD is certainly tempting, plus it comes with a built-in SD card reader, making it one of the best portable SSDs for photographers.
Read the full review: WD My Passport Wireless SSD
If you’re looking for a portable SSD with lots of features, then you might want to take a look at the Samsung T7 SSD. This external storage is not only fast – with sequential read and write speeds of up to 1,050 and 1,000 MB/s, respectively – but it also boasts quite a few nifty features in its palm-sized package. The most important of those features is, of course, its built-in security options that use AES 256-bit encryption and give you the option to use fingerprint sign-in, which you can set-up through its own management software.
The Adata SD700 will suit those looking for a rugged storage device that can provide ample capacity without costing too much. It offers good speeds, and it’s IP68 rated, which means you can carry it around with you without worrying about it getting damaged. It comes in capacities up to 1TB, so you don’t have to worry about missing out on storage space just because it uses an SSD. However, it doesn’t come with the new USB Type-C connection, which means speeds aren’t quite as fast as they could be.
There’s a reason why LaCie is among the few brands trusted by creators and digital nomads alike. The manufacturer has designed its hard and solid state drives to be travel-friendly, whether that’s rugged enough to survive accidental drops or lightweight and shock-resistant. The LaCie Portable High Performance External SSD falls in the second category. That is, while it may not have that rugged build that Lacie’s storage drives are known for, it is still built for travel. It’s versatile too when it comes to connectivity – while it does have that USB-C connection that’s best for MacBooks and the Dell XPS line, it also allows USB 3.0 connectivity for the other laptops out there.
When it comes to keeping your files safe and secure – whether from prying eyes or accidents – G-Technology is still king. The manufacturer’s G-Technology 1TB G-DRIVE mobile SSD, for example, is IP67 water and dust resistant, can survive falls of up to 3 meters, and has a 1,000-lb crush resistance. Impressed yet? Its transfer rate of up to 560MB/s and USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt 3 compatibility should sweeten the pot. That is, as long as you’re willing to pay for it. Much like the LaCie Portable High Performance External SSD, this isn’t exactly among the cheapest options out there.
Gnarbox’s rugged backup SSDs have a very specific purpose. They’re designed for photographers and videographers to have a convenient and reliable backup drive for their precious high-resolutions files while in the field. The GNARBOX 2.0 SSD might not be for regular users, but it’s kind of an ingenious piece of peripheral for content creators – not just for backing up files but also for making space. Who hasn’t run out space in their SD card while they’re on a shoot? And, because it is designed to survive the great outdoors, it’s water, dust and shock resistant as well. This is, hands down, the best external ssd for the adventurous creative set.