Are you in the market for a brand new external hard drive? Since many of us are computer users, we all know that it is usually a good idea to have a backup device for our information. In addition, those who play games, watch movies, and download quite a bit of data may require extra space. Both cases are excellent reasons to invest in an external hard drive.
Reasons to Invest in an External Hard Drive
There are many reasons why Mac users should purchase an external hard drive. Security is a major concern in today’s day and age. Data storages and rights to your own data are also two of the most important motives. Another great feature of external drives is the portability and the ability of offline access. Overall, storing your information on an external drive for a one-time cost, rather than purchasing memory from various online sources, is an attractive objective.
Lastly, investing in an external hard drive is definitely the most reliable decision. There have been times where accessing online data is impossible due to server issues with providers. This is not a concern with an external hard drive. Dropbox, Apple, Microsoft, and Google have all experienced issues over time. Using an external drive allows you to have access to all of your data in the palm of your hands. If this is an appealing notion, it’s time to purchase your hard drive.
|WD My Passport Portable||105MB/s||250g||2.0, 3.0||No||Check Price|
|Toshiba Canvio Basics||106 MB/s||149 g||2.0, 3.0||No||Check Price|
|Samsung T5 Portable SSD||540 MB/s||51g||2.0, 3.0||No||Check Price|
|Seagate Backup Plus||100MB/s||200g||2.0, 3.0||No||Check Price|
|G-Drive Mobile||100MB/s||140g||2.0, 3.0||No||Check Price|
|Silicon Power Armor||102.7MBps||180g||2.0, 3.0||No||Check Price|
|Apple AirPort Extreme Time Capsule||100Mbps||1480g||2.0, 3.0||Yes||Check Price|
|ADATA HD710A||119MBps||220g||2.0, 3.0||No||Check Price|
The Best 8 Brands of External Hard Drives for Mac
As with any product, it is important to purchase the highest quality device for the lowest cost possible. We all have budgets and all need for the product to last a long time. Finding the hard drive with the best memory storage for your buck is also incredibly important. To find out all of this information, research is required of the best of us. Therefore, we go to the Internet to find any and all resources to give us readied information quickly. In our research, we determine which device can meet our needs.
In saying this, here is a list of the Top 8 brand external hard drives available for Mac users in 2018.
1. Western Digital My Passport Portable
Sources seem unanimous in suggesting the Western Digital is the top selection. Manufactured by Western Digital, the My Passport Portable is the best external drive for Mac. Different models with various amount of memory are obtainable for the consumer all at different price ranges. It has a stunning design and is available for USB 3.0, the latter coming in a variety of vivid colors (black, blue, red, yellow, white, and orange). These drives are compatible with Apple Time Machine as well as Mac.
There are plenty of great features for these external drives. All models of this brand come with a 3 year limited warranty. Memory limits of 1 TB ($59.99), 2 TB ($77.95), 3 TB ($104.99), and 4 TB ($109.99) are available. Surprisingly, the features are similar even with the different memory capacities.
All of these external hard drives are formatted for Mac OS X, though they can be reformatted for Windows. The software allows for automatic backup of all of your important files. Plus, all models have a 256 bit AES hardware encryption to protect all of your important information, keeping it more secure. With high storage capacities available and security features, you can store a ton of data also and take it anywhere without worry.
With so many great reviews, it is no wonder that the My Passport is the top rated external drive. People have given feedback ranging from positive experiences with customer service to the quality of the product for a reasonable price. Many have used Western Digital products, never having a problem with them, even after six to seven years. If there is an issue, WD can have you return the drive and recover your data. There are many prompts upon setup that allow you to control the drive’s settings.
Though there are fewer negative reviews, the comments must be considered before making an informed decision. A common complaint was that the drive only worked for a couple of months before there was a problem. Transferring data takes quite a long time. There were many criticisms for WD’s customer service, also, contrasting claims in the positive reviews for the product. The common moral that many users seemed to emphasize was to test the drive right away before the warranty expires and to make sure you haven’t purchased a defective drive.
Our Thoughts on Western Digital My Passport
As with any bit of technology, Western Digital has received both positive and negative feedback. No device is perfect, and investigating customer reviews has explained why. This lightweight and stylish drive is definitely a lucrative and reliable choice for your external hard drive needs despite the negative feedback it received. Not everyone has had these same issues with the product, nor have they had the same experience with customer service.
The advice we can give is, if you purchase Western Digital, to test its backup capabilities right away. If you have any issues with the drive, contact customer service right away. Make sure you talk to a supervisor if the agent you get can’t seem to help you. Sometimes the higher ups know best.
2. Toshiba Canvio Basics
The runner up is the Toshiba Canvio Basics. This drive can also be purchased with different amounts of memory, its maximum being 1 TB. Still, even though its memory capacity can’t reach that of Western Digital’s My Passport, it is easy to use and can support large digital files. There is no software that needs to be installed.
The Toshiba Canvio Basics comes in one color – black – but two designs, either classic or contemporary, with 500 GB ($63.19), 1 TB ($54.99), 2 TB ($73.97), and 3 TB ($105.71) memory.
It is a USB 3.0 powered device with high transfer speeds. In addition to that, all models have an internal shock sensor to protect your drive. The warranty, however, is only a one year warranty.
The storage space on the drive is its top and most appreciated feature, according to customer reviews. It can also turn itself off if it’s not in use, which is an excellent power-saving strategy. It is a cost effective solution to your backup needs, its price $10-$15 cheaper than certain Mac external drives. Gamers found this device useful, and many claimed that it worked perfectly for them for years, even after dropping it multiple times.
As far as the negative feedback is concerned, the biggest complaint among Toshiba users is that speed can become incredibly slow. For a device where speed is its chief feature, we can see where this could post a problem. Some claimed that the device failed after a few, short months. Like with Western Digital, some customers received lousy customer service and found the product a waste of time.
Our Thoughts on Toshiba Canvio Basics
The Toshiba Canvio Basics is a highly portable device with its small size, and is a safe way to protect your data. Having it gives a peace of mind that all of your important files are at your fingertips.
That isn’t to say that there weren’t some drawbacks, but everyone’s experience is unique. As for the contradicting, extremely slow speeds, if you’re backing up your data all at once, it will take long hours for the drive to transfer, no matter which device you choose.
3. Samsung T5 Portable SSD for Mac
Another great selection is the Samsung T5 Portable SSD. It is one of the pricier models, but it makes up for that with its stunning speed. The device has some protection with its durable, metal coating. Where it does not guarantee a safeguard from damage, it is a little bit of a safety net, especially since it can survive drops from up to 2 meters in height. This lightweight, blue and black aluminum model is a heavy-duty product worth investigating.
This drive is compatible with USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface and is backwards compatible. The storage capacity of the Samsung T5 Portable comes with 250 GB ($99.49, blue), 500 GB ($113.50, blue), 1 TB ($197.99, black), and 2 TB ($397.99, black) memories. The device has an aluminum, shock-resistant coating, as well as a 3 year warranty.
The most significant feature is the superfast read-write speeds of up to 540 MB/s. For security and data protection, there is also optional password protection and 256 bit AES hardware encryption. The design is highly compact, weighing just 51 grams and only 10.5 mm in thickness, making the Samsung T5 the smallest external drive on the market. The Samsung T5 Portable is compatible with Mac OS and MacBook Pro.
The speeds are great for gamers, music producers, and Mac users alike, according to customer reviews. With 88% percent of Amazon reviews at 5.0 stars, you can definitely assume you’re getting the best quality for your buck. The majority of reviewers actually claimed that the speed combined with the storage space made this expensive device worth it. There were claims that it was highly compatible with USB 2.0 and 3.0. It is a reliable drive overall.
There were very few negative reviews for this product, though it is important to look at all the cases. Some consumers who purchased Samsung continuously received defective hard drives and had to go through the rigmarole of sending each device back over and over again. In addition to that, there were complaints that the device was not as durable as it looked, which is a common claim we’ve found through our online research.
The software stops recognizing the drive when the computer goes into sleep mode, causing much frustration. Another suggestion from other customers is that the Samsung T5 should not be purchased unless you have a USB 3.0 or better, contradicting the claim of backward compatibility and some of the positive reviews.
An important piece of information for a Mac user to know is that a user of the Mac OS High Sierra claimed the drive did not work for their device at all.
Our Thoughts on Samsung T5 Portable SSD
As a frequent consumer of Samsung products, I personally believe in the quality the company puts forth in their technology. Though there is quite a bit of negative feedback from a fraction of the customers, overall there is an understanding that the Samsung T5 is a dependable product. By now, I’m sure you’ve realized that different users have different experiences. It does not undermine the issues, but hopefully can give you some insight on what could happen with the device.
4. Seagate Backup Plus Slim External Drives
The Seagate Backup Plus Slim Portable Hard Drive is reliable and perfect for downloading photographs. If you’re a photographer or take thousands of pictures, you may want to invest in this model. It is easy to use and is advertised at a low price for a large amount of storage space. It is also a compact device, which is another attractive feature if you’re always on the move.
Some of the features of the Seagate Backup Plus include its quick file transfer with USB 3.0, Time Machine backup compatibility, and its small size at 9.6 mm and 150 gram weight. This model comes in 1 TB ($59.99), 2 TB ($69.99), and 4 TB ($119.99) memory. Additionally, purchasing this external hard drive includes a 2 month complimentary membership to Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan.
Positive response for this device is in regards to its simple use and basically silent transfer. Users were pleasantly surprised by the seemingly flawless performance. For its price, the Seagate Backup Plus Slim has proven reliable to many consumers. It is an excellent choice when finances are a concern or you need to get a new drive immediately.
The speeds are not lightning fast, which could be annoying. Other than that, some of the negative comments regarding this product concerns hard drive failures. Seagate will replace the drive, but does nothing to recover lost data without additional coverage. From customer reviews, it is apparent that without the additional coverage, customer support is nearly useless.
Our Thoughts on Seagate Backup Plus
This is the best drive in terms of budget. If cost is a concern to you, this is one of the best on the market in terms of storage. Still, for a cheaper price, the Seagate has its drawbacks. If you can look past them, great. Even so, it is recommended that you purchase the data protection coverage, just in case.
5. G-Technology Hard Drives: G-Drive Mobile
The G-Drive Mobile comes with 1 TB ($60.84; compatible with USB 3.1), 2 TB ($81.94; compatible with USB 3.0 and 3.1), and 4 TB ($115.99, plus $66.36 if you purchase expert installation; compatible with USB 3.0 and 3.1) storage capacities. Apple Time Machine and Apple File Vault are both supported by this drive.
There are many measures of protection with this device including password protection and encryption. It weighs 8.2 ounces and has dimensions of 4.33 x 3.23 x 0.75 inches, making it easy to carry around with you. The device comes with a 3 year limited warranty, also. The transfer rate is up to 130 MB/s, and the device comes with USB-C/USB-A cables for Mac compatibility. The product include a 3 year warranty.
The aluminum casing of the G-Drive Mobile keeps the device cool, preventing overheating. Its body is tough, and it can withstand a fall. Reviews declared convenience and efficiency, though there were some complaints about speed. The small size makes it easy to transport, and it is easy to use as well.
There have been some reports over problems with connectivity of the device. Some other explanations of the negative reviews for this product came from Windows users, which isn’t a problem for you Mac users. Some devices needed replacing, but that can happen with any brand. Another complaint was that the G-Drive Mobile is not incredibly durable.
Our Thoughts on G-Drive Mobile
There are very few drawbacks with the G-Drive Mobile. The only issue that seemed to arise was the connection capabilities, and not everyone experienced those issues. It is a safe bet for an external hard drive, though if you prefer a device that is more durable, you may want to look elsewhere.
6. Silicon Power Armor: Best in Gaming External Drive
This product features large file transfer capabilities and military-grade shockproof and IPX4 water resistance. It is available in 1 TB ($51.99), 2 TB ($69.99), 4 TB ($107.99), and 5 TB ($138.99, plus $66.36 for expert installation), making this the device with the most storage on our list thus far. Coming with its own case, this device allows for easy cable storage. A 3 year manufacturer warranty accompanies this product.
With its textured surface, the device has a great grip and a defense against drops. The protective coating also protects the drive completely from water. It has incredible read-write speeds, making the transferring of files quick and easy, especially with HD pictures and videos. Many experienced years’ worth of use from the Silicone Power Armor and experienced no drama.
The setup doesn’t appear to be the easiest, so make sure to do your research and contact customer support if needed. Some performance problems were noted by quite a bit of the negative reviewers.
Our Thoughts on Silicon Power Armor A60
As we stated, if you are a gamer and own a Mac, this may be the best model for you. With such large storage limits for the price, not to mention the resiliency of the device against the elements and accidental drops, you are looking at a very powerful and attractive external drive. The Silicon Power Armor A60 is an excellent product.
7. Apple AirPort Extreme Time Capsule (Best Security Hard Drive)
The Apple AirPort Extreme is the hard drive with the best security. The device works with Mac OS X and is Time Capsule compatible. This no-hassle backup device is rated so low on the list due to its extremely high price of $208.49, plus an addition $95.66 for expert installation. It is the most reliable model, which makes sense. If you’re looking to really invest in your external hard drive, this product is right for you.
The AirPort Extreme offers 2 TB memory, with high-speed wireless connectivity of dual-band 802.11ac wi-fi. The speeds on this machine are incredible, a whopping 1.3 Gbps. Additionally, it has extremely high connectivity, eliminating the issues of the last few devices completely. It even allows for wireless printing capabilities.
Basically, the product is a router that also acts as an external hard drive. You can plug directly into it, and use that vast storage. This Time Capsule is only compatible with Mac and no other computer system, but again, that’s not a concern for you Mac users.
There were no negative reviews for this product on the Amazon website.
Our Thoughts on Time Capsule
Our thoughts, well, if it weren’t so expensive, most likely everyone would choose this product. Though there were only 8 reviews, all the customers were completely happy with their purchase. That isn’t to say this is the savior of the external hard drive world, but the sources point to this being the best quality device. If cost isn’t your concern, go for it!
8. ADATA HD710A: Best Value for Mac External Hard Drive
Last but not least, we have the ADATA HD710A, one of the most durable hard drives for the greatest value. The reason this gem is so low on the list is due to some connectivity issues and the focus on only one storage capacity. It appears that there are other memory sizes out there, but only 2T memory is available for Mac.
This device is designed for Mac and Time Capsule compatible. This 2 TB device is valued at $109.99, not including professional installation which is $66.36 additionally. The device passed a MIL-STD-810G military-grade shock-resistant test due to its triple-layer contraction with elastic silicone material. G shock vibration technology instantly stops all activities when it senses a shock. The ADATA HD710A is compatible with USB 3.0. The hard drive case also comes in red, blue, black, and yellow, so you get to choose your favorite.
Just for the peace of mind, this is a great option. With how durable the device is, you don’t have to worry about losing your data due to a fall or flood. The protective features of this product has been a blessing to many of its consumers. Many stated how it withstood falls and the like or could be thrown to the bottom of their backpack. That isn’t to say not to be kind to your device. After all, we never know when a problem might arise. Still, this is a great product to give assurances that not much can stand in the way of accessing your data, especially if you’re paranoid about losing it all.
In the event that the product fails, call the manufacturer first, and not the data recovery service, for the latter negates the manufacturer’s warranty. There have been many claims about connector issues as has happened with many of the other external hard drives. Some Mac users claimed their drive did not work with their computers; however, they were using a 1 TB unit, which, we have already noted, is not compatible with Mac.
Our Thoughts on ADATA HD710A
This product is very durable for a decent price. It may not be as attractive since it is only available with a 2 TB memory, but that is plenty of space to keep you photos, music, works, and other data safe from harm. Though connectivity is a problem, there were some who were able to solve it. It could just be a lemon, and you can contact the manufacturer if you have any issues. Besides, if you aren’t gentle with your electronics – like most of us accident-prone people are – the ADATA HD710A can be a reliable solution.
External Hard Drive for Mac Buying Guide
If you are looking for the best external hard drive for your Mac computer, there are many options available for you. You must consider all the necessary options before you can make the correct choice. Perhaps you start your search by defining exactly what you need. The best way to define what you need is to understand the quantity of data available for storage. This can give you an idea of the type and size of an external hard drive to look for your Mac operating system.
Another important issue you need to clear with yourself is the number of computers that will be connected to that system. If you have many computers, you must think about it when you are making your choice.
Furthermore, there is the issue of backup speed which you must take into consideration as part of your guide when making that choice. Moreover, consider your expertise when it comes to handling this type of thing as well as the physical drive size and the issue of data sensitivity. There are just tips of the iceberg when you are looking for this kind of product. Ensure that you avoid anything that makes it difficult to move it about.
Important Factors to Consider Before Buying External Hard Drive for Mac
1. Ease of Use
It is suggested above that you have to consider your expertise when you are making a choice. Because of that, one of the top factors to look into when you are making that choice include the ease of use. It should not be difficult for you to set up and configure. There is no need for one to be a technical expert before he can make a better choice. There should be easy to follow instructions that can guide you until you get the system set up and begins to use it.
2. Data Transfer Speed
Speed is equally important. Experts have suggested that the best external hard drive for the Mac should be running fast. Because of that, you must take this area seriously. Two things can affect the speed. The first thing to look into include the connection speed. The connection you use can affect the speed. Another thing that affects the speed includes the port compatibility. When this is not compatible, it can affect the speed of the hard drive. You must consider those issues that affect the speed seriously before you make your final decision.
Your concern should be long lasting quality. When you make your choice, you should look for a product that can stand the test of time when you are making a choice. It is likely that it can suffer various challenges. The earlier you are sure of tackling those issues, the better chance of making a choice
4. Hard Drive Data Storage Space
Remember that your major reason for this product is for storage. Because of that, ensure that you get a product with enough space for storage. There are different hard drive. These vary from one product to the other. Check this issue before you finally make a choice.
You must keep in mind that capacity varies and in making your choice. You can resolve this issue by relating it with your storage need. You get as much as eight TB in terms of storage space available in the system.
Perhaps the most important factor that can influence your choice is the issue of connectivity. How are you going to connect to the device? If you do not have the correct product, it may not connect to your system and it will amount to waste of hard-earned money.
6. Use with Single or Multiple Computers
The number of computers you want to connect the hard drive to is very important when you are making your choice. When you want to use more than one mac computer, it is imperative that you opt for a model that can accommodate all that. It is advisable to look for a drive that can accommodate all the numbers of computers at a time. Even though there could be difficulty in connection when you have more than one computer, but you can gain a lot when you run them all in one system.
When you have multiple computers to use the hard drive, then it is better to do a wired connection. This will be many times faster than a wireless connection and you are going to enjoy the speed, which is one of the topmost conditions when you are looking for this kind of product.
7. Your Expertise in Computer
Something was said about this. The point has to be made that when you are making your choice. You must consider your expertise in handling computers. Using this kind of system requires different things and you can handle these things when you are versatile. If you are not versatile which means that you cannot use the most innovative technology, then you have to look for the basic ones, which you can easily operate.
8. Hard Drive Capacity
Hard drive capacity is equally important. This has to do with what you want to do with the system. Something was mentioned before about number of computers that share the hard drive. Another important thing that can determine the capacity as well as the size is how often you intend to use it and types of things you want to store in the drive.
If you want to be storing everything that comes your way, it is better to look for bigger capacity drive. Some people will like to store plenty of files and videos such as music files and videos as well as other important documents. Such people must pay serious attention to the capacity.
If you are investing on this, it is necessary that you make a wise investment. You do not need to buy this kind of software every time. Get a bigger capacity that can serve you for a long time. If you do not intend to store plenty of things here, then you can go for lower capacity.
9. Data Transfer Rate
The data transfer rate is equally important when you are making your choice. The rate at which it goes is very important. The rate has to do with capacity and these are all related.
10. System Requirements
Most importantly, you must check the system requirements. You must ensure that external hard drive you want to use is compatible with what you already have. If it is not compatible, it will be difficult to make it compatible and it will amount to a waste of money.
Consider whether you want to use eSATA or Thunderbolt. You also consider whether you want to use Firewire and not USB. You should know that Mac computers do not support eSATA. The issue of using eSATA does not arise. However, it is compatible with ExpressCard/34.
11. Supplementing your Software and Consider the Issue of Cost
Look for inexpensive drive, which may not require that you use software. Some of them do not measure up when it comes to flexibility and features. If you want, you can look for software that can handle other drives as well.
Third party software will be less expensive and you can achieve most of your objectives. This should always be the case when you do not have the money. Look for those that you can easily supplement with a software.
It is possible that the Mac operating system you are using could have a backup software. With that software, it will be possible for you to back up those things you have. It will be easier to restore everything you have in your system ranging from a single file and it can cover the whole drive as well.
When you are talking about storage, it is important that you make a choice between HDD and SSD. SSD represents solid state drives. This relies on a big memory stick in order to store its data. HDD on the other hands has its own different storage system. It involves storage based on rotating magnetic disks.
If you want to store plenty of things that you should not consider SSD rather, opt for HDD. With this, you can store lots of things such as videos, music files and several other things. If on the other hand that you want to secure more memory for your operating system, then you can choose SSD. This can recover more space from your operating system.
There are differences between the two and you need to know the differences when you are making that choice. If you want more speed and you want a drive that will be more reliable and resistant to shock, then you can opt for SSD. Moreover, it lighter and thinner than the HDD.
On the other hands, if you want if you want to use slower, louder and cheaper drive, you can opt for HDD. However, it is important to note that HDD is better when it comes to capacity.
These days there are hybrid drives on the market. This means that it has good sides of SDD and that of HDD. You can get the best when you opt for a device with this feature.
12. Look for Hard Drives Can Assist You to Free More Space
Since you are getting an external drive, it is important that you get one that free some space in your existing drive. It is possible that you can secure space in gigabytes. There are many benefits to this. This can fasten your system.
There is the need for a cleanup system and it is good if you get a good drive that can help you to achieve that purpose. You can get one if you search diligently for it.
13. Study RAID Drives Before You Make a Choice
Before you make a choice, it is important that you consider the RAID drive and you have read them. This can assist you when you are making your choice. The advice is very important for those who want to buy a HDD drive. This is a multiple hard drives, and it is easy to combine all these hard drives and you can do that as a set.
This is important because it deals with data protection, as well as how to recover your data when you lose them. Furthermore, it can help in data extraction. This advice is very important because it can facilitate your work.
14. Study its Failure Rate
Most importantly, you must study the failure rates of the external hard drives before you can make your choice. These external drives have benefits and their disadvantages. Sometime the disadvantage can be worse than what you get from them.
When it fails, it could be difficult to get back at your data. Some of these devices can fail, but the failure rate is the worry. If the failure rate is high, then you have to opt for those that do not fail easily. Safety of your data is critical and that is the reason you cannot joke with the failing rate.
The Final Verdict for External Hard Drive Shopping
Overall, the point of this article is to serve as a guide in narrowing down your hard drive options. As with any purchase, it is necessary to put forth all your energy into research. Often times, we tend to just buy the cheapest model we see on the shelves in the store. Still, it is important to find the product best suited for your needs. Therefore, I recommended checking the manufacturers’ websites and product reviews. Getting the opinions of other consumers as well as determining the services the companies provide can all focus your search to your perfect match.
With this information gleaned from ThoroughlyReviewed and Technobezz, hopefully you’ve already determined your product needs. If you have not yet made a decision, you now have a guide to help you think over key factors and qualities your external hard drive must possess. Every model has its pros and cons. It is up to you to make the comparison. Now that you have some data, you must figure out in which device the benefits outweigh the costs.
Good luck with your search, and happy shopping!