What are the Best External Hard Drive Brands?
One problem in the modern world which definitely wasn’t present even a hundred years ago, is that there are just too many things to choose from.
When buying a shoe, it is quite hard to decide exactly which brand and type one would like, let alone when it comes to electronic devices.
The immense variety in gadgets makes it quite hard for the layman to decide between different brands and different products, especially when they take a look at the long list of specifications that every product review has.
It can be an almost paralyzing experience, and we are here to help. In this article we tried compiling a list of the top external hard drive brands, so you have a sure foot when stepping into the territory of these computer- or gaming add-ons. So, let’s begin with the main question: what are the best external hard drive brands?
Best External Hard Drive Bands:
Seagate is one of the largest names (if not THE largest) in the external drive industry.
Checking Amazon, we noticed that the products of this brand top most of the best seller charts when it comes to external drives (all except the SSD and gaming charts).
Many brands actually import some parts of the hardware from Seagate, so it is actually one of the core parts of the whole industry. This means you can’t really take a step in the external drive world without stumbling into their name.
The reason for this, aside from quality, is the fact that they are available and affordable.
Their prices are mostly unmatched in the business, their 2 TB HDD-s come at a very reasonable 60 USD. Aside from this, they are also quite well-built and reliable. The internet has quite a lot of negative reviews of Seagate products, but that is most probably because the people who don’t have a problem don’t review as much.
Being the best seller on Amazon with thousands of reviews which average at an excellent score of 4.7 doesn’t really scream unreliability.
We can also add a 5-star rating to those reviews since we have tested a couple of their products and for the price they offer, they performed excellently. They were quite quick for HDD-s, had a neat design and we had no issues with connecting and using them with either a PC, Xbox, or PS4.
Another popular name in technology, SanDisk is also one of the best in the external drive business, but they do only make SSD-s. However, in making those, they are really good.
The company was bought by WD in 2016, another company we will mention later on, and out of the two WD mostly produces HDD-s and SanDisk is left with the task of making SSD-s and other smaller, flash storages. It is a known and reliable brand that was established in 1988.
This experienced brand is also is worth looking into.
Western Digital (WD)
Western Digital (WD) is probably one of the top three names in the industry together with Seagate and Toshiba. They also export to other companies and as mentioned before, actually own SanDisk. WD products are also reliable and affordable, which are two of the most important factors when it comes to external drives. The company also produces a large range of products, from smaller-sized external storages up to drives and desktop storages with up to 144 TB of storage.
We have also reviewed a couple of WD external hard drives, including their Amazon best-seller, the WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive, USB 3.0, and they all work just as all the reviews on Amazon or any other online shopping platform state. The only issue we found with WD hard disks is that they tend to be louder than other hard disks, but that can be easily put aside and we do highly recommend WD products.
This brand needs no introduction. Since it is one of the largest brands in all areas of the electric device and gadget industry, it isn’t a surprise that they make external drives as well. They do make both HDD-s and SSD-s, but their main niche of success is the SSD market. Samsung brand SSD-s usually top the Amazon lists in the SSD category, and that quite dominantly. Usually, about 7 of the top 10 products on that list are made by Samsung. They are regarded as one of the best SSD producers worldwide, with an almost perfect rating on almost all of their products in this category.
We have, of course, tested a 1 TB Samsung SSD ourselves, and we must say it is straight-up phenomenal. One always expects high speeds from SSD-s, but we were surprised at the speed of the product and also the simplicity of its usage. The design is a typical Samsung one: elegant and sleek with really nice-to-the-touch materials.
The third-largest name in the domain of external drives, as mentioned before, is Toshiba. One of the largest producers of electronic devices in the world (though not in the top 10 for revenue), it is safe to say Toshiba has experience with electronics.
Their external disks are also rated positively, with the Canvio being on the list of Amazon best sellers. Though WD external disks are more trusted and bought way more often than Toshiba disks (which is mostly due to the fact that WD had managed to expand globally much more successfully than Toshiba), but according to statistics, Toshiba external drives have a lower failure rate than WD disks.
It would be like a cheap marketing strategy from our side if we wrote down only that Toshiba has three times lower failure rates since it doesn’t give a proper picture and indicates that these drives are a lot better than WD drives.
We do want to give WD its fair share of respect, so we will express the failure rates with the numbers themselves: 1,27% failure rate for Toshiba and 3,88% for WD. Even though the difference isn’t all that significant, it does mean Toshiba might be doing something better.
We have also tested a Toshiba Canvio 1 TB and found it to be easy to use, reliable and just a little bit slower than the WD. We would definitely recommend Toshiba external drives equally much as we recommend Seagates or WD-s.
The internet seems to be pretty harsh on the external hard drive products made by Adata, however we believe they deserve a top spot in the top 10. The reason fo that is quite simply for people who don’t have access to Seagate or WD drives, Adata might just be the next best bet. For example, we tested the Adata SE800, which turned out to be an exceptional little machine.
It is highly durable, even rated as the most durable portable hard drive of the year by digitaltrens.com recently (October 19, 2020). It is fast, reliable and looks really nice in our opinion. Regardless of some of the bad rep it gets on the internet, don’t be afraid of trying them out, you will probably be positively surprised.
RAVPower is a relatively new company, but ever since its founding in 2011, it has kept on growing within the electronics niche.
They make external SSD-s which are some of the most popular among young adults. Some of the more important features of their products are that they are really small, really fast and really cheap. They come with an encryption system installed which allows the user to set a password for accessing the contents of the SSD.
The small size and elegant design of this product is a large part of the selling point of the product since that is something younger people are more attracted to: putting together an EDC which is comprising of large electric items isn’t fun. The only downside to the company is that they only sell one type of SSD, the Mini External SSD Pro Hard Drive.
Yes, it does come in 512 GB and 1 TB versions, but it is the same product with one type of design, and the lack of variety makes it quite easy for a buyer to start distrusting the brand.
One of the most trusted names in the external hard drive world is undoubtedly LaCie. The American – French company is specialized in external hard drives, RAID arrays, optical drives, Flash Drives, and computer monitors.
They have excellent reviews, and we have also tested the LaCie 2 TB Portable SSD and are more than satisfied.
The design is wonderful, the product is shock-resistant and the transfer speeds are what you’d expect from such a higher-end SSD, which is up to 540 Mbit/s. We only have positive things to say about the company and the products, so do feel free to explore their page for their products.