What is the Best Portable External Hard Drive for Mac?
One can go crazy while searching for the best product to buy when it comes to electronic devices, laptops, PC-s, software and things like external drives all have possibly even thousands of variants. So when the choices are made and the products are bought, it is to the customer’s largest dissatisfaction and frustration when they find that some of the items they bought aren’t even compatible with each other. Not only does one have to choose from a myriad of different products, but the connections between those products also have to be analyzed to a certain extent, which might not be the favorite task of someone who doesn’t really like IT. This is why we are here: to help you make the decision on these issues and to help you realize the connection between items. One main distinction in the IT world is between Windows-based laptops and Macbooks. These two large categories of machines run on distinct core software, look different, and also are compatible with different products. This is the reason why, in case you are looking for an external hard drive for your Mac to extend your storage space, you have to check which connection type the external drive in question has, and whether they are compatible with your machine. In this article, we will try our best to give you an answer to the question you might be asking of yourself in such a situation: what is the best portable external hard drive for Mac?
The best-seller Mac-compatible external portable hard drive at Amazon is the Seagate Portable 2TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD – USB 3.0 for PC, Mac, PS4, & Xbox. It is a well-rounded product that is easy to set up with any type of device; Windows and Mac alike.
However, there is a ton more to choose from, depending on what you would like to use it for primarily, what is your style like, or how much space you need. Just as with anything else involving electronics, there are tailored solutions for every customer in the external portable hard drive category as well, and the choice isn’t always easy to make without some guidance and counseling from the internet. Read on for our top recommendations for external hard drives for your Mac!
What is the Best Portable External Hard Drive for Mac?
As we have written before, we believe the Seagate Portable 2 TB External HDD to be the best all-around option for your Mac. Actually, it is our #1 choice for Windows and Mac alike, since it is compatible with both and is a really well developed and design product, especially for the price. At just around 60 USD, you will hardly find a better build which will deliver 2 TB of space straight to your Mac.
In order for us not to be obligated to review products by the reviews we find on Amazon and the rest of the internet, we decided to test one of these devices ourselves. The USB 3.0 connection of the Seagate was easily compatible with the Thunderbolt 3 port of our Macbook (disclaimer: all Apple laptops now only come with Thunderbolt 3 ports, so make sure that other products you buy have cables that are compatible with it) and the software part also ran smoothly. No issues with establishing the connection between the two devices, no issue with copying to the HDD, deleting from it, formatting it, disconnecting it, or anything similar. It really delivered a very solid performance in every aspect except one: speed. We might be lying somewhat, though, because we have a tendency to compare the speeds of all external drives to SSD-s, compared to which this product was clearly inferior when it came to speed. However, when it comes to other HDD-s, the Seagate is actually rather quick, with movies taking no more than a couple of seconds at maximum to copy, which is probably the best way to illustrate its speed in everyday terms. So al in all, if you do want to buy an HDD which will serve you well for a reasonably low price, do consider checking out the Seagate 2TB Portable HDD USB 3.0.
Another great option for your Mac is the LaCie 2TB Mobile Drive External Hard Drive USB-C USB 3.0. LaCie products fill the Mac Accessories page because of their reliability and high quality, so if you aren’t afraid of somewhat higher prices, do check out the official Mac accessories page, storage section (https://www.apple.com/shop/mac/mac-accessories/storage). LaCie’s are some of the most trusted external drives in the computing world, so it is no wonder the Apple company itself recommends this product line. The downside to these is mostly somewhat unrealistic pricing of around 100 USD (seeing as it’s an HDD). Though not abhorrently high, the prices are significantly above that of a similar-sized Seagate or WD, which makes one question whether it is worth it at all to buy a LaCie in the first place. If you do happen to fall in love with the Apple-ish design however, you can rest assured now you know that those products won’t let you down either.
LaCie Rugged USB-C 2TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD – USB 3.0 is the next on our list. Another LaCie, due to the fact that they are so closely mentioned with Macbooks. This model is an “active” one, it is rugged, shock-, dust- and rain-resistant and looks like it as well. Contrary to popular belief, rugged external drives aren’t only meant for soldiers or Dakar-racers, but also for people who spend a significant amount of time walking around with their drive in one of their pockets. It is quite likely that at some time it will fall out, so getting a more safe alternative to the typical hard drive doesn’t hurt. It is also fast, reliable, and has a relatively reasonable price in the category of rugged drives.
The last product we would like to mention is the WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive, USB 3.0 since it is a trusty little gadget that is extremely reasonably priced (around 55-60 USD), delivers a lot of space, and is also compatible with Macbooks. A list of external drives without the inclusion of at least one WD product is usually an incomplete list, so we also felt it to be an obligation to include this reliable device. If you are into simple, function-over-form products, do check out WD external drives.
Do you need an external hard drive for video editing?
There are multiple reasons why people buy Macbooks, but somehow it seems that graphic designers, video editors, and musicians all like to use Macbooks more, with video editors possibly making up the largest group out of the mentioned three. So, do we think you need an external drive for video editing? Yes. There are several reasons for that, but we believe that a video editor shouldn’t even spend time thinking about this question a lot. One of the main reasons it is crucial to have a large external hard drive for video editing is backing up files. Imagine editing 4 hours of footage into a 45-minute video, you are 80% done with the project, and boom, your internal hard drive (built-in HDD) just crashes and you lose the data irrecoverably. Backing up your data on an external hard drive is a great way to avoid such situations.
Another reason you might need an external hard drive is just for mobility reasons. You work as a video editor and have a meeting at 3 p.m. and you have to bring the video you have been working on for the past some amount of time. With a quick and large SSD for example, you can just copy the video onto the drive in a couple of minutes, slide the sleek-looking gadget into your pocket and you just solved the issue of transporting your video in its full quality, without any possible harm (unless your drive falls under a truck, that is).
Is HDD or SSD better for video editing?
There is a pretty clear winner in this topic: SSD. There is a high likelihood that if you work as a video editor (or it is just your hobby), you will be frequently handling large video files. If you want to back those files up or transfer them onto a drive on which you can transfer those files, an SSD will serve you much, much better. It is also safer; though it is possible to ruin your SSD, that is a process that takes quite a lot of time and very heavy usage. HDD-s on the other hand don’t need too much in order to be completely destroyed within. Some small mechanical part breaks off, the ferromagnetic coating gets damaged, etc..
Aside from that, HDD-s are so much slower, that though you might not notice too much of a difference in transferring one short video, if you keep transferring large video files on a daily basis, the difference will become apparent quite quickly, and you will think you threw money out the window for a product that just doesn’t serve your needs properly.