It makes it difficult to manage your storage on your PC. Fortunately, external hard drives are one of the most convenient and cost-effective ways to maximize your storage and get the most out of your gaming setup. There are a wide range of high-quality drives out there, allowing you to find one that fits your budget.
Because of speedier and USB 3.0 interfaces, a traditional hard drive or mechanical drive that utilizes "old" hard drive technology, which uses mechanical platters and a moving read-write head to access data, is effective for most people. Prices have dropped significantly in the last few years, with even the high-capacity, state of the art, all-around best external hard drive models covering 5TB, but costing $100. A solid-state drive has up to four times faster read and write speed, but it costs
Most of the options on this list of the best external hard drive models will work across platforms whether you have a Windows PC, or a PlayStation or a Windows device. Quite often, they'll be designated as working with a specific platform out of the box and sometimes contain backup software that is platform-specific. Unless otherwise indicated, all PC drives here are compatible with Windows but may be formatted for a Mac. Many of them include USB-C and USB-A ports. If they don't happen to be
Remember: A single backup does not cut it. In the event of a fire or a theft, you'll want redundant backups either off-site or on-site. (such as family photos)
Console gamers are more sensitive to using external drives. Play PS4 games from an external drive, but not PS5 games; the Xbox Series X may store Series X games, but you'll have to remove them to the main SSD to actually play them. The Xbox Series X has a proprietary software that you may now install to allow PS5 games to store.
With these reservations, our current top picks for the best external hard disk drive and external solid-state drive are below. These (or substantially identical models with less storage capacity) have been discovered or anecdotally tested by CNET editors. As we test new products, we'll update our list of the best external hard drives and SSDs.
Western Digital, which owns SanDisk, sells its WD My Passport SSD as well as this SanDisk External Portable SSD for virtually the same price. I like the design of this model quite better, which is extremely robust and capable of withstand a prolonged water flow. It's also shock-resistant and has a USB-C interface.
The lower "older" version can transfer speeds of up to 550MBps, while the next-gen version almost doubles that speed with up to 1,050MBps (just over 1GB per second) and only costs slightly more for the 1TB version. The price for the 2TB external drive has risen to $280 for the newer version.
If you're moving a bunch of files to or from the USB drive, your speed will vary, but when you copy a single large file, you should be able to reach these speeds.
The Seagate Expansion Card is currently the only option to expand the storage on your Xbox Series X/S for next-gen Series X/S games. Similar to the PS5, you may plug an external SSD or hard drive to increase the storage for standard Xbox games (previous-gen), but you may only store native Xbox Series X/S games on the console's internal memory or the Seagate Expansion Card.
It connects into a proprietary slot on the back of the Xbox Series X/S and "replicates the Xbox Velocity Architecture" (Microsoft's internal NVMe SSD tech) with peak speeds of up to 2.4GBps of raw I/O throughput. Microsoft claims that the Xbox One is over 40x.
The expansion card comes in a more affordable 512GB version for $140 along with the 1TB ($220) and 2TB ($400 versions. The 2TB version is very difficult to find in stock.
By adding a standard external SSD, you may expand PS4 games directly from a regular external SSD. However, PS5 games that weigh a ton of space and can only be played from the PS5's internal drive or an M.2 SSD that you install in a special expansion bay inside your PS5.
The Seagate FireCuda 530 is technically not an external SSD, but it is not so different from Seagate's Storage Expansion Card for the Xbox Series X/S, in that it is an NVMe SSD with excellent transfer speeds (up to 7,300MBps, according to Seagate, although my PS5 is now at 6,800MBps).
Several M.2 SSDs will work with the PS5 (), but you should select one with a heatsink. Otherwise, you'll need to add one.
The Seagate FireCuda 530 with heatsink starts at $140 for the 512GB version, then rises to $210 for the 1TB version (most popular), $400 for the 2TB version, and over $1,000 for the 4TB version.
Read more about it here:
The WD Black P10 2TB portable hard drive is great value at $80 (the 5TB version is $140) and comes with a digital code that gives you one month of Microsoft's Game Pass Ultimate if you're a newbie. The portable hard drive also works with PCs and the PS4 for slightly less (it's missing the Xbox logo but is otherwise the same drive).
You don't have to worry about managing the storage space on your PS4 because you can play games without lag directly from the portable hard drive. The 2TB version of the Seagate Game Drive is about $30 less at $80. However, you might also spend the extra dough and get 4TB for this portable external hard drive.
Note that Seagate makes an PS4 but not the PlayStation4. The storage drive costs around $160 for 1TB.
You may use a PS4/PS5 or Xbox One, Xbox One Series X, or Series S to store PS4 and Xbox One games, and pick up a smooth speed bump when loading games on this drive compared to a standard external drive (the WD Black P10 above). Note that with the PS5, you can only archive Xbox Series X and S games to this drive, but you can't store all games on the back of it (the is required for that).
The WD Black D30 game drive isn't all that special, but it has a 900MB transfer rate, which is basically what a console's USB 3.1 connection defines). But it's really its design that sets it apart. This SSD (Non-Volatile Memory Express) is designed to provide efficient performance and interoperability. It essentially looks like a mini hard drive, which is kind of cool.
The standard version works with PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One, One X and S consoles, as well as PCs. The Xbox version shown in the image simply includes an Xbox logo and a month of Game Pass Ultimate, a $15 value, for $20 more. However, if you already have a Game Pass Ultimate subscription, you're paid the extra $20 for the logo.
The 1TB version starts at $125, while the 2TB version starts at $180.
SanDisk has developed the Extreme Portable SSD (see above) that speeds up to 1,050MB per second transfer rates. However, if you're a photographer or a videographer looking for an even faster SSD drive for your PC or Mac, the Extreme Pro Portable SSD will offer you both reading and write speeds. In order to obtain maximum speed, you need a host system that supports USB Gen 3.2 Gen 2x2.
This battery, which is compatible with both Macs and Windows PCs, is waterproof and features a forged aluminum chassis that acts as a heatsink. The 1TB version costs $190, while the 2TB version costs $300.
The Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB is one of the more compact non-SSD drives, making it the best external hard drive for those who are looking for extra space. At less than $60, this backup drive is also a great deal. It is also available in two versions, the one in 1TB ($55), the other in 1TB ($93) and 5TB ($115), but the higher-capacity drives are smaller.
This drive is about as future-proof and backward-compatible as they come. However, this newer model allows for both computers and applications, allowing for a USB-A connection. No USB-C on your system, and Western Digital is available for free. No USB-C on your system, therefore this storage device will work with almost any computer out of the box.
The WD My Book desktop drive can be purchased in up to 18TB capacity, but the 8TB is the best value at around $200. It's so popular it's often out of stock.
LaCie became the company's first premium brand after Seagate acquired The HDD 5TB model on a tv and video editor desks, including plenty at CNET. This rugged hard disk drive is compatible with Mac and Windows PCs, and it is water- and shock-resistant. A version for Thunderbolt-equipped Macs is available for $250.
Crucial's X6 external SSD is considered entry-level because it is just not as fast as higher-end models, which can both read and write speeds at a fraction of a million pounds (the Crucial X8 is the step-up model). However, the X6 is only four times faster than a drive that isn't solid-state, with transfer speeds of up 540MBps for the 1TB and 2TB versions, and 800MBps for the new 4TB version, which
Comparatively, the 4TB SanDisk Extreme SSD, which has a transfer speed rating of up to 1,050MBps, costs $700. So you're basically looking at a $240 savings if you're willing to take a bit of a speed hit (again, at least the 4GB version of the Crucial X6 has been upgraded to 800MBps from 540MBps).