Top 10 Best Portable Hard Drives

Apart from overall price, there are a number of other things that you must check out for when buying a portable hard drive. So before you take a look at our Best portable hard drives chart, you may want to quickly find out what to look out for when buying a portable hard drive.

First of all is the type of the drive in the portable hard drive, it’s easy to think that bigger is better, but you should also consider whether the hard drive is an SSD (solid state drive) or a spinning HDD (hard disk drive). An SSD is likely to be more expensive, but the benefits of this are that it will be significantly quicker than a HDD as there are no moving parts in a solid state drive.

Once you’ve decided whether you want an SSD or a HDD portable hard drive, it’s always worth checking out the devices actual read/write speeds before you make a decision, as these vary wildly from model to model.

Equally important in terms of speed is what type of connection is on offer on the portable hard drives. In 2013 you really should be looking to buy a portable hard drive that is USB 3.0 compatible as it can deliver up to 10 times faster transfer speeds than USB 2.0. Alternatively if you have a computer that supports Firewire connections then you should look out for a portable hard drive that supports these connections also as it offers extremely fast transfer speeds too. Mac users will want to look out for a Thunderbolt port.

1. WD My Passport Edge for Mac 500GB

Rating: Rated 9 out of 10
The WD My Passport Edge for Mac 500GB is a fast and stylish portable drive, embued with category-defining build quality and attractively slim dimensions. This covetable piece of storage technology is also competitively priced given its performance and supreme finish.

2. G-Technology G-DRIVE 4TB

Rating: Rated 8 out of 10
The addition of USB 3.0 to the G-Technology G-DRIVE is very welcome. Previously the only way to match the performance of the disk was through eSATA, almost entirely limited to Windows systems. Now both Windows PC and Apple Macs can take advantage of the high-performace Hitachi disks inside, in a robust and stylish chassis.

3. Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 240GB SSD

Rating: Rated 9 out of 10

The Little Big Disk Thunderbolt SSD isn’t without its flaws. Its price will keep it out of the reach of most users – though it’s well worth the cost if you can stretch to it – and while Thunderbolt can certainly deliver power, the Little Big Disk Thunderbolt SSD has to be plugged into the mains. Even so, its blistering performance alone makes it a winner.

4. Toshiba Stor.E Basics 2 TB

Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

The Toshiba Stor.E Basics 2 TB is a straightforward little black box that can take care of portable bulk storage for not a lot of cash.

5. WD My Passport Ultra 1 TB

Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

The WD My Passport Ultra is a very compact way of carrying a terabyte of data around, and which can be accessed rapidly thanks to its USB 3.0 interface. Power users may be more frustrated by slower performance when tasking it with several operations at once, but it works wonderfully in a more tape-like situation, for the mass storage of a large computer backup, for instance.

6. Freecom Mobile Drive Mg

Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

It’s a shame that the Freecom Mobile Drive Mg doesn’t fully exploit the speed of that Thunderbolt interface. However, Apple introduced Thunderbolt on the Mac more than a year before it finally got around to adding USB 3.0, so this is still a good choice for people who don’t have the option of using a less expensive USB 3.0 drive. at Thunderbolt interface.

7. LaCie Rugged USB 3

Rating: Rated 9 out of 10

The LaCie Rugged USB 3 also surged back when copying smaller files, pulling well ahead of Elgato in those tests. That combination of results made the Rugged drive the overall winner on performance – and at a considerably lower price than the Elgato drive.

8. iStorage diskAshur 500GB

Rating: Rated 8 out of 10
The iStorage diskAshur 500GB benefits from a USB 3.0 interface to give transfer speeds around twice that of its USB 2.0 predecessor. The bottleneck to moving data in and out is only the internal disk itself.

9. ioSafe Rugged Portable

Rating: Rated 9 out of 10

ioSafe’s Rugged Portable sacrifices a bit of bulk and weight to add some serious protection to a fast USB 3.0 hard drive.

10. Freecom Mobile Drive Sq

Rating: Rated 7 out of 10

The slimline design of the Freecom Mobile Drive Sq is certainly attractive, and it’s quite reasonably priced.


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