The 5 Best External Hard Drives in 2020


Having an external hard drive can be a great way to store your data, or transfer your data from one device to another. There are unlimited options out there, and that makes finding the best one hard. That’s why, we tested & reviewed the best external hard drives recommended by reddit for this year. Let’s take a look at them.

1. Seagate Expansion

If you want the best external HDD to protect your data the Seagate Expansion is your best bet. This device is the best for a variety of reasons, the most important being its bang for your buck because this device has plenty of speed, capacity, design, and durability, more than its price would suggest.

This device is pretty portable since it measures about 4.8×3.2×0.6-inches in total, it has a square shape and you can easily put it in your pocket. In the package of this device, you will find the external HDD itself and a one foot long, Micro-USB 3.0 cable, and not much else because it doesn’t need anything more since it is bus-powered.

Right from the get-go the Seagate Expansion is formated in the NTFS system that works with Windows systems, but can easily be converted to an HFS+ for Mac devices. However, if you want to use this device between Mac and Windows devices I would suggest you format it into the exFAT file system, it worked excellently with consoles as well.

While it has no interesting features, this device is a steady performer with its low-power drive that achieves good speeds up to 150MBps, and it comes available in different capacities, including 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB. Taking everything into consideration the Seagate Expansion is one of the best external HDD in the market without any doubt.

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2. WD My Passport

The second best external hard disk drive comes from Western Digital, and its My Passport device, which is a pretty portable, one with plenty of capacity, and a lot of value for your money. It also has a nice design and it is coupled with plenty of nice features, that elevates its value for its listed price, and you can get it in different capacities to better suit your needs.

This is not exactly the smallest external HDD in the market, but it can get the job done without any struggle since you can toss it in your backpack comfortably. The WD My Passport measures about 4.3×3.2×0.6-inches and weighs about 6-ounces, meaning that it is not pocketable but still small enough for jacket pockets. This device looks excellent as well, as it has a glossy upper section and a more textured bottom part, that is pretty sleek in my opinion and Western Digital as used this trick in a wide range of its devices. It is worth mentioning that this external HDD has a three-year limited warranty, so you can be a little careless with it, and it can also survive a little abuse.

In the connectivity department it isn’t the richest since it has a Micro USB type B port, and a USB 3.0 cable in the package, and I think it would be nice to get a USB Type-C connector for better speeds and more convenience since contemporary devices all have those ports. However, this device has no initial setup as it is a true plug and plays, but you have a nice WD Discovery software that lets you install backups and security encryption to your sensitive data.

Performance-wise you can get the WD My Passport in different capacities, including 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, and 4TB, so you can choose the one that fits perfectly your needs. Since it is an HDD drive it doesn’t boast mind-blowing speeds, however, they are still pretty good as it achieved 135Mbs read ad 122MBps write speed. Compared to an SSD it may not be a lot, but considering its affordable price this device delivers plenty of desirable qualities.

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3. U32 Shadow

Console gamers tend to run out of their spaces in a short amount of time since most of today’s games are pretty demanding on storage, since even a single game today can take about 100GB of space on your storage, and 1TB of storage will not last for a long time. For that reason most of the gamers are option for external drives to provide more storage, however, not all of them are created equal, and if you want the best option for your console you should opt for the U32 Shadow, which is a pretty compact device, with good storage, nice utilitarian design, SSD speeds and tons of capacity options you can choose from. Without further ado let’s take a closer look.

The design of the U32 Shadow is nothing special pretty unremarkable, as I said in the intro very utilitarian, with its rectangular boxy shape with rounded corners, and it is not too large at all measuring 5x3x1-inches in total. While there are many portable options in the market, for its intended purpose this is just perfect. In the aesthetics department, this may look pretty simple, but it has great construction, made from aluminium, specifically to dissipate heat, and deliver protection and durability to the device. In terms of connectivity, it has just one port for connection and nothing else, pretty simple.

This device has no interesting features except its aluminium body and its amazing compatibility with consoles, especially with Xbox One and later. It will also work excellently with PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro, but if you want a device with security features you will have to look elsewhere since this has no security features preinstalled so you will have to look for third-party software if you need it.

This amazing device can transfer data up to 500MBps theoretically at least, however, in real life, you can achieve good speeds of up to 300MBps which is still pretty good, and it is worth mentioning that it comes in 500GB, 1TB, 2TB sizes all of them both in HDD and SDD. All of them deliver great value for their price and are worthy investments for console gamers.

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4. Samsung T5

Since their release solid-state drives have been the most attractive choice, since they delivered immense speeds that were not possible in hard disk drives, however, they were pretty expensive. Nowadays they aren’t as expensive as they were, making them a little more affordable and attractive for the majority of consumers. We have an excellent external SDD from Samsung that delivers excellent speeds, is affordable, has a beautiful design and is pretty compact overall. Samsung’s quality is plastered everywhere.

This excellent external SSD has a pretty attractive design and is very portable, tiny in my opinion as it measures just 2.3×0.4×3-inches in total and weighs 1.8-ounces. It has a full-metal construction with its rounded edges and sleek brushed finish, overall I can say that it is one of the most attractive devices, and it just has the Samsung logo on the front breaking the monotony. There are a USB Type-C port and an LED indicator for the power and its worth mentioning that the device is available in multiple colours, such as Blue, Gold, Red, and Black, all of which are excellent. In terms of durability, this device will hold itself well and its metal construction will help keep the interior cool under heavy load.

In terms of capacity, the Samsung T5 is available in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB sizes and is delivered with ASMedia mSATA-to-USB bridge controlled, instead of a homegrown one. In my opinion to get the most value for the price you should opt for the 500GB model as it is pretty affordable. One of the biggest features of this device is its 64-layer 3D V-NAND Triple Level Cell flash memory and it is perfectly compatible with Android devices, and from the factory, its interiors are rated as shock resistant. It also supports TRIM through the UASP protocols and has updated firmware.

Om te performance department the Samsung T5 delivered some pretty capable copy speeds, achieving 433MBps read speeds and 323MBps write speeds, and if you have used a USB type-C 2nd Generation connector, you can achieve speeds of up to 540MBps for reading and 515MBps for write speeds. In the package, you will find type-C to type-C and type-C to type-A cables, and a 256-bit AES hardware encryption and software suite for your security.

If you want an external SDD with great security speeds and capacity for an affordable price the Samsung T5 is your best bet.

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5. Silicon Power Black

Storage has become a large problem in recent years since we can’t fit all out photos, music, video games, software, and other valuable data into integrated storage in our devices. However, we have seen a rise in popularity in external hard disk drives, be it for more storage space, or other security reasons, and they have established themselves as pretty fail-safe choices since a large number of manufacturers have delivered some interesting models throughout the years. For those that need an ultra-durable external HDD to protect their data at all cost, I have an interesting option the Silicon Power Black. This device besides its amazing durability, is pretty quick to transfer files, has a large capacity, and convenient, on top of all this it is pretty affordable for the performances it delivers, so if you want a sturdy external drive without paying a small fortune this is it.

To be a durable device, the Silicon Power Black utilizes a large body that is a little bulky, measuring 5.5×0.9×3.4-inches in total and it weighs about 9 ounces due to the added layers of protection. The edges of this device are covered with a soft rubber shell, protecting it from drops and bumps. You will also locate the lid that keeps the USB port, protected at all times from dust, water, and moisture. It is worth mentioning that this external HDD is military-grade as it has surpassed US military MIL-STD-810G tests, and in addition to that it is IPX4 splash resistant, so I can comfortably say that if you need your data protected in difficult environments the Silicon Power Black is your tool. You can carry the device by its USB cable, that attaches to the main body from some grooves, to keep it in place.

Interestingly enough this external drive uses male-A to male-A USB 3.0 cable, instead of A to B, as the majority of the devices, while this is good and convenient if you happen to lose your cable it is pretty difficult to find a replacement.

This device has absolutely no initial setup as the drive is pre-formatted from the factory in the FAT32 file system, great for Windows and Mac users. However, keep in mind that the FAT32 can’t store large files, larger than 4GB to be exact, so if you transfer that kind of file, you should format your drive to exFAT to be safe. The first time you open the drive in your PC you will notice a registration shortcut that will activate your 3-year warranty.

This is a 1TB drive and it is faster than the average of the drives in the market, achieving a copy speed of 104MBps for writing and about 115MBps for reading, and this will satisfy a large number of users. These speeds were achieved in USB 3.0 ports, and in USB 2.0 ports the performance is lesser than expected.

For those in need of an ultra-durable external drive, with good speeds capacity and affordable price, the Silicon Power Black is the best option.

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