8 Best External SSD Hard Drives 2021

8 Best External SSD Hard Drives 2021

8 Best External SSD Hard Drives 2021

Best External SSD Hard Drives 2021

Best external SSD hard drives 2021: A couple of years ago, the purchase of an external solid-state drive was considered expedient only by fairly wealthy consumers and highly qualified specialists in certain professions. This is not to say that the situation has changed dramatically, but many more people have begun to think about the possibility of such a purchase, and our review of the best external SSD hard drives 2021 is intended to help those who are in doubt in choosing the right model.

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Let’s take a look at what tasks a best external SSD hard drive is suited for.


Professionals were the first to appreciate the advantages of processing digital materials directly on the connected gadget, and it is not surprising that their “range” is constantly expanding.

Excellent speed characteristics (an advantage over drives based on classic “hard drives”), as well as the relative stability of these indicators regardless of the size of the files being written (here USB sticks are already adjacent to the HDD), make external SSDs hard drive the best choice for quickly transferring large amounts of digital information.

Best External SSD hard drives 2021 or solid-state drives are convenient for expanding the disk space of devices that are more expensive to upgrade in a different way (for example, MacBooks).

Best External SSD hard drives 2021 will definitely come in handy for previous generations of PlayStation / Xbox owners, because there is never a lot of free space, and many gamers will find it uncomfortable to manage with a single built-in drive.

Lovers of watching movies in ultra-high quality should be equally interested. For such content, a lot of space is required, it is irrational to use local disks of a laptop or computer for temporary placement, and not every movie fan will want to deal with alternatives such as network storage. And an external SSD hard drive, in addition to being fast and portable is absolutely not difficult to use and very convenient in the broadest sense of the word.

Now about the main disadvantages of solid-state drives in principle. Firstly, they are relatively expensive on their own, plus force majeure with the new cryptocurrency. If anyone is not in the know, Chia is directly tied to the volume and speed of the disk space of the “farm”, so capacious SSDs are now in the price.

Secondly, they have a limited resource. When data is written to memory cells, a gradual degradation of their physical structure occurs. After a certain number of cycles, the “locked” cells begin to fail and are blocked by the controller, and a special reserve is used to replace them. When this ends, the available SSD space begins to gradually decrease. Ideally, SSDs should not be used for frequent rewriting tasks. In addition, it is not recommended to fill the SSD to capacity. When choosing the best external SSD hard drive, try to immediately provide for an adequate supply of volume.

Finally, when a device of this type fails, it is extremely problematic to restore the information stored in it, and often it is simply impossible. As you can see, using SSDs, including external ones, as the only carriers of especially important data is fraught with the irrecoverable loss of the latter.


Let’s take a look some best external SSD hard drive

Samsung X5 External SSD Hard Drive

The first in our list of the best external SSD hard drives 2021 is able to satisfy the needs of the most demanding users who are ready to pay the right price for the speed of work. There is one additional condition – the paired device must be equipped with a third-generation Thunderbolt interface or fourth-generation USB (the latter is still only in theory). In this case, the manufacturer promises a write speed of at least 2.1 GB / s and a read speed of 2.8 GB / s.


To list the direct competitors of the Samsung X5, one hand is enough. In fact, these are Lacie Rugged Pro, WD Black game storage and HP Portable P800 (the former is more expensive, the latter are still difficult to find on sale, and the third is slower). We do not take into account variants with extremely rare USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 interfaces. Moreover, in terms of speed characteristics, they are still inferior to solutions based on the NVMe-Thunderbolt bundle. Please note that both of its components are gluttonous. The result of high energy consumption is the heating of the gadget to an uncomfortable temperature.


Pros & Cons of Samsung X5 best external SSD hard drive


Pros & Cons

  • record read / write speed;
  • hardware encryption.

  • Requires a Thunderbolt interface;
  • high energy consumption;

  • noticeable heating during operation;

  • expensive.


Samsung X5 External SSD 500 GB

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Samsung X5 External SSD 1TB

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Samsung X5 External SSD 2 TB

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Best external SSDs hard drives with USB 3. * Gen 2 interface

Samsung T5 SSD Hard Drive

The use of best external SSD hard drives 2021 for transferring confidential information implies that such gadgets support on-the-fly encryption functions. In principle, many models can boast of such a feature, but Samsung SSDs captivate not only with the hardware implementation of AES-256, but also with excellent speed indicators. According to reviews on the net, the T5 has almost no drawdowns, even with very large streaming recordings and in mixed mode. This external SSD drive can also be safely recommended for quick “dumping” of captured video materials and their subsequent processing without copying to the internal drive of a laptop or computer. The model is no longer new, it was replaced by the next generation (T7), nevertheless, we consider the Samsung T5 the best option for an external SSD in terms of characteristics, including the price.


Pros & Cons of Samsung T5 External SSD Hard Drive

Pros & Cons

  • no drops in the speed of writing large files;
  • 256-bit hardware encryption (AES);

  • small enough, lightweight and durable.

  • the encryption program will have to be installed wherever you plan to connect.


Samsung T5 SSD 500 GB

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Samsung T5 SSD 1 TB

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SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD Hard Drive

The first version of this external SSD Hard Drive falls short of the speed indicators of the category leader, but it looks much more spectacular and is well protected from “blows of fate” by a reinforced case. Moreover, the latter has a soft-touch coating, so it does not slip out of wet hands and clings tenaciously even to a glossy surface. In addition, the manufacturer declared compliance with the IP55 protection class, i.e. raindrops will not damage the gadget either. Finally, an intelligent designer clearly had a hand in the Extreme Portable’s appearance, and the stylish eyelet impresses with its solidity. It is unlikely that anyone will hook this drive with a carabiner (it hurts too large that it should be), but many will most likely want to hang it on a strap.


The model is recommended for anyone looking for a good external SSD hard drive capable of maintaining high write speeds for as long as possible, as well as for work in the “field” conditions. Not so long ago, the company updated this line. The second version of SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD received a bunch of NVMe + USB Gen 2×2 interfaces, thanks to which the “rate of fire” of the gadget has significantly increased.


Pros and Cons of SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD

Pros & Cons

  • writing large files without speed drops;
  • hardware encryption and 4TB maximum (second generation);

  • shockproof, IP55;

  • practical design.

  • short complete cable.


SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD 1TB

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SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD 2TB

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Transcend ESD370C SSD Drive

In turn, the Transcend ESD370C is inferior to the Extreme Portable V2. According to customer’s reviews, an external SSD hard drive from SanDisk supports an average write speed of at least 800 MB / s, while the maximum of the gadget in question does not exceed 650 MB / s. In addition, in the second case, we are talking about the one-bit recording mode, for which about 13% of the drive’s volume is allocated, and the second version of Extreme Portable demonstrates stability up to 90% filling. Nevertheless, if the financial component is important, and the medium is not planned to be used in copying scenarios at the speed of single especially large files, it makes sense to take a closer look at the new product from Transcend. By the way, this type of case is also used in the StoreJet series of external hard drives, and it is interesting because it meets the requirements of the military standard MIL-STD-810G.


Pros and Cons of Transcend ESD370C External SSD Drive

Pros & Cons

  • decent speed performance for its price;
  • shockproof performance;

  • advanced complete software.

  • drop in speed when writing large files;
  • SM2263XT controller limitations.


Transcend ESD370C SSD 1TB

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Transcend ESD370C SSD 2TB

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Seagate BarraCuda Fast SSD Hard Drive

Having acquired the LaCie brand, well-known among the Mac-growers, the Seagate management decided to keep the premium media segment for it. We recalled this fact due to the fact that the elite analogue of the recommended external solid-state drive is the Lacie Portable SSD drive. To be honest, experts are not inclined to extol the technical merits of the aforementioned line, but rather focus on the advancement of the accompanying software. For example, the latter allows you to customize backup scripts, synchronize multiple devices and optimize the gadget for Mac OS. However, the bundled BarraCuda Fast software has similar functionality, and the manufacturer itself positions this external SSD, including as an entry-level gaming solution. In other words,


Pros and Cons of Seagate BarraCuda Fast External SSD Hard Drive

Pros & Cons

  • good speed capabilities when writing and reading in small blocks;
  • reinforced body;

  • useful software included.

  • drop in speed when writing very large files.


Seagate BarraCuda Fast SSD 500GB

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ADATA SE800 External SSD Hard Drive

Another external SSD drive with protection, but with an emphasis on operation in a dusty or humid environment. It officially meets the requirements of IP68 and MIL-STD-810G, although it is only allowed to fall from a height of 122 cm, and even in this case, subsequent performance is not guaranteed. It is possible that such a limitation is due to fear for the sealing unit. Still, the large end cap is convenient, but it doesn’t fit into its place very tightly and can jump off when dropped, and the USB port itself, alas, is not an obstacle to moisture.


This external SSD easily overtakes a competitor from Western Digital, but the manufacturer’s desire to save on RAM for organizing the cache seriously undermined the controller’s potential. Nevertheless, over 800 MB / s in synthetic and over 500 MB / s for writing in real scenarios is quite good for a relatively budget drive. The score was lowered due to reviews about compatibility issues with MacBooks.


Pros and Cons of ADATA SE800

Pros & Cons

  • waterproof and moderately shockproof;
  • good speed parameters;

  • relatively inexpensive.

  • have problems with Mac OS;
  • noticeable speed drops when copying large files.


ADATA SE800 External SSD 512 GB

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ADATA SE800 External SSD 1TB

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Best external SSDs with USB 3. * Gen 1 interface


Western Digital My Passport Go External SSD Hard Drive

In the case of this line, instead of “Go” in the name it would be worth using “Travel”, as the company positions its representatives as external SSD hard drives for travelers. According to Western Digital, the protective rubber bumper provides the gadget with sufficient strength, and the cable fixed inside eliminates the possibility of forgetting such an important accessory at home or losing it on a halt. By the way, in the event of a breakdown, it can be simply replaced by disassembling the My Passport Go case. Please note that the external drive is small and only has enough space to lay an extremely short cable. Another controversial nuance – you cannot quickly change the cable for connecting to the Type-C connector, and there is no adapter included.


A useful feature of the recommended storage medium is support for Device Sleep Mode, which helps to conserve battery power in a laptop, tablet or smartphone. The speed indicators are average.


Pros and Cons of Western Digital My Passport Go

Pros & Cons

  • solid protection against impacts;
  • the cable is always available.

  • if the drive is for travelers, I would like to have moisture protection;
  • very short cable;

  • no Type-A / Type-C adapter included;

  • low write speed.


Western Digital My Passport Go External SSD 500GB

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Western Digital My Passport Go External SSD 1TB

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Western Digital My Passport Go External SSD 2TB

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Seagate Expansion SSD External Drive

Rounding out our list of the best external SSDs is the Seagate Expansion SSD. If you want to save money, but high write speed to an external solid-state drive is not necessary, for example, you plan to use it for 4K video playback, as a budget additional storage device for a game console, or in the “carry everything you need” mode, then we recommend taking a closer look at the Seagate line Expansion SSD. Of course, this gadget is capable of delivering the declared 400 MB / s only when testing for reading, but its real performance indicators cannot be called shameful. Judging by the YouTube reviews, the speed when writing large files on the Expansion SSD hovers around hundreds of megabytes per second, and when reading it is quite achievable 300 MB / s. In our opinion, the main drawback of the recommended model is the outdated connector.


Pros and Cons of Seagate Expansion SSD External Drive

Pros & Cons

  • good reading speed;
  • relatively affordable.

  • low write speed;
  • USB Micro-B connector.


Seagate Expansion SSD 1TB

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How to choose the Best External SSD hard drive?

When choosing an external SSD hard drive, proceed from the list of proposed tasks.


Are you planning to use such a drive for video editing, work with complex graphics, volumetric modeling and other things that depend on the performance of the disk subsystem? Consider the options with the highest speed indicators.

The same recommendation can be given to gamers who want to minimize the loading time of games / locations, as well as speed up the processes while maintaining progress. For less demanding gamers, an SSD with good read speed will be enough.

Do you need an external drive to quickly transfer large files / arrays of information? Pay attention to the amount of the write speed drop and the volumes at which it starts.

If the goal is to organize an external system drive, take any model. Both Windows and other common operating systems still cannot utilize the capabilities of the fastest SSDs. But be sure to refuse to create a paging file.

For storing movies and music, the talents of any budget solid-state “portable” will also be enough.

Since there are no moving parts inside the SSD, he himself is not so afraid of accidental drops from the table or from his hands. However, a strong impact can damage the case or lead to broken contacts, so the presence of additional protection in some cases is quite justified.

When choosing the size of an external SSD, be guided by your needs and do not forget that its size indirectly affects the resource of the drive. Actually, there are now only two reasonable options – 500 GB and 1 TB. Without taking into account individual cases, a flash drive is more profitable as a storage of a smaller volume, and an SSD with a capacity of 2 TB or more is unreasonably expensive.

Pay special attention to the interface used in the gadget you like. High-speed best external SSDs hard drives will only work fully if a laptop (computer, set-top box) has an interface of the required type (USB Gen 2 or Gen 2×2), and ultra-high-speed Best External SSD Hard Drives definitely need support for the Thunderbolt 3 interface by a USB port.

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