10 Best External Hard Drives 2017 – Top Portable Drives Reviews (Nov.2016)

 

Need more storage space for your professional work or do you just want to back up your important personal files? In any case, External Hard Drive is required. Keeping your needs in mind, I have compiled a list of best external hard drives 2017.

But before going to discuss this list in detail, lots of other very important things are there which are extremely essential in selecting these external hard drives. Lets’ start this.

What is an external hard drive?

It is a simple yet compact storage gadget that can be inserted into your PC either through a USB, FireWire connection or wirelessly. It is basically used to back up computer data and store extensively large files because it has a high storage capacity.

Will your hard drive work with PC or Mac?

The majority of hard drives sold in the market are basically ones that work in NTFS (New Technology File System) format which works for windows PCs. The other less common format is the HFS (Hierarchical File System) which is used by Mac OS. So what if you want to use the same external hard drive for both Mac and Windows? Well don’t worry there is another format the FAT32 (File Allocation Table) which can be formatted and used but it is discouraged because it is generally less reliable.

What are the different types of hard drive connections?

There are mainly four essential approaches towards connecting your external hard drive as the internal hard drive has to be physically installed inside the computer.

  • Via FireWire

FireWire, also called IEEE 1394, is a connecting port for adding an external hard drive to your computer.

  • Via USB

Who doesn’t know about a USB connection? This type of connection is easy and common, basically plug it in, and play.

  • Via SATA

SATA is the external interface Serial AT Attachment which is a standard connection for external drive. SATA offers the best information exchange rate of all devices.

  • eSATA

eSATA is a less popular connection to connect an external hard drive and usually gives performance at speeds similar to an internal drive.

Should you choose external or internal hard drive?

Internal hard drive vs external hard drive is a tough choice and a debate that has been going on since drives were developed but actually it all depends on the users and their requirements.

External Drive

An external hard drive is exceptional for those people who travel extensively or share data to other computers. It offers great storage flexibility and you can easily connect it to any computer without any technical issues.

Internal Drive

On the other hand if you’re someone who wants all his data in one place and requires built in storage with high speed data transmission, an internal drive is the perfect choice for you. However, it has to be directly installed in to the PC by opening it up.

What are the advantages of an External Hard Drive?

External hard drives are a popular way of extending your storage capacity. But why? It has many advantages which are given below

  • It is an affordable way of increasing storage space and are available in different capacities.
  • It is good for large format files such as videos and games etc.
  • It is portable so you can virtually take hard drive with you wherever you go and plug it in to a different computer.
  • It offers great file transfer speeds when connected with FireWire.
  • It is easy to plug it in without having to physically open your computer to install one as with internal drive.

Let’s start our discussion about a list of top best external hard drives 2017.

1. Seagate Backup Plus Slim: Buy Now

Seagate Backup Plus Slim - Best External Hard Drives 2016 - Top 10 Portable Drives Reviews

Introduction:

First in our list is  new Seagate backup plus slim external hard drive. It is a compact and one of the best of its kinds. It is a convenient and smart way to back up your data at home or at the go. Let’s discuss it in detail.

Features:

Let’s discuss  its features in detail.

Design:

This drive has an aluminium casing that makes it feel very solid. It is available in 4 storage capacities, i.e.  500 GB, 1 TB, 2TB and 4TB. It is to be kept in mind that 4 TB is the largest size of any external hard drive in the market at the present.

Width:

The width of all Seagate backup plus hard drives except of 4 TB is .5 inches and are available in 4 colors i.e black, silver ,red and blue while the width of 4 TB hard disk is .8 inches and is available only in black color.

Simply Operational:

It is slim, sleek, fast, light and easy to operate. It is easy to do partition. The cable is not very long or short. The transfer speed is very satisfying.

Performance:

It is about half faster than Backup Plus Fast, when I compared it with Seagate backup plus slim. This drive is a single-volume drive while Fast is a RAID-O drive. I tested both of its versions, 2TB and 4TB, and found these very remarkable.

Connectivity:

This drive has USB 3.0 connectivity and provides different types of backups. These backups are PC backup, mobile backup and social backup.  It can be connected directly to the windows, but needs a driver for connecting to Mac device. It provides 200 GB capacity of one drive online storage for one year.

Seagate Dashboard:

All your favorites like photos, audios, videos and movies can be backed up with the help of downloadable Seagate Dashboard software. Run a single tick backup or timetable a programmed backup plan to save your records on your Backup Plus Slim Portable Drive whenever the timing is ideal.

Warranty:

It has 2 years warranty.

Pros:

It is built for Apple/Mac computers.It really works great and syncs perfectly with Time Machine. It is easy to hook and easy to use even for the iMac. It is also called as a Seagate external hard drive.

Cons:

The adapter has some problems. Another major issue is the security. Its security feature need to be enhanced as if your security of this drive is breached, all your data can be accessed by anyone and can cause harm to your system.

Conclusion:

Keeping in mind all the above mentioned features, it is excellent data storage hard drive for 4TB version. If the user can overlook the security issue, it is one of the best hard drives being used in the world.

What other says,

The Seagate Backup Plus/Slim is one of the most convenient ways to backup your data, at home or on the go. The fact that the drive has the top capacity, especially the 4TB version, means the storage gap between a portable drive and desktop is no longer an issue. Sure, you can get desktop drive with even larger capacities, but 4TB is a lot of space and most of us don’t really need more than than when on the go.Cnet

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2.Transcend StoreJet 25M3: Buy Now

Transcend StoreJet 25M3

Introduction:

The Transcend Storejet 25 M3 is a rugged, shock resistant hard drive that allows it to absorb the shocks and bumps. It has been approved as military grade shock resistant. It has 3 stage shock protection that allows it to stand the rugged conditions. Let’s discuss it in detail.

Features:

Let’s discuss  its features in detail.

Size:

It is available in 4 sizes, i.e. 500 GB, 640 GB, 750 GB and 1 TB. It is 2.5 inches SATA device and provides higher data rate as it can support USB 3.0 in addition to the USB 2.0 version. Bookmark Sync, Cloud and Crypto are other important features. It has 10 minutes of power saving mode.

Backup Button:

It has an instant backup button on its back that allows the user to do the backup of the disk by just pressing one button. That’s why; it is also called as the best external drive for backup.

Performance:

It has been noted that the presence of 2.5 SATA hard drives inside the store jet increases its performance manifold. The sequential speed tests of near-empty disk shows that it may read and write more than 135 MB/s which is very fast.

Driver:

It has also been seen that the drive remains almost silent during usage and getting benefit from its shock damping frame and silicon rubber outer jacket.

Warranty:

It has an excellent 3 year warranty which is even more than Seagate backup slim.

Security:

As far as the security of the hard drive is concerned, it has been equipped with 256 AES encryption key which makes it a secure storage.

Pros:

It is a very quick, lightweight, compact and little engineered external drive. High quality with large capacity, quick installation and great durability. It is super-fast and easy to plug in. Its transfer data speed is extremely high.

Cons:

The thing due to which it comes at a disadvantage when pitched against contemporary hard drives is its size and lesser storage capacity. The resistant layers make it heavy and bulky as compared to other devices in the market. And the data capacity up to 4 TB is available while it provides only 1 TB storage which is quite less.

Conclusion:

The users who can overlook these few negatives can use this hard disk in whichever conditions to enjoy the maximum transfer rates present in the market. It is indeed one of the best portable hard drives of the world.

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3. LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt: Buy Now

LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt - Best External Hard Drives 2016 - Top 10 Portable Drives Reviews

Introduction:

LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt is a world’s first solid state drive having USB 3.0 compatibility. It is also called as a thunderbolt external hard drive. It is a rugged device having been approved as a military standard device which can stand fall of up to four feet. It is available in only two colors, i.e. orange and silver.

Features:

Let’s discuss  its features in detail.

Data Rate:

The new solid state technology coupled with USB 3.0 provides high data rates up to 150 Mbps for writing and 119 Mbps for reading which is an amazing speed.

Connectivity:

The LaCie Thunderbolt comes with two types of connectivities. These connectivities are USB and thunderbolt. It can use either of them at one time. It can be connected to 6 other devices of the same type at once using thunderbolt.

Performance:

When used this drive with Thunderbolt, its speed became excessively high as compared to any other hard drive which is almost 300 Mbps for writing and about 330 Mbps for reading.

Storage Capacity:

Its data storage capacity is 120 GB at present. We may also term it as rugged external hard drive.

Durability and Weight:

It has a great durability against dust and water with a weight about 12.3 oz /530 g.

Security:

As far as the security is concerned, it has been equipped with a 256 Mbit AES key that enable the drive to secure the data from intruders and make it reliable for its users.

Pros:

It is a well-built hard drive with innovative casing design. It is small, tough, fast and secure because of its durability and adaptability. It is reliable and rugged. It is available at lower cost than other solid state devices.

Cons:

The device is preformatted in HFS+ which makes it ready to be used with mac device, but when connecting with windows, it needs to reformat into NTFS or FAT32. The drive does not come with any bundled software.

Conclusion:

LaCie Rugged hard drive is the most affordable SSD hard drive present in market with amazing performance in terms of data rates and shock resistibility. It is indeed the consumer’s choice if he needs high data rates and high security of data, but has to live with lesser storage capacity.

What other says,

The LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt is a fast, portable drive with a reasonable price-per-gb. If you’re working in the field (or desert or war zone) the Rugged Thunderbolt is designed to handle just about any situation. I’m surprised they don’t make matching MacBook covers.Macworld

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4. Elgato Thunderbolt Drive+: Buy Now

Elgato Thunderbolt Drive

Introduction

The Elgato Thunderbolt drive is an extremely fast and often termed as lightning fast device available in the market using solid state drive. Its upgraded version uses USB 3.0 which brings the data rates to that fast level.

Features:

Let’s throw some light on  its features in detail.

Size:

It is available in two sizes as far as storage is concerned i.e. 256 and 512 GB.

Data Rate:

Its data rate reaches up to 420 Mbps which is an extremely fast for any hard drive. It is an advanced drive with no moving parts, hence is very efficient to use. Its manufacturers often boost upon its silence i.e. you will not get to hear any sound when it is being use.

Performance:

This drive has shown awesome performance when tested this drive with both thunderbolt and USB 3.0 and produced real word copy speeds. It was also observed that the speed for writing was 284Mbps and for reading was about 308Mbps.

Compatibility:

It is compatible with windows 7 or any higher OS and MAC 10.6.8 or any later version.

Resistance:

It is dust and moisture resistant due to its design and material.

Powered Device:

It is a bus powered device same as many of other contemporary devices, which means it does not require any external power source to operate.

Preformatted:

It is preformatted in HFS+ format which is readily compatible with MAC devices, but needs to be reformatted to NTFS or FAT32 when being used with windows. It is also called as an external hard drive for mac and PC.

Pros:

Its file transfer speed is very fast which is about 100 gigabytes in 10 minutes. It has exceptional speed, quiet and power efficient. It doesn’t need any fan.

Cons:

The Thunderbolt is short. This drive is more expensive as compared to other cheap external hard drive.

Conclusion:

The Elgato thunderbolt device is by far one of the fastest devices at present making it available for the user to achieve the speeds even more than the buffalo hard drive which is regular desktop hard drive using USB 3.0 technology. If you need something for high data rates and with stylish design and outlook, Elgato thunderbolt should be your choice and should not be wasting your time on any other device.

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5. WD My Passport Ultra: Buy Now

WD My Passport Ultra - Best External Hard Drives 2016 - Top 10 Portable Drives Reviews

Introduction:

The WD My Passport Ultra is one of fast, smart and stylish external hard drives present in the market at present. It is equipped with USB 3.0 which makes it one of the fastest hard drives in terms of data transfer rates.

Features:

Let’s throw some light on  its features in detail.

Size:

It is available in multiple sizes as far as data storage is concerned, but last limit is 3 TB. It allows the user to select any color from the available dozens of them to suit his mood and need.

Preformatted:

It preformatted to NTFS, which is supported by windows OS and can be reformatted to be used with MAC OS but does not need any ADDITIONAL software.

Other Specialties:

Drive width is about 2.5”, rotational speed is 5400 rpm, height is 15.5 mm and is available in different colors.

Use of Software:

It has been preloaded with few softwares which make its use comfortable and easy i.e. WD security, WD Backup and WD Utilities. WD backup allows you to pick up the folders that you want to backup and will keep on protecting its backup refreshed every hour, day and month.

AES Encryption Key:

It has been equipped with 256 AES encryption key that makes it one of the secure mediums to store large amounts of data.

USB Port:

Its USB 3.0 port makes it one of the fasted devices in the world.

Bus Powered Device:

It is a bus powered device that does not require an external dedicated power supply for its use.

Compatibility:

It is compatible with PC and MAC.

Weight and Warranty:

Its weight is about 154.2 g. It has a 3 year warranty.

Pros:

It has very fast performance and comes in many colors with backup software. It has a nice design. It is small in size and light in weight with amazing reading and writing speeds.

Cons:

At times, downloading may create some problems. The 3.0 USB is incompatible with most of the laptop computers. It is considered as WiFi blocker and no backup capabilities.

Conclusion:

So, if any user wants to have security of large amounts of data, compatibility with all types of OS coupled with stylish colors, WD My Passport Ultra should be a good choice because there are very few hard drives that provide all these features along with a large amount of speed at the same time. It is highly recommended.

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6. Seagate Expansion Portable Drive: Buy Now

Seagate Expansion Portable Drive

Introduction:

The Seagate Expansion Portable drive is a sleek and smart hard drive that allows you to carry it in a pocket and keep your data safe. Let’s discuss it in detail.

Features:

Let’s throw some light on  its features in detail. 

Storage Capacity:

It is a slower device as compared to other contemporary devices, but provides a large amount of data storage. It is available in multiple sizes as far as storage capacity is concerned i.e.  500 GB , 1 TB, 1.5 TB and 2 TB.

Weight:

It is a very light weight device which provides the data on the go.

USB Support:

It can support USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 which makes it quite versatile in nature.

Operating Systems:

This device allows the use of different types of operating systems i.e. windows and MAC. But you just need to format it accordingly.

Gaming Consoles:

It also support its use on different gaming consoles and media device when format according to their requirements. This is indeed a unique compatibility which makes it different from others.

Performance:

It shows excellent performance considering the fact that it hosts a low-power internal drive.  In testing, this drive has sustained a speed of more than 120Mbps for writing and about 130Mbps for reading. The drive may also work with USB 2.0 at about 30Mbps.

Warranty:

The warranty period for this device is less as compared to others i.e. just one year.

Pros:

It is solid, sleek and durable. It is a perfect storage addition to the external hard drive xbox one. It is easy to set up for the MAC OS Time Machine. With the help of this drive, we may backup our ps4 hard drive as well.

Cons:

Gaming installation is little difficult. It may not work for play station 4. It has not been good for most of the MAC users. It does not have any key to protect the data stored on it. This means the data is prone to be stolen or corrupted. It does not provide any preloaded software for optimization of its usage. It has a lower disk rotation per minutes as compared to other devices of contemporary time.

Conclusion:

But even then if you just need to have a large amount of data storage, its data compatibility makes it one of the best choices.

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7. WD Elements Portable: Buy Now

WD Elements Portable - Best External Hard Drives 2016 - Top 10 Portable Drives Reviews

Introduction:

WD Elements portable is a high capacity storage and ultra-fast data transfer slim device which can be taken along in your pocket or purse. It is a cheap device, allowing different data storage capabilities.

Features:

Let’s throw some light on  its features in detail. 

Storage Size:

WD Elements is available in 4 different storage size, i.e.  500 GB, 1 TB, 1.5 TB and 2 TB. That’s why, it is also called as a 2tb external hard drive.

Compatibility:

It is compatible with both windows and MAC OS but needs to be formatted according the needs of these softwares.

Gaming Consoles:

It can be used with other gaming consoles like XBOX and other media devices, but has to be preformatted for that.

Connectivity:

It supports connectivity to both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 which can give it higher data rates.

Bus Powered Hard Drive:

It is bus powered hard drive which means it takes the power from the bus and need not be connected to an external power supply for its use.

Performance:

Its performance is very good because via USB3.0, it recorded a constant real-world copy speed of more than 95MBps for writing and more than 100MBps for reading. Although these are 20Mbps slower than those of some other drives, yet it is good enough for some important applications like movie playback, backup and app storage.

Warranty:

Its warranty period is short which is about one year.

Pros:

It is affordable, dependable and 100% compatible. It is ideal for xbox one. It is easy to install and holds games and apps well. The drive works very fast. It works great with simple hookup. It is also excellent for database transfers.

Cons:

Its disadvantage is same as the Seagate expansion that it has not been provided with any type of security because of which the data is prone to be corrupted or stolen. Because of the same reason its warranty period is also very less that is only one year.

Conclusion:

WD Elements is a best portable hard drive which enables us to take along a large amount of data up to 2 TB in our pocket, but keep in mind that it does not have any security.  If someone who can live with this shortcoming, it can be his favorite choice.

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8. WD My Passport Slim: Buy Now

WD My Passport Slim

Introduction:

WD My Passport Slim is aluminum cased slightly thinner smart hard drive which provides a strong out cover along with beauty to the hard drive.

Features:

Let’s throw some light on  its features in detail. 

Storage Sizes:

This user friendly device is available in two storage sizes i.e. 1 TB and 2 TB. It has a dual toned outer cover of silver and blue.

Connectivity:

It supports connectivity to both windows and MAC OS.

Preformatted:

It is preformatted to NTFS, but need to be reformatted when using with Mac OS.

Software:

It provides backup and security software for both MAC and windows which allows user to backups instantly.

Encryption AES Key:

It is equipped with strong 256 bit encryption AES key which makes it a secure device and allow us to use it without much fearing about interruption into it.

Backup Of Data:

It allows the backup of data on to the dropbox but for that you need to have a dropbox account beforehand.

Performance:

It provides connectivity via USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 allowing very fast data rate. It is a bus powered device that means it does not require an external power supply for use .It also works great with windows 8 and has free app for windows 8 giving it an edge over other devices.

Warranty:

It has 3 years maximum warranty.

Pros:

It is very compact, durable and can upload files very fast. It’s lightweight. It is a great choice with seamless operation and solid build. It is elegant and useful. It has great storage and can transfer heavy data in no time.

Cons:

It has small, ugly and no-branded USB 3.0. It has poor supply. Simple LED indicator. It is heavier than little other cheap external hard drive.

Conclusion:

WD My Passport Slim is indeed a best portable hard drive present in the market that allows the security of data along with high storage space. Its user friendly nature makes it one of best consumer choices in the present.

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9. Toshiba Canvio Basics: Buy Now

Toshiba Canvio Basics - Best External Hard Drives 2016 - Top 10 Portable Drives Reviews

Introduction:

Toshiba Convio Basic is a smart hard drive with elegant look and large data storage capability. It is a modern device developed by Toshiba to compete in the ever growing market of portable storage devices.

Features:

Let’s throw some light on  its features in detail. 

Casing:

It has a sleek and compact casing making it very portable and handy for use and taking the data in the wallet.

Color:

This device is available in two colors i.e. black and white.

LED:

There is an LED on this device which shows the status of connectivity and data transfer by blinking time and again.

USB Supported:

Toshiba Convio Basics is USB 3.0 supported device which makes its data rate very high.

Data Transfer Rate:

It has data transfer rates up to 5Gbps which makes it one of the fastest devices. It has storage capacity up to 3 TB. It is capable to be connected to windows 7 or higher versions.

Performance:

There is no requirement of any software to connect it with the OS.

Bus Powered Device:

It is a Bus powered device, which means it does not require an external power unit to fulfill its power needs from connection with the device.

Weight:

Its weight is about 207 g.

Warranty:

It has a 3 year warranty.

Pros:

It is ideal for backup storage of documents, photos and audio files. It has fast downloading. It works perfect with external media drive, blu ray players and roku players. It is easy to set up and very reliable. It works well with  hard drive xbox 360.

Cons:

The cable that comes with this hard drive is short. It may randomly disconnect. Socket for the plug looks flimsy. There is no supporting software and it does not allow multiple amounts of features that are present in many other hard drives. It does not support connection with the Mac OS.

Conclusion:

If the user requires a very large amount of space like up to 3 TB then this beautiful looking device is a good choice and should not be overlooked. It does compete well with the contemporary devices and can become best devices if few things are improved.

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10. Seagate Seven: Buy Now

Seagate Seven

Introduction:

Seagate seven is by far the thinnest hard drive in the market. It takes its name seven from its width i.e. seven mm. It is stylish, slender, sturdy and very fast product. It is a rugged device as well in addition to sleekness. That’s why; it is also called as rugged external hard drive.

Features:

Let’s throw some light on  its features in detail.

Bus Powered Hard Drive:

Seagate seven is bus powered hard drive that does not require an external power supply source, but manages from the device it is connected to.

Preformatted:

It is preformatted into ExFat that allows connection to both Windows and Mac OS.

Types:

It has three types of preloaded software i.e. backup software only for windows, backup for socials that allow backing up media from your social media accounts and mobile backup allowing your cell phone to be backed up.

Storage Capacity:

It has a maximum storage capacity of 500 GB which is lesser than many other hard drives.

Performance

Seagate Seven supports connectivity with USB 3.0 and 2.0 making its data transfer rates to be very fast.

Rugged Capability:

The manufacturers claim that this device is so rugged and shock resistant that it can withstand falls from high places or can sustain the weight if a small car runs over it.

Warranty:

It has a 3 year warranty making one of the reliable hard drives of present time.

Pros:

It can transfer the data very fast. The enclosure is steel and nice. Its installation is very quick. It is thinner than many smart phones and pocket sized. It is a supremely engineered drive. It is reliable and rock solid. Its formatting is a breeze. It doesn’t create much heat and is very silent.

Cons:

It has few cons as well as it is quite expensive and the price in which it provides 500 GB of space, a 2 TB device can be bought. It has lesser space for the user who needs a large amount of storage space for their tasks to be done. At times, its backup management software doesn’t work.

Conclusion:

Seagate seven can become a good choice if only its storage capacity is increased and brought at par with other hard drives.

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Final Verdict From Author

It was all about best external hard drives reviews 2017. This list has been compiled on the basis of their performances, features, specifications and affordability. I have given clear, real and unbiased review of each product. By reading all these in detail, you can get the best one for your use. We hope all these valuable informations will be very helpful for all of you in selecting these.

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