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Best External Hard Drives 2019: Best to Buy

Buying an external hard drives is a wise choice in many cases, especially for making a backup data. For example, by focusing on a laptop with an integrated SSD we run the risk of being left without space for personal data (documents, music, videos) due to the reduced capacity of solid-state drives. The capacity problem can also occur on a desktop PC, in particular, if the integrated hard disk is not adequate for the amount of data we store every day.

These and other scenarios are a good thing to focus immediately on a good external hard drive so that you can save all your documents, photos, music and anything else in an external space.

Let’s look at all the features that an external hard drive must have to be taken into consideration, with the inevitable final purchase guide where we will see the best external hard drives 2019 of the moment up close.

Capacity, Power, and Speed

The first difference we can find them based on the format of the external hard disk chosen. A 3.5-inch external hard drive can be used alongside a fixed PC, given their poor handling. On the other hand, it is possible to get better capacity and speed, given the use of desktop disks adapted for use as an external hard disk. Instead of choosing a 2.5-inch external hard drive we can count on compact solutions, easily connected to a notebook, a TV, a TV Box or any device with a USB port and capable of reading hard drives.

Capacity and speed are lower than 3.5-inch hard drives, but a lot also depends on the type of connectivity used (as we will see in the next chapter).

Almost all the models now have a USB 3.0 connection, capable of supplying sufficient power for hard disk operation. On old records, it was not uncommon to see the Y-cable with two USB 2.0 sockets for a single disk: one dedicated to power, the other to data exchange. These outlets have now fallen into disuse.

USB speed

External disks have long been equipped with USB 3.0 sockets, faster than USB 2.0 sockets, but backward-compatible with them (an external USB hard drive with USB 3.0 can be connected to a USB 2.0 port without problems). What changes between USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 is the theoretical transmission speed:

  • 4.8 Gbps theoretical (600 MBps) for USB 3.0
  • 480 Mbps theoretical (60 MBps) for USB 2.0

The two versions of USB can be easily recognized by the color of the ports and sockets: blue for USB 3.0 sockets and white (rarely black) for USB 2.0 sockets.

Lately, USB 3.1 is also making headway, with much higher speed based on the generation it is associated with:

  • 5 Gbps theoretical (625 MBps) for first-generation USB 3.1
  • 10 Gbps theoretical (1250 MBps) for second-generation USB 3.1

USB 3.1 is often associated with the Type-C form factor, but it is not a fixed rule.

Form factors

The form factor of the USB connection for an external hard drive is traditionally the Type-A, the classic USB socket that everyone knows, as shown in the image below.

Lately, the Type-C form factor has also begun to spread, which in addition to being smaller and thin has the double side of insertion (it can be inserted into a Type-C socket without fear of making mistakes, a common mistake with the Type-A). Below is an example of a Type-C socket.

Type-C is not automatically synonymous with maximum transmission speed: there are USB 3.0 Type-C sockets, USB 2.0 Type-C sockets, and USB 3.1 Type-C sockets; better to check in advance the speed of the chosen USB port and the cable supplied.

Thunderbolt connectivity

In addition to the USB connection, it is possible to find an external removable hard drive with Thunderbolt connection, less widespread than USB but much appreciated on Apple devices. Here also we have different transmission speeds based on the Thunderbolt generation taken into consideration:

  • Thunderbolt 1 offers a theoretical maximum speed of 10 Gbps (1250 MBps)
  • Thunderbolt 2 offers a theoretical maximum speed of 20 Gbps (2500 MBps)
  • Thunderbolt 3 offers a theoretical maximum speed of 40 Gbps (5000 MBps)

Drives with Thunderbolt can only be connected to PCs that have Thunderbolt ports, which can present with two form factors.

For Thunderbolt 1 and 2, the form factor is identical to the Mini DisplayPort.

For Thunderbolt 3 the form factor is identical to the USB Type-C.

We can recognize the presence of Thunderbolt ports or sockets with the lightning symbol embossed near the sockets and ports.

SSD or HDD

Among the external hard drives, the most widespread technology is surely that of the hard disks (or HDD), which guarantee good durability, good speed and security in the storage of data. But among the external hard drives, we can also find compact SSDs with USB sockets.

Best External Hard Drives 2019

1 TB external hard drive

2 TB external hard drive

3 TB external hard drive

4 TB external hard drive

5 TB external hard drive or above

Best selling external hard drives of the moment

After the list of external hard drives we presented, let’s see the top 10 of the best-selling external hard drives currently on Amazon. The ranking is updated automatically every day.

Bestseller No. 1
WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive - USB 3.0 - WDBU6Y0020BBK
  • USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 compatibility
  • Fast data transfers
  • Improve PC performance
  • High Capacity. Compatibility-Formatted NTFS for Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7. Reformatting may be required for other operating systems. Compatibility may vary depending on user's hardware configuration and operating system
  • 2-year manufacturer's limited warranty
SaleBestseller No. 2
Seagate Portable 2TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD - USB 3.0 for PC Laptop and Mac (STGX2000400)
  • Easily store and access 2TB of content on the go with the Seagate Portable Drive, a USB external hard drive
  • Designed to work with Windows or Mac computers, this external hard drive makes backup a snap just drag and drop
  • To get set up, connect the portable hard drive to a computer for automatic recognition no software required
  • This USB drive provides plug and play simplicity with the included 18 inch USB 3.0 cable
  • Enjoy long term peace of mind with the included 1 year limited warranty
Bestseller No. 3
Seagate Portable 1TB External Hard Drive HDD - USB 3.0 for PC Laptop and Mac (STGX1000400)
  • Easily store and access 1TB of content on the go with the Seagate Portable Drive, a USB external hard drive
  • Designed to work with Windows or Mac computers, this external hard drive makes backup a snap just drag and drop
  • To get set up, connect the portable hard drive to a computer for automatic recognition no software required
  • This USB drive provides plug and play simplicity with the included 18 inch USB 3.0 cable
  • Enjoy long term peace of mind with the included one year limited warranty; Interface Speed: 5.0 Gbps (USB 3.0) / 480 Mbps (USB 2.0)
SaleBestseller No. 4
Seagate Game Drive for PS4 Systems 2TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD - USB 3.0, Officially Licensed Product (STGD2000100)
  • Do not delete games from PS4 consoles just to make room for new ones store 50+ games with 2TB of portable hard drive storage
  • Official Licensed PS4 product for seamless operation and compatibility; Operates under PS4 hard drive firmware
  • Dive into the action with quick step by step setup and plug and play USB 3.0 connectivity no power cable needed
  • This game drive features the classic black and blue design of PS4, it's the perfect accessory for any gaming setup and its compact, travel ready form factor means the adventure can go anywhere
  • Enjoy long term peace of mind with the included 3 year limited warranty
SaleBestseller No. 5
WD 8TB Elements Desktop Hard Drive - USB 3.0 - WDBWLG0080HBK-NESN
  • Fast data transfers
  • High-capacity add-on storage
  • Plug-and-play ready for Windows PCs
  • WD quality inside and out
  • 2-year manufacturer's limited warranty
Bestseller No. 6
Seagate Portable 4TB External Hard Drive HDD - USB 3.0 for PC Laptop and Mac (STGX4000400)
  • Easily store and access 4TB of content on the go with the Seagate Portable Drive, a USB external hard drive
  • Designed to work with Windows or Mac computers, this external hard drive makes backup a snap-just drag-and-drop!
  • To get set up, connect the portable hard drive to a computer for automatic recognition-no software required
  • This USB drive provides plug-and-play simplicity with the included 18-inch USB 3.0 cable
  • Enjoy long-term peace of mind with the included one-year limited warranty
Bestseller No. 7
WD 4TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive - USB 3.0 - WDBU6Y0040BBK-WESN
  • USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 compatibility
  • Fast data transfers
  • Improve PC performance
  • High Capacity
  • 2-year manufacturer's limited warranty
SaleBestseller No. 8
Toshiba HDTB420XK3AA Canvio Basics 2TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0, Black
  • Sleek profile design with a matte, smudge resistance finish
  • Plug & Play Easy to use with no software to install. Requires reformatting for Mac OS v10.12 /OS X v10.11 / v10.1
  • Quickly add more storage capacity to your PC and other compatible devices
  • USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 compatible with no external AC power cord needed
  • Includes Toshiba 1 year standard limited warranty; Transfer Rate: Up to 5 Gb/s
SaleBestseller No. 9
Toshiba HDTB410XK3AA Canvio Basics 1TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0, Black
  • Sleek profile design with a matte, smudge resistance finish
  • Plug & Play ; Easy to use with no software to install
  • Quickly add more storage capacity to your PC and other compatible devices
  • USB 2.0 compatible with no external AC power cord needed
  • Includes Toshiba 1 year standard limited warranty.Ready to use with your PC4 and no software installation required
Bestseller No. 10
Seagate Game Drive for Xbox 2TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD - Designed for Xbox One (STEA2000403)
  • Do not delete games from Xbox consoles just to make room for new ones store 50+ titles with 2TB of portable external hard drive storage
  • Experience no lag gaming with a portable hard drive optimized specifically for Xbox
  • Dive into the action with quick step by step setup and plug and play USB 3.0 connectivity no power cable needed
  • Featuring the classic green design of the original Xbox logo, this gaming hard drive is the perfect accessory for any setup and its compact, travel ready form factor means the adventure can go anywhere
  • Enjoy long term peace of mind with the included 1 year limited warranty

About Ankeet Solanki

He started this blog as a hobby to show his affection for gadgets, but over the time this hobby became professional. And now he is working as a full-time blogger, but in free time he loves watching movies and games. PayPal donation for TechToyReviews will be appreciated.

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