Best Reliable External Hard Drives: 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 8TB, 10TB & 12TB

External hard drives are required for a galore of purposes. These range from creating system backups and storing data to transferring saved game files. The most important aspect of any external hard drive is its reliability, which is simply the measure of the device failure rate.

Most Reliable External Hard Drives

Here is our pick of the 15 best hard drives that offer high reliability while offering humongous amounts of storage at the same time:

Adata SD700 External SSD

Capacity – 1 TB
Interface – USB 3.0

A great reliable hard drive option that is also not that pricey is the Adata SD700 External SSD. The hard drive offers powerful performance and is one of the few SSDs to receive an IP68 rating.

Adata SD700 External SSD comes with rugged packaging, shielding it from external damage. Unlike the traditional spinning hard drives, the Adata SD700 relies on solid state drive mechanism and hence, offers superfast data transfer speeds.

Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC

Capacity – 1 TB/ 2 TB
Interface – USB 3.0

Compatible with both Mac and Windows systems, the Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC is a reliable external hard drive that is a budget buy. It comes with a USB 3.0 cable and a rugged case that is resistant to both dust and water.

In addition to protecting the data against external factors, Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC comes with 256-bit AES security. The NFC allows you to unlock the drive on the fly and access files simply by tapping the NFC card onto the drive’s body.

Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt

Capacity – 1 TB/2 TB
Interface – Thunderbolt/USB 3.0

The Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt offers support for devices with Thunderbolt port. A Thunderbolt port offers data speeds about twice as fast as the standard USB 3.0 drives.

The reliable external hard drive comes with a USB 3.0 port, nonetheless, for using with non-Thunderbolt devices.

Compared to other Thunderbolt external hard drives, the Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt has affordable pricing. This is due to the external hard drive’s reliance on a traditional hard drive in place of an SSD.

G-Technology G-Drive

Capacity – 4 TB/ 8 TB/ 10 TB
Interface – USB 3.1/Thunderbolt 3

Relying on the spinning disk technology, G-Technology G-Drive external hard drive comes in a number of storage capacities. Thanks to its support for Thunderbolt 3 specification, the external hard drive is an ideal companion for the MacBook Pro.

G-Technology G-Drive comes in 4 TB and 8 TB variants. The 10 TB hard drive version of the storage unit is excellent for serving multiple purposes, ranging from creating system backups to carrying game libraries and saved files around. All variants of the drive are highly reliable.

iStorage diskAshur

Capacity – 1 TB/ 2 TB/ 3 TB/ 4 TB/ 6 TB/ 8 TB/ 10 TB/ 12 TB/ 14 TB
Interface – USB 3.1

The iStorage provides external hard drives to government and full-fledged organizations. Reason being, they offer security measures unmatchable by other external hard drive makers. Nonetheless, the iStorage diskAshur is one of the best reliable options to go for personal use.

iStorage diskAshur comes with the 256-bit AES encryption as well as multiple forms of protection for ensuring no one with malicious intent can access the data. Astonishingly, iStorage provides provision for configuring the hard drive to self-destruct in case of tampering.

Though iStorage diskAshur is almost 4 times as costly as its contemporaries, it has security standards that no other brand is able to offer.

LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive

Capacity – 1 TB/ 2 TB/ 4 TB/ 5 TB/ 6 TB/ 8 TB
Interface – USB Type-C

Although expensive, the LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive is one of the most reliable and fastest external hard drives available in the market. Theoretically, it can give out as much as 5Gbps of data transfer speeds via its USB Type-C port.

LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive flaunts an aluminum finish and is one of the best USB Type-C external hard drives available in the market. The external hard drive consists of five, 800 GB platters in a 15mm form factor.

Samsung T5 SSD

Capacity – 1 TB/2 TB
Interface – USB Type-C

For those buyers aiming for a reliable, rugged, and fast external hard drive, one great option is the Samsung T5 SSD. The T5 lineup builds over the previous T3 series of hard drives that are also considered to be one of the best hard drive series available in the market.

The T5 series introduces the reversible USB Type-C connectivity. Even if you don’t have a machine that supports USB Type-C, the solid state drive provides backward compatibility for USB 3.0 and even the dated USB 2.0. Samsung T5 SSD is undoubtedly expensive, but well worth it.

Seagate Backup Plus Desktop Drive

Capacity – 2 TB/ 3 TB/ 4 TB/ 5 TB/ 6 TB
Interface – USB 3.0

The Seagate Backup Plus Desktop Drive combines extended storage capacity with speed and high reliability. The external hard drive easily outshines the competition in terms of writing as well as reading speeds. The Seagate external hard drive also offers lower than average failure rates.

In addition to the Seagate Backup Plus Desktop Drive, you get a backup software and compatibility with both Windows and Mac running machines. Though the external hard drive comes formatted for Windows users, a little more expensive Mac-ready version is also available.

Seagate FireCuda Mobile

Capacity – 1 TB + 8 GB/2 TB + 8 GB
Interface – eSATA

The Seagate FireCuda Mobile performs better than a standard HDD. The reliable external hard drive has 64 MB cache and a maximum rpm of 5400. The external hard drive can offer data transfer speeds up to 6 Gbps thanks to its eSATA interface.

The 2.5-inch FireCuda Hybrid external drive gives a significant storage boost of 8 GB of flash storage along with an option between 1 TB and 2 TB of storage. The external hard drive is backed by a 5-year warranty.

Seagate IronWolf NAS

Capacity – 2 TB/ 4 TB/ 6 TB/ 8 TB/ 10 TB/ 12 TB/ 14 TB
Interface – eSATA

RAID-ready, Seagate IronWolf NAS external hard drive is available in a range of capacities, varying from 2 TB to 14 TB. The NAS optimization along with a maximum spinning capacity of 7200 rpm makes the IronWolf NAS one of the most affordable and reliable drives to opt for.

WD Blue Desktop

Capacity – 1 TB/ 2 TB/ 3 TB/ 4 TB/ 6 TB
Interface – eSATA

Western Digital offers an affordable external hard drive option in the form of the Blue Desktop series. Available in 2 TB, 4 TB, and 6 TB versions, WD Blue Desktop is compatible with most desktops and laptops. These external hard drives offer high reliability.

For those requiring speedier drives, the WD Blue Desktop external hard drives are also available in 7200 RPM variants. These are much costlier than their 5400 RPM counterparts.

WD My Book

Capacity – 3 TB/ 4 TB/ 6 TB/ 8 TB/ 10 TB
Interface – USB 3.0

The WD My Book external hard drive offers a perfect balance of storage capacity and price-effectiveness. It is an excellent option for storing and transferring all your games. The external hard drive is available in a multitude of storage capacities, including a 10 TB hard drive.

Supporting USB 3.0 doesn’t offer as much speed as offered by some internal drives. Nonetheless, it offers humongous storage and high reliability at an inexpensive price.

WD My Book Duo

Capacity – 4 TB/ 6 TB/ 8 TB/ 12 TB/ 16 TB
Interface – USB 3.0

A combination of two hard drives, WD My Book Duo offers a humongous storage capacity of 4 TB. The external hard drive is backed by a 2-year warranty. In order to protect against data loss, you can set up a backup of the drive using the pre-packaged WD SmartWare Pro software.

WD My Book Duo comes with a multitude of features, including being a complete NAS (Network Attached Storage) device. In order to use the reliable external hard drive as a NAS device, all you require is a router with USB 3.0 support.

The high-reliability external drive comes pre-formatted for Windows (NTFS). In addition to supporting 256-AES hardware encryption, WD My Book Duo comes with an enclosure that is fully serviceable.

Western Digital My Passport

Capacity – 1 TB/ 2 TB/ 3 TB/ 4 TB

Interface – USB 3.0

Available in a range of storage capacities, the latest range of the Western Digital My Passport is here. The reliable hard drive comes with 256-AES encryption, cloud storage support, and WD’s backup software.

Western Digital My Passport hard drives offer excellent data transfer speeds, easily beating out several names on the hard drive market.

Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro

Capacity – 2 TB
Interface – USB 3.0/Wi-Fi

The My Passport Wireless Pro external hard drive from Western Digital comes with a complete design overhaul. The premium external hard drive resembles an external DVD drive but flaunts an onboard SD card slot, which makes it a lucrative buy for ardent photographers.

The most outstanding feature of the Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro external hard drive is its ability to transfer data wirelessly. It comes with a big 6400 mAh battery that allows the hard drive to be used without any wires over 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz channels.

When wired, My Passport Wireless Pro relies on USB 3.0 for transferring data. The reliable hard drive, obviously, is expensive. However, it is an essential gadget for any tech-savvy professional requiring an external hard drive that is capable to transfer data without dealing with wires.

Some FAQs Regarding Hard Drives

Following are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding external hard drives:

Q: How reliable are the hard drives?
A: Different manufacturers offer different reliability rates for external hard drives. Nonetheless, most of them are highly reliable devices that can provide uninterrupted operation for several years to come.

Q: What are SATA, USB, and Thunderbolt interfaces? What are the maximum data transfer speeds?
A: SATA, USB, and Thunderbolt are the various forms by which an external hard drive is able to exchange data with compatible devices. Hence, they are called interfaces.

Each of them offers different speeds. There are several factors that restrict the external hard drives for achieving maximum rated speed. Maximum data transfer speeds for some of the most popular interface are:

  • eSATA – up to 6 Gbps
  • USB 2.0 – up to 480 Mbps
  • USB 3.0 – up to 5 Gbps
  • USB 3.1 – up to 10 Gbps
  • USB Type-C – 5 Gbps
  • Thunderbolt – up to 20 Gbps
  • Thunderbolt – up to 40 Gbps

Q: How many years an external hard drive can last?
A: An external hard drive can last for several years. Manufacturers offer warranties for these gadgets, ranging from 1-year to 5-year, and even more in some scenarios. Typically, a hard drive can last for about 5 to 10 years. Though it can survive even further, it’s a desirable idea to replace a decade old hard drive with a newer one.

Q: Are external hard drives portable?
A: Yes, this is one of the main reasons why people prefer to use them. Any external hard drive weighs a few hundreds of grams and is about a few inches long. Hence, it can be taken along from one place to another.

Have any queries regarding external hard drives? Please ask them via comments. We’ll be more than happy to answer back.

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