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Top 5 External Hard Drives in 2023

If you want to add more storage to your PC or any other device and avoid hard installations, you should get an external SSD hard drive.

External hard drives add a lot more storage to your device and you simply have to plug it in to have more storage and faster operation.

However, all external hard drives aren’t made the same.

We’ve researched over 27 different external hard drives and looked for something with fast read and write speed, plug-and-play, compatible with any device, extra security, and many other important factors.

Here are this year’s top 5 picks:

Penny M - Research Specialist

With over 15 years of researching and inspecting helpful gadgets and tech devices, Penny gained an admirable knowledge. Check out her world-class knowledge and expertise in our Top 5 Reviews series.

Overall Grade

A+

Rating

9.8/10

4.8/5

OVERALL ANALYSIS

Osmo External Hard Drive is by far our favorite choice on the market.

The first thing that separates it from any other is their innovative super-fast read and write speed of up to 550 MB/s which meets high-grade industry standards.

You can choose between multiple different storage capacities, from 500GB up to 2TB.

Unlike any other external hard drive, Osmo has a 256-bit AES encryption that keeps all your files and photos safe from getting stolen or hacked.

You can use it basically on any device you want – PC, Xbox, PS5, smartphone, tablet, and any other.

What’s great about Osmo is that it doesn’t only expand the storage, but it also makes your device a lot faster. This makes it suitable for gaming.

You don’t have to worry about hard-to-follow installations because you only need to plug it in for it to be functional.

It’s USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 compatible.

Without any doubt, Osmo won’t disappoint you if you’re looking for a good SSD hard drive.

Osmo even offers a 14-day money back guarantee, so you can test it out for two weeks and receive a full refund if you don’t find it useful.

Storage
99%
Overall Quality
98%
Value For Money
99%
Return Policy
99%
Customer Feedback & Satisfaction
97%

Pros

Super fast write and read speed

Up to 550 MB/s speed

Plug-and-play

No hard installations

Up to 2TB available storage

Suitable for any device

USB 3.0 & USB 2.0 compatible

Speeds up your device

Great for gaming and storing files

256-bit AES encryption

Free shipping in UK

14-day money back guarantee

Cons

Often runs out of stock due to high demand

Often runs out of stock due to high demand

WRAP-UP

Osmo is fairly priced for a market-leading external hard drive with high-grade standard and innovative technology. Take advantage of this limited-time discount while supplies last.
Osmo offers a 14-day money-back guarantee and free shipping. Osmo was unanimously voted the best external hard drive of 2023.

Overall Grade

B+

Rating

8.8/10

4.6/5

OVERALL ANALYSIS

It may be shaped like a monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey, but our tests found that the WD My Book is the best external hard drive for the money. It offers hardware-based 256-bit AES encryption and WD Backup software, and it gives you 4TB of HDD space for about $100. Plus, capacities up to 18TB are available.

The My Book might not be the latest and greatest in terms of drive technology, but it makes the absolute most of tried-and-true methods — and will only cost you pennies per gigabyte. Sure, it’s on the bulky side, and it has to be plugged into a power outlet. But if speed and portability aren’t of utmost importance, this is storage peace of mind you can’t afford not to have.

This product has been reviewed 243 times on Newegg and received an average of 4 out of 5 eggs. “The casing is attractive and gives the product a feeling of higher quality than a standard enclosure,” says one reviewer.

Storage
89%
Overall Quality
93%
Value For Money
90%
Return Policy
85%
Customer Feedback & Satisfaction
88%

Pros

Great technology

Plug and play

Up to 4TB of storage

Suitable for any device

Nice design

Free shipping

Easy to use

Cons

Only 200MB/s write speed

Expensive

Overall Grade

B

Rating

8.3/10

4.4/5

OVERALL ANALYSIS

Designed to be rugged, the G-Technology ArmorATD portable hard drive (HDD, not SSD) boasts three-tier shock resistance, with internal shock mounts, an aluminum enclosure, and a removable rubber bumper for additional drop protection; it’s also resistant to rain, dust, and crushing (up to 1,000 pounds).

The 2TB and 4TB models are both sized to be easily portable and include a USB Type-A adapter for use with their USB Type-C interface, so they should work with nearly every computer.

We researched the 2TB and 4TB capacities; neither was notably fast (though the 2TB is rated for marginally higher speeds), and the drive comes with no file management software. But factor in the price and one of these drives could be a reasonable choice if you and your data into unpredictable territory.

Technology
82%
Overall Quality
84%
Value For Money
70%
Return Policy
65%
Customer Feedback & Satisfaction
78%

Pros

Fast opreation

Easy to use

Solid speed

USB 3.0 & USB 2.0 port

Plug and play

Water-resistant

Lightweight

Cons

Highest price point on market

Only for PC

Only 7-day money back guarantee

from Microlife

Overall Grade

B

Ratings

7.8/10

4.2/5

OVERALL ANALYSIS

No matter what you want from the best external hard drive, the SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD delivers it.

Convenient design? It’s small and light enough to fit in your hand but not get lost in your pocket or bag. Suave looks? Its rounded corners, black-and-red coloration, delicately pockmarked front and soft-touch back give it an appearance and feel that are both thoroughly modern and refreshingly classic.

Ok, how about speed? The USB 3.1 version of the Extreme Pro Portable SSD is rated for sequential reads of 1,050MBps, and in our own performance tests, it routinely came out at or near the top of the rankings. The SanDisk Secure Access application applies general encryption, too.

The drive is a shade expensive, and the integrated carrying loop is too big to easily fit on a standard keychain. Otherwise, this is an excellent storage device that’s ideal for heavy everyday use.

Storage
82%
Overall Quality
84%
Value For Money
70%
Return Policy
65%
Customer Feedback & Satisfaction
78%

Pros

Very fast

Easy to use

Great technology

Free shipping in the US

Positive reviews

30-day money back guarantee

Cons

No money-back guarantee

Expensive

Not for PS or Xbox

Overall Grade

c+

Rating

7.5/10

4/5

OVERALL ANALYSIS

The Adata SE800 External SSD Ultra Fast measures just 2.8 x 1.7 x 0.4 inches and weighs 1.4 ounces and is rated for IP68 protection against dust and 30 minutes of submersion in 4.9 feet (1.5 meters) of water.

It meets the MIL-STD-810G 516.6 standard for impact resistance when dropped from 4 feet (1.22 meters). You can use either a USB Type-A or a Type-C cable to connect this Type-C drive to your computer.

We didn’t quite see the drive’s 1,000MBps-rated speeds in our tests, but the drive proved fast anyway. It’s also pretty affordable, with the 1TB version we tested available online for under $130, and the 512GB version findable for about $80.

Those two capacities are your only options, and there’s no pre-installed software, but the SE800 is otherwise an outstanding value that lives up to the promise of its name, whether compared with the noticeably slower Adata SC685 or many other smaller drives on the market.

Storage
82%
Overall Quality
80%
Value For Money
60%
Return Policy
70%
Customer Feedback & Satisfaction
75%

Pros

Smart design

Great technology

Multiple storage sizes

Lightweight

Free shipping

Cons

Too expensive

Short cable

They upsell you with additional items

Mixed reviews

WHAT IS EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE?

An External/Removable hard drive attaches to the outside of a computer. External hard drives are useful for backing up computers and transferring data between computers. Merits. Limitations. An external hard drive can be disconnected from your computer.

Advantages of External Hard Drive

Things To Consider WHEN CHOOSING THE BEST External Hard Drive

Write and read speed

The write and read speed should always be above 400 MB/s if you don’t want to have complications or to worry about speeding up your device.

Installation

You should always avoid hard-to-follow installations and external hard drives that take hours to install on to your computer. The best technology is plug-and-play which needs to only be plugged in to add more storage.

Storage size

Depending on how many photos, videos, files, or games you want to add to an external drive, you should always think about storage size. The best brands have multiple options to choose from with big discounts on largest packages (above 1TB).

Compatibility

Always seek external hard drives that are compatible with any device, no matter if it’s PC, laptop, smartphone, Playstation, or any other - it’s best to have a multifunctional one.

Warranty

If the brand doesn't offer a money-back guarantee or warranty on their external hard drive, you should stay away from it. Always look for something you can try out and receive a full refund if you don't find it useful.

What To Avoid When Choosing External Hard Drive

No encryption

A good external hard drive should be even safer than your internal drive, so it’s good to pay attention if it has encryption. My advice is to always go with 256-bit AES encryption.

Only for PC

Most external hard drives are only suitable for PCs and you’ll have to buy adapters to be compatible with other devices such as smartphones or playstation.

Cheap knockoffs

There are a ton of cheap products (even on Amazon) that are just pure garbage. They aren’t even tested and they’ll just waste your time and money. In my opinion, anything below $70 can’t be functional.

Penny M - Research Specialist

With over 15 years of researching and inspecting helpful gadgets and tech devices, Penny gained an admirable knowledge. Check out her world-class knowledge and expertise in our Top 5 Reviews series.

Avasreview.com. Copyright © 2023

*This website is owned and operated by Seth Media, the owner of Osmo.

We are not able to review all products in a given category. All opinions expressed on this site are our own. We do not test the products ourselves. Our method is based on “meta-reviews”, where we collect external tests, customer reviews, product specifications and prices in one place via complicated data collection and research, so that you as a consumer get a better basis for making the right purchase decision.

This is an advertisement and not an actual news article, blog, or consumer protection update. This site is owned by Seth Media. Therefore the content may not be neutral, objective or independent, and impacts the location and order in which these products appear. As an Amazon associate, we earn from qualifying purchases of certain products. Graphics and product images are provided for illustrative purposes only

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We are not able to review all products in a given category. All opinions expressed on this site are our own. This is an advertisement and not an actual news article, blog, or consumer protection update. This site is owned by Seth Media. Therefore the content may not be neutral, objective or independent, and impacts the location and order in which these products appear. As an Amazon associate, we earn from qualifying purchases of certain products. Graphics and product images are provided for illustrative purposes only.

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