Best External Hard Drives for Mac in 2024

Best External Hard Drives for Mac in 2024

External hard drives are devices that connect to your Mac via a cable and provide additional storage space. They come in different sizes, shapes, and capacities, depending on your needs and preferences. Some external hard drives are portable and lightweight, while others are more durable and rugged. Some external hard drives have fast interfaces like Thunderbolt or USB-C, while others use standard USB-A ports. Some external hard drives also have extra features like encryption, backup software, or multiple ports.

Our Top Picks

1. Best Overall: LaCie Mobile Drive 2022

This sleek and stylish drive offers up to 5TB of storage space and comes with a USB-C cable that works with both Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 ports. It also includes LaCie's ToolKit app that lets you easily manage your backups and sync your files across devices. The LaCie Mobile Drive 2022 is compatible with both Mac and Windows computers and has a three-year warranty.

2. Best Budget: Seagate Ultra Touch

This affordable drive gives you up to 2TB of storage space and features a textured fabric design that feels comfortable in your hand. It comes with a USB-C cable that also works with USB-A ports, as well as Seagate's Secure software that allows you to encrypt your data and protect it with a password. The Seagate Ultra Touch is compatible with both Mac and Windows computers and has a two-year warranty.

3. Best Performance: Seagate Firecuda Special Edition

This powerful drive delivers blazing-fast speeds of up to 2800 MB/s thanks to its NVMe SSD technology and Thunderbolt 3 interface. It has a sleek aluminum enclosure that dissipates heat and a customizable RGB LED light that adds some flair to your setup. It comes with a Thunderbolt 3 cable and offers up to 2TB of storage space. The Seagate Firecuda Special Edition is compatible with both Mac and Windows computers and has a five-year warranty.

4. Best Durability: G-Drive ArmorATD

This rugged drive is designed to withstand drops, dust, water, and shocks, making it ideal for outdoor adventures or harsh environments. It has a protective rubber bumper and a sturdy metal enclosure that can handle up to 1000 lbs of pressure. It comes with a USB-C cable that also works with USB-A ports and offers up to 5TB of storage space. The G-Drive ArmorATD is compatible with both Mac and Windows computers and has a three-year warranty.

5. Best Gaming: WD Black P10 Game Drive

This gaming-oriented drive lets you store up to 5TB of games and access them quickly with speeds of up to 140 MB/s. It has a durable metal enclosure that looks cool and keeps your drive safe. It comes with a USB-A cable that also works with USB-C ports and includes a free trial of WD's Gaming Drive Accelerated software that optimizes your gaming performance. The WD Black P10 Game Drive is compatible with both Mac and Windows computers, as well as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, and has a three-year warranty.

Things to Consider

If you are looking for the best external hard drives for Mac, you might be overwhelmed by the number of options available. There are many factors to consider when choosing an external hard drive, such as capacity, speed, compatibility, durability, and price. In this article, we will help you narrow down your choices and find the best external hard drive for your Mac.

  • Capacity: The capacity of an external hard drive determines how much data you can store on it. Depending on your needs, you might want a large capacity drive that can store all your files, backups, and media, or a smaller capacity drive that can fit in your pocket and transfer files quickly.
  • Speed: The speed of an external hard drive affects how fast you can read and write data to and from it. Speed depends on the type of connection (USB 3.0, USB-C, Thunderbolt 3, etc.), the type of drive (HDD or SSD), and the rotational speed (RPM) of the drive. Generally, SSDs are faster than HDDs, and Thunderbolt 3 is faster than USB-C or USB 3.0.

SanDisk 2TB Extreme Portable SSD - Up to 1050MB/s - USB-C, USB 3.2 Gen 2 - External Solid State Drive - SDSSDE61-2T00-G25

  • Compatibility: The compatibility of an external hard drive refers to how well it works with your Mac and other devices. You should check if the drive is formatted for Mac or Windows, and if it supports the file system you prefer (APFS, HFS+, exFAT, etc.). You should also check if the drive comes with any software or features that enhance its functionality or security.
  • Durability: The durability of an external hard drive relates to how well it can withstand physical damage, such as drops, shocks, water, dust, and heat. Some drives are designed to be more rugged and durable than others, and some come with protective cases or covers. You should consider how often you will travel with your drive and how much you value your data.
  • Price: The price of an external hard drive depends on the factors mentioned above, as well as the brand and warranty of the drive. You should compare different models and features to find the best value for your money.

FAQs

Q: How do I format an external hard drive for Mac?

A: To format an external hard drive for Mac, you need to connect it to your Mac and open Disk Utility. Then select the drive from the sidebar and click Erase. Choose a name for your drive and a file system (APFS or HFS+). Click Erase again and wait for the process to finish.

Q: How do I backup my Mac to an external hard drive?

A: To backup your Mac to an external hard drive, you need to use Time Machine. First, make sure your drive is formatted for Mac and has enough space. Then connect it to your Mac and open System Preferences. Click Time Machine and select Backup Disk. Choose your drive from the list and turn on Time Machine. Your Mac will automatically backup your data to your drive.

Crucial X8 4TB Portable SSD - Up to 1050MB/s - PC and Mac - USB 3.2 External Solid State Drive - CT4000X8SSD9

Q: How do I encrypt an external hard drive on Mac?

A: To encrypt an external hard drive on Mac, you need to use FileVault. First, make sure your drive is formatted for Mac and has a single partition. Then connect it to your Mac and open Finder. Right-click on your drive and select Encrypt. Enter a password and a hint for your drive and click Encrypt Disk. Your drive will be encrypted and locked with your password.

Conclusion

Choosing the best external hard drive for Mac can be challenging, but with some research and comparison, you can find the one that suits your needs and budget. You should consider the capacity, speed, compatibility, durability, and price of different drives before making a decision. You should also learn how to format, backup, and encrypt your drive to ensure its performance and security. We hope this article has helped you find the best external hard drive for Mac.

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