12 Best External Hard Drives for Graphic Designers & Creatives in 2021

12 Best External Hard Drives for Graphic Designers & Creatives in 2021

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Searching for the best external hard drive for your Mac or PC? Search no more.

We’ve rounded up the best storage hard drives and ranked them, making it easy for you to find the right external hard drive for you.

Picking the best one though can be tricky and there are a few things that you may want to consider first.

Read on to see how to choose a hard drive and the best external hard drives you can buy today, in 2021.

Power Tip: You should also use online cloud storage to back up your files, like LiveDrive or DropBox.

 

12 Best External Hard Drives in 2021

With all that there is to consider before buying the right external hard drive for your needs, we thought that doing some shopping of our own might make the process a bit easier.

Now while these are our picks, your needs may be different and we’re totally fine with that. Keep in mind that each of these brands offers different storage capacities.

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  1. ADATA SE800 — Best external hard drive overall (Editor’s Choice)
  2. LaCie Mobile DriveBest external hard drive for Mac users
  3. Samsung Portable SSD T7 Touch — Secure external hard drive
  4. Seagate Backup Plus Ultra TouchBest for general-use storage
  5. WD My Passport (5TB)Best external hard drive for media
  6. G-Techno ArmorATDBest travel SSD for on-the-go use
  7. LaCie 2big RAIDBest for extreme storage
  8. Samsung Portable SSD X5Best high speed external hard drive
  9. Western Digital My Passport Wireless SSDBest external hard drive for photographers
  10. WD 5TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive HDD Best external hard drive for gamers
  11. Seagate Expansion 16TB External Hard Drive HDD Best budget extreme storage
  12. Toshiba Canvio Advance 2TB Portable External Hard Drive Best budget external hard drive

 

What is the best external hard drive?

The ADATA SE800 is our pick for the best external hard drive. Below is a full list of our choices for the Best External Storage Hard Drives for Designers & Creatives in 2021.

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Best Overall
ADATA SE800 1TB IP68 Rugged - Up to 1000 MB/s- SuperSpeed USB 3.2 Gen 2 USB-C External Portable SSD...
Best Budget
Toshiba Canvio Advance 2TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0, Black - HDTC920XK3AA
Best for Speed
Samsung X5 Portable SSD - 2TB - Thunderbolt 3 External SSD (MU-PB2T0B/AM) Gray/Red
Best for Mac Users
LaCie Mobile Drive 5TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD – Moon Silver USB-C USB 3.0, for Mac and...
Extreme Storage
LaCie 2big RAID 16TB External Hard Drive Desktop HDD – USB-C, 7200 RPM Enterprise Class Drives,...
Extreme Storage in Budget
Seagate Expansion 16TB External Hard Drive HDD - USB 3.0, with Rescue Data Recovery Services...
Title
ADATA SE800 1TB IP68 Rugged - Up to 1000 MB/s- SuperSpeed USB 3.2 Gen 2 USB-C External Portable SSD...
Toshiba Canvio Advance 2TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0, Black - HDTC920XK3AA
Samsung X5 Portable SSD - 2TB - Thunderbolt 3 External SSD (MU-PB2T0B/AM) Gray/Red
LaCie Mobile Drive 5TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD – Moon Silver USB-C USB 3.0, for Mac and...
LaCie 2big RAID 16TB External Hard Drive Desktop HDD – USB-C, 7200 RPM Enterprise Class Drives,...
Seagate Expansion 16TB External Hard Drive HDD - USB 3.0, with Rescue Data Recovery Services...
Prime Status
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Star Rating
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-
-
Reviews
-
-
615 Reviews
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-
-
Capacity
1T.B
2TB
2TB
5TB
16TB
16TB
Interface
USB 3.0
USB 3.0
USB 3.0
USB 3.0
USB 3.0
USB 3.0/2.0
Price
$119.99
$70.00
$837.47
$149.99
$661.20
$399.99
Best Overall
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ADATA SE800 1TB IP68 Rugged - Up to 1000 MB/s- SuperSpeed USB 3.2 Gen 2 USB-C External Portable SSD...
Title
ADATA SE800 1TB IP68 Rugged - Up to 1000 MB/s- SuperSpeed USB 3.2 Gen 2 USB-C External Portable SSD...
Prime Status
Star Rating
-
Reviews
-
Capacity
1T.B
Interface
USB 3.0
Price
$119.99
Buy Now
Best Budget
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Toshiba Canvio Advance 2TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0, Black - HDTC920XK3AA
Title
Toshiba Canvio Advance 2TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0, Black - HDTC920XK3AA
Prime Status
-
Star Rating
-
Reviews
-
Capacity
2TB
Interface
USB 3.0
Price
$70.00
Buy Now
Best for Speed
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Samsung X5 Portable SSD - 2TB - Thunderbolt 3 External SSD (MU-PB2T0B/AM) Gray/Red
Title
Samsung X5 Portable SSD - 2TB - Thunderbolt 3 External SSD (MU-PB2T0B/AM) Gray/Red
Prime Status
-
Star Rating
Reviews
615 Reviews
Capacity
2TB
Interface
USB 3.0
Price
$837.47
Buy Now
Best for Mac Users
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LaCie Mobile Drive 5TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD – Moon Silver USB-C USB 3.0, for Mac and...
Title
LaCie Mobile Drive 5TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD – Moon Silver USB-C USB 3.0, for Mac and...
Prime Status
Star Rating
-
Reviews
-
Capacity
5TB
Interface
USB 3.0
Price
$149.99
Buy Now
Extreme Storage
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LaCie 2big RAID 16TB External Hard Drive Desktop HDD – USB-C, 7200 RPM Enterprise Class Drives,...
Title
LaCie 2big RAID 16TB External Hard Drive Desktop HDD – USB-C, 7200 RPM Enterprise Class Drives,...
Prime Status
Star Rating
-
Reviews
-
Capacity
16TB
Interface
USB 3.0
Price
$661.20
Buy Now
Extreme Storage in Budget
Thumbnail
Seagate Expansion 16TB External Hard Drive HDD - USB 3.0, with Rescue Data Recovery Services...
Title
Seagate Expansion 16TB External Hard Drive HDD - USB 3.0, with Rescue Data Recovery Services...
Prime Status
Star Rating
-
Reviews
-
Capacity
16TB
Interface
USB 3.0/2.0
Price
$399.99
Buy Now

 

The Best Storage Hard Drives for Graphic Designers in 2021

If you’ve been working in a creative field, you know the amount of data that you can create in a week, day, or even an hour. Having a high-quality external hard drive for storage can make it easy to keep important files secure as well as have a backup for the vital information pertaining to your business.

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While many of the external hard drives on our list may have the same features, they are not all considered the same and whether you choose one based on the price or brand familiarity, you want to make sure the one you pick suits your needs.

 

1. ADATA SE800 (Editor’s Choice)

ADATA SE800 - Best External Hard Drive
ADATA SE800, Image credit: ADATA / Amazon

The best external hard drive overall

Capacity: 1TB | Interface: USB 3.0

Finding the perfect external hard drive that fits all of your needs can be a constant struggle but the SE800 from ADATA looks to be about as close as you can get with its highly durable design that is small, light, and performs fast. Included with the drive are cables from USB-C and USB-A even though they do tend to be a little short, it’s a minor complaint from a shirt-pocket-sized drive that can be an excellent addition to your kit

Pros Cons
➕ Compact, light, and fast ➖ Short cable length
➕ Durable build
➕ Both USB-A and USB-C cables are available

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
ADATA SE800 1TB IP68 Rugged - Up to 1000 MB/s- SuperSpeed USB 3.2 Gen 2 USB-C External Portable SSD...
  • Superfast Read/Write Speed up to 1000 MB/s *Result by ADATA internal lab. Actual performance may varies based on paired devices, file sizes system configuration and other variables.
  • IP68 Rated: Ruggedized Waterproof / Dust-proof / Drop-Proof / Shock-resistant
  • Exquisite hairline-brushed surface for sleek look, compact and lightweight it's perfect for travelling
  • Interface: USB 3. 2 Gen 2 Type-C, backward compatible with USB 2. 0
  • Limited 3 Year Manufacturer

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2. LaCie Mobile Drive

LaCie Mobile Drive
LaCie Mobile Drive. Image credit: LACIE / Amazon

Best external hard drive for Mac users

Capacity: 5TB | Interface: USB 3.0

Many people who own either a MacBook or even an iMac, tout the design and overall look as reasons why they gravitate towards the brand, and many of the accessories that they buy for their computer match that design, such as the LaCie Mobile Device. With its all-metal enclosure, the drive will look right at home next to any Apple product and perform just as well. Packed with a toolkit from LaCie that can easily handle backups, restores, and mirroring, although it does require a download first. It can also be a bit hefty but for the amount of storage at a fair price, you can’t go wrong.

Pros Cons
➕ Good speed ➖ Hefty for a portable drive
➕ Sleek design
➕ Embedded USB cable

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
LaCie Mobile Drive 5TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD – Moon Silver USB-C USB 3.0, for Mac and...
  • Enjoy 5TB of enormous capacity for photos, playlists, docs, and more
  • Use seamlessly with Mac, Windows, USB-C, and USB 3. 0
  • Back up files with a single click or schedule automatic backups
  • Turn footage into flawless productions with one free month of Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps Plan

 

3. Samsung Portable SSD T7 Touch

Samsung Portable SSD T7 Touch
Samsung Portable SSD T7 Touch. Image credit: Samsung / Amazon

Best external hard drive for security-conscious travelers

Capacity: 2TB | Interface: USB 3.0

When you travel a lot, it can be easy to lose some things during travel and if you have sensitive data, you want to make sure it’s secure. The SSD T7 Touch from Samsung, a credit-card-sized SSD comes with a built-in fingerprint reader as well as an LED status indicator and offers fast and versatile performance every time you use it. Available in capacities of up to 2TB, the drive gives you a great way to protect your files, even if it is a little on the expensive side.

Pros Cons
➕ Fast speed ➖ Not water resistant
➕ Great build ➖ Aluminum can be scratched
➕ Fast fingerprint sensor ➖ Needs USB 3.2 for best performance outcome
➕ Both USB-A and USB-C cables included

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
SAMSUNG T7 Touch Portable SSD 1TB - Up to 1050MB/s - USB 3.2 External Solid State Drive, Black...
3,051 Reviews
SAMSUNG T7 Touch Portable SSD 1TB - Up to 1050MB/s - USB 3.2 External Solid State Drive, Black...
  • FINGERPRINT SECURITY: SSD with fingerprint and password security
  • BLAZING FAST STORAGE: Reads up to 1,050 MB/s / Writes up to 1 000 MB/s. Transfers files nearly 9.5x faster than hard drives
  • LED STATUS INDICATOR: The T7 Touch features an LED square that illuminates to keep you informed of what your SSD is doing at a glance
  • BUILT STRONG: Shock-resistant and withstands drops from 6ft

 

4. Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch

Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch
Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch. Image credit: Seagate

Best external hard drive for general-use storage

Capacity: 2TB | Interface: USB 3.0

Even with all the flashy bells and whistles that many other drives can come with, sometimes a basic, secure drive is all you need. The Ultra Touch drive from Seagate is a small and light drive that protects your data with a password and AES-256 hardware encryption, providing you with the security you’re looking for. A Seagate Toolkit is available via download to handle backups and recovery as well as mirroring. While the fabric-covered enclosure is nice, it can make it a bit slippery when you grab it.

Pros Cons
➕ Compact and light ➖ Old SuperSpeed Micro-B USB connector
➕ Backup/recovery functions and mirroring options are available
➕ Password protected
➕ AES-256 hardware encryption

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Seagate Ultra Touch HDD 2TB External Hard Drive – Black USB-C USB 3.0, 1yr Mylio Create, 4 month...
  • SECURITY FIRST: Securely and easily manage photos, videos, movies, and more with password activated hardware encryption
  • STYLISH & SPACIOUS: Stylish tone-on-tone fabric design works seamlessly with USB-C and USB 3.0 laptops and PCs
  • PLUG & PLAY: The perfect external hard drive for Windows or Mac, simply back up files with a single click or schedule automatic daily, weekly, or monthly backups (Reformatting may be required for use...
  • MYLIO & ADOBE: Edit, manage, and share photos with a 1-yr. complimentary subscription to Mylio Create and a 4-mo. membership to Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan (must redeem within 1-yr. of drive...

 

5. WD My Passport

WD My Passport
WD My Passport. Image credit: Western Digital / Amazon

Best external hard drive for media

Capacity: 5TB | Interface: USB 3.0

Most people who shop around for an external hard drive will know the name Western Digital or WD for short. With their My Passport line, they offer small and light options for all of your needs, and with a capacity of up to 5TB, you can store all of your files, photos, and videos with ease. Packed with AES-256 hardware encryption plus password protection, the drive comes with apps for checking drive health, reformatting, and even backups and restoring information. The combination of storage and apps makes this drive to consider even as a backup.

Pros Cons
➕ Compact design ➖ Design is simple but might not be appealing to everyone
➕ Automatic backup ➖ No USB-C
➕ 256-bit AES superstrong hardware encryption
➕ Great performance

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
WD 5TB My Passport Portable External Hard Drive HDD, USB 3.0, USB 2.0 Compatible, Black -...
  • Slim design
  • Automatic backup - easy to use
  • Password protection 256-bit AES hardware encryption
  • WD Discovery software for WD Backup, password protection, and drive management
  • SuperSpeed USB-A 3.0 (5Gpbs), 2.0 compatible

 

6. G-Techno ArmorATD

G-Techno ArmorATD
G-Techno ArmorATD. Image credit: Western Digital / Amazon

Best external hard drive for on-the-go users

Capacity: 5TB | Interface: USB 3.0

When you’re on the go and need an external hard drive, many of the options out there either don’t have the capacity you need or are so fragile that you break one every month. The ArmorATD from G-Techno comes with a protective bumper all around that you can remove when you need to. While the design gives it a rugged appeal, the drive doesn’t come with an activity light, backup utilities, or photo/video subscriptions but the capacity offered at an affordable price makes this a great option.

Pros Cons
➕ Sleek design ➖ Average performance
➕ Sheer capacity
➕ Fast speed

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
G-Technology 1TB ArmorATD All-Terrain Rugged Portable External Hard Drive - USB-C, USB 3.1 Gen 1 -...
  • Triple-layer shock resistance for added durability
  • Rain-and dust-resistant (IP54) enclosure with a 1000lb crush rating
  • With capacities up to 5TB of storage for your photos and footage
  • USB-C ready; USB-3.0 and Thunderbolt 3 compatible
  • Ready to go with mac and Windows

 

7. LaCie 2big RAID

LaCie 2big RAID
LaCie 2big RAID. Image credit: LACIE / Amazon

Best external hard drive for creatives who need extreme storage

Capacity: 16TB | Interface: USB 3.0

Graphic designers and other creatives regularly handle large amounts of data. This can require an incredible amount of storage space. The LaCie 2big RAID comes with a whopping 16TB of storage with two hot-swappable, high-capacity drives that come with a wide variety of settings that allow you to use the drive with maximum flexibility and complete data protection.

Pros Cons
➕ Solid performance ➖ Noisy
➕ During the warranty period, free data recovery service is provided ➖ Blue light is intense
➕ Easy to use

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

LaCie 2big RAID 16TB External Hard Drive Desktop HDD – USB-C, 7200 RPM Enterprise Class Drives,...
  • Ideal for photographers, indie filmmakers, and YouTubers, 2big RAID is an external desktop storage solution offering up to 16TB of massive space and powerful speeds of up to 440MB/s
  • Enjoy seamless compatibility with USB-C and USB 3. 0 computers
  • Easily configure RAID 0/1 using the step-by-step wizard to optimize the system for performance or redundancy
  • Equipped with hot-swappable IronWolf Pro enterprise-class drives for ultimate reliability and performance
  • Enjoy long-term peace of mind with the included five-year limited including Rescue Data Recovery Services

 

8. Samsung Portable SSD X5

Samsung Portable SSD X5
Samsung Portable SSD X5. Image credit: Samsung

Fastest external hard drive

Capacity: 2TB | Interface: USB 3.0

The Portable SSD X5 from Samsung is one of the fastest single-drive external hard drives available thanks to its Thunderbolt 3 and PCIe NVMe interfaces. With multiple capacity options and a sleek design, the drive is great for anyone looking for speed. However, with no USB support, difficulty connecting to Windows PCs, and a high price the SSD X5 may be better suited for someone who does creative work on a higher-end Mac.

Pros Cons
➕ Sleek design ➖ No USB support
➕ Thunderbolt 3 interface available ➖ Hefty
➕ Fast
➕ Hardware encryption

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Samsung X5 Portable SSD - 2TB - Thunderbolt 3 External SSD (MU-PB2T0B/AM) Gray/Red
615 Reviews
Samsung X5 Portable SSD - 2TB - Thunderbolt 3 External SSD (MU-PB2T0B/AM) Gray/Red
  • First-ever NVMe-based portable SSD from Samsung featuring Thunderbolt 3 technology
  • Sequential read and write performance levels of up to 2,800MB/s and 2,300MB/s respectively
  • Features a full metal body with glossy top and non-slip bottom mat
  • Shock-resistant internal frame make X5 withstands drops of up to 2 meters
  • Compatible devices: Television

 

9. Western Digital My Passport Wireless SSD

Western Digital My Passport Wireless SSD
WD My Passport Wireless SSD. Image credit: Western Digital / Amazon

Best external hard drive for photographers

Capacity: 2TB | Interface: USB 3.0

If you’re a photographer out in the wild, it can be tough to find a hard drive that can keep up with your career. Thankfully the My Passport Wireless SSD from Western Digital comes with a design that is durable enough to handle the roughest terrain and even doubles as a power bank. With a built-in SD card reader and USB port, the drive is very versatile and can do much more than just transfer files. With the drive not having any Thunderbolt support and it being rather expensive, it may keep some users away but those who take a chance will find a great drive worth the price.

Pros Cons
➕ Good battery life ➖ Missing USB Type C port
➕ Sturdy design 
➕ Easy to install and run Setup

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

WD 2TB My Passport Wireless SSD External Portable Drive, WiFi USB 3.0, Up to 390 MB/s -...
  • Built-in SD card reader with one-touch copy button
  • Durable, shock-resistant SSD inside
  • All-day battery (up to 10 hours)* |*Based on streaming HD 720p, 3 Mbps video to one device over Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz single band only. Actual battery life depends on file size, type, format, bitrate, devices...
  • Wirelessly stream 4K videos and view photos with the My Cloud mobile app
  • Import from USB card readers

 

10. WD 5TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive HDD

WD 5TB Elements
WD 5TB Elements. Image credit: Amazon

Best external hard drive for gamers

Capacity: 5TB | Interface: USB 3.0

In a list full of giants, Western Digital’s 5TB beast is one of the strongest contenders. If you are looking for something small and lightweight to take along on the go, this is the one for you. The simple design and reliable performance make it a good fit for computers, laptops, and gaming consoles as well. With many features and great storage, it is a good deal considering the reasonably low price.

Pros Cons
➕ Can store games on gaming consoles ➖ Fragile
➕ Easy to use
➕ Doesn’t require its own power source

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
WD 5TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive HDD, USB 3.0, Compatible with PC, Mac, PS4 & Xbox -...
  • USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 Compatibility
  • Compatible with PC, Mac, PS4 & Xbox
  • Fast Data Transfers, Improve PC Performance
  • High Capacity
  • Memory Storage Capacity: 5TB

 

11. Seagate Expansion 16TB External Hard Drive HDD

Seagate Expansion 16TB
Seagate Expansion 16TB. Image credit: Amazon

Best budget external hard drive with extreme storage

Capacity: 16TB | Interface: USB 3.0/2.0

Known for its amazing creations, Seagate’s 16TB HDD is here to offer you a great storage experience at an affordable price. It works well for graphic designers on multiple platforms/devices for a versatile range of storage purposes. The 18″ 3.0 USB provides a faster data transfer speed, making it an ideal pick for quick connectivity and long-term performance.

Pros Cons
➕ Powerful and reliable performance  ➖ Noisy while writing data
➕ Great storage device for data backup
➕ Easy to use

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
Seagate Expansion 16TB External Hard Drive HDD - USB 3.0, with Rescue Data Recovery Services...
  • Easy-to-use desktop hard drive—simply plug in the power adapter and USB cable
  • Fast file transfers with USB 3.0
  • Drag-and-drop file saving right out of the box
  • Automatic recognition of Windows and Mac computers for simple setup (Reformatting required for use with Time Machine)

 

12. Toshiba Canvio Advance 2TB Portable External Hard Drive

Toshiba Canvio Advance
Toshiba Canvio Advance. Image credit: Amazon

Best budget external hard drive

Capacity: 2TB | Interface: USB 3.0

Size comparable to a deck of cards, Toshiba’s Canvio Advance is much more portable than traditional drives. With a glossy, slim design, the LED indicator lets you know when you read/write data. Creators can store their designs and extra data with ease. Comparable in size to a deck of cards, Toshiba’s Canvio Advance is much more portable than traditional drives. With a glossy, slim design, the LED indicator lets you know when you read/write data. Creators can store their designs and extra data with ease. It is low-priced, offers a moderate speed, and portability makes it perfect for those on the go.

Pros  Cons 
➕ Sleek design  ➖ No travel pouch
➕ Good read/write speed
➕ Compact

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Toshiba Canvio Advance 2TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0, Black - HDTC920XK3AA
  • Compact design with four vibrant color options to fit your lifestyle
  • Up to 2TB of storage capacity to store your growing files and content
  • Toshiba storage backup software (downloadable) to easily back up your content and schedule your backup to run automatically
  • Toshiba storage security software (downloadable) to help prevent unauthorized access to your data with a password lock feature
  • Includes Toshiba 2 year standard limited warranty

 

How to choose an External Hard Drive

When you choose to save your important files on something a little more secure and portable than your desktop or laptop hard drive, it may be enticing to buy the first one you see, because hey, all storage hard drives are the same right?

Wrong. These are many things to consider when it comes to buying a hard drive for storing your important files.

Here’s what we feel like you should consider before you start shopping:

  • HDD vs SSD
  • Storage Capacity
  • Portability & Durability
  • Security
  • Extra Features

HDD vs SSD

When you start looking around at all of your options for an external hard drive, you may come across two different acronyms pretty often: HDD and SSD. Both of these storage formats can have their benefits and restrictions. To give you some help, let’s take a closer look at each and how they may be a possible option to suit your needs.

HDD

A traditional external storage device will typically have an HDD, otherwise known as a Hard Disk Drive within it. The construction of these types of drives is much like the hard drive within your computer. Inside the casing, when you transfer data to the device, the discs within the drive spin, writing the data on its surface. Many traditional external hard drives that use this type will be larger in size, but also relatively inexpensive in accordance with the storage size of the drive.

SSD

Conversely, an SSD or Solid State Drive can be much faster when it comes to transferring data to the drive than traditional drives. This is because SSD’s don’t have any mechanical or moving parts. These types of drives tend to be smaller in size and a bit more expensive than traditional drives, especially at larger storage sizes. If you’re looking for a hard drive with the best speed, you will likely want to go with an SSD. If you want a larger capacity, for a cheaper price go for HDD.

Storage Capacity

Out of all of the things to consider when you purchase an external hard drive for storage, the capacity has to be number one. Buying a top-of-the-line hard drive only to have the storage space not be what you need for your work wastes not only your time but your money as well.

When you are considering the right size storage for your needs, think about how you are going to use it. If you have a lot of documents, photos, and videos that you want to keep, a hard drive with a capacity of 1TB will suit most people’s needs. However, if you need more space, those options are available as well. It all comes down to how much space you think you’re going to need.

Transfer speed

Like many things in technology, the faster that something can be completed the better. People don’t really have time to wait around for files to take all day to transfer or download, especially if those files are sensitive business information. Choosing an external hard drive with a fast transfer speed is affected by two factors: the storage tech being used and the connector that it uses.

While most connectors used by external hard drives will use a standard USB connection, there can be some significant differences depending on the generation of the USB connector. USB 2.0 is the old boy on the block and unless there is no other option, shouldn’t be used. USB 3.0 is a good step forward in terms of speed (up to 5Gbps), but the latest updates to 3.1 or 3.1 Gen 2 is quickly becoming more common and offers speeds up to 10Gbps. Thunderbolt 3 devices offer the fastest transfer speeds on the market, reaching transfer speeds of up to 40Gbps.

Portability and Durability

Like storage capacity, the portability and durability of the external hard drive you select are really dependent on how you will be using the device. If you are primarily going to only use the hard drive in your home office to save work files, the portability and durability of the hard drive isn’t a major thing to consider.

On the other hand, if you’re always on the go, having meetings away from the office, and like the idea of having a mobile backup drive for all of the files that you take with you everywhere, it becomes a real thing to consider. With these types of drives, the lighter is naturally better so it doesn’t weigh you down. One that doesn’t use an external power cable is important as well.

Many portable external hard drives are packaged in rugged casings or in the case of one of the choices on our list, a rubber enclosure that can protect it if you accidentally drop it.

Security

If you don’t consider the security features of the external hard drive that you are going to purchase, you are only inviting people to not only steal your hard drive but steal your files. This can be a major problem, especially if those files are sensitive in any way.

Many hard drives available today are compatible with software encryption solutions that are available. For those who consider their files even more sensitive and the security of their data is very important, you may want to look at drives with hardware encryption

Security features for external hard drives can run the gamut from stronger casings that can prevent it from being physically tampered with to those with pin-code inputs and even those with additional security including PCB’s that have been dipped in resin to make accessing internal memory chips even harder.

Extra Features

External hard drives can have any number of extra features. From Wi-Fi connectivity for easy file access to a better warranty, many manufacturers will add extra features to attract a buyer into choosing their product. If you like two hard drives and one has a longer warranty, choose that one if you have any concerns about the reliability of the hard drive you pick.

 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can an external hard drive be connected to a tablet?

Yes, you can connect your external hard drive to a tablet--all you need is USB OTG compatibility.

Are external hard drives good for storing games?

Yes, external hard drives are good for storing games. ADATA SE800 1TB is one of the best 1TB external hard drives for storing games.

Which is the fastest external hard drive?

Samsung Portable SSD X5 is the fastest external hard drive on the list.

What is the most reliable external hard drive?

G-Technology G-Drive Mobile SSD is the most reliable external hard drive.

Is an SSD or HDD better for long-term storage?

HDDs are better at long-term storage than SSDs. Due to frequent read and write operations, many SSDs fail early. HDDs, however, are less likely to fail in the same situation. SSDs are also temperature sensitive.

 

The Best External Hard Drives of 2021

Choosing the right external hard drive can help make your work easier and help you succeed. With our list of the best external hard drives in 2021, we hope that by choosing the right hard drive for your needs, you can not only get your work done but also grow your business and make 2021 your best year ever.

 

Choosing the Best Storage Hard Drive for You

Throughout your career in whatever creative field you choose, it is very likely that you will end up creating a lot of information you want to keep safe. Choosing the right backup storage device to not only save those files but keeping them safe and secure and accessible can be what makes one favorable over another.

We wanted to share our thoughts on the best external hard drives in 2021 was and maybe give you some options if you are in the market for one of your own.

Is there one that is tried and true for your files that’s not on our list? Tell us more in the comments.

Best Storage Devices for Creatives

Here they are all again for comparison:

  1. ADATA SE800Best external hard drive overall
  2. LaCie Mobile DriveBest external hard drive for Mac users
  3. Samsung Portable SSD T7 TouchSecure external hard drive
  4. Seagate Backup Plus Ultra TouchBest for general-use storage
  5. WD My Passport (5TB)Best external hard drive for media
  6. G-Techno ArmorATDBest for on-the-go use
  7. LaCie 2big RAIDBest for extreme storage
  8. Samsung Portable SSD X5Best high speed external hard drive
  9. Western Digital My Passport Wireless SSDBest external hard drive for photographers
  10. WD 5TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive HDD Best external hard drive for gamers
  11. Seagate Expansion 16TB External Hard Drive HDD Best budget extreme storage
  12. Toshiba Canvio Advance 2TB Portable External Hard Drive Best budget external hard drive

 

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3 thoughts on “12 Best External Hard Drives for Graphic Designers & Creatives in 2021”

  1. IMac users do not like G technology, they like other Apple hardware. Harddisks from American giants is of best quality and is compatible with Mac

  2. Good post, I’d like to add one more to the list for content creators. Especially video editors and others that need speed at a decent price. Check out the OWC Envoy Pro EX. I’ve been using OWC drives for years and they are very solid and reliable.

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