Pendrives help us a lot to store extra data or backup in terms of emergencies, but what if you need to mirror all the data on your PC which has hundreds of Gigabytes of data? Multiple pen drives are simple wastefully expensive. What you need then is a portable HDD.
 

HDD’s can be used for more than just backing up your PC, you can store your movie and audio collections, have one connected to your TV or Laptop and even keep one to store photos from your camera. But don't external hard drives work very slow and are tricky to use with modern devices? Of course, not.

Modern external HDDs and SSDs comes with USB 3.0 to USB 3.2 support which gives them great read and write speeds and with modern smartphones and laptops supporting the USB C connectors using an external hard drive with laptops and smartphones is very easy.
 

When buying a portable drive make sure you know what you need it for. Want to make a drive to store all your photos and movie collection? Pick an HDD. Want a fast drive to save data on the move? Pick an SSD. Know more about what to look for while buying your next drive by checking out the Buying Guide at the end.  

We researched through a lot of websites to find the best external HDDs for you. We read through customer reviews also to find any issues with the products. Finally, we even researched and found how you can prevent yourself from getting scammed with a fake HDD.
 

Best Seagate external hard disk

Seagate Backup Plus Slim

Seagate Backup Plus Slim line of external hard disk drives can in a simple shell but offer great performance and capacity for affordable prices. Available in sizes of 1TB, 2TB, 4TB and 5TB, the Backup Plus Slim is an excellent range of portable HDD for your computer or laptop.
 

But despite the large capacities, it's not that thick, measuring only 1.2cm in thickness (up to 4TB). The hard disk inside is protected by a plastic top cover which lends it a nice design and comes in seven colours.
 

With support for USB 3.0 and fast read and write speeds of around 90MBps, the Backup Plus is a very good choice for your storage needs. It comes with pre-installed software which can be used for backing up data and this software also includes a secret zone for storing personal information. It is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS.

The large capacities and low prices mean this is a great external drive to back up your computer or use as a drive to keep all your precious memories from photos to videos safely.
 

With a price tag of only Rs.5500 and an impressive three-year warranty along with two-month free membership to Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan, this portable hard disk earns its spot in our top pick.
 

Pros

  • Slim design

  • Comes in various sizes

  • Works without external power

  • USB 3.0 support

  • Good performance

Cons

  • Doesn’t use the latest USB C or USB 3.2 standard

  • Not the fastest HDD out there

Best portable SSD

Samsung T5

There are times when you can make do with lesser storage space but you need great speeds that most hard disks cannot deliver and that's where Samsung’s T5 portable SSD triumphs. It comes in sizes up to 1TB but with support for USB-C connector and the USB 3.1 standard it is unbelievably fast, reliable and featherweight to carry.
 

The T5 SSD offers you not just great speeds courtesy of the USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10gbps) support but also has a USB Type C port and support for USB Type C connector and Type A connector at the end. This gives it the versatility to work with laptops and smartphones alike (without the need of an adapter). Samsung also bundles both the cables into the package so you do not have to buy any.
 

The T5 SSD when manages read/write speeds of up to 540MBps/ 515MBps on the USB 3.2 Gen 2 connection. With slower connections giving speeds of around 300-450MBps. This is a massive improvement in speeds over mechanical HDD based drivers.

Also don't forget that it does all that while still being smaller and lighter than your wallet (10.5mm thick, 51 grams weight). Inf act it easily fits into a persons palm. But don't let the small size fool you it is Shock resistant and can take drops up to 2m due to its sturdy metal body.
 

In terms of capacities, you get a 250GB, 500GB and 1TB version. While it may seem very expensive, but when you consider the capacity and cost ratio. However, when you put the portability and speed on the table, this is an excellent and fast external drive for content creators, vloggers and other creative people who need to move data quickly and safely.
 

The Samsung T5 SSD is an excellent option for people who want a fast portable drive that is tiny in size. It even comes with a 3-year warranty and of the options available we recommend the 500GB variant as it offers the best blend of price and capacity.

Pros

  • Tiny and light design

  • Comes in various sizes

  • Works without external power

  • USB 3.2 support

  • USB C and USB A connectors in the box

  • Drop protected|

Cons

  • Very pricey

  • Not capacious enough for power users

Best Seagate external hard disk (Budget external Hard disk)

Seagate Expansion 1.5TB Portable External Drive

1.5 GB Seagate Expansion hard drive

What if you don't need the large 2 TB space and want a more affordable HDD, then you can pick the Seagate Expansion HDD. It comes with 1.5 TB memory storage where you can use up to 1.32 TB. This drive is slim at 2.1 cms and weighs just 170 grams making it quite portable. 

In terms of design with comes with a nice angled texture on the top which looks better than other hard disk drives but it's still not as colourfull as the new Western Digital hard disk drives.
 

It supports USB 3.0 with many resources claiming it reaches speeds of 125MB/s for writing and 130MB/s for reading. It is compatible with Windows, Mac and even Xbox. You even get an app where you can schedule and perform a regular backup from your system or mobile phone.
 

Given the capacity and price, this HDD is great for people who want a lot of capacity with having to buy desktop HDD or extra internal HDDs.
 

Priced at around Rs.3899 for the 2TB version, the Seagate Expansion comes with three years of warranty and is also shockproof.
 

Pros

  • Low price

  • Comes in various sizes

  • Works without external power

  • USB 3.0 support

Cons

  • Doesn’t use the latest USB C or USB 3.2 standard

  • Not the fastest HDD out there

Where to buy it?

Buy the 1.5TB version here

Buying Guide to buying the best portable drive

When it comes to picking an external drive there are a few things you must look for starting with the data standard used. Most modern drives use the USB standard and have a type A connector or a type C connector. The data standard is important as it determines the maximum speed of your drive as explained below.
 

  • Theoretically, USB 2.0 manages speeds of up to 60 MBps while USB 3.0 is much faster at 640MBps. These are however theoretical speeds and most often you will never get these speeds with your gadgets. 

  • The newest data standard is the USB 3.2 Gen 2×1 which has a speed of up to 10Gbps or 1.25GBps.

Given the high speeds needs of the current generation, it is wise to stick to a minimum of USB 3.0 supporting HDD/ SSD when picking your drive. Are you still confused with all the generations of USB? Check out our data standards article to clear all your doubts.
 

Another little aspect to look for is what type of hard drive you want- A portable one or a desktop one. Portable and desktop HDD has a very small but important difference.
 

  • Portable HDDs are easy to carry and can be used anywhere and it uses power from the USB port of your Laptop or Desktop. 

  • Desktop HDDs (Not internal Hard Drive) takes power from mains and cannot be used while you’re travelling by bus unless your bus has a mains connection. There is one advantage in using desktop HDD that is it doesn’t take power from your smartphone battery or laptop battery so your battery won't be affected.

Desktop HDD and portable HDD

Desktop HDD and Portable HDD

Once you are sorted with that the final thing to look for is the type of drive itself HDD or SSD.
 

  • A hard disk drive has a disk inside which will be in motion like our normal CDs onto which data is stored, being a mechanical moving component it needs more power and is slower. 

  • Solid state drives, on the other hand, are motionless and is instead use flash memory (like a pen drive), hence it is faster and requires lesser power. When comparing the speeds on an average SSD can transfer data for about 400-500MB/s but HDD can only perform from 100-130MB/s.

  • But the downside is the SSDs are costlier where just 250GB itself costs you around Rs.3500-4000, while a 1TB normal HDD is around the same price. So if you value speed over space pick the SSD, while if you want a lot of space and don't need the speed boost that SSD’s bring then you are better off with an HDD. But there is good news for SSD buyers as the price is coming down significantly.

Tips for finding if the hard disk you get is fake.
 

Like fake microSD cards out there, there are also fake hard disks so, here we shall see how to buy smarter and not get tricked.

  • While using a hard disk if you can’t hear any spinning disk sound inside then it is suspicious. There have been many instances where people have got WD HDDs from reputed sellers for cheap but ended up with something as shown in the image.

That is an empty HDD case with metal pieces to increase the weight. 

  • Some other ways to find is to check the usable storage. A 2TB hard disk should have around 1.81TB of usable space anything too less or anything too close to 2TB can be fake.

  • If the box and hard drive are different from the one which you saw on the website then it is a fake one. To be precise if the box has a different colour or if the hard disk is of a different shape then it is fake HDD.

Still, have a few questions? Check out the FAQs section below.

FAQs

  • What is the actual storage for the device? Though it is 1TB, as shown, it just gives 931GB. Why is it so?
    This is because manufacuters consider 1000GB as 1TB but in reality 1024GB makeup 1TB. So if you convert the 1TB to KB, you get 1073741824 KB. (1024 GB x 1024MB x 1024KB). But storage manufacturers consider 1TB as 1000000000000 Bytes. When your computer reads this, it calculates the space as  1000000000000 Bytes/ (1024 x 1024 x 1024) = 931GB. 

  • I don't have a laptop or computer so I can use this SSD/ HDD on my Android phone for backup photos & videos?
    Yes, if you have the appropriate connector/ adapter and the right file system you can use the drive with your smartphone or tablet. 

  • What is the file system? Can it be formatted to fat32?
    Most HDD/ SSDs used exFAT or NTFS file system. But you can format to any file system you want but there will be a limitation to the file size you copy. 

  • Can I use it on desktop pc?
    Yes

  • Is a warranty provided?
    Yes, a minimum of 3-year warranty is available on the hard disks

  • Do we need to plug into the mains?
    Only for a desktop drive, not portable ones

Final Thoughts

The need for an external HDD is justified because of their usefulness, capacity, portability and value.
 

So if you need a well-priced external HDD with ample space and decent price then we suggest the Seagate Backup Slim is an excellent option due to its slim design, ample storage space and decent speeds.
 

Need something a little more speedy and modern? Pick the Samsung T5 SSD which offers great portability, super speedy performance and USB C convenience in a tiny package.
 

However, if you need is a more affordable no-nonsense HDD then you can pick the Seagate Expansion Portable External Drive which comes in many sizes and offers better bang for the buck.
 

Have any of the picks we suggested? Comment down below about your experience with the product or the brand service. Still, have a doubt regarding portable HDDs? or about any feature related to them? Write down your question below so we can help you with the same.

Finally, do not forget to check out our other articles and share them with your families and friends.

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