Top 7 Best External Hard Drives 2021 Reviews

When buying best external hard drives 2021 to better manage the data you use regularly, the first thing you should look at is the capacity of the device, as this will give you an idea of ​​whether it will meet your storage need. Next, look at the design and weight of the device, because it is important that you can carry it from one place to another without problems.

Best External Hard Drives 2021

Also, check if it is easily compatible with the rest of the devices with which you plan to use it. After doing an exhaustive search, we found that you can purchase the Western Digital Elements in options from 750GB up to 3TB, which is compatible with USB 3.0 and includes Backup and Plug and Play functions.

Another recommended model is the Seagate Backup Plus, which is not only compatible with Windows and Mac, but also has a compact design, so you can comfortably carry it everywhere.

 If you are one of those who works with information of great interest that you cannot afford to lose and that, in addition, turns out to be heavy for your computer, then you need an external hard drive that allows you to make a backup of said data so that your computer or laptop it is not under much pressure and you are calmer.

Among the best quality-price best external hard drives 2021 that you can find, according to your needs, there are:

List Of Top 7 – Best External Hard Drives 2021

 1. WD Elements 1 TB External Hard Drive

best external hard drives 2021


The speed to transfer data from an external hard drive is decisive, this depending on the use you are going to give it, either to back up the internal hard drive once a week or to store large files on a daily basis. It is important then to know that among the most common speeds we find 1.0 and 1.5 MB per second, which are up to 10 times lower compared to the USB 2.0 interface of 60 MB per second.

But some brands of best external hard drives  2021 incorporate a speed of 600 MB per second USB 3.0 which is equal to 5 Gbits per second, such is the case of Western Digital Elements , which provides an experience of transferring and storing data from the processor to the disk. completely fast and efficient. In addition, this brand has compatibility for USB 2.0 connection which gives it duality in its functions.

  • Its innovative USB 3.0 connectivity does not prevent compatibility with devices belonging to the previous version of USB 2.0 ports.
  • One point against this model of external hard drive considered by users is the fact that the USB port is integrated into the structure, a reason that can cause inconveniences, in case of any repair on it.


It is an best external hard drives 2021 with a 1TB capacity , whose model has an attractive black design, being its only presentation. As for its 3.0 interface, it allows fast and efficient data transfer. Its weight and dimensions are ideal to go unnoticed, for those who wish to take it with them to work or to their study site.

2. Seagate Backup Plus 4 TB Portable External Hard Drive

best external hard drives 2021


  • It is a compact hard drive from the Seagate brand, suitable for practical travel. In addition, it offers 4 TB of capacity to store a large number of photos, videos and files in multiple formats, however, you can get it in its 5 TB presentation.
  • It is a practical product that you only have to connect to a USB 2.0 or preferably 3.0 port to transfer data to your computer directly and quickly. In this sense, it is compatible with Mac or Windows computers, which favors its versatility and you do not need to format it.
  • As for its design, it has a polished metal housing in blue color, which in addition to offering resistance can combine with your personal style. In the same way, it is available in black, gold, red, white, silver and pink to select it according to your tastes.

  • Capacity: It offers a storage capacity of 4 TB, but is also available in a 5 TB package for more storage space.
  • Compatibility: It is a versatile hard drive, compatible with both Mac and Windows computers, so there is no need to change the format before using it for the first time.
  • Benefits: Among its benefits, it offers you a free subscription to the Mylio Create and Adobe Creative Cloud Photography software, which give you the possibility to edit, share and manage files in a more professional way.
  • Speed: It could be slow when transferring files, however, this may depend on the format of the files as well as the capacity of the computer you are using.

3. Toshiba Canvio Basics External Hard Drive, 2.5 Inch

best external hard drives 2021


  •  Although the above gadgets have an incredible market price, this Toshiba model is among the best cheap best external hard drives 2021, since it is the cheapest on this list and, even then, it is not less efficient than all the others.
  • Like the previous model, it has a storage limit of one terabyte, with a power source supplied via the USB cable connecting it to your computer.
  • This equipment is extremely simple and fulfills the mission for which it was designed, that is, to back up your data or serve as an external memory for your computer. Did you run out of space.
  • Has your laptop suddenly got heavy? Then a hard drive like this will suit you perfectly.

  • Independence: With this model you will be free and will not depend on a plug, since its power source is the USB cable that you connect to the computer. You do not need anything else!
  • USB 3.0 connectivity: It includes connectivity to USB 3.0, however, it is fully adaptable to USB 2.0 ports. With this connection, you guarantee speed at the time of data transfer and users are very happy with its performance.
  • Compatibility: It is compatible with both Windows and iMac, however, with Apple products it is necessary to format the equipment since, if not, the device will not be recognized.
  • Plastic shell: It is designed and covered with a plastic shell, which makes it vulnerable in the event of accidental bumps or drops. Be careful with him!

4. Transcend TS1TSJ25M3 2.5 ″ External Hard Drive

best external hard drives 2021


 This model, which is the best external hard drive 2021 in terms of resistance against shocks and drops, has a storage capacity of just one terabyte. However, its protection system, which complies with the United States Army impact regulations by having triple protection, is the most resistant of all and also the one that guarantees that your external hard drive will never be affected by an accidental fall or bump.

A plus point for this team is the physical backup button that is included. You just have to press it and it will make an immediate backup of the information you have on your computer without any other type of formalities. Isn’t it fantastic.

If you are a careless user or worry excessively about the protection of your equipment, then this model from Transcend will please you. Take a look at the positives and negatives of the hard drive below and decide for yourself.

  • Material: This model is special in terms of resistance against shocks and drops, since it complies with the MIL-STD-810F military standard belonging to the United States Army, which guarantees unmatched protection for the external hard drive.
  • USB 3.0 connectivity: As we have already mentioned, by having USB 3.0 connectivity, data transfer between the computer and the hard drive is faster and more efficient than with those with 2.0 connectivity.
  • Storage: It includes a storage capacity of up to one Terabyte, with which you can broadly protect your data, or use these 1,000 gigabytes as complementary memory for a laptop.
  • Compatibility: This model is fully compatible with the Windows operating system, as well as Apple products and even Linux!
  • Independence: Being a device that only uses the USB cable as a power source, sometimes it is necessary to use two USB ports to provide the power it needs, which means a limitation in the case of portable equipment such as laptops.

5. Maxtor HX-M201TCB / GM 2TB External Hard Drive

best external hard drives 2021


For those who use computers in their regular routine, it helps to have a good hard drive on hand and that is what you might enjoy with the Maxtor HX-M201TCB / GM.

It is a model with 2 TB capacity for all types of files with a size of 11.8 x 8.2 x 2 centimeters and a weight of 181 grams, making it easy to transport or store in a bag. Its aesthetic design is attractive as it is black with a geometric print and rounded edges. Also, it is worth noting its manufacturing materials that are robust, but light so as not to affect ergonomics.

Its format is 2.5 ”and uses USB 3.0 port technology with which you can enjoy high-speed content transfer from a PC to the disk and vice versa. In addition, it has a SafetyKey security system to protect your information.

  • Design: The disc has a robust and scratch-resistant casing to keep it looking new for longer and also won’t get stained by fingerprints.
  • Capacity: Its 2 TB capacity will allow you to store a large amount of content, be it movies, games, photos, videos, etc.
  • Software: The purchase includes a license for the use of Seagate backup software with which you will avoid the loss of your information.
  • USB Cable: You won’t have to purchase the USB cable separately, as the drive comes with one, so you can plug it in right out of the box.
  • Feet: One of its disadvantages is that it does not have rubber feet to prevent slipping on tables or countertops, for example.

6.WD Elements 1TB External Hard Drive

best external hard drives 2021


Unlike the previous model, the storage capacity of Western Digital Elements equipment is between 500GB and 2TB, that is, much less than the Seagate, however, they have in their favor that they do not need any power cable. So is! You can make use of this best external hard drives 2021 by simply connecting it to a USB 3.0 port or, failing that, a USB 2.0 port.

Although it is designed for USB 3.0 ports, they can be used in other ports without any problem. The only difference is that the speed of data transmission will be very different. The best of all is that, although they were designed for computers with Windows operating systems, they are configurable for Mac, so this is not a limitation.

  • Storage: You can buy it in two formats, with a capacity of 1 terabyte, or 2, one more expensive than the other, of course. However, with 1,000 or 2,000 gigabytes of memory, can you imagine what you can do and save in it? The possibilities are endless!
  • USB 3.0 connectivity: This model offers USB 3.0 connectivity, which increases the data transfer speed between your computer and the hard drive in proportions. Also, do not worry if your computer only has USB 2.0 ports, this model will adapt to them!
  • Compatibility: You can use this hard drive with both the Windows operating system and its analog on iMac computers, with the latter you just have to format the computer upon receipt, and that’s it!
  • Independence:The best thing about this model is that you will not need a power cable, since to work it only needs the USB cable, so it is totally independent.
  • Integrated equipment: This device has both the hard disk and the fully integrated controller, so its possibilities of repair, in case of breakdowns, decrease.

Buying Guide – Best External Hard Drives 2021

 All of us who use a computer know that sometimes the storage space that our hard drive has is not enough or even in cases where it is, having an external hard drive can be the solution to backing up files that are not you want for no reason to lose.

This guide to buying the best external hard drive 2021 will help you understand the relative importance of each of the characteristics present in the description of the products, trying to express it in simple terms so that it is useful for everyone.

best external hard drives 2021

Which external hard drive 2021 is better?

When we make a purchase of this type, it is important to make a comparison of hard drives to evaluate the most important characteristics in each of the models analyzed. We recommend at least considering the following aspects:

 Storage capacity

The storage capacity on an external hard drive can range from approximately 2GB to 4TB. Small external drives are also known as “flash drives” or “pen drives” and are the ones that more and more people carry with them in their purse or even as a keychain.

Now, if you are really looking for a storage solution to not have the internal hard drive full or to be able to perform a physical backup in case the computer fails, then you will require best external hard drives 2021 of greater capacity, we are talking then from 250 GB to 4 TB.

What capacity is adequate? It depends on what you want to store. If you are going to store only documents, maybe with one of 250 or 500 MB you will have enough, but if you are going to store many photographs taken with professional Nikon or Canon cameras , videos or large files, you will probably need a 2 to 4 TB disk. How much does an external hard drive cost? The price basically depends on its capacity and the connection interface.

best external hard drives 2021

 Transfer speed

For certain tasks, transfer speed is vital. If the main use that you are going to give your external hard drive is to use it to have a backup of your internal hard drive, a backup that you will do every two weeks or every month, then the transfer speed is not decisive, since you can do the backup when you are not on the computer.

Now, if you need your hard drive to frequently store large files, the higher the transfer speed, the better. Look for an external hard drive with a USB 3.0 interface , but not before checking that your computer has a USB port that supports this speed.

If you are looking to buy a cheap external hard drive 2021, you will probably find many offers for drives with a 2.0 interface or lower, but you should know that the transfer speed is up to 10 times slower than a USB 3.0 one.

The most common speeds are: low speed 1.0 of 0.19 MB / second, normal speed of 1.5 MB / second, high speed 2.0 of 60 MB / sec., Super speed 3.0 of up to 600 MB / sec (5Gbits / s). Disks with eSATA or Firewire technology are also recommended, but tend to be more expensive.


We can classify external drives into desktop external drives and portable best external hard drives 2021.

The former, generally, must be connected to a power source. In addition to the USB connection, they are 3.5 ”in size and tend to be heavier; in fact many of them have a built-in fan that extends the life of the device. The latter is very important if the hard drive is used for long periods of time.

Now, if you want the hard drive to transfer information from one place to another, it is recommended that you look for one that is light and, if possible, with a properly padded transport bag to protect it. These types of portable hard drives are smaller and generally have a casing made of non-slip material such as sturdy plastic or aluminum that prevents the same from falling and, if dropped, can prevent the disk from being damaged if it is hit. They usually connect directly to USB; Some people consider that they are not external hard drives (DDE) but just portable hard drives.

best external hard drives 2021

Other considerations

Although you can find discs with very low prices from unknown brands, do not forget that you are going to save data that you do not want to lose, so it is better to buy a recognized brand even if you have to pay a little more.

If you are going to carry confidential files on that disk, it is important that you consult an expert regarding the encryption of the data.

Before buying, check that it is compatible with the operating system you use. In addition, if the main use you want to give it is to store multimedia files, movies, videos, music, it would be important that you analyze if it is better for you to acquire a multimedia disk that you can connect to your Smart TV through an HDMI connection.

How to use an external hard drive

 With the use of an external hard drive, you can have your digital files at hand wherever you go, these can be connected to electronic equipment through cables and USB ports. With these devices you will be able to enjoy extra space to be able to store any type of folder, document, program and even install operating systems for your computers, as long as the files are smaller than the capacity of the hard disk.

In this small guide we will mention some steps that you should take into account so that you can successfully use your external hard drive.

best external hard drives 2021

Know the product

In the market you can find a wide variety of models of best external hard drives 2021 with different characteristics, so, first you must know the characteristics of the hard drive you have chosen so that you take into account how much information you can store on it.

 Use the external hard drive

To start using your product, you should have a computer and a suitable USB cable on hand that matches the specifications of your hard drive; either Micro USB, Mini USB or USB type C. Then, turn on the computer and connect the two devices using the cable. It is recommended to format the hard disk before its first use, thus being able to eliminate errors that may damage the files that you store.

Therefore, after connecting the external hard drive to the computer, a notification will appear confirming that it has recognized the device. Next, access the disk options on your computer and select the option “Format or Format”. In a few seconds the process will be complete.

With the external hard drive already formatted, it is time for you to start using it. With the product connected, locate any image or document that is in a folder on your computer and copy it, then select and open the folder of the mass storage device and paste it; If the file was successfully transferred, it means the device is ready and fully functional so you can start transferring your files. In addition, you must always respect the total capacity limit of the hard disk.

best external hard drives 2021

Increase transfer speed

Today, there are a variety of devices that can increase speed when it comes to file transfer. As an efficient alternative you can use USB 3.0 cables. These have the ability to transfer documents at a speed of up to 4.8 Gigs per second, much faster than previous models. However, if your external hard drive does not have this type of port, you can purchase a special adapter so that you can take advantage of this feature and not spend long minutes waiting.

 General recommendations

Removable hard drives are susceptible to shocks and drops, so to give them optimal performance and a longer lifespan, it is recommended that you protect it with a cover or liner that is thick enough. Also, avoid placing it in the bottom of a bag or briefcase when transporting it, so that the weight does not spoil it.

Additionally, keep it away from high temperature. Also, when you use it, provide ventilation to dissipate the heat it emits when you have it in operation for long periods.

The most popular Best External Hard Drives 2021 brands

 To store data on our Smart TV, mobile phone or game console, it is necessary to have external storage. The traditional options of putting a traditional disk in an external hard disk box are left aside because its cost is not worth it compared to the capacity and price of an external disk, so more and more people are incorporating them into their home. If you are thinking of doing it, we present the three leading brands in the market in the sector, so that you know where to find the best quality.

best external hard drives brands 2021 

 WD , short for Western Digital, is the leading hard drive manufacturer of the moment thanks to its policy of mergers but also to the quality of its products. The company was founded in 1970 although it was initially dedicated to the manufacture of semiconductors and processors for calculators. It would be in 1980 when he made the leap into the world of storage.

The awarding of a contract with IBM led it to increase its market share and revenue, being prepared for the evolution of hard drives with new controllers and management systems. A commitment to technology that would be presented in its new product lines, being the third manufacturer to break the 750 gig barrier in 2007.

To complete this advance in 2015, WD bought Sandisk, a leader in SSD technology. Something that today allows the brand’s best external hard drives 2021 to have a high speed, with external SSD models, as well as traditional ones with a capacity of up to 4 gigabytes of speed. A wide offer for all pockets and requirements.

best external hard drives brands 2021

The manufacturer Samsung, based in South Korea, has been another of the companies that has extended its operations from traditional electronics to the world of computing. As shown, we find its offer of hard drives, which in part arose from the heat of other high-level products such as the PS3 or the PS4 to name a few, giving them the data support that these consoles needed.

The truth is that the jumps are not new for Samsung. A company that went from processing food at the end of the 19th century to manufacturing electronic products at the end of the sixties, obtaining numerous advances in the sector with products that were the first plasma television on the market. In the world of best external hard drives 2021, Samsung made the leap to the segment together with the major manufacturers in the sector, taking advantage of its position in the market to access it.

However, the actual manufacturing is carried out by Seagate, who we will talk about below, although these are still sold under the Samsung brand. This purchase takes place at the end of 2011, so that Samsung cedes its brand and commercial networks, in addition to part of its technology, while Seagate is responsible for the manufacture itself.

best external hard drives brands 2021

If there has been a manufacturer of hard drives par excellence, it has been Seagate. For many years and even today, a computer equipment that mounted one of its hard drives was a guarantee of quality. The company was born in 1980 being one of the first dedicated to the fixed storage of data against removable systems based on tapes or floppy disks.

However, the beginnings were not easy since the initial technology used by Seagate reported numerous problems that fortunately overcame from the 90’s. Since then the company began to evolve manufacturing discs for both PC and Mac with an image very different from the one. initial. A Seagate hard drive was large, fast, and secure for your data.

It is not surprising then that Seagate was absorbing a good part of its rivals until today it is the first independent manufacturer of hard drives. In its offer of external hard drives 2021 we find models of high speed and capacity, including Wi – Fi connectivity so that we do not need cables to transfer content, with increasing capacities and that we also find at really affordable prices.

Frequently asked questions

 Q1: How to install an external hard drive?

There is no doubt that more and more the amount of information that we must save on our computers is greater, so the hard drive fills up fast. Therefore, it is good to know how to install an external hard drive.

The first thing to do is connect the external drive to a power adapter, however, there are some that work through the power supplied by the USB cable. Next, connect the USB cable to the end of the disk and then to an empty USB port on your computer.

Then wait for the operating system to detect the hard drive and install the necessary drivers. Finally, check your computer to see if it has already read the information on the disc. If all this process goes well, it is possible to start using the external hard drive.

 Q2: Can we use external hard drive as internal?

Yes you can, but not with all external hard drives 2021. We recommend that you ask the seller of the external hard drive if this is possible.

In case the seller or the manufacturer assures you that you can use it as an internal disk of a desktop computer, the first thing you should do is remove the casing. To do this, preferably use debit cards or similar, so that you do not damage or scratch the external hard drive case. It is best that you leave it intact for when you decide to use the disk externally again.

Later, at one end you will find a kind of card with the USB connection, which you must remove by pressure. In this way you will find the SATA connection, which in turn you will have to use to connect to the tower of the desktop computer.

Finally, the computer should recognize your hard drive. Now proceed to install an operating system, so that you can use the external disk as if you had bought an internal one.

 Q3: What are the main differences between an external hard drive and a pendrive?

Perhaps one of the most noticeable differences is the size, the first is made up of plates that rotate and a head that reads the data. On the other hand, pendrives are devices that have a flash memory, which is a chip smaller than a postage stamp.

Also, pendrives are devices with a much lighter weight and their reading is faster than that of disks. However, if the latter have a USB 3.0 port, there will be no USB stick that will exceed them in speed.

On the other hand, there are models of external hard drives 2021 that offer up to 4 TB of storage, which is almost impossible today for a pendrive.  

 Q4: Which is better, an external hard drive or cloud?

The external hard drive is not eternal or no brand ensures that this is the case, that is, it could fail at any time, so that the user would lose all the information they have stored on it.

Consequently, some people prefer to upload all their data to the cloud, for example OneDrive, Dropbox or other similar applications.

However, other people claim that uploading information to the cloud implies having good internet connectivity, especially if they are files of 500 GB or more. In this sense, they prefer to back up their data on best external hard drives 2021 with 3.0 technology, to save the files much more quickly.

Many people even choose to purchase several external hard drives 2021, to back up their most important work files on both devices. They do this in case any of the discs deteriorate.

 Q5: External hard drive vs NAS

The external hard drive has to be connected to different computers to transfer files, so for many it becomes an unsafe device. However, the external hard drive does not need an Internet connection to work, so the speed of the Internet does not affect its speed in transferring files.

On the other hand, the NAS is a device where you can connect many hard drives at the same time, being able to access the information of each one of them at any time and place, from a computer or telephone with Internet. In addition, through the NAS you can make backup copies of all the files and have them in the cloud in case there is a problem with the hard drives connected to it.

In summary, the NAS is where you connect all the storage devices to more easily find the files you need at the moment and external hard drives 2021 are always at hand for those times when you do not have an Internet connection, but that you need to access some specific data.

All this means that, if you are one of the people who constantly stores and shares important information, it is best that you acquire both products, NAS and external hard drive, so that you have much more facilities.  

 Q6: Can the external hard drive be copy protected?

Yes, most of the current external hard drives 2021 offer a security system that protects the files you have stored from outsiders who want to steal them. This is something that you can enable or disable on your external hard drive when you first set it up.

Of course, since there are many models of external hard drives 2021 and each one has its own configuration ways, it is best to check the user manual or call the manufacturer for help with this.

 Q7: The external hard drive won’t open

If the external hard drive, after being connected, does not open on the computer, it is recommended that you check if its drivers are installed. Although most discs are Plug and Play and do not require complex installations for the computer to recognize them, some do.

In addition, you may have to format the external hard drive, adapting it to the file format read by the computer with which you want to use it. To do this, it is also good that you check the original manual that comes with the hard drive or the brand’s website to do this process.

Another aspect that we can say is that not all discs are compatible with the operating system you have at home. Maybe you have an Apple MacBook Air and the drive will only read Windows and Linux computers, so you should review the product description before purchasing any hard drives.

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