Best External Hard Drives and SSDs of 2021

Any portable drive will let you transport, store and backup files. But getting the best external hard drive or best external SSD for your specific needs is important. A portable hard drive or SSD is a do-it-all storage device, a pocketable gadget that you can use to carry huge files (or lots of small ones) between PCs, Macs and Android devices, back up essential data, offload footage from your drone  or DSLR while on the go and more.

But with dozens of external drives available, how do you know which is the right external drive to buy? And should you opt for a faster, more rugged (and more expensive) external SSD instead of a hard drive made up of fragile moving parts? To help you pick the best portable external drive for your needs, we painstakingly test and review dozens of drives and publish our list of specific recommendations of the best portable SSDs and hard drives on this page.

There are important things to think about, whether you need a drive for work or school, like how rugged your drive needs to be, how much space you need and what connections will be available in places where you’ll want to plug in your drive. 


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