In this guide we'll look at the top external hard drives that offer quick and easy as well as affordable ways to expand the storage space of your Mac or MacBook. Macs, iMacs and especially MacBooks are notoriously difficult when it comes to upgrading the internal hard drives, which means if you're running out of storage space it's best to move some of your files onto a external hard drive, and in this list of the best external hard drives for Macs, we look at external drives that have been especially made for Apple MacBooks and Mac computers.
This means they are all compatible with Apple's file system, and many make use of the range of high speed ports that Macs come with, such as Thunderbolt. We've also chosen these hard drives based on their ease of use, affordability and dependability. This last consideration is perhaps the most important, as when you're entrusting your important files to an external hard drive, you need to be confident that it won't break and lose your data. While transfer speeds aren't the quickest, due to its USB 3.
Boost your Mac's capacity
Thunderbolt, USB 3. If you want to make use of your Mac's Thunderbolt port, then this is a great option, as it provides twice the speeds of standard USB 3. It still uses a traditional hard drive, rather than an SSD, and while this means speeds aren't quite as fast as possible, it at least keeps the price down, while offering large capacities.
There's also a USB 3. USB 2.
Best external hard drives for Macs | TechRadar
This is one of the fastest high capacity hard drives you can plug into your Mac, with a huge 4TB of storage space that zips along its USB 3. The all-aluminium enclosure gives the drive a premium look and fell, while also protecting your data from knocks and drops, and keeping the drive cool when used. As it uses a solid state drive, the read and write speeds of this drive are much faster than external hard drives that use traditional hard drives.
It does mean the price is higher, but if transfer speed is the most important consideration when looking for the best external hard drive for your Mac, then this is the drive to go for. You need to make sure you pick something that will reliably store your important files, while also offering plenty of space, speed and value for money. This means there are a number of considerations to make before pulling out your wallet.
The Best External Hard Drives for Mac
First, a quick recap of the basics. An external hard drive or SSD which stands for Solid State Drive is a device that can be easily plugged into your machine, giving you almost-instant storage space, without having to prise open your computer and make complicated upgrades. Not only does an HDD or SSD give you more capacity for large files, but because the devices are portable, they can be taken with you on the go and plugged into different machines — handy if you swap between PCs and Macs regularly.
Also, in the event that something bad happens to your machine, your files will still be safe and accessible. It offers the best balance of speed, reliability, portability and price.
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But there are many options out there — scroll down to see our full list of recommendations, and the best external hard drive prices too. First, is storage. You'll want to make sure you buy an external storage device that has enough capacity for your needs — without paying for high capacities you'll never use. Around GB is a good sweet-spot for external storage, though you can buy smaller capacities, as well as larger ones at 1TB or greater. Another consideration is whether to get an external storage device that uses a traditional hard drive, or one with an SSD.
Usually, external hard drives with traditional drives are more affordable and come in larger capacities.
A New File System
There are external SSDs that come with large capacities — but these can be expensive. SSDs are much faster than traditional hard drives, and because they don't have any mechanical or moving parts, they're generally more robust and smaller in physical size as well.
So, if you want to store huge amounts of data while keeping prices low, an external hard drive is the way to go. But if speed is your top priority — for example, if you move a lot of large files, or want to run programs off the drive — then choose an SSD.
The connection between the external hard drive and your Mac or PC is also important. These are now found on all modern PCs, and Macs. This is the fastest external storage connection there is, and it provides very fast data transfer speeds, though Thunderbolt storage is considerably more expensive than plain old USB. It also offers very good data transfer speeds. And while it doesn't quite offer a similar speed to solid state drive devices, the Western Digital My Passport range finds a great balance between high storage capacities and quick file transfers. USB 3. External SSDs may cost considerably more than hard disks, but the extra money and faster speeds go a long way.
The downside is the pricing. Thunderbolt 3, USB 3. There's an HDMI 2.
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