Best External Hard Drive for Photos Review
Hard drives are a great solution to your problems related to backing up of files.
These hard drives ensure that all of your data or files are safe and secured at one place.
External hard drives support a compact and practical backup answer for carrying your records at any place you go.
The foremost external hard drives hit that sweet spot among price and practicality.
Also, their cost-effectiveness makes them accessible by everyone.
Though for some people, it may be a bit inconvenient, the external hard drives are the only ticket if your options of small capacity storing data are not enough.
Storage arrangements like microSD memory cards and USB pen drives aren’t generally the best alternative, especially when you’re frequently dealing with huge documents or files and need quicker read/write speeds.
There are some other convenient SSD drives, which are much quicker and rugged; however, those hard drives tend to be highly-priced.
We bring you the top 10 external hard drives of 2020, which allows you to have extra storage space but at a much lower cost than SSDs in a robust package.
No matter what your capacity needs are, you’ll discover something on this rundown that will definitely suit your requirements.
Table Of Content
Top 10 Best External Hard Drive for Photos
1. SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD
SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD is a slim, travel-type, and low-vitality SSD.
The model is a member of solid-state drives appreciated for its small size and the non-existence of motion work on the inside.
It has a USB-C interface.
This trustworthy external hard drive with an IP55 level of protection, encased in a solid plastic case in a rubber treated shell doesn’t surrender to water molecules or dust particles.
This hard drive can oppose water flow for about 3 minutes and can easily hold out against the fall from a height of 2 meters.
The speedy document channelling lets you mobile High Definition (HD) images instantly and guarantees perfect video execution deserving a top position among the best versatile hard drives for photographic artists.
Its capacity is 250 Gigabytes to 2 TeraBytes.
– It is both water-resistant and dust-resistant.
– It possesses a high transmission speed.
– It is designed for both Windows and Mac OS.
– No cons have been found for this drive yet.
SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD Features
- High-speed transfers with up to 550MB/s read speeds let you move hi-res photos and videos fast (Based on internal testing; performance may be lower depending on drive capacity, host device, OS and application.)
- Ruggedized, water- and dust-resistant (IP55-rated) (IEC 60529 IP55: Tested to withstand water flow (30 kPa) at 3 minch; limited dust contact does not interfere with operation. Must be clean and dry before use.)
- Shock-resistant solid state core for greater durability (Shock-resistant (up to 1500G) and vibration-resistant (5g RMS, 10-2000 HZ), Non-Operating Temperature(from ‐20°C to 70°C), operating temperature (from 0°C to 45°C))
- Compact and pocket-sized
- For PC and Mac users
2. WD My Passport External Hard Drive
WD My Passport External Hard Drive of the external hard drive has become the best hard drive for photographs for experts who favour the versatile storage of considerable size and that too at a reasonable expense.
It meets capacity prerequisites because of its little form factor, incorporated power supply, and inbuilt strength.
The maximum transfer speed of the drive is 5 gigabytes/s.
The package comprises software for reinforcement, encoding information, and association with social communities or distributed storage.
The dimensions of the drive are 4.22 × 2.95 × 0.44 inches.
– It is available in various colours and different sizes.
– It comes with a password protected software.
– It is a social network friendly drive.
– It is available on a lucrative cost.
– It is not water-resistant.
WD My Passport External Hard Drive Features
- Automatic backup - Easy to use
- Password protection + 256-bit AES hardware encryption
- Western Digital Discovery software for Western Digital backup, password protection and drive management
- Superspeed USB port; USB 2.0 compatible
- 3-Year manufacturer's limited warranty
3. Samsung T5 Portable SSD
Samsung T5 Portable SSD (Solid State Drive) external hard drive has a non-slip base, and a luxurious glossy case made of metal which makes it unique among numerous other drives.
Its feedback from various users has been praiseworthy.
The interior structure is manufactured in a way that it can withstand the fall when dropped from 2 meters down.
It is additionally the quickest external stockpiling model.
It has a typical USB-C interface.
Since the device is appropriate for transferring huge documents, for example, 4K videos, games, and high definition shots because of which this model is also known as the topmost SSD for picture editing, the hardware encoding, and secured encryption is a significant characteristic for experts who consider the privacy of their customer’s necessity and want to ensure the safety of their delicate and precious data or records with a password.
This external hard drive is small in physical size and yet incredibly stable, trustworthy that gives super quick transmission speeds.
Its capacity ranges from 500 GB to 2 TB, and weight is 1.8 oz.
– It is super fast and shock-resistant
– It comes with a 3-year warranty period
– Secured encryption
– Compact designing of the drive.
– It is not water-resistant
– Storage and pricing can be more attractive
Samsung T5 Portable SSD Features
- Superfast read write speeds: SSD with V-NAND offers ultra-fast data transfer speeds of up to 540MB/s (up to 4.9x faster than external HDDs); Ideal for transferring large-sized data including 4K videos, high-resolution photos, games and more
- Compact and portable design: Top to bottom shock resistant metal design fits in the palm of your hand and easily slides in your pocket or purse to take work and entertainment on the go
- Secure encryption: Optional password protection and AES 256-bit hardware encryption keeps your personal and private data more secure
- Seamless connectivity: Includes USB type C to C and USB type C to A cables to connect to PCs, Macs, smartphones and other devices
- Warranty and compatibility: 3-year limited warranty; Requires Windows 7, Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks), Android 4.4 (KitKat), or higher; Older versions of the Windows, Mac and Android operating systems may not be supported
4. WD My Passport SSD Portable Storage
WD My Passport SSD Portable Storage is among the best offers in case you are looking for an ultra-compact, slim SSD external hard drive for photographs with the stability of a strong state drive and with a fancy configuration.
It is shock-proof and has a USB-C interface.
The body of this device is manufactured so compactly that it can fit easily in a regular pocket.
The self-recharging technology of this device makes it very convenient to users.
Also, it has data protection with hardware encryption and automatic backup software.
Its excellent design and the production’s incredible reputation make it the top portable hard drive with a meagre disappointment rate.
Its capacity ranges from 250 Gigabytes to 2 TeraBytes.
It has a max transfer speed of 540 MB/s and weighs 1.44 oz.
– It is shock-resistant and ultra-portable
– It is provided with automatic backup software
– High file transmission speed
– Not moisture protected
– The requirement of reformat for Mac operating systems.
WD My Passport SSD Portable Storage Features
- Blazing-fast file transfers with read speeds up to 540 MB/s
- Password protection with hardware encryption
- USB Type-C and USB 3.1 Gen 2 ready; USB 3.0, USB 2.0 and USB-A compatible
- WD Discovery software for WD Backup, WD Security, Social Media and Cloud Storage import, WD Drive Utilities
- Trusted drive built with WD reliability
5. WD My Passport Wireless Pro External HD
If you are looking for the best wireless storage hard drive or a drive that can read microSD card for photos, then WD My Passport Wireless Pro External HD can fulfil all your requirements.
Also, this drive is unavoidable for the photographers who travel to places frequently as it is not convenient to carry a laptop everywhere.
This hard drive possessing an SD card reader was intended to copy all the data present on a memory card to its internal drive.
Also, it is incorporated with a 6400 mAh power bank that can help you in charging your devices.
This wireless external hard drive is an ideal data stockpiling media for situations when you frequently stream data to a cell phone, Smart Television, or whatever else with the use of Plex.
It is the best external hard drive for picture takers and videographers, as it is somewhat general and makes the working cycle simpler.
This device is relatively common, which makes it the best option to choose that can make the working process of photographers and videographers much easier.
This drive has inbuilt wireless AC with password protection.
The capacity of the drive ranges from 1 TB – 4 TB.
It has an interface of USB 3.0. Its Maximum Transfer Speed is 433 MB/s.
– Its battery life goes upto 10hrs
– Wireless networking standard with password security
– Can charge and connect upto eight devices
– This drive is heavy and large sized
– Not compatible with the Sony XAVC S format
WD My Passport Wireless Pro External HD Features
- SD 3.0 card reader for fast media offloads
- Wireless 802.11ac to stream 4K videos and view photos with the My Cloud mobile app on iOS and Android* |*4K streaming requires native player on mobile device with codec support for 4K video files and is subject to mobile device capabilities, hardware and software components and configurations.
- 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 connected, Wi-Fi connectivity, settings and other factors.
- Built-in power bank to charge your phone, action camera and more (with output up to 1.5A)
- 2-year manufacturer's limited warranty
6. LaCie Rugged Mini Portable HDD
If you require an external hard disk that is cost-effective and has got good durability, then LaCie Rugged Mini Portable HDD is a reliable option.
This hard drive is resistant to dust particles, splash, and drop.
This drive can quickly meet the requirements of a travel photographer.
It can be operated with windows as well as Mac operating systems.
Though the file transferring process in the drive is a bit slower and as a compensation to this, free use of Adobe Creative Cloud is provided for a month.
The body of this device is enveloped in an orange elastic guard which helps in resisting water and dust particles.
This hard drive is configured in a way that it can withstand the fall from 4 feet.
Additionally, there is a 2-year warranty on the device.
The Max Transfer Speed of the drive is 130 MB/s and dimensions are 3.39 × 0.75 × 5.31 inches.
– It is water-resistant drive
– This model possesses good durability
– It comes with a 2-year warranty
– File transmission speed is low.
– It needs reformatting for Mac operating systems.
LaCie Rugged Mini Portable HDD Features
- Travel with a massive capacity of up to 5TB in an ultra compact portable external hard Drive
- For those who have a need for Speed, seamlessly connect to USB 3. 0 computers and transfer content Fast with speeds of up to 130MB/s
- Trek confidently with an external Hard Drive that offers all terrain durability of drop, crush, and water resistance
- Take advantage of a complimentary 1 month membership to the Adobe creative cloud all apps plan for access to awesome photo and video editing apps
- Enjoy long term peace of mind with the included 2 year limited
7. LaCie d2 Professional External Hard Drive
LaCie d2 Professional External Hard Drive can be called an enterprise-class drive.
The manufacturing of this brand is well known among professional clients as dependable and relatively efficient.
It has a standard USB 3.0 interface.
The noiseless performance of this HDD(Hard Disk Drive) is an attractive feature that is accomplished by installing a novel fanless cooling instrument in it.
Data transferring speed reaches upto 7200 rpm.
The aluminium frame of the drive is a unique characteristic along with the blue light that flickers while robotically backing up the data.
It is a perfect HD drive for photo stockpiling with a warranty of 5 year that also includes data recovery.
It weighs 49.5 oz, and its maximum transfer speed is 240 MB/s.
– It is compatible with both Mac OS as well as windows.
– It has an aluminium body frame.
– It comes with 1-month free Adobe Creative Cloud.
– Professional drive device
– It is a bit highly-priced
– Absence of on/off button on the drive.
LaCie d2 Professional External Hard Drive Features
- The LaCie d2 Professional is the go-to external desktop hard drive for creatives using SSD-based laptops or all-in-one-computers with limited storage capacity
- Easily edit and archive projects with 4TB of capacity and speeds of up to 240MB/s
- Seamlessly connect to USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 computers and enjoy reduced noise and vibration thanks to an aluminum form factor
- Equipped with BarraCuda Pro enterprise-class drive for ultimate reliability and performance
- Enjoy long-term peace of mind with the included five-year limited warranty including Rescue Data Recovery Services
8. WD My Book Desktop External Hard Drive
The brand is well-known for providing enticing offers.
But this specific model stands apart on the grounds of its cost attractiveness.
WD My Book Desktop External Hard Drive upholds external HD hardware encryption, automated backup via the company’s very own program, and is upheld through Apple’s Time Machine.
This desktop external hard drive uses a standard USB 3.0 interface and an exFAT design that is ideal for processing with both laptop and personal computer that runs on Windows or Mac operating systems.
It is enabled with social media and cloud storage import.
Its maximum transfer speed is 180 MB/s.
This drive has a polycarbonate case, high operation pace and better capacity, which makes it a convenient and versatile choice for users.
Its capacity ranges from 3 TB to 14 TB. It weighs 46 oz.
– It offers you huge storage space.
– Supported with WD backup software.
– It needs reformatting for Mac OS.
– It requires an external adaptor for power.
WD My Book Desktop External Hard Drive Features
- Auto backup with included WD Backup software and Time Machine compatibility
- Password protection with hardware encryption
- Trusted storage built with WD reliability
- USB 3.0 port; USB 2.0 compatible
- 3-year manufacturer's limited warranty
9. G-Technology G-DRIVE USB-C Hard Drive
Mac users single out this hard drive model when they want the best.
G-Technology G-DRIVE USB-C Hard Drive possesses a stylish, graceful and high-class aesthetic around a superior performance tool.
It requires a security password to access.
It charges a viable MacBook and encodes all data robotically.
The G logo brightens up when the hard drive is processing automated backup.
Its light-weight aluminium case has a convenient power button.
It has a typical USB-C interface.
For photographers, this is a top-rated drive for Mac users due to its unfailing performance, strength, and silence.
Capacity range of the drive is from 4 TB to 14 TB.
The dimensions of the drive are 7.72 × 5.06 × 1.39 inches.
– It possesses automated backup
– It is a high capacity drive.
– Available at a lucrative or attractive cost
– It needs reformatting for windows.
– The transmission speed and rpm of drive can get better.
G-Technology G-DRIVE USB-C Hard Drive Features
- USB-C connector and USB 3. 1 Gen 1 interface for universal data transfers
- USB Power Delivery to charge your compatible laptop while you access and back up files
- Sleek, all-aluminum enclosure for good-looking durability
- Apple Time Machine ready for easy file backup
- Plug and play on Mac; easily reformatted for Windows
10. Seagate Backup Plus Hub External Hard Drive
The principal characteristic of this external hard drive 4TB is its adaptability.
Seagate Backup Plus Hub External Hard Drive allows a New Technology File System(NTFS) driver that can be installed in Mac, whereas Windows devices can access this drive immediately.
It allows you to charge any device via the USB 3.0 port, even during the file or data transfer.
Only one trigger will start the process of saving with its user-oriented backup software.
It is the finest choice for photographers; it permits users to put the data altogether from various sources such as clouds, devices or social networks.
You can install an application and incorporate any tablet or phone into the document transferring chain.
This way, you have all your files or data from any source secured and saved without paying an extra penny.
The maximum transfer speed of this drive is 160 MB/s.
Its dimensions are 4.65 × 1.61 × 7.8 inches and weigh 37 oz.
– It supports 1 Micro-USB 3.0 port plus 2 USB 3.0 ports
– It comes with a 2-month plan of Adobe Creative Cloud.
– Software Backup provided
– Power cable and adapter included.
– No data ciphering.
– Speed could be better.
Seagate Backup Plus Hub External Hard Drive Features
- Store and access content for years with up to 14TB in a USB drive
- A great external hard drive for Mac and Windows, this hub can charge mobile devices and transfer files from USB cameras and USB thumb drives via its two USB 3.0 ports
- Use seamlessly between windows and Mac by installing the provided NTFS driver for Mac
- Complimentary four-month membership to the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan’s photo and video editing apps (Must be redeemed within 1 year of drive registration. Not available in all countries)
- Enjoy long-term peace of mind with the included two-year limited warranty External desktop hard drive offers two front-facing, high-speed USB 3.0 ports for connecting to and recharging other USB devices like phones, cameras, and tablets
Best External Hard Drive for Photos Buying Guide
In this section, we will be talking about all that you should look for and the factors you need to take into consideration to pick an ideal hard drive.
Kinds of storage mechanism
SSDs or Solid State Drives use the latest flash technology, which means there are no rotating parts present inside.
Hence, the best SSD will be small in size, makes no noise, better read/compose speed, and protection from external impacts.
Utilize compact SSDs to expand the inbuilt memory of a PC.
A similar hard drive or HDD utilizes some delicate moving parts that are resistless against shaking, which tend to make it noisier and more massive.
The mechanical idea of the HDD gives benefit by providing resistance from electromagnetic impacts and statics, which will guarantee the safety of data near any electrical gear.
Competence or capacity
Capacities are indirectly associated with the kind of hard drive through expense.
The portability of Solid State Drives (SSDs) is considered more pricey as far as gigabytes of memory.
Thus, SSDs are put at a higher cost and smaller volumes (max 2-4 TB) in the marketplace.
Their unique feature isn’t the capacity of the drive but portability, data transfer speed, low power utilization, and external safety which are essential for a travelling photographer and editing.
HDD offers more storage room up to a few dozen terabytes and that too without making a hole in your pocket.
Hence, an external Hard Disk Drive (HDD) is appropriate for local backup and may be considered as the best stockpiling device for photographs.
Speed and Performance
Speed: In HDDs, the idea of rotating speed was invented, the standard of which was 5400-7200 rpm.
The speed of reading/writing of content was valid for both the kinds of discs.
Usually, the first one being higher in speed is several hundred MB/s faster than the second one.
An SSD displays very high performance as compared to an HDD because of its direct reach to the cells of flash memory.
Out of the best drives for photographers, no external hard drive will rotate at the max speed mentioned in its specifications or calculated based on the type of its connection.
It takes more time to transfer multiple files compared to the files of equal size. However, the installed software and Operating System also makes a difference.
Performance: Performance generally depends on the type of gadget, connection interface, and the speed markers. With the advent of quick interface advances (USB 3.1 Gen-2 with a two-way speed of 10 Gb/s, and Thunderbolt 3 with a two-way speed of 40 Gb/s), it is now possible to get external storage drives.
These external storage drives work as extensions to the internal storage drives, provided they are compatible.
The most recent types of interface enhance the efficiency and inconsistency of the connection since new interfaces are generally less compatible with the earlier version.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Which device is best suitable to store images?
A. Hard drives are very suitable for storing pictures as they are not expensive and offer quick access to files.
It is very convenient to copy whole data from one hard drive to another in significantly less time, especially if you have thunderbolt connectivity or USB 3.0.
Q2. Are SSDs good for long term storage purposes?
A. It depends on the technology used for designing the drives and how they are used.
Some applications prefer HDDs, whereas some prefer SSDs.
Solid State Drives(SSDs) are expected to last longer as compared to Hard Disk Drives(HDDs).
Q3. Which drive tends to last longer SSDs or HDDs?
A. Solid State Drives(SSDs) tend to last longer as compared to HDDs, especially the MLC or SLC variants.
It is because SSDs don’t possess any mechanical mechanism whereas hard disk drives are mechanical drives which have a chance of failing at some point.
SSDs inform you when to replace it to avoid any loss of your data.
With so many benefits to offer, an external hard drive is a must-have device for photographers.
As you can see, every external hard drive has its characteristics and performs different functions in some way.
And if you are a photographer who travels as frequently as I do, then you might need at least one hard drive from each category.