The Rolls-Royce of external storage media.

Is the storage space of your PC or laptop gradually becoming (too) full, and are you looking for an external storage medium / hard disk? Then choose an external SSD, the storage medium of the future. With this champ, you benefit from, among other things, more speed and reliability.

I’ll explain how to find the best external SSD hard disk for your needs in the buying guide below. In addition, in this article, you will find a top five with the best models from the current range. Read on quickly!

External SSD Buying Guide: How to Make the Best Buy

SSD stands for solid-state drive and is the successor to the HDD ( hard disk drive) – the external hard drive that we are all undoubtedly familiar with. With an external SSD, you get an excellent external storage medium.

There are so many models on the virtual shelves these days that it may be difficult to choose. I’m going to help you with this!

Additional Storage: External SDD vs external HDD and USB stick

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Although newer laptops have a good internal SSD, the external SSD as the external storage medium is a bit slower to get going. The external HDD and USB stick are still quite popular. That’s pretty weird because an SSD is bursting with benefits.

An external SSD is superior to an external HDD in almost every way: it is faster, quieter, more reliable, and more robust. The only real advantage of an HDD is that the storage space is cheaper, so you can store files much cheaper.

Another competitor for the external SSD is the USB stick. Although a USB stick is also quiet and can take a beating, it has to lose out to the external SSD in terms of speed.

Perhaps more importantly, a USB stick is much more suitable for transferring smaller files. The compact size is also ideal for (constantly) taking with you.

For storing large files, a USB stick is not the best choice. The maximum storage capacity is usually much lower. You would rather not use even the best USB stick as a backup medium.

Compatibility

First of all, it is important to pay attention to the compatibility of an external SSD. To which device do you want to connect the external SSD, and is that possible? For example, many external SSDs do not work with an iPhone. For Android, you have more choice but always check it.

In addition, you should keep in mind that you sometimes have to format the drive first. This means that the disk is completely blank and ready to use. The drive is usually formatted for Windows, but not always for Mac.

To do this, go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility on your Mac after connecting. Then select the external SSD and click Delete. Then you give the disk a name and choose a file system type under Structure and fill in the security options on how often you want the disk to be overwritten. Then click on Delete again.

Storage capacity

Another crucial point is how much storage space you choose. In other words: how much data (photos, videos, text documents, and other files) do you want to be able to store on the external SSD? Of course, you don’t want to have too little storage space at the end of the ride, but much more than necessary is also a waste of your money.

Therefore, it is wise to make a good estimate of the amount of storage space you need. You prefer to sit a little above that so that you have some slack (if your budget allows).

Admittedly, estimating that can be quite difficult. It is important to keep in mind that certain file types take up much more space than others. It’s not just about how many files you want to store, but also about what kind of files.

Text documents and audio files generally do not take up much space. Images are already bigger files, and videos (especially movies!) and games are tough guys. Photo and video editing files, such as PSDs, also take up a lot of space. If you want to store photos and videos in higher resolution, your external SSD will be full even faster.

500 GB is usually sufficient if you mainly want to store text documents and images. If it concerns a large number of images and videos, you are more likely to think of 1 or 2 TB. If you like the heavy lifting, multiple games and Full HD videos, 3 TB or more, will soon be necessary.

Maximum read and fast write speed

The maximum read speed refers to how a device can retrieve files from the external SSD; the maximum write speed is when files from another device are transferred to an external SSD.

This maximum read and write speed is expressed in Mb/s or Gb/s, which stands for megabit/gigabit per second. The higher this number, the faster your external SSD will run. Most external SSDs have a maximum read and write speed of 500 Mb/s.

Security

If you plan to put sensitive documents on the external SSD, the device’s security is extra important. In any case, password protection is nice. The models with a fingerprint scanner are even more advanced.

Connection type

In addition to the ‘normal’ USB-a connection, much newer external SSDs also have a USB-c connection. Handy because many newer laptops and PCs have a USB-C port. USB-C is becoming the new standard and has a faster data transfer than USB-A. Also, pay attention to the USB version. USB 3.1 is twice as fast as USB 3.0.

Design

When it comes to the external SSD design, there are three things to keep in mind:

  • The aesthetic aspect. Do you think the device looks nice? This is, of course, largely personal, and one finds this more important to the other. Some manufacturers pay more attention to the design and offer different nice colours.
  • The format. If you often want to take the external SSD with you, you will benefit from a compact size.
  • The housing. Does your external SDD have to be able to take a beating? Then look for impact-resistant housing.

The 5 best external SSDs among themselves

  1. Samsung T7 Portable SSD 1TB Gray
  2. SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD
  3. Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD 1TB V2
  4. Samsung T7 Portable SSD 2TB Gray
  5.  Samsung Portable SSD T5 2TB

1- Samsung T7 Portable SSD 1TB Gray

Features

  • Storage capacity: 1TB
  • Maximum SSD read speed: 1050 MB/s
  • Maximum write speed SSD: 1000 MB/s
  • Security type: Password
  • Connection type: USB 2.0 A | USB 3.0 A | USB-C
  • Formatted for: Mac, Windows

The light, pocket-sized Portable SSD T7 delivers fast speeds with easy and reliable data storage for transferring large files. The Portable SSD T7 gives you speed and durability in a palm-sized package, whether you’re storing critical business documents, games, or movies. You are introducing the new standard in external storage, available in three capacities to suit your needs: 500GB, 1TB, or 2TB.

2- SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD

Specification:

  • Storage capacity: 1TB
  • Maximum SSD read speed: 520 MB/s
  • Maximum write speed SSD: 520 MB/s
  • Security Type: No Security
  • Connection type: USB-C
  • Formatted for: Windows & Mac

“SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD 1TB is the high-performance, high-capacity storage solution you need to capture and keep your life’s best moments. Its blazing speed lets you transfer files faster than ever before. Plus, it’s shockproof, water-resistant (3), and comes with an added carabiner loop for attaching to a backpack or bag. It’s the ideal storage solution for photographers, videographers, and travelers who want to capture and carry their content wherever they go.”

3- Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD 1TB V2

Specification

  • Storage capacity: 1TB
  • Maximum SSD read speed: 1050 MB/s
  • Maximum write speed SSD: 1000 MB/s
  • Security Type: No Security
  • Connection type: USB 3.0 A | USB-C
  • Formatted for: Mac, Windows

The SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD 1TB V2 is the ideal storage solution for professional photographers. The SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD features 2000MB/s read and write speeds, making it perfect for capturing high-quality content on the go. With up to 1TB of capacity, you can store your entire photo library or transfer large files in seconds. It’s also compact enough to slip into a pocket or small bag when you are on the move. Plus, this solid-state drive comes with password protection software to help keep

4- Samsung T7 Portable SSD 2TB Gray

Specification:

  • Storage capacity: 2TB
  • Maximum SSD read speed: 1050 MB/s
  • Maximum write speed SSD: 1000 MB/s
  • Security type: Password
  • Connection type: USB 2.0 A | USB 3.0 A | USB-C
  • Formatted for: Mac, Windows

With 2000MB/s read and 2000MB/s write speeds, SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD is the fastest portable storage available. A rugged, compact design makes it ideal for shooting in extreme conditions. It features a USB-C connector with an included USB-C to C cable. The drive is compatible with both PC and Mac computers out of the box without any additional software or drivers needed. Additionally, SanDisk SecureAccess software offers 128-bit file encryption to keep your content protected from unauthorized access.

5- Samsung Portable SSD T5 2TB

Specification

  • Storage capacity: 2TB
  • Maximum SSD read speed: 540 MB/s
  • Maximum write speed SSD: 540 MB/s
  • Security type: Password
  • Connection type: USB-C | USB 3.0 A
  • Formatted for: Windows, Mac

The Samsung T5 Portable SSD has the latest in Samsung V-NAND flash memory technology. Its portable design, blazing-fast transfer speeds of up to 540 MB/s, shock resistance, and secure encryption make it the best portable SSD hard disk on the market.

The Samsung T5 Portable SSD is designed for professionals who need to work with large files anywhere they go. The device has a compact and lightweight design that fits comfortably in your hand or pocket, so you can take it wherever you need to go. 

Frequently asked questions about external SSDs.

What is the difference between an external SSD and a USB stick?

An external SSD has a larger size than a USB stick and is usually much faster and more suitable for storing many files. Due to its compact size and more limited storage capacity, a USB stick is more suitable for transferring (smaller) files.

How does an external SSD work?

Unlike an external HDD, an external SSD does not work with moving parts. The data is stored on a few flash memory chips. This makes an external SSD faster, quieter, and less vulnerable.

How long does an external SSD last?

External SSDs have a limited lifespan. An SSD works with memory cells, which can be rewritten, but not infinitely. After how many disk cycles the SDD is full is indicated in TBW (terabytes written).

The lifespan of an SDD is, on average, around ten years (or even longer) under normal use. An HDD often lasts around ten years. In addition, with an SDD, you run no risk of mechanical failures due to the absence or breakdown of moving parts. As a result, the lifespan in practice is often longer than HDDs.

Which external SSD should I buy?

That is, of course, up to you and your budget; everyone is unique. What I do have for you is a handy table within my view – the most important specifications of the best external SSD. That way you can make the best choice.

Conclusion

An external SSD has – as you read – a number of advantages over an external HDD and USB stick. I hope you now know what to look for when looking for a brand new model. The best five external SSDs can be found again below if you want to hit the nail on the head right away. Thank you for reading!