10 Best External SSDs For Speed, Performance & Security [2023]

A portable SSD or hard drive will allow you to store, back up, and transport your files. However, getting the best external SSD is not easy; you must find a compatible SSD that fulfills your storage needs. In 2023, external hard disks are used mainly to backup files; if you frequently access your files, why don’t you switch to an external SSD for a faster experience?

Let’s admit it, the modern thin and light laptops do not offer that much fast internal storage. Even if they do, much goes for the system files and software. With so much data, there is a need for a storage medium, and the best one currently is external SSDs. 

You will find a list of the top 10 best external SSDs you can buy now. These portable external SSDs will provide a safe and fast data storage medium you can carry around. 

Why Use External SSDs Instead of Portable HDDs?

Now you might say that one can easily get a portable HDD at a much cheaper price than an external SSD with more storage capacity. So why go for an SSD? Well, there are several reasons why you should pick an external SSD over an external HDD:

  • Be up to date with the Latest Trends: If you look around, most laptops and computers have SSDs as their primary internal storage. It is better to use an external SSD to interface with them. This will increase the data transfer speed significantly. 
  • Faster Speeds: It is no secret that SSDs are just way faster than your typical HDDs. You will only notice this change when you use an SSD. Then there is no going back. The data transfer speeds are just wild(relatively). 
  • Better Data Protection: Your regular hard disks have moving parts to store and retrieve data. The problem with moving parts is that they are more prone to damage and wear and tear. Even a slight accidental fall can damage or destroy your hard disk. Look around yourself, and you will find a friend whose hard disk got destroyed after a fall. 

This is not the case with an SSD. SSDs have no moving parts, and data is stored on chips. These are safer than an HDD and can take a few accidental falls without compromising data. 

External SSDs are still relatively new in the grand scheme of things. Over time, SSDs are more affordable, and the storage capacity is also increasing.

With many pros, including faster speeds, better data security, solid build quality, and affordability, external SSDs are the new way to store and move data around. 

10 Best External SSDs You Can Buy Right Now

Now you have a fair idea of why to choose an SSD over a mechanical HDD, let’s find some of the top external SSDs that you can buy to enhance your experience.

This list is based on user reviews, durability, price, and of course, speed.

1. Samsung T7 Touch – Best Portable SSD

Samsung T7 Touch best external ssd

Data security is one of the top priorities for everyone in 2023. If you handle sensitive data, you would want an external SSD with protective measures. Well, the Samsun T7 Touch is the right one for you in that case. 

It comes with a fingerprint lock which gives it built-in security with AES 256-bit encryption. The external SSD is just crazy fast and suitable for data transfer with USB 3.2 support. The size of this SSD is compact too. Overall, it is one of the best external SSDs on the list. 

Features:

  • Up to 1000 MB/s read-write speed
  • Fingerprint security
  • LED status indicator
  • Shock resistant
  • Sleek & compact
  • 9.5x faster than conventional hard disks
  • Compatible with PCs, Mac, Android, gaming consoles, and many more.

2. Samsung T5 – Best & Affordable external SSD

Samsung T5 

If you are looking for an affordable SSD that you can use daily for data transfer, Samsung T5 is an ideal choice. It is a V-NAND SSD, and its size is smaller than a credit card.

It comes with USB type A & C connectors so that you can connect it with a PC or Mac. The connecting wire is strong & thick, which does not compromise data transfer speed.

It is speedy and relatively compact, so you can easily carry it around. It also comes with encryption that makes it more secure. 

Features:

  • Up to 540 MB/s read-write speed
  • Compact & portable
  • Encryption
  • Multiple connectivity options
  • One of the highest-rated SSD

3. SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD – Go-to choice for Photographers

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD

The SanDisk Extreme is for those looking for a big storage capacity. An NVMe SSD is IP55 water & dust-resistant & built for rough usage.

The SSD is loved by photographers, videographers, and content creators around the globe. You can carry it around on a long trip to backup the photos & videos from your camera or smartphone.

It is pretty compact, and the speed is very fast too. If you want a higher storage capacity, go for this one.

Features:

  • NVMe based SSD
  • Up to 1000 MB/s read-write speed
  • Up to 2-meter drop protection
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Top-rated SSD

4. Samsung X5

Samsung X5

If speed is all you want from an external SSD and money is not a barrier, go for Samsung X5.

This portable SSD is crazy fast and crazy expensive. It comes with a thunderbolt three port for interfacing. On the inside, it has the fast Samsung 970 Evo NVMe SSD to deliver the maximum speeds.

It also has hardware encryption for security. Let me be obvious, it is made for speed, and it is not quite your compact SSD. It is a bit bulky and non-waterproof. 

Some users also reported incompatibility with certain MacBook models, and it does not support smartphones.

Features:

  • Up to 2800 MB/s read & 2300 MB/s write speed
  • NVMe external SSD
  • Thunderbolt port
  • Full metal body
  • Shock resistant
  • 256-bit AES encryption.

5. Seagate Barracuda Fast SSD

Seagate Barracuda Fast SSD

Seagate is a trendy brand regarding portable HDDs and SSDs, and the Seagate Barracuda Fast SSD is their best offering. 

It is pretty fancy in terms of looks, and the performance on this one is also excellent. This is a great option if you are looking for an external SSD for your Xbox or PlayStation. 

Features:

  • USB C ready
  • 2-month Adobe creative cloud photography subscription
  • Up to 540 MB/s read-write speed.
  • Optimal for data backup

6. ADATA SE800

ADATA SE800

Talking about SSDs for daily use, the ADATA SE800 fits right in this category. It is very compact and can fit right in your pocket. It is sleek and very fast in transfer speeds, making it a perfect fit for daily usage. 

IP68 rated, which is waterproof, dustproof, and shock-resistant. It comes with USB 3. 2 Gen 2 Type-C, backward compatible with USB 2. 0, and 3 years of manufacturer warranty.

Features:

  • Sleek design
  • Up to 100 MB/s read-write speed
  • Supports USB C
  • Compatible with Mac, Windows, Android, Xbox One & PS4.

7. Crucial X8

Crucial X8 portable ssd

If you are on a tight budget and looking for a decent SSD for data storage, the Crucial X8 is a perfect candidate. It is very affordable and offers great storage capacity. The performance is quite good too.

It has a beautiful and unique design with an anodized aluminum unibody core. The SSD is drop-proof up to 7.5 feet, extreme temperature, shock, and vibration resistant.

Features:

  • Up to 1050 MB/s read-write speed
  • Unique design
  • Compatible with PC, Mac, smartphone, and gaming console
  • USB C compatible.

8. Apricorn Aegis Fortress L3 – More rugged & secure portable SSD

Apricorn Aegis Fortress L3

Apricorn Aegis Fortress L3 is the Fort Knox of external SSDs. This is everything you can ask for in terms of security. It is hardware encrypted and tested for impacts. 

It can handle some severe falls and hits; it has two read-only modes and separate admin and user modes. If you handle classified data, this is the one for you. 

Features:

  • Aircraft-grade aluminum body
  • 256-bit hardware encryption
  • Brute force defense
  • Physical keypad to encrypt/decrypt the data
  • The host computer cannot alter the security PIN.

9. WD My Passport SSD

best external ssd

This external SSD from WD is another excellent portable solution for people with generic requirements. It comes with good hardware encryption. Although not very compact, it is still very affordable, and you can easily use it with your laptop and other devices. 

An NVMe SSD with blazing fast speed, shock & vibration proof can survive a drop up to 2 meters.

Features:

  • Up to 1050 MB/s read-write speed.
  • 256-bit AES hardware encryption
  • USB C support
  • Compact design

10. iStorage diskAshur PRO2

 iStorage diskAshur PRO 2

Talk about taking data security to the next level, and iStorage diskAshur PRO 2 stands tall. It is easily one of the most secure external SSDs out there. 

The SSD comes with physical password protection and military-grade encryption. It is also dust and water-resistant. So you need not worry about losing your data on this one. I highly recommend this SSD if you handle a lot of sensitive, confidential data. 

Features:

  • Up to 361 MB/s read-write speed
  • 256-bit AES-XTS hardware encryption
  • Compatible with Mac, Windows, & Android
  • Government certified

Note – The read-write speed mentioned here is the maximum you can acheive when using the latest technologies. SSD write speed will always be lower than the read speed.

Verdict

These are the 10 best external SSDs that you can buy right now. You can buy a suitable SSD from the list based on your storage need and protection. Enjoy better data transfer & security with an SSD. 

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Faqs

Are external SSD any good?

External SSD offers better read-write speed than external HDD; since SSD doesn’t have any moving parts, it tends to last way longer than traditional drives. Due to the thin form factor, external SSDs are more portable than any other drive.

Can you install Windows 10 on an external SSD?

Yes, you can install Windows on an external SSD and use it with any PC over the USB connection. Win2USB by Hasleo Software can easily create different partitions on the disk and write Windows files into it.

How do I choose an external SSD?

Before buying an external SSD, look for the following things-

1. Capacity – Determine your need and select the size.
2. Durability – Find how you would use the external SSD. If you are going to keep it on the table mostly, then go for Samsung SSDs, but if you are looking for rough uses, like traveling a lot, or photography, buy an SSD with better build quality.
3. Speed – Don’t forget to check the read-write speed of the SSD. Look for higher numbers.
4. Compatibility – Check whether the SSD is compatible with your devices. Most of the mentioned SSDs in the article is compatible with Windows PC, Mac, and Smartphones.
5. Connectivity – Check if the SSD comes with USB A or USB C connectivity and buy according to your need.
6. Security – Data security is crucial if you handle classified data, then go for the safest SSD that offers onboard security options. Like Samsung T7, or at least it offers security apps.

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