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Compare the Best External Hard DrivesAugust 2020

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87

What is the Kagoo Score? Our unique external hard drives rating which considers: 260 US prices • 4,100 expert & user reviews • 990 product comparisons • 22 industry awards • Score breakdown
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Layer 1
Small Capacity Hard Drives
Hard drives with a capacity of less than 500Gb
Layer 1
Medium Capacity Hard Drives
Hard drives with a capacity of 500Gb-2Tb
High Capacity Hard Drives
Hard drives with a capacity of greater than 2Tb
#1
Best Selling Hard Drives
The most popular external hard drives on the market
Award Winning Hard Drives
External hard drives that have won industry awards
Latest External Hard Drives
The newest external hard drives on the market
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Save Up To $268 on External Hard Drives View Today's Best Deals
Rank
Kagoo Score
Average Review Rating
Price
USB Powered
Weight
Hard Drive Capacity
Available Colours
Release Date
#1

89

 Compare  Shortlisted
Seagate logo

Seagate Backup Plus ‑ 2Tb

 
USB powered  Password protection  External power adapter
USB powered
Password protection
External power adapter

$62.49

Info
126g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Nov 2013
#2

87

 Compare  Shortlisted
Seagate logo

Seagate Backup Plus

108 Reviews
allround-pc.com hardwaresecrets.com Golden

$54.99

Info
860g
Info
4TB
Info
Info
Sep 2015
#3

86

 Compare  Shortlisted
Western Digital logo

Western Digital My Passport ‑ 1Tb

 
Very light  USB powered  Password protection 
Very light
USB powered
Password protection

$75.99

Info
170g
Info
1TB
Info
Info
Jun 2012
#4

85

 Compare  Shortlisted
Seagate logo

Seagate Archive HDD Backup Plus Portable ‑ 2Tb

 
Lighter than average USB powered 
Lighter than average
USB powered

$67.99

Info
140g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Feb 2015
#5

85

 Compare  Shortlisted
Seagate logo

Seagate Backup Plus Slim ‑ 1TB

 
Very light  USB powered  Password protection 
Very light
USB powered
Password protection

$52.49

Info
159g
Info
1TB
Info
Info
Feb 2019
#6

82

 Compare  Shortlisted

Western Digital My Passport Mac ‑ 3TB

 

$141.69

Info
230g
Info
3TB
Info
Info
Jun 2015
#7

82

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Western Digital My Book ‑ 6Tb

 

$249.55

Info
1.1kg
Info
6TB
Info
Info
Oct 2016
#8

82

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Western Digital My Passport X

397 Reviews

$145.96

Info
230g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Apr 2015
#9

82

 Compare  Shortlisted

Western Digital My Passport Ultra ‑ 500Gb

 

$79.99

Info
150g
Info
500GB
Info
Info
May 2015
#10

82

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Western Digital My Book ‑ 4TB

 

$129.00

Info
1kg
Info
4TB
Info
Info
Oct 2016
#11

82

 Compare  Shortlisted

Western Digital My Passport ‑ 2TB

 

$69.99

Info
250g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Jan 2018
#12

81

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Western Digital P10 Game Drive ‑ 2Tb

 

$89.99

Info
140g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Dec 2018
#13

81

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Western Digital My Passport Ultra ‑ 1Tb

 

$90.41

Info
160g
Info
1TB
Info
Info
May 2017
#14

81

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Western Digital My Passport Ultra Metal ‑ 1Tb

 

$100.56

Info
162g
Info
1TB
Info
Info
Sep 2014
#15

81

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Western Digital P10 Game Drive ‑ 3Tb

 

$109.95

Info
330g
Info
3TB
Info
Info
Jul 2019
#16

81

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Seagate Wireless Plus ‑ 1Tb

 

$142.74

Info
272g
Info
1TB
Info
Info
Jul 2017
#17

81

 Compare  Shortlisted

Western Digital My Passport Ultra ‑ 3Tb

 

$141.69

Info
230g
Info
3TB
Info
Info
May 2017
#18

81

 Compare  Shortlisted

Seagate Backup Plus Slim ‑ 2Tb

 

$62.49

Info
159g
Info
2TB
Info
Info
Nov 2013
#19

81

 Compare  Shortlisted

Buffalo DriveStation ‑ 4Tb

 

$168.49

Info
1kg
Info
4TB
Info
Info
Jun 2016

No matching products found.

 More Results

Today's Best External Hard Drive Sales

$20 Price Drop
16TB
10,000 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
2.3kg
$20 Price Drop
2TB
10,000 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
400g
387MB/s
READ SPEED
$15 Price Drop
4TB
5,000 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
5,400 RPM
HARD DRIVE
ROTATIONAL
342g
$10 Price Drop
1TB
5,000 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
7,200 RPM
HARD DRIVE
ROTATIONAL
100g
$7 Price Drop
1TB
120 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
RATE
126g
$7 Price Drop
4TB
960 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
RATE
247g
$7 Price Drop
5TB
5,000 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
247g
$5 Price Drop
2TB
5,000 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
159g

What Are The Best External Hard Drive Brands?

We looked at the reviews for every external hard drive and used this to calculate the average overall rating of each brand. The top rated external hard drive brand is Western Digital with an average rating of 90%. Compare all award winning external hard drives.

Rank Brand Number of External Hard Drives Price Range Average Rating
#1
Western Digital External Hard Drives 102 $76 - $349
90%
1,434 reviews
#2
Seagate External Hard Drives 77 $55 - $253
83%
112 reviews
#3
Buffalo External Hard Drives 33 $79 - $213
75%
14 reviews
#4
Silicon Power External Hard Drives 39
74%
52 reviews
#5
iStorage External Hard Drives 30
72%
29 reviews
#6
LaCie External Hard Drives 69 $55 - $500
67%
15 reviews
#7
Freecom External Hard Drives 25
56%
7 reviews
#8
A-DATA External Hard Drives 55
55%
19 reviews
#9
Toshiba External Hard Drives 62
#10
G-Technology External Hard Drives 41 $70 - $780
#11
Intenso External Hard Drives 26
#12
BUSlink External Hard Drives 24
#13
Fantom Drives External Hard Drives 24 $75 - $201

Trending External Hard Drive Comparisons

Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$144.99
Newer by three
years
More popular
24g lighter
VS
LaCie
Rugged Mini - 1TB
$77.49
$68 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
Western Digital
My Book - 6Tb
$249.55
Newer by 21
months
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
Seagate
Backup Plus Desktop - 8TB
$252.82
19% lighter
Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$144.99
Three years
newer
VS
Seagate
Expansion - 2Tb
$88.99
$56 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
Seagate
Backup Plus Slim - 1TB
$52.49
$93 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$144.99
More popular
Western Digital
My Passport Ultra - 1Tb
$90.41
$55 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$144.99
More popular
10 months newer
Western Digital
My Passport - 2TB
$94.99
Newer by three
years
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
Seagate
Expansion - 2Tb
$88.99
$6 cheaper
32% lighter
Western Digital
My Passport - 2TB
$94.99
$20 cheaper
Newer by six
months
VS
Seagate
Backup Plus Portable - 5Tb
$114.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
Slightly
lighter
Seagate
Backup Plus Slim - 2Tb
$62.49
$83 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$144.99
Four years
newer
LaCie
Rugged Triple - 1Tb
$149.99
54% lighter
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$144.99
Newer by 22
months
LaCie
Rugged Mini - 1TB
$77.49
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
G-Technology
G-DRIVE Mobile USB-C - 1Tb
$74.95
More popular
Lighter
Seven months
newer
Western Digital
My Passport - 1Tb
$75.99
$69 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Two more awards
VS
Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$144.99
14 months newer
Transcend
StoreJet 25H3 - 4Tb
$149.99
Newer by 13
months
VS
LaCie
Rugged - 2Tb
$102.49
$48 cheaper
67% lighter
Better Kagoo
Score
Western Digital
My Book - 4TB
$129.00
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
Seagate
Backup Plus Portable - 4Tb
$99.99
$29 cheaper
Lighter
Better brand
Transcend
StoreJet 25H3 - 4Tb
$149.99
69% lighter
Two years newer
VS
Seagate
Expansion - 4TB
$97.99
$52 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
Western Digital
My Passport - 2TB
$94.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Two years newer
Better brand
VS
Seagate
Expansion - 2Tb
$88.99
$6 cheaper
A lot lighter
G-Technology
G-DRIVE - 6TB
$199.95
$80 cheaper
More popular
VS
LaCie
d2 - 4Tb
$279.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Two years newer
Better brand
LaCie
Rugged Mini - 2TB
$97.49
Vastly lighter
More popular
VS
Seagate
Expansion - 4TB
$97.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by 19
months
Better brand
Verbatim
Store & Go - 2Tb
$120.99
80% lighter
Better Kagoo
Score
Three years
newer
VS
Seagate
Expansion - 4TB
$97.99
$23 cheaper
More popular
Better brand
Seagate
Backup Plus Portable - 5Tb
$114.99
$115 cheaper
Vastly lighter
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
LaCie
Porsche Design - 5Tb
$229.99
Better brand
G-Technology
G-DRIVE ev RaW - 4Tb
$179.95
40% lighter
VS
LaCie
Rugged - 5Tb
$164.99
$15 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
More popular
View All External Hard Drive Comparisons
You can create your own side by side comparisons by clicking "compare" in the main table above against the products you would like to compare. Then click the big "Compare" button at the bottom of the screen to compare your selected products.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

QHow is the capacity of hard drives measures?
AModern external hard drives are measured in gigabytes (Gb), which equates to approximately 1,000 megabytes (Mb). A single mp3 takes up about 3-4Mb, while a single picture takes 1-2Mb. Larger capacity drives are measured in terrbytes (Tb), where 1Tb = 1,000Gb.
QWhat security is available for external hard drives?
AMost hard drives lack any serious security options - however some have password protection to only allow authorised access. This can be a software password, or an actual physical keypad on the drive itself. Heavier degrees of security are available - including biometric fingerprint scanners, which will only unlock the data to someone with authorised fingerprints.
QHow are external hard drives powered?
AMost external hard drives are powered via USB, meaning they can be plugged directly into the computer and used from there. However some very large/powerful drives need too much power for USB alone, and will also require am external power supply to function properly.

External Hard Drive Buying Guide

External hard drives are portable and used to backup files and data from your computer, so they’re safeguarded in case of accident or for retrieval at a later date. While Cloud-based backups are being used more and more for backups, external hard drives still have several important benefits compared to online backups:

  • Peace of mind: many people don’t 100% trust the Cloud yet, and having their data stored in some unknown, invisible server somewhere leaves them worried about the long-term safety of their data. External hard drives offer tangible, physical objects to safely backup your files, without having to rely on 3rd-party companies.
  • Backing up and restoring files is far faster, especially with newer models that use USB 3 for transferring data.
  • Data can be retrieved without needing a net connection, making them useful if travelling or if you find yourself somewhere without a solid net connection.
  • High-level security options - such as fingerprint scanners, palm vein scanners and number pads - offer vastly increased security and peace of mind when storing very important files. Moreover, there is the increased security of being able to physically lock away the hard drives away from prying eyes.
  • Finally, USB hard drives are still one of the best methods for quickly moving very large files between different computers. It is frequently easier (as long as the computers aren’t too far apart) to simply transfer the file to the drive, plug it in to the second computer, and transfer rather than having to deal with slower upload/download speeds from services such as Dropbox.

Capacity

The main important consideration when choosing an external hard drive is the capacity. This Is a measure of how much data the drive can hold, and is measured in gigabytes (Gb) or terrabytes (Tb) . A gigabyte is 1000 megabytes, and a terabyte is 1000 gigabytes. Our drives range from relatively small portable 120gig drives to enormous 5Tb drives, which can safely hold all the data from multiple machines at once. Generally speaking the higher the capacity the better, but it does depend on what you’re going to be backing up. If you only use your computer to store documents, low-res photos and the like, a 2-500 gig drive should be enough. On the other hand, large capacity drives are useful for storing RAW photos, video editing or Photoshop files.

Size & Portability

Hand in hand with the capacity of the drive is its size. Generally speaking, the larger the capacity of a drive, the bigger it is. Small-capacity drives are extremely portable, being no larger than a mobile phone, so can be transported very easily. On the other end of the scale, the very large capacity drives are not meant to be portable, and usually sit in or under your desk as a safe deposit for all your data. Portability and weight will only become a real issue when choosing the very high-capacity drives, but it is worth paying attention to if you plan on transporting the drive frequently.

Read/Write Speeds

Read & write speeds measure how quickly data can be written from & to the external hard drive. This is measures in bytes per second - the higher the speed, the faster large files (such as movies) will be transferred onto or from the drive. The read-write speeds are also affected by the USB version supported - USB 3.0 supported drives allow far higher transfer rates than USB 2 drives, so it is worth seeking out the newest drive you can for the fastest data transfer speeds.

Power

On the subject of USBs, external hard drives are powered by 2 main methods: via USB or externally power lead. Smaller drives will be powered via USB - this means that the same lead that transfers the data also powers the device. This means no battery, no extra leads, and they are far more portable. Larger drives may be so big and powerful that USB alone can’t provide enough power - in which case they may need an external power connection to properly function. This means that extra consideration has to be made for a spare power socket and the required leads - making them less use when on the go.

Extras

Finally, there are a wealth of extras that can be found in more advanced models of external hard drives. Some of these may only be useful in specific situations, and you will usually pay more for them, but the utility may well be worth the extra cost. Some examples of extra features include:

  • Integrated card reader: a built in card reader in the drive allows the device to also read/write to SD cards.
  • Fingerprint scanner: an optical fingerprint scanner drastically increases the security of your device, by meaning only specific fingerprints can unlock the device and access the files. For even greater security, a ‘palm vein’ scanner detects the blood pumping through the unique arrangement of veins in your hand, meaning that the scanner cannot be fooled by severed fingers - the owner has to be there in person and alive.
  • Ruggedized outer layer: for those who frequently take drives outdoors or in harsh conditions, a hefty rubber or metal basing protects the device from damage, keeping your files intact through even the worst conditions.

External Hard Drive Retailers, Prices and Features

External Hard Drive Prices

The price range of external hard disk drive is from $40 to $780 and in total we found prices for 138 external hard disk drive. On average, a new external hard drive costs $182 and 80% of external hard drive are priced between $75 and $330. The LaCie Rugged Mini - 500GB is the cheapest external hard drive at only $40, and G-Technology G-Raid - 12Tb is the most expensive at $780.

External Hard Drive Brands - Price Range

IoSafe external hard drive range in price from $413 to $702, and the average price of ioSafe external hard drive is $519 which is the highest average price of all external hard drive brands.

The average price of DataLocker external hard drives is $469 which is the second highest average price of all external hard drive brands. DataLocker external hard drives range in price from $394 to $562.

OWC external harddisks range in price from $155 to $500, and the average price of OWC external harddisks is $288 which is the third highest average price of all external hard drive brands.

External Hard Drive Brands - Average Ratings

We have analysed 139 expert reviews and 1,558 user reviews for external hard disk and used this data to calculate the average rating for each brand of external hard drive. The top three external hard drive brands are Western Digital, Seagate and Buffalo. Western Digital has an average rating of 90%, Seagate has an average rating of 83% and Buffalo has an average rating of 75%.

Biggest External Hard Drive Retailers

The biggest external hard drive retailer by number of products currently for sale is Adorama. We found 59 current external hard drive offers from Adorama. The second biggest retailer is Overstock with 55 offers. That means Adorama is slightly bigger than Overstock when it comes to external hard disk.

When Are Most New External Hard Drive Released?

The most common period for new external harddisk to be released in is between June and July. That means that most of the latest external hard drive technology was released in within the last 3 months, and now is good time to buy. July was the biggest month in 2019 for new external hard disk drive, with seven new external hard disk drive released that month. In June 2018, 59 new external hard drives were released making it the biggest month that year for new external hard drive releases. The biggest month in 2017 for new external hard drive releases was April, with 28 new external hard drives released that month.

How Fast Do External Hard Drive Prices Drop After Release?

On average external harddisks drop in price by 1% in the first 6 months after release.

That means a saving of $2 on a typical $181 new external hard drive if you wait 6 months before buying.

Weights

'Weight' denotes the weight of the external hard drive, measured in grams (g).

Comparing all external hard disk drive, the weights range from 41g to 11.4kg. The weights of most external hard disk range from 0g to 300g. The ioSafe SoloPRO - 3Tb, which can be purchased for $701.99, has the heaviest weight and is a 6.8kg external hard drive. The LaCie Rugged - 1Tb, which currently retails for $72.49, has the lightest weight and is a 100g external hard drive.

A heavier hard drive will be bulkier, and more annoying to carry around.

USB Powered

Whether the hard drive is powered by USB or not.

The vast majority of the 804 new external hard disk currently listed on Kagoo are USB powered external harddisks. 666 out of 804 are USB powered external harddisks.

Hard Drive Capacities

'Hard Drive Capacity' denotes how much data the hard drive can hold, measured in gigabytes (GB).

Across the range of external hard disk drives, the hard drive capacities range from 1GB to 64TB. The hard drive capacities of the majority of external harddisks range from 0GB to 1.5TB. The Western Digital My Book Duo - 16Tb, which is on sale for $349.00, has the biggest hard drive capacity and is a 16TB external hard drive. The external hard drive with the smallest hard drive capacity is the Western Digital WD My Passport Wireless - 1TB, which is a 1GB external hard drive and is available at $164.27.

A bigger hard drive capacity means that it can hold more files and data at once.

Which Are the Cheapest Retailers for External Hard Disk Drive?

The chart below helps you decide which retailer is normally cheapest for buying external harddisk. For each retailer it shows the total number of external harddisk where they currently have a market leading price. The chart below helps you decide which retailer is normally cheapest for buying external harddisks. For each retailer we took all of their prices and looked at what proportion of those prices where the cheapest on the market. The cheapest retailer that we found was Overstock. 47 of their external hard drive prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

Proportion of External Hard Drives for Which Each Retailer is Cheapest?

Assessing how cheap each retailer is for external hard disk drive by counting the number of cheapest prices for that retailer, makes the retailers that offer the greatest number of external hard drive prices more likely to offer the greatest number of cheapest prices. The chart below considers the proportion of each retailer's external hard drive prices that are the cheapest compared to other retailers. The cheapest retailer that we found using this approach was Overstock. 85.5% of their external hard drive prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

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