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Compare the Best High Capacity Hard DrivesJuly 2020

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What is the Kagoo Score? Our unique external hard drives rating which considers: 250 US prices • 3,900 expert & user reviews • 1,000 product comparisons • 40 industry awards • Score breakdown
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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
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The most popular external hard drives on the market
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External hard drives that have won industry awards
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Save Up To $223 on External Hard Drives View Today's Best Deals
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Today's Best External Hard Drive Sales

$14 Price Drop
2TB
5,000 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
140g
$13 Price Drop
5TB
5,000 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
247g
$10 Price Drop
1TB
5,000 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
100g
130MB/s
WRITE SPEED
130MB/s
READ SPEED
$10 Price Drop
2TB
5 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
RATE
240g
$10 Price Drop
4TB
960 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
RATE
247g
$7 Price Drop
1TB
5 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
RATE
170g
$7 Price Drop
1TB
120 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
RATE
159g
$7 Price Drop
4TB
5 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
RATE
950g
$5 Price Drop
1TB
140 Mbit/s
DATA TRANSFER
RATE
7,200 RPM
HARD DRIVE
ROTATIONAL
167g

Trending External Hard Drive Comparisons

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Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$144.99
Newer by three
years
24g lighter
VS
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LaCie
Rugged Mini - 1TB
$77.49
$68 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
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Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$144.99
Three years
newer
VS
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Seagate
Expansion - 2TB
$25.00
$120 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
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LaCie
Porsche Design - 2Tb
$159.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
Newer by 10
months
VS
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G-Technology
G-DRIVE Mobile USB-C - 1Tb
$74.95
$85 cheaper
14% lighter
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Western Digital
My Passport Ultra - 1Tb
$90.41
$55 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
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Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$144.99
11 months newer
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Western Digital
My Passport - 2TB
$94.99
Newer by two
years
Better brand
VS
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Seagate
Expansion - 2TB
$25.00
$70 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
32% lighter
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Western Digital
My Passport - 2TB
$94.99
$27 cheaper
Newer by six
months
VS
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Seagate
Backup Plus Portable - 5Tb
$121.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
Slightly
lighter
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Seagate
Backup Plus Slim - 2Tb
$67.99
$77 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
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Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$144.99
Four years
newer
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LaCie
Rugged Triple - 1Tb
$149.99
54% lighter
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
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Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$144.99
Newer by 21
months
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Western Digital
My Passport - 1Tb
$75.99
$69 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Two more awards
VS
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Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$144.99
14 months newer
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Transcend
StoreJet 25M3 - 2Tb
$144.99
Three years
newer
VS
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Seagate
Backup Plus Portable - 1tb
$71.00
$74 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
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G-Technology
G-DRIVE Mobile USB-C - 1Tb
$74.95
Lighter
Seven months
newer
VS
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LaCie
Rugged Mini - 1TB
$77.49
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
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Western Digital
My Book - 4Tb
$129.00
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
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Seagate
Backup Plus Portable - 4Tb
$99.99
$29 cheaper
Lighter
Better brand
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Western Digital
My Passport - 2TB
$94.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Two years newer
Better brand
VS
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Seagate
Expansion - 2TB
$25.00
$70 cheaper
A lot lighter
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LaCie
Rugged Mini - 2TB
$87.49
$11 cheaper
75% lighter
VS
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Seagate
Expansion USB 3.0 - 4TB
$97.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by 22
months
Better brand
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Seagate
Backup Plus Portable - 5Tb
$121.99
$108 cheaper
Vastly lighter
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
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LaCie
Porsche Design - 5Tb
$229.99
Better brand
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Western Digital
My Passport - 2TB
$94.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
14 months newer
VS
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G-Technology
G-DRIVE mobile USB - 2Tb
$89.95
$5 cheaper
1% lighter
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LaCie
Porsche Design - 2Tb
$159.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
Newer by nine
months
VS
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G-Technology
G-DRIVE Mobile USB-C - 1Tb
$74.95
$85 cheaper
14% lighter
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LaCie
Rugged Mini - 1TB
$77.49
$23 cheaper
A little
lighter
VS
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Seagate
Backup Plus Portable - 4Tb
$99.99
Better Kagoo
Score
23 months newer
More popular
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Western Digital
My Passport - 2TB
$94.99
Three years
newer
VS
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Seagate
Backup Plus Portable - 2Tb
$92.29
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
44% lighter
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LaCie
Rugged USB-C - 2Tb
$102.49
$17 cheaper
Significantly
lighter
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
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Glyph
BlackBox Plus - 1Tb
$119.95
Two years newer
View All External Hard Drive Comparisons
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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.
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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.

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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.

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