What is the Best SSD External Hard Drive?

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In this article, I am going to review the top 10 best external SSD drives. And in the end, you will be able to select the best SSD external hard drive for your specific needs.

I will answer the question of what is the best SSD external hard drive, by reviewing each SSD drive and revealing the pros and cons of each one.

SSD drives are getting more and more popular. They have blazing fast speed and are resistant to shock and movement. Also, they are lightweight and portable. This makes them a very attractive option, especially as an external hard drive.

You may not have enough information about external SSD drives. Don’t worry. I have covered that for you. You can read my article which answers the question of what is SSD external hard drive?

I have researched thoroughly and found the top best SSD drives for you. This review uncovers what I found. Read my review to know which of them fits your needs.

Table of Contents

  1. SAMSUNG T7 Touch Portable SSD
  2. Samsung T5 Portable SSD
  3. WD My Passport SSD External Portable Drive
  4. SanDisk Extreme External SSD
  5. LaCie Rugged External SSD Drive
  6. SAMSUNG X5 Portable SSD
  7. SanDisk Extreme PRO External SSD
  8. LaCie Rugged SSD Pro
  9. Seagate FireCuda Gaming External SSD
  10. Seagate Expansion Solid State Drive

1. SAMSUNG T7 Touch Portable SSD

Overall Rank: 9 out of 10
Warranty: 3-year limited manufacturer warranty (read Samsung Warranty Policy)
Best Place to Buy: Amazon

This is by far the best SSD external hard drive in the market. Samsung T7 Touch Portable SSD is a little expensive compared to T5. But it comes with nice features that will justify the extra cost.

First of all, it comes with a fingerprint as an alternative to a password. You will need Samsung software which is embedded within the drive, to set the password and fingerprint.

Once the fingerprint is set up, you won’t need any software or app to unlock it. Simply put your finger on the fingerprint and it will unlock and only then the files on the drive will be accessible.

Samsung T7 external SSD drive

Samsung T7 Touch Portable SSD offers hardware encryption using 256-bit AES encryption. This is one of the most secure SSD drives. If security is of critical importance, this is the best external SSD drive for you.

The speed is quite fast. With a read speed of more than 960MB/s and write speed of more than 850MB/s, you can use it directly with any application, even heavy graphics applications. It will transfer large video files and high-resolution photos with impressive speed.

It comes with two cable connectors, one for USB-C ports and one for USB-A. It also works with Android smartphones and Smart TVs.

It is a great option for gaming and works with game consoles. You can use it to extend the storage capacity of your game console and install any big or small game on it. The installed games on this SSD drive will play smoothly.

The software for Mac and PC is embedded in the drive and you can just run it. But for Android smartphones, you need to download the app from Google PlayStore.

Samsung T7 external SSD drive colors

Samsung T7 Touch Portable SSD is shockproof. But it is not water or dust resistant.

The drive will heat up if you transfer large amounts of data which takes a lot of time. Unfortunately, this is the case for every high-speed SSD drive. And as usual, when heats up, it uses thermal throttling and reduces the speed.

Get further details and buy now on Amazon >>>

Product Specifications

FeatureAdvertised SpecsActual Specs
(if different)
Sequential Read Speed1050MB/s*1000MB/s*
Sequential Write Speed1000MB/s*953MB/s*
Capacity
(You can choose anyone)
500GB, 1TB, 2TB*465GB, 931GB, 1.82TB*
Supported Operating SystemsWindows 7 and higher,
Mac OS X 10.10 and higher,
Android 5.1 (Lollipop) and higher
Connector TypeComes with:
USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface
USB-A and USB-C Connectors
SizeSmall size and portable.
DurabilityShock resistant
Temperature ToleranceNot disclosed.
EncryptionHardware encryption with fingerprint unlocking
Warranty3-year limited manufacturer warranty
*Read advertised capacity vs actual capacity.

Overall Rating and Ranking

FeatureMy RatingReason
Speed8 out of 10Very fast speed
Capacity9 out of 10Capacity ranges from 500GB up to 2TB,
but not more than 2TB
Durability7 out of 10Not water or dust resistant
Price9 out of 10The price is a bit expensive.
Connector9 out of 10Supports USB 3.0
Comes with USB-A Connector
Size10 out of 10It is pocket-sized and small.
Manufacturer10 out of 10Samsung is a very reliable brand.
Drive Encryption10 out of 10Hardware encryption with fingerprint unlocking
Overall Rating9 out of 10Average of all the ratings

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Very reliable and durable
  • Very fast transfer speeds, both writing, and reading
  • Shock resistant
  • Supports hardware encryption
  • Supports fingerprint for unlocking the drive
  • USB-A and USB-C connectors
  • Pocket-sized, small and portable

Cons

  • Not water or dust resistant
  • Heats up when transferring large amounts of data which decreases the speed significantly
  • A bit expensive

2. Samsung T5 Portable SSD

Overall Rank: 8.6 out of 10
Warranty: 3-year limited manufacturer warranty (read Samsung Warranty Policy)
Best Place to Buy: Amazon

This is another great option when choosing an SSD external hard drive. Samsung T5 Portable SSD has packed great features at an affordable price. Only SanDisk Extreme External SSD could be compared to this SSD drive.

The transfer speed of Samsung T5 Portable SSD is above average for an SSD. It is enough for most of the uses and for backing up a large amount of data. Only if you want to use it directly with applications, then you need to use SanDisk Extreme PRO External SSD or Samsung T7 Portable SSD drive.

Samsung T5 external SSD drive supported devices

Its metal design makes it shockproof. The small size of the SSD drive makes it portable and convenient to use when traveling.

This SSD drive keeps your personal files and data secure by providing AES 256-bit hardware encryption. Samsung offers free software embedded with the drive both for Windows and macOS to set the password for encryption. You can also download the software if you need it.

Samsung T5 external SSD drive color options

SanDisk Extreme PRO External SSD comes with USB-A and USB-C connector cables included. You can connect it to a PC, Mac, or an Android Smartphone.

This external SSD drive works with Windows, macOS, and Android operating Systems out of the box. The software for Windows and macOS is embedded within the drive, but you should download the Samsung Android app to use it with your smartphone.

Samsung T5 external SSD drive

Get further details and buy now on Amazon >>>

Product Specifications

FeatureAdvertised SpecsActual Specs
(if different)
Sequential Read Speed540MB/s*515MB/s*
Sequential Write Speed520MB/s*496MB/s*
Capacity
(You can choose anyone)
250GB, 500GB,
1TB, 2TB*
232GB, 465GB,
931GB, 1.82TB*
Supported Operating SystemsWindows 7 and higher,
Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) and higher,
Android 4.4 (KitKat) or higher.
Connector TypeComes with:
USB 3.1 Gen2 interface
USB-A and USB-C Connectors
SizeSmall size and portable.
DurabilityShock resistant
Temperature ToleranceNot disclosed.
EncryptionHardware encryption with software for Mac, PC, and Android
Warranty3-year limited manufacturer warranty
*Read advertised capacity vs actual capacity.

Overall Rating and Ranking

FeatureMy RatingReason
Speed7 out of 10Fast speed and above average.
Capacity9 out of 10Capacity ranges from 250GB up to 2TB, but not more than 2TB
Durability7 out of 10Not water or dust resistant
Price10 out of 10The price is reasonable for the features.
Connector8 out of 10Supports USB 3.0
Comes with USB-A Connector
You will need to buy a USB-C adapter
Size9 out of 10It is pocket-sized and small.
Manufacturer10 out of 10Samsung is a very reliable brand.
Drive Encryption9 out of 10Hardware encryption with software for Mac, PC, and Android devices
Overall Rating8.6 out of 10Average of all the ratings

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Very reliable and durable
  • Shock resistant
  • USB-A and USB-C connectors
  • Pocket-sized, small and portable
  • Supports hardware encryption
  • Reasonable price

Cons

  • Requires software from Samsung to set the password and encryption
  • Transfer speed is above average for an external SSD drive
  • Not water or dust resistant

3. WD My Passport SSD External Portable Drive

Overall Rank: 8.6 out of 10
Warranty: 3-year limited manufacturer warranty (read SanDisk Warranty Policy)
Best Place to Buy: Amazon

WD My Passport SSD External Portable Drive is a great option when choosing an external SSD drive. It offers great features at an affordable price.

The drive has a relatively small size and is quite convenient to carry around in your pocket. It is shock resistant. The drive is not water or dust resistant though, and you should be careful with that.

WD My Passport external SSD drive

It has a USB-C connector with a USB-A adapter out of the box. So, you don’t need to buy a new connector cable.

The drive works with PC and Mac. The default file system is exFAT. You may need to reformat the drive if you want to use it with different applications that have special file system requirements.

WD My Passport SSD External Portable Drive protects your data and provides great security. Your data will be safe and password protected with built-in 256-bit AES Hardware Encryption. You should install WD Security software to set the password.

WD My Passport External SSD Drive

You can also use WD backup software with this drive.

Get further details and buy now on Amazon >>>

Product Specifications

FeatureAdvertised SpecsActual Specs
(if different)
Sequential Read Speed540MB/s*515MB/s*
Sequential Write SpeedNot advertisedTest results are around 400MB/s*
Capacity
(You can choose anyone)
256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB*244GB, 488GB, 931GB, 1.82TB
Supported Operating SystemsWindows 7 and higher
macOS 10.13 and higher
Connector TypeUSB-C, USB-A (with adapter)
SizePocket sized. Small and portable.
DurabilityShock resistant
Temperature ToleranceNot disclosed
Warranty3-year limited manufacturer warranty
Drive EncryptionHardware Encryption
*Read advertised capacity vs actual capacity.

Overall Rating and Ranking

FeatureMy RatingReason
Speed7 out of 10The speed is above average for SSD drives
Capacity9 out of 10Capacity ranges from 256GB up to 2TB.
Does not offer more than 2TB capacity.
Durability7 out of 10Not water or dust resistant
Price10 out of 10Price is reasonable
Connector10 out of 10Supports USB 3.1 Gen 2 and connectors USB-C and USB-A
Size8 out of 10It is pocket-sized and relatively small.
Manufacturer9 out of 10WD is a reliable brand.
Drive Encryption9 out of 10Hardware encryption works with Mac and PC
Overall Rating8.6 out of 10Average of all the ratings

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Very reliable and durable
  • Great data security with hardware encryption
  • Shock resistant
  • USB-A and USB-C connectors
  • Pocket-sized and portable

Cons

  • Not water or dust resistant
  • Transfer speed is not very high, just above average

4. SanDisk Extreme External SSD

Overall Rank: 8.5 out of 10
Warranty: 3-year limited manufacturer warranty (read SanDisk Warranty Policy)
Best Place to Buy: Amazon

This is the best seller SSD external hard drive. The fast speed lets you transfer any files like high-resolution photos and videos to this drive in a very short time.

It is very reliable and durable. It can operate in temperatures ranging from 0°C up to 45°C. SanDisk Extreme External SSD can be stored in extreme temperature conditions. When storing the SSD drive it can tolerate a temperature range of -20°C up to 70°C.

SanDisk Extreme External SSD drive

You better use it in a normal temperature range. Temperatures below zero are not very harmful, but higher temperatures (above 45°C) can increase the failure rate.

SanDisk Extreme external SSD drive cables

SanDisk Extreme External SSD can survive from a shock even if dropped from 2 meters height. That is enough for normal use and occasional dropping by mistake.

It has a compact design and is pocket-sized. You can carry it with yourself and use it while traveling.

SanDisk Extreme external SSD drive

If you want to password-protect SanDisk Extreme External SSD, you can use SanDisk SecureAccess on macOS and windows. The Disk Utility of macOS can not encrypt this drive without SanDisk SecureAccess.

Note that if the drive is encrypted using SecureAccess, you can decrypt the drive only using this software. Also, SecureAccess does not support APFS drives.

Get further details and buy now on Amazon >>>

Product Specifications

FeatureAdvertised SpecsActual Specs
(if different)
Sequential Read Speed550MB/s*525MB/s*
Sequential Write Speed500MB/s*476MB/s*
Capacity
(You can choose anyone)
250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB*232GB, 465GB, 931GB, 1.82TB*
Supported Operating SystemsWindows 8, 8.1 and 10
Mac OS 10.6+
Connector TypeUSB-C, USB-A (with adapter)
SizePocket-sized. Small and portable.
DurabilityShock resistant,
Water and dust resistant
Temperature ToleranceCan be stored in extreme temperatures of -20°C up to 70°C (without operating).
The operating temperature range is 0°C up to 45°C.
Warranty3-year limited manufacturer warranty
Drive EncryptionWorks with macOS and Windows but requires SanDisk SecureAccess software.
*Read advertised capacity vs actual capacity.

Overall Rating and Ranking

FeatureMy RatingReason
Speed7 out of 10The speed is above average for an SSD drive.
Capacity9 out of 10Capacity ranges from 250GB up to 2TB.
Does not offer more than 2TB capacity.
Durability9 out of 10Some customers complained about durability,
although the number of those customers is minor.
Price10 out of 10Compared to the specs the price is reasonable.
Connector10 out of 10Supports USB 3.1 Gen 2 and connectors USB-C and USB-A
Size8 out of 10It is pocket-sized and relatively small.
Manufacturer10 out of 10SanDisk is a reliable brand.
Drive Encryption5 out of 10Software encryption only
Requires SanDisk SecureAccess software
Overall Rating8.5 out of 10Average of all the ratings

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Very reliable and durable
  • Shock resistant
  • Water and dust resistant
  • USB-A and USB-C connectors
  • Pocket-sized and portable
  • Can be stored in extreme temperatures

Cons

  • Requires SanDisk SecureAccess software for encryption and decryption
  • Transfer speed is average for an external SSD drive
  • No hardware encryption

5. LaCie Rugged External SSD Drive

Overall Rank: 8.5 out of 10
Warranty: 5-year limited manufacturer warranty
Best Place to Buy: Amazon

LaCie Rugged External SSD Drive is the ultimate SSD drive in durability, reliability, and security. This is especially perfect for people who constantly work in the field and the SSD drive may be exposed to extremely rough conditions.

This external SSD drive can survive a 3-meter drop and two-ton car crush. It is water-resistant and dust resistant. All your data will be safe and protected.

LaCie Rugged External SSD drive Cables

LaCie Rugged External SSD Drive is geared towards filmmakers and digital imaging technicians (DITs). In addition to durability and reliability, it has a very fast data transfer speed.

The transfer speed of this SSD drive is around 900MB/s. This is perfect for 4K video recording, direct video editing, and generally working directly with the data on the drive, even for heavy graphics applications.

LaCie Rugged External SSD drive water resistant

The drive comes with USB-C and USB-A connector cables. It also supports Thunderbolt 3. You can connect it to Thunderbolt 3 using included USB-C cable and it works perfectly fine.

Your data will be secure on LaCie Rugged External SSD Drive. It comes with 256-bit hardware encryption which is very secure.

LaCie Rugged External SSD drive

Seagate offers a 5-year rescue data recovery service with this drive. You can use it with peace of mind. Read the terms of coverage for rescue data recovery service.

Get further details and buy now on Amazon >>>

Product Specifications

FeatureAdvertised SpecsActual Specs
(if different)
Sequential Read Speed950MB/s*900MB/s*
Sequential Write SpeedNot disclosed
Capacity
(You can choose anyone)
500GB, 1TB, 2TB*465GB, 931GB, 1.86TB*
Supported Operating SystemsWindows 7 or higher,
Mac OS X any version
Connector TypeUSB-C, USB-A and Thunderbolt 3
SizeMedium size and portable.
DurabilityShock resistant,
Water and dust resistant
Can withstand 2 ton car crush
Temperature ToleranceNot disclosed.
Warranty5-year limited manufacturer warranty
5-year rescue data recovery service
Drive EncryptionHardware Encryption
*Read advertised capacity vs actual capacity.

Overall Rating and Ranking

FeatureMy RatingReason
Speed9 out of 10The speed is very fast.
Capacity9 out of 10It offers 500GB and 2TB.
Does not offer more than 2TB capacity.
Durability10 out of 10Shock resistant,
water and dust resistance,
Withstands 2-ton car crash
Price7 out of 10Expensive
Connector10 out of 10Supports USB 3.1
Supports USB-C, USB-A, and Thunderbolt 3
Size7 out of 10It is pocket-sized, but not very small.
Manufacturer8 out of 10Seagate is a trusted brand.
Drive Encryption9 out of 10Hardware Encryption
Overall Rating8.5 out of 10Average of all the ratings

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Extremely rugged, reliable and durable
  • Shock resistant
  • Water and dust resistant
  • Can withstand a 2-ton car crash
  • High data security with 256-bit AES hardware encryption
  • Supports USB (both A and C) and Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Pocket-sized and portable
  • 5-year data recovery service

Cons

  • Expensive
  • The size is average.

6. SAMSUNG X5 Portable SSD

Overall Rank: 8.1 out of 10
Warranty: 3-year limited manufacturer warranty (read Samsung Warranty Policy)
Best Place to Buy: Amazon

This is the insanely fast external SSD drive. Actually this is one of the fastest consumer SSD drives in the market. With such extremely fast speed, you can work with 4K, 6K, and even 8K video recording.

You can work directly with any heavy graphics application with this SSD drive. It is perfect for high-resolution video editing and recording (4K, 6K, 8K), graphics work, gaming, and anything you can imagine.

SAMSUNG X5 Portable SSD has hardware encryption and password protection. You have to install the software which comes embedded in the drive itself. You can also download the software from the Samsung website.

Samsung X5 external SSD drive

The downside to this insanely fast speed is the limitation of the connector. SAMSUNG X5 Portable SSD only supports Thunderbolt? 3. You can’t connect it to USB-A or USB-C ports and it does not support any USB ports.

There is a reason for supporting only Thunderbolt 3. USB ports don’t support such high speeds. The maximum speed a USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (latest USB 3 implementation) supports is 2400MB/s. To support 2800MB/s the only option will be Thunderbolt 3.

If your laptop does not have Thunderbolt 3 port, you won’t be able to use this SSD drive.

Another downside is the high price. This SSD drive is very expensive. Unless you really need the insane speed of the drive, you won’t throw that much money into buying this external SSD drive.

Samsung X5 external SSD drive

SAMSUNG X5 Portable SSD offers great data security with its 256-bit AES hardware encryption. You can enable and set the password for hardware encryption by using the Samsung Portable SSD Software.

The drive is equipped with Dynamic Thermal Guard (DTG) which will maintain optimum performance and temperature. That means it will not heat up and if the temperature goes up, it will slow the speed a little bit to keep the temperature in control.

The cover of the body is plastic, but beneath that plastic cover, it has a metal frame and heat sink. The metal frame makes it shock resistant and the heat sink dissipates heat to protect from overheating.

Get further details and buy now on Amazon >>>

Product Specifications

FeatureAdvertised SpecsActual Specs
(if different)
Sequential Read Speed2800MB/s*2670MB/s*
Sequential Write Speed2300MB/s*2193MB/s*
Capacity
(You can choose anyone)
500GB, 1TB, 2TB*465GB, 931GB, 1.82TB*
Supported Operating SystemsMac OS X Sierra, High Sierra (10.12 or higher)
Windows 10 64bit RS 2 or higher
Connector TypeOnly compatible with Mac and Windows PC with Thunderbolt 3 port
SizeMedium size and portable.
DurabilityShock resistant
Temperature ToleranceNot disclosed.
Warranty3-year limited manufacturer warranty
Drive EncryptionHardware encryption
*Read advertised capacity vs actual capacity.

Overall Rating and Ranking

FeatureMy RatingReason
Speed10 out of 10Blazing Fast Speed
Capacity9 out of 10Capacity ranges from 500GB up to 2TB,
but not more than 2TB
Durability7 out of 10Not water or dust resistant
Price6 out of 10Very expensive
Connector6 out of 10Only compatible with a Mac and Windows PC with Thunderbolt 3 port
Size8 out of 10It is pocket-sized.
Manufacturer10 out of 10Samsung is a very reliable brand.
Drive Encryption9 out of 10Hardware encryption with software for Mac and PC
Overall Rating8.1 out of 10Average of all the ratings

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Very reliable and durable
  • Insanely fast speed and performance
  • Shock resistant
  • Thunderbolt 3 connector
  • Pocket-sized, small and portable
  • Supports hardware encryption

Cons

  • Does not support USB-A and USB-C connector
  • Very expensive
  • Not water or dust resistant

7. SanDisk Extreme PRO External SSD

Overall Rank: 7.8 out of 10
Warranty: 5-year limited manufacturer warranty (read SanDisk Warranty Policy)
Best Place to Buy: Amazon

SanDisk Extreme PRO External SSD is the fastest among SanDisk external SSD drives. The main feature of this external SSD drive is its very high speed compared to other SSD drives.

This SSD drive could be used as the main storage of a laptop. You will be able to work directly with this drive and all your applications, even heavy graphics applications, will work smoothly.

SanDisk Extreme Pro External SSD drive

The size of this SSD drive is a little bigger. Although it is still portable and fits your pocket, its size may seem a little bigger than the desired size for an external SSD drive.

The temperature tolerance is not disclosed by the manufacturer. So, to be on the safe side, don’t expose this external SSD drive to extreme temperatures. The maximum operating temperature for an SSD drive is usually 45°C.

The high speed in SSD drives usually causes overheating. Especially when transferring large amounts of data which will take several minutes. The body of SanDisk Extreme PRO External SSD is made of forged aluminum which helps dissipate the heat.

SanDisk Extreme Pro External SSD drive

This external SSD drive is shock-resistant, and also water and dust resistant. So, as we expect from SanDisk, it is very durable and reliable. SanDisk offers a 5-year limited warranty for this SSD drive.

The drive comes with two connector cables, one for USB-A and one for USB-C.

SanDisk Extreme PRO External SSD is compatible with PC and Mac computers and supports Windows 7 up to Windows 10 and also macOS v.10.9+. You can encrypt the drive for security, but you will need to download SanDisk SecureAcces software. And then you will need this software to decrypt the drive too.

SanDisk Extreme Pro External SSD drive

If you use encryption, you will not be able to use the APFS file system, because SanDisk SecureAcces does not support the APFS file system.

Get further details and buy now on Amazon >>>

Product Specifications

FeatureAdvertised SpecsActual Specs
(if different)
Sequential Read Speed1050MB/s*977MB/s*
Sequential Write SpeedNot disclosedMore than 900MB/s, based on actual tests
Capacity
(You can choose anyone)
500GB, 1TB, 2TB*465GB, 931GB, 1.82TB*
Supported Operating SystemsWindows 8, 8.1, and 10
Mac OS 10.6+
Connector TypeUSB-C, USB-A
SizeMedium size and portable.
DurabilityForged aluminum body
Shock resistant,
Water and dust resistant
Temperature ToleranceNot disclosed.The aluminum body dispenses heat.
Warranty5-year limited manufacturer warranty
Drive EncryptionOnly software encryption with SanDisk SecureAccess

*Read advertised capacity vs actual capacity.

Overall Rating and Ranking

FeatureMy RatingReason
Speed9 out of 10The speed is very fast, but there are faster external SSD drives.
Capacity8 out of 10Capacity ranges from 500GB up to 2TB.
Does not offer more than 2TB capacity.
Durability9 out of 10A small number of customers complained about durability.
Price6 out of 10Very expensive
Connector10 out of 10Supports USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface
Comes with two connectors, USB-C and USB-A
Size6 out of 10It is pocket-sized but still large. You can find smaller sized external SSD drives.
Manufacturer10 out of 10SanDisk is a reliable brand.
Drive Encryption5 out of 10Only software encryption with SanDisk SecureAccess
Overall Rating7.8 out of 10Average of all the ratings

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Very reliable and durable
  • Ultra-fast speed and performance
  • Shock resistant
  • Water and dust resistant
  • USB-A and USB-C connectors
  • Pocket-sized and portable

Cons

  • Requires SanDisk SecureAccess software for encryption and decryption
  • Size is a bit large
  • Expensive
  • No hardware encryption

8. LaCie Rugged SSD Pro

Overall Rank: 8.5 out of 10
Warranty: 5-year limited manufacturer warranty
Best Place to Buy: Amazon

LaCie Rugged SSD Pro is one of the fastest external SSD drives in the market. It has an insanely fast speed of more than 2600MB/s. It is perfect for 4K, 6K, and 8K video editing and direct playback.

It can endure a 3-meter drop and a two-ton car crush. It is water-resistant and dust resistant. All your data will be safe and protected.

LaCie Rugged SSD Pro is geared towards filmmakers and digital imaging technicians (DITs). It is extremely durable and reliable and can cope with any extreme and rough terrain.

The drive comes with a Thunderbolt 3 connector cable. It only supports Thunderbolt 3, because the speed of 2600MB/s is beyond the capability of USB ports, even USB 3.2 Gen 2×2.

LaCie Rugged SSD Pro external SSD drive

You can use it with Mac and PC. The computer should have a Thunderbolt 3 port. You can connect this drive to USB-C, but the speed will be much slower.

The only downside to this drive is the lack of hardware encryption. You can only use software encryption with this drive, which slows down the speed of the drive.

LaCie Rugged SSD Pro external SSD drive

Also, this SSD drive is very expensive.

Seagate offers a 5-year rescue data recovery service with this drive. You can use it with peace of mind. Read the terms of coverage for rescue data recovery service.

Get further details and buy now on Amazon >>>

Product Specifications

FeatureAdvertised SpecsActual Specs
(if different)
Sequential Read Speed2800MB/s*2670MB/s*
Sequential Write SpeedNot disclosed
Capacity
(You can choose anyone)
1TB, 2TB*931GB, 1.86TB*
Supported Operating SystemsWindows 7 or higher,
Mac OS X any version
Connector TypeThunderbolt 3
SizeMedium size and portable.
DurabilityShock resistant,
Water and dust resistant
Can withstand 2 ton car crush
Temperature ToleranceNot disclosed.
Warranty5-year limited manufacturer warranty
5-year rescue data recovery service
Drive EncryptionOnly software encryption

*Read advertised capacity vs actual capacity.

Overall Rating and Ranking

FeatureMy RatingReason
Speed10 out of 10The speed is extremely fast.
Capacity8 out of 10It offers 1TB and 2TB.
Does not offer less than 1TB or more than 2TB capacity.
Durability10 out of 10Shock resistant,
water and dust resistance,
Withstands 2-ton car crash
Price5 out of 10Very Expensive
Connector7 out of 10Thunderbolt 3
Size7 out of 10It is pocket-sized, but not very small.
Manufacturer8 out of 10Seagate is a trusted brand.
Drive Encryption4 out of 10Only software encryption is applicable
Overall Rating7.3 out of 10Average of all the ratings

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Extremely rugged, reliable and durable
  • Ultra-fast speed
  • Shock resistant
  • Water and dust resistant
  • Can withstand a 2-ton car crash
  • Pocket-sized and portable
  • 5-year data recovery service

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • No hardware encryption
  • Only supports Thunderbolt 3 connector
  • The size is average.

9. Seagate FireCuda Gaming External SSD

Overall Rank: 7 out of 10
Warranty: 5-year limited manufacturer warranty
Best Place to Buy: Amazon

This is the ultra-fast speed external SSD drive from Seagate. It is mainly manufactured for gaming, but the SSD is a general-purpose drive. It can be connected to a PC, Mac.

Seagate FireCuda Gaming External SSD cables

The drive has insanely fast speed. It supports USB ports, both type C and type A. The USB ports have speed limitations. Below are the USB interfaces and their speeds.

  • The maximum speed of USB 3.0 Gen 2 is 625MB/s
  • The maximum speed of USB 3.1 Gen 2 is 1250MB/s
  • The maximum speed of USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 is 2,424MB/s

The version of the USB interface affects the speed of Seagate FireCuda Gaming External SSD. For example, when connected to a USB port with a USB interface of 3.0, the maximum speed of this SSD drive will be 500MB/s.

Seagate FireCuda Gaming External SSD

Below is the speed of Seagate FireCuda Gaming External SSD with different USB interfaces.

  • Up to 500MB/s* with USB 3.0 Gen 2
  • Up to 1,000MB/s* with USB 3.1 Gen 2
  • Up to 2,000MB/s* with USB 3.2 Gen 2×2

It works best with Seagate FireCuda Gaming Dock. Using the Seagate Toolkit software suite, you can set the LED light color or sync to match with Seagate FirCuda Gaming Dock light color.

The aluminum cover helps with cooling and heat dissipation and extends the durability of the drive.

Get further details and buy now on Amazon >>>

Product Specifications

FeatureAdvertised SpecsActual Specs
(if different)
Sequential Read SpeedUp to 500MB/s* with USB 3.0 Gen 2
Up to 1,000MB/s* with USB 3.1 Gen 2
Up to 2,000MB/s* with USB 3.2 Gen 2×2
Up to 476MB/s* with USB 3.0 Gen 2
Up to 950MB/s* with USB 3.1 Gen 2
Up to 1900MB/s* with USB 3.2 Gen 2×2
Sequential Write SpeedNot disclosed
Capacity
(You can choose anyone)
500GB, 1TB, 2TB*465GB, 931GB, 1.82TB*
Supported Operating SystemsWindows 10
Connector TypeUSB-C
SizeMedium size and portable.
DurabilityShock resistant
Temperature ToleranceNot disclosed.
Warranty5-year limited manufacturer warranty
Drive EncryptionOnly software encryption

*Read advertised capacity vs actual capacity.

Overall Rating and Ranking

FeatureMy RatingReason
Speed8 out of 10The speed depends on USB interface.
Capacity9 out of 10It offers 500GB up to 2TB.
Does not offer more than 2TB capacity.
Durability7 out of 10Not water or dust resistant
Price7 out of 10The price is very high
Connector6 out of 10Comes with USB-C cable
Size8 out of 10It is pocket-sized, but not very small.
Manufacturer8 out of 10Seagate is a trusted brand.
Drive Encryption3 out of 10Only software encryption is applicable
Overall Rating7 out of 10Average of all the ratings

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Insanely fast speed with USB 3.2 Gen 2×2
  • Shock resistant
  • Pocket-sized and portable

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Speed depends on the USB interface
  • Not water or dust resistant
  • No hardware encryption

10. Seagate Expansion Solid State Drive

Overall Rank: 6.6 out of 10
Warranty: 3-year limited manufacturer warranty
Best Place to Buy: Amazon

Seagate Expansion SSD is one of the best-seller SSD drives. Its price is more affordable compared to other external SSD drives on this list.

The advertised speed of the Seagate Expansion SSD is 400MB/s which translates to 381MB/s actual speed. This is an average speed for an SSD drive.

It works with Windows and macOS without the need to reformat. The default file system is exFAT. If you want to use it with Time Machine on macOS, you will need to reformat it to a file system that is supported by Time Machine.

It comes with a USB-A connector cable. If your laptop has a USB-C port, or you want to connect it to a mobile device or a tablet, you will need to buy a USB-C adapter separately.

Seagate Expansion SSD is shock-resistant, but it is not water or dust resistant. It comes with a 3-year limited warranty.

Get further details and buy now on Amazon >>>

Product Specifications

FeatureAdvertised SpecsActual Specs
(if different)
Sequential Read Speed400MB/s*381MB/s*
Sequential Write SpeedNot disclosed
Capacity
(You can choose anyone)
500GB, 1TB*465GB, 931GB*
Supported Operating SystemsWindows 7 or higher,
Mac OS X 10.12 or higher
Connector TypeUSB-A
SizeMedium size and portable.
DurabilityShock resistant
Temperature ToleranceNot disclosed.
Warranty3-year limited manufacturer warranty
Drive EncryptionOnly software encryption

*Read advertised capacity vs actual capacity.

Overall Rating and Ranking

FeatureMy RatingReason
Speed5 out of 10The speed is average for an SSD drive.
Capacity7 out of 10It offers 500GB and 1TB.
Does not offer more than 1TB capacity.
Durability7 out of 10Not water or dust resistant
Price9 out of 10The price is affordable, though the specs are not very high
Connector6 out of 10Supports USB 3.0
Comes with USB-A Connector
You will need to buy a USB-C adapter
Size7 out of 10It is pocket-sized, but not very small.
Manufacturer8 out of 10Seagate is a trusted brand.
Drive Encryption4 out of 10Only software encryption is applicable
Overall Rating6.6 out of 10Average of all the ratings

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Shock resistant
  • Compatible with PC and Mac
  • Pocket-sized and portable

Cons

  • Speed is average for an SSD drive
  • No USB-C connector. You must buy an adapter separately
  • Not water or dust resistant
  • The size is average.

Conclusion

The above list is a collection of the best external SSD drives. I give you all the details need to help you decide which one to buy.

If a cheaper external SSD drive solves your problem, don’t spend more money on buying an expensive SSD drive.

You can check the important characteristics of each SSD drive and see which of them fits your needs. You will be able to select the best SSD external hard drive.

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Also if you have any questions or comments, leave them below and I would be more than happy to help you out.


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5 thoughts on “What is the Best SSD External Hard Drive?”

  1. Thank you for these comparisons. I am a fan of Samsung and I am glad that the number one products was from samsung but then I saw that there are 2 more products that you recommend from the same brand. I took a closer look at them but could’t decide on one. Which one do you recommend the most?

    Reply
    • Hi Ladia
      Definitely Samsung manufactures the best SSD drives. There is a reason that people love Samsung.
      I listed the top best SSD external drives and they have different features. If you need an ultra-fast external SSD hard drive, you should be willing to pay a few more bucks.
      Some of them have very high data security, and some of them are rugged and designed for extreme conditions. You should choose based on the most important factors for you.
      If you need to use an SSD external hard drive under normal conditions and don’t want to pay a lot, I can recommend SAMSUNG T7 Touch Portable SSD. It is a combination of very fast speed and high data security. And it is very convenient to use with fingerprint unlock instead of using a password.

      Hope that helps.

      Reply
  2. Thanks for yet another mind blowing article, I’ve had a lot of issues with different kinds of external hard drives and it’s always very annoying how you buy something at a good price and it ends up flopping. I love these products, especially the Samsung products, I’ll see if I can get one soon.

    Reply
  3. Looks like Samsung is one of the best brands that make ssd external hard drive. I’m happy that you can talk about it and I would be very glad to give it a try. The way you explained all about them is good and very detailed too. Which of the Samsung’s would you think is the best for me to buy

    Reply
    • Hi Sus
      Thanks for stopping by.
      Samsung is one of the most reliable SSD manufacturers, creating well designed external SSD drives.
      You should look for the features that you need and buy the SSD drive that offers those features. I can recommend Samsung T7 because it offers high security with great convenience. Just use your finger to unlock the drive.
      If you are looking for a more affordable option, then go for Samsung T5.
      Hope that helps.
      Cheers.

      Reply

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