Best External Solid State Drives Windows Central 2019

External solid-state drives can make life a lot easier for anyone who needs to store and transfer files at a rapid speed. Imagine clicking on a file and having it open immediately with zero to little wait time, or having the ability to load programs quickly and efficiently while gaming. Having an external SSD is definitely a game-changer. We recommend the Samsung T5 Portable SSD for its fast read-write speeds and its modern design.

Best Overall: Samsung T5 Portable SSD

The Samsung T5 Portable SSD is perfect for storing documents, files, media, and games. You'll find it's an excellent choice for students, gamers, and for your own use in the office. This SSD comes in four unique colors and a sleek casing with curved edges. The body of this SSD is durable and can withstand drops from up to 2 meters high. It weighs a light 1.80 ounces and is 0.41 inches thick. It measures smaller than the average business card in size.

This particular drive offers 500GB of storage, but can also come in 1TB or 2TB for a higher price. It supports USB 3.1 Gen2, offering a transfer speed of 10GB per second. It's also backwards compatible with USB 3.0 and 2.0, offering a read-write speed of 540MB per second. Included with this drive are USB Type-C to C and USB Type-C to A cables, which allow you to plug the drive into almost any device easily.

Your data can be easily managed through the included software, which is compatible with Windows 7, Max 0S X 10.9, Android 4.4, or higher. The Samsung T5 comes equipped with optional AES 256-bit hardware encryption to keep your data safe and password protected. It also has a 3-year warranty, so you don't have to worry about damage to your drive.

Pros:

  • Smaller than a business card
  • 500GB of storage
  • 3-year warranty
  • drop-tested

Cons:

  • Some Mac users report issues with crashing

Best Overall

Samsung T5 Portable SSD

500Gb of storage in a drive smaller than a business card

Available in four chic colors, the Samsung T5 Portable SSD offers a massive 500Gb of storage space while measuring smaller than the average business card.

Best Value: Seagate Fast SSD 250GB External Sold State Drive

The Seagate Fast SSD 250 GB External Solid State Drive is great for individuals who work in a fast-paced environment and who need access to files on-the-go, such as photographers or videographers. This drive is impressively fast and works at speeds of up to 540 Mbps.

This drive measures at 3.7 x 3.11 x 0.35 inches, which makes it small and easily portable. It is extremely lightweight and also shock-resistant, so you don't have to worry about it bumping around in your bag and becoming damaged while you're on the job. It also can keep your folders conveniently organized across devices through its folder-syncing features. In fact, you have the option to designate a folder to save the most up-to-date changes on your files automatically.

This external state hard drive comes prepared with a reversible USB-C cable to make connectivity as easy as possible. Also included in this bundle is a USB Type-C to Type-A cable to enhance compatibility amongst additional devices.

Another plus to the Seagate Fast SSD 250 GB External Solid State Drive is that it comes with a complimentary two-month membership to Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan, which makes this drive excellent for photographers and videographers. Some users mention that the drive sometimes arrives damaged due to shipping.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and shock-resistant
  • 250 GB of storage
  • Folder-syncing across devices
  • Free two-month membership to Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan

Cons:

  • Sometimes arrives damaged due to shipping

Best Value

Seagate Fast SSD 250GB External Sold State Drive

Store and transfer images rapidly on-the-go

The Seagate Fast SSD 250GB External Sold State Drive is small and compact and great for photographers and videographers.

Best Durability: ADATA SD600Q External SSD

Available in three bold colors, the ADATA SD600Q External SSD measures at 3.1'' x 3.1'' x 0.6'' and weighs 2.08 ounces, which makes it the perfect SSD for use on-the-go as it can fit easily into your pocket or bag. The exterior of the ADATA SD600Q is covered in a protective and shock-absorbing silicone casing. You never have to worry about damage due to accidental drops as this drive can withstand falls from up to 1.22 meters high and offers military-grade protection.

This SSD supports hot-swapping, meaning you can unplug it without powering down your host device first. It is also compatible with Windows, Mac, and Android. Equipped with a USB 3.1 interface, and compatibility with USB-A connections, the ADATA SD600Q can deliver read-write speeds of up to 440GB per second.

The ADATA SD600Q offers 3D NAND Flash, which means that the memory cells are stacked, increasing the amount of storage available.

Pros:

  • Military-grade protection
  • Compatible with Windows, Mac, Android
  • 3D NAND flash

Cons:

  • Slightly expensive

Best Durability

ADATA SD600Q External SSD

3D NAND flash in a military-grade protective casing

The ADATA SD600Q External SSD has 3D NAND flashpacking inside of its military-grade protective silicone casing which increases storage.

Best Portability: TOROSUS 250GB External SSD

The TOROSUS 250GB External SSD is great for storing photos, videos, and documents. It measures at 66mm x 36mm x 9mm, which makes it incredibly compact and portable. Simply stuff it in your pocket, and head out of the door. The TOROSUS SSD offers 250GB of storage with NAND flash; however, it is also available with 500GB of storage at a higher price point.

This SSD is shock and vibration resistant, so don't let it's small size trick you into thinking that it is fragile. This particular SSD also can dissipate and ventilate heat. Another plus is that a 3-year warranty backs it for extra peace of mind.

Great for transferring data on the go, this drive has a read-write speed of up to 368MB per second. The TOROSUS SSD is compatible with Windows and Mac and includes a USB 3.0 to a Type-C interface.

Pros:

  • Small and compact
  • 3-year warranty
  • Shock and vibration resistant

Cons:

  • Some users say it is too small in size

Best Portability

TOROSUS 250GB External SSD

Extremely small and efficient SSD

While the TOROSUS 250GB External SSD is exceptionally compact, it is still incredibly durable and efficient with its speedy 368MB per second read-write abilities.

Best Aesthetics: WD 512GB My Passport SSD Portable Storage

The Western Digital 512GB My Passport SSD is not only visually appealing, but it is extraordinarily speedy and durable as well. Measuring at 3.5'' x 1.8'' x 0.39'', this drive comes in a black and chrome textured casing that is shock-resistant and pleasing to look at. This SSD has been drop-tested to withstand a 6.5-foot drop, so you don't have to worry about it becoming damaged due to accidental falls. This drive is excellent for individuals who work in an office environment as well as outdoors in a rugged environment.

The WD My Passport SSD is built for PC or Mac and is compatible with USB Type-C and USB type-A ports. It is also compatible with USB 3.1 Gen 2, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and USB-A. The type-C port can reach transfer speeds of up to 540MB per second, making it the fastest My Passport to date.

Using the WD My Passport SSD is extremely easy as all you need to do is take it out of the box and plug it in. The device includes WD Backup software, which automatically saves your files to Dropbox or your drive. You also have the option of setting a password with the built-in 256-bit AES Hardware Encryption software through WD Security.

Pros:

  • Plug it in and use immediately
  • WD Backup software included
  • Can withstand a 6.5-foot drop

Cons:

  • Must safely eject device to avoid complications

Best Aesthetics

WD 512GB My Passport SSD Portable Storage

Visually appealing SSD and fastest My Passport to date

This Western Digital SSD comes in a black and chrome textured and durable casing with a transfer speed of 540MB per second, making it the fastest My Passport to date.

Bottom line

There are many reasons that an external solid-state drive can make your digital life a lot easier, including faster transfer speeds, flexible storage, easy installation, and low energy consumption. Forget about wasting time waiting around while your files transfer. Instead, increase your productivity through the use of an external SSD.

There are different types of SSDs for various industries and needs. If you're a photographer, you may want an external SSD that can handle high-resolution images. If you're someone who works in an office and needs to transfer and store essential files and documents, then you may opt for something a little more straightforward. We recommend the Samsung T5 Portable SSD as it offers a little bit of everything in that it is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Android while providing 500GB of storage and read-write speeds of 540MB per second.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Camille Sanghera is a freelance writer who loves using the power of words to give individuals and objects a voice. When she is not content writing, you can find her running trails with her dogs or writing fiction and self-help books.

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