Best portable hard drives 2024

Samsung T7
Samsung T7 (Image credit: Windows Central)

Taking files with you can be a pain if you rely on flash drives. However, if you have larger files or want everything in a single physical location, you're likely going to want to look at a portable drive instead. We rounded up a few of the best portable drives for when an internet connection is limited or you prefer to have data easily accessible with just a cable.

Choosing the best portable hard drive

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There are countless external drives available with either hard drives or solid-state drives. Depending on your budget and just how fast you need them to go, it's possible to spend very little on expanding (or backing up) your device storage. For those who frequently use external drives for storing and accessing larger files (like media), something with an NVMe SSD would suffice.

Our top recommendation is the excellent Samsung T7. It contains a 2.5-inch Samsung SSD with transfer speeds of up to 1,050MB/s and is enclosed in a gorgeous aluminum shell. If you require something with a little more speed, I'd go for Sabrent's Rocket XTRM-Q which can take advantage of Thunderbolt 3 ports. Then there's the Seagate Backup Plus Slim which offers excellent value.

Back up your backups!

We always recommend storing important data in more than a single place, so be sure to use the best NAS (or cloud service) as well as a physical portable drive, just in case. It's best to have your important data saved in three or more locations that are physically disconnected from one another.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.