Sandisk SSD

A portable SSD has a number of benefits over a portable HDD, the biggest being that they're much smaller and much faster. There are trade offs like ultimate capacity and a generally higher price tag, but if you move a lot of data on the go, this is the way to do it.

Portable SSDs are more common than they once were and there's a good selection to choose from. These are the ones you should consider.

Samsung T5

Samsung makes some of the finest in-PC SSDs around and the Korean electronics giant's portable offerings are also fantastic. The T5 is the latest model, with capacities ranging from 250GB up to a whopping 2TB.

Read and write speeds are up to 540 MB/s, on par with an internal 2.5-inch SSD, which is crazily fast compared to a portable HDD. The T5 is also ridiculously small, shock resistant and uses USB-C 3.1 for superfast transfer to and from your laptop.

Prices start at $125 for the 250GB model.

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Sandisk Extreme 510

Sandisk Extreme 510

If you're the outdoors type, perhaps needing a tough portable SSD to stick in your camera gear bag, then the Extreme 510 from Sandisk is worth your time. Shockproof and IP55 rated for water and dust resistance, it's not going to let you down when you need it most. You get a good ratio on storage to price as well, with the Extreme 510 squeezing 480GB inside.

Read speeds are up to 430MB/s, and Sandisk's included encryption software will keep your private things private. An added neat touch for those on the go is the included metal ring to clip it to a belt or a bag, keeping it where you need it at all times.

At $159 for 480GB it's pretty good value, too. SanDisk has introduced a newer model, but it's a lot more expensive so for most people, this is still the one to choose.

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ADATA SE730

ADATA SE730

This teeny little SSD boasts read/write speeds up to 500MB/s and USB-C 3.1 at a solid price of around $140. Throw in an IP68 water/dust-proof rating and MIL-STD-810G 516.6 shockproof certification plus a three-year warranty and there's little to complain about.

There's no fancy security software on the SE730, which may account for the lower price than some of the competitors. But you do get a 250GB storage option, which is great, and it'll slip inside any pocket on any bag.

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PNY Elite

PNY Elite

The PNY Elite is a no-frills portable SSD smaller than a credit card with 24/7 U.S. based customer support. Oh, and a pretty low price tag for its 240GB model.

Need more? Fine! With 430MB/s read and 400MB/s write speeds, it's not the fastest in its class but it's still at least four times quicker than a portable HDD. The icing on the cake is the included license for Acronis True Image, a simple way to make a full backup of your drive in the event that anything bad happens. 480GB is currently only $140.

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Pioneer portable SSD

Pioneer isn't the first brand you consider when you're looking for storage. Car stereos, maybe, but this little portable SSD is worth attention.

It supports USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 and with read speeds of 480MB/s it's fast enough to keep up with anything you need to do on the go while using the same cable you might be using to charge your phone.

It's very small, very light and at $100 for 240GB, very well priced.

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Updated March 23, 2018: The Pioneer portable SSD joins our lineup as a great choice at a great price.