Best portable, travel, external SSDs 2023

Sandisk SSD
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 then one of the best portable SSDs is what you need.

If we had to choose ...

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When we're choosing an internal SSD for a PC, there's one brand we always go for, and the same can be said now for external ones, too. Samsung makes some of the best portable SSDs on the market, and the tiny T7 is one excellent SSD. You get a range of sizes, even colors to choose from, it's fast and reliable, and doesn't even cost that much. It's a definite winner.

At the other end of the scale, Samsung is now pushing out Thunderbolt drives with the performance that once was a fantasy for portable storage. They're pricey and not everyone can even use them, but if you're looking for the future, today, then it's here with the X5.

There's also the CalDigit Tuff Nano Plus, which offers excellent performance in a package that's both rugged and compact. It doesn't come cheap, but you're getting stellar durability and speed in an SSD that's considerably smaller than the majority of competing drives.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.