Best Toshiba External Hard Drives Windows Central 2021

In the modern world where the size of files is always increasing, having an adequate amount of storage space for your computer or gaming console is important. While the 500GB or 1TB drives that most machines come with are sometimes enough, you'll often find — especially if you play a lot of video games — that you need more. Thankfully, Toshiba is here to help you with their quality Canvio series of external hard drives. Out of all of the different Canvio drives on the market, our favorite is the Canvio Advance thanks to its perfect balance of storage space, size, price, and security.

Best Overall: Canvio Advance

For most people, the Canvio Advance will be the perfect hard drive. It's available in a ton of different configurations, with storage space options ranging from 500GB to 4TB, three different case styles, and five color options all to choose between. Its physical size is 4.3-by-3.1-by-0.55 inches, which makes it comparable to a smartphone and, of course, easy to take with you while traveling. The hard drive is compatible with both USB 3.0 and older 2.0 connections, and the transfer rate for data is wonderful, with USB 3.0 transfers going as fast as 5GB/s and USB 2.0 ones reaching 480MB/s. In addition to all of this, the Canvio Advance comes with some bonus software downloads that will allow you to set up and maintain data backups, as well as protect the contents of your hard drive with a password.

Overall, the Canvio Advance is a fantastic external hard drive, and when you consider that it's only slightly more expensive than the cheapest drive that Toshiba sells, it's easy to see why we think it's the best hard drive.


  • Large storage space
  • Excellent customization options
  • Useful software included
  • Fast data transfer


  • Not as big as other options

Best Overall

Canvio Advance

Absolute perfection

The Canvio Advance has tons of storage options, is heavily customizable, comes with helpful software, and is priced well.

Best Size: Canvio For Desktop

The Canvio For Desktop is the largest external hard drive that Toshiba sells — in terms of both physical and storage size. This brick-sized behemoth comes in at 6.57-by-5.1-by-1.63 inches, which is very big for a hard drive. Thankfully, it makes good use of that size, as you can configure it to be able to store up to 6 TB, which is a massive amount.

It also comes with a built-in security lock that protects your files from unauthorized access like the Canvio Advance's software does. Naturally, these things increase the price significantly, but if you play a lot of games or save a lot of videos and films on your computer, a hard drive this large will be worth it.


  • Massive storage
  • Built-in security lock


  • Large size
  • Most expensive option

Best Size

Canvio For Desktop

Go big or go home

The Canvio For Desktop offers a massive amount of storage space, but the large physical size and price may bother some.

Best Budget: Canvio Basics

Essentially, the Canvio Basics drive is a Canvio Advance one without the included software. Everything else about it is exactly the same, right down to the physical dimensions of the drive. It's worth noting that it only comes in black, though.

Ultimately, the Canvio Basics is the drive you should opt for if you don't care about security software and would prefer to shave a little bit of money off your bill. The drop in price is very minor, but sometimes every dollar counts.


  • Large storage space
  • Least expensive choice


  • No included software
  • Only comes in black

Best Budget

Canvio Basics

Amazing quality without the assurance

If you want everything that makes the Canvio Advance amazing without its included software, then the Canvio Basics drive is the way to go.

Best Style: Canvio Ready

On paper, the Canvio Ready seems like a middle-of-the-road drive. It can be configured with up to 3TB of storage and is a little bit bigger than the Basics or Advance models in terms of physical size, coming in at 4.69-by-3.15-by-0.59 inches, although this isn't too big of an increase. The advertised reason to buy it is that it's a "plug-and-use" device that requires no setup, but in truth, that's how all of the Toshiba external hard drives work.

In reality, the reason you might want to consider the Canvio Ready is because it comes with a stylish outer case that looks fancier then the other Canvio drives. Instead of a flat surface, the Canvio Ready features textured sides with miniature holes. The surface feels nice to hold and grip on top of looking nice, but the increased price of the Canvio Ready compared to the Basics or Advance model means that you should only choose the Ready if you'd like your external hard drive to have some pizazz.


  • Large storage space
  • Stylish, textured casing


  • More expensive
  • Slightly bigger than other models
  • Not enough storage for some

Best Style

Canvio Ready

Looks great, costs more

The Canvio Ready is a stylish and eye-catching external hard drive that costs a little more then less-flashy options as a result.

Best Compact: Canvio Slim

The Canvio Slim is designed specifically with portability in mind. In terms of physical size, this drive is just 4.21-by-2.95-by-0.35 inches, which is considerably smaller than the other "normal" sized hard drives on this list. The caveat, though, is that the drive can only be configured up to 1TB.

In addition, since the engineers at Toshiba had to perform some tech wizardry with this drive, it costs a fair amount more than the Basics or Advance models. Even so, this drive is perfect if you're looking for something that can be taken with you during travel incredibly easily. Also, the finish on the case looks a little like wood, which adds a touch of style to the hard drive.


  • Smallest physical size
  • Cool case finish


  • More expensive
  • Less storage

Best Compact

Canvio Slim

Perfect portability

Although it costs quite a bit and has less storage, the small, compact size of the Canvio Slim is perfect for people looking for a portable hard drive.

Bottom line

Each of Toshiba's Canvio external hard drives offer something different, and one of them is bound to be right for you depending on what your wants or needs are. However, overall, we think that the Canvio Advance is the best of Toshiba's external hard drives because of its incredible balance between storage space, physical size, price, and software features. Other drives offer one feature that the Advance might not have, but with this, you'll be getting the best overall package.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide


Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. He's relatively new to the writing scene, but he counters that lack of experience with a rock-solid work ethic and a desire to improve at every opportunity. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.

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