Best External USB-C SSDs Windows Central 2020

When it comes to storing a lot of files and backups that you can carry in your bag or pocket, a portable solid-state drive (SSD) is your best bet. You get a small size with big performance, with portable SSDs offering extremely fast data transfer speeds while sometimes being the size of a credit card.

Top choice: Samsung T5

Staff pick

Samsung makes amazing SSDs, and the T5 is the latest and greatest that you can slip into a pocket. Coming in a range of capacities, including 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB, the T5 is fast, tiny, and not massively expensive. Expect read/write speeds of up to 540 MB/s and if you often bring it along with you, you can add a password and enioy AES 256-bit encryption.

From $90 at Amazon

Back it up: Western Digital My Passport

A respected brand, a teeny tiny little box, and a solid price, WD's My Passport is a winner for sure. Transfer speeds can hit up to about 515 MB/s, you can add a password and 256-bit AES encryption, and automatic backup makes it easy to keep your data current. Capacities range from 256GB up to 2TB.

From $73 at Amazon

Rough and tough: LaCie Rugged

This is pricey, but more importantly, it's ridiculously rugged and durable, so it's perfect for the outdoorsy laptop user. It also supports Thunderbolt from its USB-C port, which is fast data transfer at about 510 MB/s. If you're especially hard on your gear, know that this purchase also includes a three-year limited warranty and access to LaCie's data recovery service.

From $285 at Amazon

Make your own: DIY Satechi enclosure

If you already have a 2.5-inch SSD to spare, you can save yourself some cash and get this enclosure from Satechi. Simply pop in the drive, and you've got your own, homemade portable SSD. Of course, it has USB-C 3.1, so you'll still get great data transfer speeds. For anyone with some spare hardware and who wants to save some cash, this is the best bet.

$35 at Amazon

Superspeed: Dell Portable Thunderbolt 3 SSD

Not only does this 500GB SSD have USB-C, it has Thunderbolt 3 support, which means insanely fast data transfer. Dell claims up to 2,800MB/s transfer speeds, which is not only incredible, but faster than many good SSDs you might find inside a PC or laptop. It's ridiculously small and light, and for the mobile photographer or videographer, this might well be the one you've been waiting for.

$300 at Dell

Value performance: Sabrent Rocket Pro

Sabrent has some excellent value storage solutions for PC, and the Rocket Pro is no exception. Besides being compact and incredibly well made, it uses the NVMe standard and USB-C 3.1, with the end result being superfast data speeds, while maintaining an affordable price. It also comes with a USB-A adapter, so regardless of the PC you use it with, you can always get at your data.

From $58 at Amazon

Plenty of great choice

Even with cloud storage as ubiquitous as it is today, sometimes you simply can't substitute being able to carry data with you on a portable drive. An SSD is by far the best way to do this, and with the advancement of the USB-C standard, prices are beginning to fall. If we had to choose one we'd always lean towards, it would be the Samsung T5, for similar reasons to recommending the company's internal SSDs.

Like Samsung internal storage, the T5 is fast, reliable, good value and comes with a solid warranty. The T5 inparticular is insanely portable, sizing little more than a credit card. You really could carry it in a wallet.

There are plenty of other good choices out there as well, and one of the most impressive is the Dell Thunderbolt 3 portable SSD, if for nothing other than the technology and performance it brings to the table. And a special shout out for Sabrent, a brand you may not be familiar with but that has been producing some good quality, high performing, affordable storage solutions recently. The Rocket Pro is another excellent choice.

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