USB-C

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.

Samsung T5

Samsung T5

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. Well-reviewed at PCMag and The Wirecutter, the latter site had this to say:

The Samsung T5 Portable SSD has the best balance of reliability, speed, and size for about the same price as its competition.

Prices start at about $115 for 250GB and read/write speeds of up to 540 MB/s. If you're often bringing it along with you, you can add a password and enioy AES 256-bit encryption.

See at Amazon

Western Digital My Passport

Western Digital My Passport

A respected brand, a teeny tiny little box, and 512GB of SSD storage for about $140? WD's My Passport is a winner for sure.

If you need more space, you can grab 1TB for about $300, and prices go as low as $100 for a 256GB size.

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.

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LaCie Rugged

LaCie Rugged

This LaCie SSD was designed by Neil Poulton? How about that, huh?

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 insanely fast data transfer at about 510 MB/s.

Pricing starts around $300 for the 500GB model and goes up to $500 for the 1TB version, but while pricey, there's still a lot of value. 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 in the event that there is a failure.

See at Amazon

DIY Satechi enclosure

DIY Satechi enclosure

If you already have a 2.5-inch SSD going spare, you can save yourself some cash and get this $35 enclosure from Satechi. Simply pop in the drive, and you've got your very 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.

See at Amazon

Dell Portable Thunderbolt 3 SSD

Dell TB3

Make no mistake, at $420 this is an extremely pricey portable SSD, but it has one killer feature that makes it stand out from the crowd.

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.

See at Dell

More resources

Check out these other links for more information on hard drives and PC backups.

Updated June 1, 2018: Added the incredible Dell Thunderbolt 3 SSD to our list.

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