Best External Hard Drives for Xbox One Windows Central 2020
The Western Digital My Book is a worthwhile purchase for anyone looking to install a large number of games on their Xbox One, allowing you to take full advantage of a whopping 3TB of storage.
- Best Overall: Western Digital My Book
- Runner-up: Seagate Game Drive Hub 8TB
- Best Value: Western Digital My Passport
- Best Portability: Samsung T5
- Speedy pick: Samsung 860 Pro
Best Overall: Western Digital My Book
Not only are you investing in a quality storage brand in Western Digital, but the prices of the company's My Book line of external enclosures are incredibly competitive. Some purchasers have even found the drives contained within the products to be priced more as standalone units than when inside the My Book protective casing, so you know you're getting a solid deal for the Xbox One S or Xbox One X.
With games becoming more complex and sizes hitting insane amounts for downloads, it makes sense to pick up an external drive to offset some of the burdens, since the Xbox One S only comes with either 500GB, 1TB or 2TB of internal space, which simply isn't enough anymore. The Xbox One X suffers from similar storage constraints. Throw in a 4TB Western Digital My Book and you have up to 6TB of storage space.
The My Book is essentially a WD drive plugged into a daughter circuit board, which then runs via USB to the Xbox One S. That's pretty much it, aside from the protective plastic casing, of course. No thrills, no cool LED lighting, but when all you require the drive to do is spin up with the Xbox and store games, that's pretty much all you could ever need in an external drive.
WD offers the My Book series in 3TB, 4TB, 6TB, 8TB, 12TB and 16TB configurations. The latter two options are dual-drives, sporting larger cases with two drives inside. It all depends on how much you want to spend and how much capacity is required.
- From 3TB of space
- Plug and play
- Store countless more games
- Not as fast as an SSD
- Need a spare outlet for power
Boasting a large amount of storage for the price
Western Digital makes some great mechanical drives and this My Book is a great external storage solution for your Xbox console.
Best Alternative: Seagate Game Drive Hub 8TB
With a massive capacity of 8TB, this Seagate Game Drive is ideal for those who need to store a colossal library of Xbox One titles on their consoles but only wish to make use of a single drive. It's also designed to fit right in with the Xbox console itself. Seagate designed this hard drive specifically with the Xbox in mind so it will surely fit in with your controllers and the device itself.
This also has two front-facing USB ports which can act as a charger for your extra controllers. Also, the hard drive is a plug-and-play, so there's no set up required for this particular drive. However, this is not as fast as an SSD, so it may take some time to transfer data to the external drive.
- Up to 8 TB
- Two front-facing USB ports
- Not as fast as SSD
You'll likely never run out of space.
When you need serious capacity and are a serious Xbox One gamer, this is the drive for you. Massive storage on a single drive.
Best Value: Western Digital My Passport
Not only is the My Password from WD great value for 1TB, but it's also perfect for taking along for the ride to LAN events and parties where your Xbox may also have an invite. While it's not designed alongside the Xbox, there are numerous colours to choose from to match your taste.
This may not be a drive you can use for all of your devices, but it will work perfectly with the Xbox if that's all you need it for. The case has also said to be a bit flimsy, so picking up a protective case for it may be ideal. However, it is still a really good external drive for saving all of your game data so you won't lose track of your saves.
- Perfect for the travelling gamer
- Multiple colours
- May not be usable with PCs
- Casing is flimsy
More affordable than others
Want a portable drive you can take with you to various LAN events and Xbox parties? My Passport family of drives is worth a look.
Best Portability: Samsung T5
What makes an SSD a worthwhile purchase for an Xbox One console is the read and write speeds, making it an ideal upgrade over the mechanical drives located inside the console. Samsung makes some of the best SSDs on the market so your collection of games is in good hands. With four colours to choose from and backward compatibility with USB-C cords, it's a great option.
One of the best parts about this hard drive is that it's a small and compact drive to take along with you. It's perfect for taking your games with you to friend's houses or gaming competitions. This drive is not a plug-and-play, however, because there is some software you may have to download it to use this hard drive elsewhere.
- Fast transfer speeds
- Backward compatible
- Not plug-and-play
Don't spend too much money
Sporting transfer speeds of up to 540 MB/s, the Samsung T3 external SSD package is a great solution to expand capacity.
Best Speed: Samsung 860 Pro
Samsung's PRO range of SSDs is incredibly fast considering they connect via slower SATA cables rather than hooking up through PCIe. This also makes them ideal for the Xbox One. All you need to do is purchase a small SSD enclosure to house this drive and manage the connection between it and your console, and you're good to go.
The software helps make this SSD a great option for external storage, and it pushes this above other SSDs you may find. This helps with the transfer speeds to keep them going at top speed. Also, it can be nice to have a smaller external hard drive so you don't take up much space next to your Xbox.
- Fast SSD transfer speeds
- Great supporting software
- Performance slowed by SATA cables
Expensive, reliable and super quick
Wanting increased read and write speeds of SSDs over traditional hard drives? Samsung's 860 Pro series is among the best.
While you cannot go wrong when it comes to external hard drives, especially if you have a few units lying around and simply need to purchase an enclosure, we believe the best option for the Xbox One S and Xbox One X is the Western Digital My Book. Not only does it add an insane amount of storage to the console, but it also offers great reliability and portability.
With this external drive, it's possible to add up to 16TB of storage for your games. With console games getting larger over time, it's important to consider just how many you'll be able to save locally without having to deal with physical media, which is becoming obsolete.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Kennedy Maring is a freelancer who loves playing games, her little animal family along with her husband, and the great outdoors. Although she is a nerd through and through, she is looking to complete her cosmetology certificate in the next year.
Rich Edmonds is a staff reviewer at Windows Central, which means he tests out more software and hardware than he cares to remember. Joining Mobile Nations in 2010, you can usually find him inside a PC case tinkering around when not at a screen fighting with Grammarly to use British words. Hit him up on Twitter: @RichEdmonds.
Jez Corden is a full-time writer for Windows Central, focusing on Xbox, Surface, and Windows PC. He spends the vast majority of his time gaming, or writing about gaming, with a mission to provide gamers in the Microsoft ecosystem the best and most up-to-date info possible.
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