Choosing an external hard drive can become a little tricky with so many options available online.
There are a lot of factors that need to be considered when you buy an external hard drive.
You need to know the storage capacity, compatibility, and portability before you consider the price.
Based on all these parameters, we’ve handpicked 12 best external hard drives of 2018 that are available on Amazon website. Let’s start.
#1 WD My Book Duo 16TB
This drive offers maximum storage space one can get in a single external hard drive.
The interface supports USB 3.0 with two ports. A capacity of 16TB makes My Book Duo a good solution if you’re looking for data storage capacity.
- Supports RAID array and has features of a NAS device
- Can be used as a network attached storage device if the router has USB 3.0 ports
- Automatic backup software (WD SmartWare Pro) ensure safe storage
You can go for the Western Digital’s My Book Duo if you seek a fully-serviceable, high capacity and preformatted external SSD.
#2 Adata SD700 External SSD
Adata brings a compact solution for terabyte storage. The drive comes in a comprehensive capacity range of 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB.
- Improved performance
- IP68 ratings
- SSD speeds at par with USB speeds
The drive is affordable, but a waste of money as you can get an external hard drive with more storage at the same cost. The drive doesn’t support USB-C.
#3 WD My Passport Wireless Pro 3TB
Western Digital has designed this wireless wonder to ensure connectivity issues won’t worry you.
- Best-in-class portable external hard drive
- Support to USB 3.0, Wi-Fi
- Decent battery life
- Efficient in streaming movies
You may dislike it for not being able to support high-speed file transfers through USB-C ports. The drive doesn’t support anything else than USB 3.0 and Wi-Fi. The wireless features are also responsible for the high price.
#4 Seagate Expansion 4TB External Hard Drive
Seagate’s high capacity external hard drives that offer fast file transfer and convenient storage, but with a condition for Mac users.
The Seagate Expansion 4TB external hard drive is
- Simple to use – you plug it in and go
- Available in four high capacity options – 3TB, 4TB, 5TB and 8TB,
- Compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 3.0.
You also get the advantage of high-speed file transfer with SuperSpeed USB 3.0.
High capacity storage drive
Easy installation and fast file transfer make file management and data storage more convenient. You can add storage space instantly, and you don’t compromise the system performance.
Requires external power; inconvenient for Mac users
The downside, though, is its portability. The Expansion series drives have a robust appearance and space-optimized designs.
However, this has made them heavy, compared to other more compact external hard drives available. The product requires an external power source, which powers the high-speed file transfer.
There’s also a hidden drawback. You can simultaneously use this external drive with Mac and Windows operating systems.
The installation setup is designed to support one particular OS. So, you will have to format the drive before using it with Mac.
The hard drive is of no use if you are shuffling between Mac and Windows systems.
High capacity storage and fast file sharing come at the cost of an external power source. If that’s not an issue, then get a hand on this high capacity storage space.
#5 OWC ThunderBay 4 Mini
Most expensive external hard drive (1TB+) with excellent build quality, the OWC ThunderBay 4 Mini is made for high-spending techies.
- Fastest external SSD
- A robust solution for multi-disk arrays
- Easy mounting
- No incidence of bottleneck
- Ejects randomly, and un-mounts immediately while using with Thunderbolt devices
- Cables are hypersensitive
- One of the ports may malfunction
The drive will occasionally unmount, at times even if you slight bump the cables.
You can use these drives for streaming samples in music production. However, it best serves the purpose of storage than direct streaming.
#6 Seagate Backup Plus Desktop Drive 5TB
Your system performance is improved with Seagate’s combination of speed and capacity.
Backup Plus Desktop drives offer:
- High reliability
- Fast data transfer speeds
- Capacity ranges up to 8TB
- Competitive read-write speeds
This drive is more suitable for Windows users. You can also use it with Mac, but you’ll have to pay more for compatibility.
The backup software of this drive performs the formatting task differently for Windows and Mac systems.
#7 Seagate Innov8 8TB
High on capacity, Seagate’s Innov8 is the best external hard drive of 2018. The drive offers 8TB capacity in a body frame of 3the .5-inch desktop drive.
The greatest advantage is that it doesn’t require an external power supply to run. The drive does feel heavy and is expensive, but has an impressive warranty period.
#8 WD Elements 4TB External Hard Drive
This high quality and reliable hard drive by Western Digital works across multiple systems.
- File transfer rates are ultrafast
- Storage up to 4TB
- Small size and large backup
- Expands system storage at an affordable price
You’ll find this external hard drive useful for being cheaper than others, and the add-on storage and universal connectivity will further ease your woes. But, there are some critical issues with this drive.
Unresponsive post-sleep mode; data recovery issues
If you have connected this drive to your laptop and left it for hours of data transfer, you will be disappointed when you return.
Laptop or any other system may go into stand-by or sleep mode upon hours of inactivity. This causes the drive to malfunction.
It can be found unresponsive after sleep mode, and you may not gain access even after ejecting and reconnecting it several times.
If you are using this drive for backup, then you are in for a major failure. The backup works fine for a few hours, but if you check it the next day, you may lose some data for sure.
Short life span and a nightmare for Mac users
A bigger problem is product lifespan. WD manufacturers haven’t able to offer external hard drives with more than 7 month warranty. The drive may crash within a year if used more for file transfer and streaming than storage.
But, it remains reliable for common data storage purposes. You can also stream 4k videos directly from the drive, without compromising system performance.
#9 Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC
Probably the most affordable external hard drive, the Buffalo MiniStation offers:
- Support to USB 3.0
- Wireless connectivity through NFC technology
- Integrated Wrap-around USB cable
- Resistance against dust and water
Watch Out for 10-min Timeout Security Feature
You should be aware that this drive comes un-encrypted. Any screen-saver or sleep mode settings may re-lock the drive. It could mess up large and long back-ups.
#10 WD My Passport External Hard Drive
The storage is limited to 2TB, but these drives serve well for 1TB storage requirements. The WD backup software offers auto backup.
Password protection, WD reliability, and support to USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 make it great option among the best external hard drives of 2018.
The drive has some issues, such as:
- Incompatible to LED/LCD TVs
- Inability to protect data from corruption
- Transfer rate drops after some months
#11 LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive 4TB
It is the king of external hard drives – if your system is equipped with USB-C ports.
Being a top accessory for Apple computers with USB-C ports, the LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive is an expensive purchase. Nonetheless, you will still buy it for:
- Stylish design and great build quality
- Fastest data transfer with USB-C connectors
- Top-end option in 4TB external hard drives
Made for USB-C Ports – an Advantage or Limitation
The hard drive offers rapid file transfers at high speeds with USB-C connectivity. It also works efficiently with both type C and type A USB connectors. However, the drive may not work under extreme conditions.
The USB-C connectivity limitation exposes the drive to data corruption risks. The drive may become defective, and you may lose data if you erase files frequently.
#12 iStorage diskAshur 2TB
Expensive for an external hard drive with 2TB capacity, this drive is sought for its advanced security features.
iStorage external hard drives are designed to offer tight security, unlike any other storage devices. Multinational organizations and governments use them for two reasons;
- Robust protection from physical damages
- Advanced data security features such as multi-user PIN codes, personalized 6-16 digit pin for secure access, etc.
- Protection from multiple forms of security threats
The design is rugged, so no one feels like tampering with it. You can also configure the drive to self-destruct in the event of forceful access or physical damage.
The unbreakable security of this drive undermines its high price.
diskAshur series from iStorage are expensive because they are developed on high-level data security programs such as Real Time 256-bit Military Grade AES Hardware Encryption.
They aren’t designed for ordinary computer users. However, that shouldn’t stop you from buying a best-in-security external hard drive.