External driver: The Best Rugged Hard Drives and SSDs for 2023

The Best Rugged Hard Drives and SSDs for 2023

What’s the best way to be sure your external hard drive won’t suffer an early demise due to rough handling? Keep it in a climate-controlled room, wrapped in bubble wrap, resting on a feather pillow, and plugged safely into a stationary desktop PC.

Excellent! But…wait, you can’t do that? Oh, well. Looks like you’re going to need a hard drive designed to withstand the rigors of the real world.

Now, any ordinary external hard drive has some degree of toughness. But there’s everyday tough, and then there’s rugged. “Rugged” comes in many grades, though. Some rugged drives are built to withstand forces that would kill any bare-naked internal drive: strong impacts, water immersion, even fire. Drives designed for more casual abuse are often marketed as “ruggedized,” but that’s an inexact term. It’s also something of a misnomer, as the actual drive mechanism inside the tough shell is usually a normal, off-the-shelf storage component, just like you’d find in any laptop or desktop. What makes a drive rugged is the casing around it, which allows these drives to withstand shock, dousing, and the like. The level of survivability often depends on how much money you want to spend.

In general, how much torture a given drive can take varies according to the nature of its enclosure. Some will let you drive a car over them. Others might be designed to handle just a short fall off a desk, and not much more.

In this guide, we gather up the most impressive models we’ve reviewed, and then walk you through the features most commonly found in rugged drives. If you’re the type of person who’s suffered a drive failure “in the field” before—whether that’s in your office, or climbing Kilimanjaro—these devices should keep you from suffering that pain again.

Deeper Dive: Our Top Tested Picks


Best Rugged SSD for General Use

4.5 Outstanding

Bottom Line:

The ADATA SE800 external SSD is everything you want in a shirt-pocket solid-state drive: sleek, tough, affordable, and snappy. It will make an excellent addition to your kit.


  • Small, light, and fast.
  • Highly durable.
  • Reasonable cost per gigabyte.
  • USB-C and USB-A cables included.


  • The provided cables are on the short side.


Learn More

ADATA SE800 Review

LaCie Rugged SSD Pro

Best Rugged SSD Using Thunderbolt 3

4.5 Outstanding

Bottom Line:

The LaCie Rugged SSD Pro external drive is designed for professional videographers and others who work in the field with Thunderbolt 3-equipped computers (most often Macs). Small, light, and even mailable, it earns the right to add “extremely” in front of “fast and rugged.”


  • Field-leading speed
  • Also works with USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 and Gen 2 ports
  • Extreme ruggedness against dust, water, drops, crush pressure
  • Five-year warranty


  • High price per gigabyte
  • Cable is a bit short


Learn More

LaCie Rugged SSD Pro Review

SanDisk Professional Pro-G40 SSD

Best Rugged SSD for Mac Users

4. 5 Outstanding

Bottom Line:

The Mac-centric SanDisk Professional Pro-G40 SSD, an external drive with sizzling speeds over a Thunderbolt 3 connection, is built to withstand anything the elements can throw at it. It doesn’t come cheap, but costs less than the nearest comparable drive we’ve reviewed.


  • Blistering speeds over a Thunderbolt 3 connection
  • Extremely rugged
  • Handsome design
  • Thunderbolt 3 cable included


  • High cost per gigabyte
  • Tricky to reformat for Windows use
  • Slower over a USB-C connection


Learn More

SanDisk Professional Pro-G40 SSD Review

Samsung Portable SSD T7 Shield

Best Rugged and Secure Mainstream SSD

4.0 Excellent

Bottom Line:

Samsung’s Portable SSD T7 Shield is an external solid-state drive that’s impervious to dust, rain, and tumbles. It’s a durable and secure choice for outdoor workers and travelers, if on the slow side compared to non-rugged SSDs.


  • Provides protection from rain, dust, and drops
  • AES 256-bit hardware-based encryption
  • Offers the raw speed of a USB 3.2 Gen 2 drive
  • Comes in capacities up to 2TB


  • Relatively short three-year warranty
  • Not the fastest external SSD for everyday storage tasks


Learn More

Samsung Portable SSD T7 Shield Review

iStorage DiskAshur M2

Best Rugged SSD for Extreme Data Security

4.0 Excellent

Bottom Line:

The iStorage DiskAshur M2 portable SSD packs a wealth of security features to protect your data—and it’s a proper value, too. It is impervious to the elements, can survive being run over, and costs less than similar security-focused SSDs.


  • AES-XTS 256-bit full-disk hardware encryption
  • IP68 ruggedness rating
  • Compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux, Chrome, Android, and more
  • Supports an administrator PIN, plus separate user PINs
  • No software to install
  • Aggressively priced for a security-focused SSD


  • More expensive per gigabyte than standard external SSDs
  • Much slower transfer rates than less-security-minded drives


Learn More

iStorage DiskAshur M2 Review

SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD V2

Best Rugged SSD for Athletic Activities

3. 5 Good

Bottom Line:

Geared to content creators, SanDisk’s Extreme Pro Portable SSD V2 offers some of the fastest read and write speeds we’ve seen from an external solid-state drive. But you’ll likely have to buy and install an expansion card on a desktop PC to attain them.


  • Stellar read and write speeds
  • Five-year warranty
  • Password-protected with 256-bit AES hardware-based encryption
  • Durable


  • Port that enables drive’s full speed barely exists in the wild
  • 2×2 expansion card will cost extra, and is only an option on desktops


Learn More

SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD V2 Review

OWC Envoy Pro EX With USB-C

Best High-Style Rugged SSD

4.0 Excellent

Bottom Line:

If you’re shopping for a fast, Mac-matching external SSD that will look just as good in the boardroom as it will on the side of a mountain, the Envoy Pro EX With USB-C is the drive for you.


  • Sleek design
  • Aesthetic especially complements Mac laptops
  • Durable chassis design
  • Three-year warranty
  • Strong speed results


  • Pricey on a cost-per-gigabyte basis
  • Only a USB Type-C-to-C cable in the box, with no C-to-A dongle


Learn More

OWC Envoy Pro EX With USB-C Review

ADATA HD710M Pro External Hard Drive

Best Rugged Hard Drive for Budget Buyers

4.0 Excellent

Bottom Line:

Love or hate its camouflage look, the ADATA HD710M Pro external rugged hard drive provides on-par performance and fine durability at a competitive price.


  • Durable in drop tests.
  • Good dollar-per-gigabyte ratio.
  • Trim enclosure.
  • Lightweight for a ruggedized unit.
  • Cable storage around the edges.


  • Camouflage exterior may not be for everyone.
  • Plastic housing only.


Learn More

ADATA HD710M Pro External Hard Drive Review

LaCie Rugged RAID Shuttle

Best Rugged Portable Hard Drive With RAID Speeds

4.0 Excellent

Bottom Line:

LaCie’s two-drive Rugged RAID Shuttle offers the choice of high capacity and fast performance (in striped mode), or of half the capacity with all data mirrored on the second disk. It’s ideal for anyone who works in the field and produces oodles of data.


  • Flat, easily mailable chassis.
  • Can set to RAID 0 for higher speed and capacity, or to RAID 1 for drive mirroring.
  • Bundled cables for USB Type-A and Type-C on PC side.


  • No tab over Type-C connector to protect it from dust and water.
  • High price per gigabyte, due largely to ruggedization and RAID design.


Learn More

LaCie Rugged RAID Shuttle Review

SanDisk Professional G-Drive ArmorATD

Best Rugged Hard Drive for Mac Users

4. 0 Excellent

Bottom Line:

The SanDisk Professional G-Drive ArmorATD is an attractive, cost-effective portable hard drive, best for Mac users, that provides some protection from the elements but lacks a software suite and hardware-based encryption.


  • Rugged enough to protect from the elements, with rubberized sheath and port cover
  • Attractive design
  • Ideal for use with macOS
  • Both USB-C and USB-A cables bundled
  • Competitive pricing


  • Lacks software suite and hardware-based encryption
  • Requires reformatting for use with Windows


Learn More

SanDisk Professional G-Drive ArmorATD Review

Buying Guide: The Best Rugged Hard Drives and SSDs for 2023

Buying a rugged drive involves a lot of the same decision points you’d face with an ordinary external drive. Let’s break them down.

INTERFACE TYPE. The industry has settled on two main interfaces in external portable drives these days: USB 3 of various flavors (very common) and Thunderbolt (much less common). Which one is best for your needs depends on the ports on the computer or computers you are using. Also, these interfaces, in their latest iterations, actually overlap in terms of physical connectivity. We’ll explain that in a moment.

You might be asking: Thunderbolt? Thunderbolt is no longer a specialized connector meant mainly for Mac users, though Mac usage still dominates. The latest iteration, Thunderbolt 3, makes the interface much more mainstream, and a new version, Thunderbolt 4, is emerging of late (though not yet really a factor in external drives). The version of Thunderbolt common from 2013 to a few years ago, Thunderbolt 2, offered four times the theoretical bandwidth of USB 3.0 (20Gbps for Thunderbolt, versus 5Gbps for USB 3.0). But adoption was limited, and on top of that, no single hard drive-based external drive can even begin to approach the limits of either interface. Platter-based hard drives just aren’t fast enough for it to matter much which interface you use.

(Credit: Zlata Ivleva)

If you have a older Mac with an original Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 port and want a Thunderbolt drive to use with it, go ahead and pull the trigger. A few makers of rugged drives, such as LaCie, still offer rugged drives with the legacy Thunderbolt interfaces, but know that those older interfaces are a dead end for future computers. Just make sure the drive and system use matching and compatible versions of Thunderbolt, and don’t assume it’ll be any faster than what USB 3.0 offers.

That said, both of these interfaces are evolving, which leads us to…

USB 3 AND THUNDERBOLT 3 (IT’S A TANGLE). Newer and faster versions of both USB and Thunderbolt have been rolling out in some external drives over the last couple of years. They offer twice the potential bandwidth of previous implementations. But you’ll need ports to match them on your computer, and again, the real-world speed ramifications aren’t as big a deal as they might sound.

On the USB front, the latest interface is called USB 3.2 or USB Type-C, and it first made headlines by appearing in the super-thin 2015 version of the Apple MacBook. It’s now common on new Windows PCs, and a staple in all the latest MacBook Air and Pro laptops (in the case of the Macs, paired with support for Thunderbolt 3 on the same ports). USB Type-C is a slim, oval-shaped port with a cable that you can insert in either of two directions. To complicate matters, though, “USB Type-C” technically refers to the shape of the plug, while USB 3.2 is the spec having to do with the speed over that interface. You’ll find that some ordinary “Type-A” USB ports (the rectangular USB ports we are all used to) in recent-model systems also claim support for USB 3.2. Some late-model external drives that support USB 3.2 come with two cables, one with a Type-A connector at the system end and one with a Type-C.

(Credit: Zlata Ivleva)

Beyond that, USB 3.2 (the speed specification) comes in two primary (and one rare) flavors as of this writing: “Gen 1” and “Gen 2. ” The iteration called “USB 3.2 Gen 2” has a maximum theoretical interface speed of 10Gbps. (Few single external devices can saturate that interface, even most solid-state drives.) “USB 3.2 Gen 1,” on the other hand, is identical in maximum potential speed to USB 3.0. (Confusing, we know.) We won’t complicate matters further with the much rarer, 20Gbps “USB 3.2 Gen 2×2,” which also exists but remains uncommon enough to ignore at the moment. (Only a few high-speed external SSDs use it.)

When you’re dealing with an external platter-based hard drive, it makes little difference which kind you get. To make this matter even more confusing, though, the naming convention for USB 3.2 is relatively new; it was gradually moved to USB 3.2 Gen 1 and USB 3.2 Gen 2 from various flavors of “USB 3.1,” thanks to some (in our opinion) ill-advised branding shenanigans by USB’s governing body. (See our explainer.)

Bottom line, when looking at rugged drives with a USB interface, you just need to be sure your PC or Mac has a physically compatible USB port—that is, can you simply plug it in, and does the drive say it works with PCs, Macs, or both? This physical compatibility is what matters most, as a USB device will dial down to the slower speed of the two elements in play (the host system or the drive).

Muddying matters further, though, is the most common recent version of Thunderbolt, Thunderbolt 3—specifically, in how it is implemented. Thunderbolt 3 uses the same reversible connector as USB Type-C. Also, support for USB 3.2 is baked into Thunderbolt 3. In essence, all Thunderbolt 3 ports are USB Type-C ports, though not all USB Type-C ports support Thunderbolt 3.

(Credit: Zlata Ivleva)

As a result, any new drive with a USB Type-C connector should just work, whether you plug it in to a Thunderbolt 3 port or to a “plain old” USB Type-C connector. (The possible wrinkle is plugging a Thunderbolt 3 drive into a USB Type-C port that doesn’t support Thunderbolt 3; you’ll want to check if the drive maker supports that. In our experience, sometimes it works, sometimes not.)

As mentioned earlier, with hard drives, you won’t see a huge speed benefit from USB 3.2 vs. Thunderbolt 3 vs. plain old USB 3.0. Thunderbolt 3 boasts potential bandwidth up to 40Gbps, but again, your typical external hard drive won’t push data anywhere close to that limit. That said, some newer SSDs employing cutting-edge, hopped-up internal components are starting to make better use of USB 3.2 and Thunderbolt 3 bandwidth. Look for “USB 3.2 Gen 2” branding and peak transfer rates from 1,000MBps to 3,500MBps. These external SSDs are based on the same PCI Express/NVMe internal bits that today’s fastest internal SSDs use; older SSDs tended to top out around 550MBps because they were based on older Serial ATA technology. (For more on the nuances of this speed uptick, see our guide to the best external SSDs.)

ROTATIONAL SPEED. If you’re talking about a rugged platter hard drive, as opposed to an SSD, drive rotation speed matters—a little. It’s the rate at which the physical platters inside the drive spin, and it used to be a significant determining factor in overall performance. But these days, many models spin at a modest 5,400rpm or thereabouts, rather than the 7,200rpm that used to be more common with performance-oriented drives.

In a bigger-picture sense, SSDs (which have no moving parts) have largely made the notion of a “fast” hard drive a bit passe. Even the slowest external SSD is faster than a 7,200rpm hard drive, often several times over, depending on what you’re transferring and measuring.

If you really need extra performance but can’t dole out the bucks for a portable SSD due to cost or capacity concerns, a few 7,200rpm external rugged hard drives are available (the G-Tech G-Drive eV ATC is one), but they are not often clearly advertised as such. In most cases, we wouldn’t make rotational speed a prime factor in a purchase.

EXTERNAL SSD VS. EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE. SSDs are not only taking over the notebook and personal computer market, but they’re also edging into external storage. It’s easy to imagine a future in which all external drives will be solid-state, because the advantages of SSDs over spinning hard drives make them perfect choices for real-world knocks. Not only do SSDs have no moving parts, making them much more durable, but they also make no noise and produce very little heat.

The only problem with SSDs? They are still expensive compared to hard drives of the same capacity. And compared to portable hard drives, the roomiest of which today can store up to 5 terabytes (5TB) per drive mechanism, external SSDs aren’t as spacious. That’s changing, though, as we’ve seen SSDs creeping into the multi-terabyte range—albeit at a hefty price premium. Check out our explainer for more on hard drives versus SSDs.

(Credit: Zlata Ivleva)

Most portable external SSDs aren’t expressly advertised as rugged, though ADATA, LaCie, SanDisk, and a few others do offer such drives, with caps to cover their ports to protect their innards from moisture. But in a general sense, any portable SSD should hold up to drops and being jostled around in a bag better than any traditional portable hard drive. If that’s the extent of the extra protection you’re after, a portable SSD, rugged or not, is enticing, particularly if you don’t need lots of storage space.

REMOVABLE OR FIXED ENCLOSURES. A permanent shell is the most common design among rugged drives, with a sealed chassis around the drive. Materials and design vary, but the exterior for a platter hard drive is typically a hard plastic or rubber, which allows the drive to absorb impact. These enclosures may or may not also provide seals to keep the elements—dust, dirt, and water—out of your drive. (More on that in a moment.) Rugged external SSDs will typically have a metal shell, since shock absorption is less crucial.

(Credit: Zlata Ivleva)

A few drives feature enclosures that are removable, adding another layer of protection between the drive and the casing. These are typically sealed with O-rings all the way around, allowing the drive inside extra moisture protection. In other cases, the removable element might just be a rubber or silicone wrapper around an outer metal or plastic casing.

What Exactly Makes a Drive Rugged? Quantifying Drive Protection

A key spec to seek out for rugged outdoor use is compliance with IP67 or IP68. IP stands for “International Protection” as well as “Ingress Protection,” and the IP spec describes a drive’s level of waterproofing and dust/debris resistance. The related specs are governed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)(Opens in a new window), a nonprofit standards-creation body. We have an in-depth primer on what the various IP levels mean and how to interpret the figures; check out Waterproof? Dust-Resistant? Making Sense of Gadget Ratings, which defines how long a drive can be submerged, and more.

Quantifying the allowable vertical drop resistance is hazier. Most rugged drives, especially SSDs, can handle a fall from your desk and keep on chugging. Standard external platter-based hard drives are less resilient, especially if a drive happens to be running when it took a dive.

(Credit: PCMag)

Since your basic external hard drive has a hard-plastic shell, when an impact occurs, the chassis transfers the shock energy to the hard drive within, possibly causing the read and write heads to crash into the hard drive platters. That is, for certain, A Very Bad Thing. (Modern drives have acceleration sensors, which detect a fall and rapidly “park” the heads in a safe place before impact, but even that’s not foolproof. ) When a drive is encased in a material with more “give,” or with a soft bumper, the enclosure absorbs more of the impact. However, not all enclosures are designed for maximum shock resistance; a rugged drive might have a metal shell, to provide crush protection as well as some safety in case of a drop. As a result, you’re mostly at the mercy of the drive vendor to tell you the rated maximum drop distance for the drive.

So, Which Rugged Drive Should I Buy?

See below for our top picks in rugged drives according to usage case. If you’re looking for a more ordinary external hard drive or a portable SSD, we’ve got best picks for those, as well, at the links.

This story has been produced in partnership with our sister site, Computer Shopper.

The Best External Hard Drive of 2023

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  1. Electronics
  2. Storage devices

Photo: Marki Williams


Whether you need to back up your computer or get more space for a growing media library, external hard drives are the easiest, most cost-effective option for more storage. Portable drives like the Western Digital My Passport Ultra (5 TB) require only a single USB cable attached to your computer, so they’re convenient to use and carry with a laptop in more than one place. Desktop drives require both a USB cable and a power outlet but are generally faster, so they’re better suited to everyday work with files on the drive rather than occasional access or backups.

Our pick

Western Digital My Passport Ultra (5 TB)

This 5 TB drive gives most people the best balance of price, speed, capacity, portability, and usability. That makes it a great choice for backing up your laptop or transferring large files between your office and home computers.

The Western Digital My Passport Ultra has the largest capacity available among portable drives, and it’s one of the most affordable drives we considered with this much storage. It works with both Windows computers and Macs, and it comes with USB-C and USB-A connectors and a three-year warranty.

The research

  • Why you should trust us
  • Who this is for
  • How we picked
  • How we tested
  • Our pick: Western Digital My Passport Ultra (5 TB)
  • If you need more than 5 TB of storage
  • The competition
  • What to look forward to

Why you should trust us

Wirecutter has researched and recommended hard drives since early 2012. Over that time, we’ve spent hundreds of hours researching and testing more than a hundred different external hard drives, both portable and desktop, to recommend the best options for a variety of needs. To find out how portable and desktop drives differ in quality and build, we spoke to product experts from Western Digital and Seagate, companies that manufacture both types of drives. We also spoke to Andy Klein of Backblaze, a cloud-backup company that publishes statistics on hard drive failure rates each year.

Who this is for

External drives are great for backing up important files or adding storage to your PC without opening it. For regular backups or quick transfers from one computer to another, a portable hard drive that receives power and transfers data over a single cable is ideal—such drives have a much smaller desk footprint and don’t need an external power cable. But if you work with large music, image, or video files, you should opt for a desktop hard drive or splurge on a portable SSD instead. Both types are faster than a portable hard drive, but desktop drives are designed to be stationary and may not withstand bumps or jolts as well, and they require an external power brick. Portable SSDs, in contrast, can be moved freely but are more expensive than portable hard drives or external hard drives.

Everyone should regularly back up their important documents and photos. Your computer’s internal drive will stop working someday, and unless you’ve backed up your data, it will be gone forever at that point. Fortunately, backing up your data is easy, and getting started takes only a few minutes: We have advice to help you set up a system to back up your files automatically to both an external hard drive and the cloud. Having both on-site and cloud backups ensures that your data stays safe from internet outages or disruptions to the cloud backup provider, as well as localized threats such as fire, theft, or natural disaster.

How we picked

Ideally, an external hard drive is something you don’t notice much. It should sit on your desk, quietly spinning away, storing and backing up your data without a lot of setup or ongoing maintenance. Desktop drives can be big, bulky, and sometimes an eyesore, so early on we wanted to see if smaller, portable drives could perform the same functions well enough for most people.

These are the features we regularly look for in an external hard drive:

  • Input: We consider drives with a variety of USB port types—USB Type-B, Micro-B, or Type-C—but regardless of the port, we look at only those drives that support the most current USB standard, USB 3.2 Gen 2. We dismiss drives built exclusively for Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4 because they cost too much and don’t perform noticeably better for most people.
  • Performance: We evaluate each drive with tests that replicate different real-world uses. We outline our testing procedure below.
  • Price: Although we consider drives of all prices, we limit our testing to models priced below $150, and we compare their value on a dollar-per-terabyte basis.
  • Capacity: We focus on 4 TB and 5 TB hard drives because of the balance they strike between value and total cost. Many desktop hard drives are available in capacities of 14 TB or more, but most people don’t need that much storage.
  • Reliability: All hard drives die eventually, but there’s no definitive answer on when that day will come. If possible, try to replace your backup drives between the third and sixth years of use. It’s difficult to get metrics on which hard drive models are more reliable over the long run, and though we’ve examined Amazon reviews to establish which drives have died more quickly for owners, there will always be outliers and failures that occur sooner than expected. We’ve also analyzed Backblaze’s hard drive failure reports, which have their own shortcomings. The best way to protect your files from being lost in a hard drive failure is to double up with a cloud backup service.
  • Durability: Hard drives contain physical moving parts, so they’re more prone to failure due to jostling or drops than solid state drives, which have no mechanical parts. Get an SSD if you want a drive that has extra protection against getting knocked around, and if you need speed. If you’re deciding between an external desktop hard drive and a portable hard drive, ask yourself how often you’ll be moving it around and how careful you are. “Since portable drives are meant to be taken with you, they are designed to be more durable in terms of the everyday wear and tear of taking them along with you. Desktop drives may be less resistant to drops and are designed to be stationary,” a product expert from Western Digital told us.
  • Nice-to-have features: Desktop drives generally have power switches so that you can be sure they’re off when you’re moving them, and these switches can also help the drives waste a little less energy when they aren’t in use; in contrast, portable drives generally lack power switches. Backup software is another nice perk, but you can find lots of free alternatives and great options among online backup services. If you don’t need the extra features in backup software, setting it up on every computer you use isn’t worth the time and effort. Dragging and dropping files works just fine for performing manual backups, and your OS’s built-in backup utility should suffice for running automatic ones.
  • Warranty: Almost every drive we’ve tested has had either a two- or three-year warranty. If all else were equal, we would always recommend a longer period of coverage. But because we’ve read some customer reviews complaining about warranty claims being unexpectedly rejected, we wouldn’t value this factor over other aspects of a great drive.
  • Speed: Hard drives contain spinning disks, or platters, with heads that move over the surface of those platters to read and write your data. The faster the platters spin—rated in rotations per minute, or rpm—the faster the drive can access data and transfer it to your computer. Some readers in the past have asked us to recommend 7,200 rpm drives, but in testing such drives on real-world and backup tasks, we’ve found that rotations per minute isn’t the most important criterion to judge a drive by. If speed is critical for your needs, look at our portable SSD picks instead.

How we tested

Going by our initial research and criteria, for each round of testing we settle on external desktop hard drives and portable models to evaluate. We first test them using the benchmarking program HD Tune. For a more real-world measurement, we then time the transfer of a 15 GB folder including a Blu-ray movie and a 31 GB folder of music. We perform each test six times, and we determine the average read and write speeds to rule out performance hiccups.

Once we finish testing, we sift through hundreds of Amazon reviews for our finalists. We eliminate drives for which 5% or more of the total reviews are only one-star ratings, because that many complaints is disproportionate to what we’ve seen for most drives. Although you can find negative reviews for every drive complaining about an unexpected failure or incompatibility with a computer, we select models that keep such reviews to a minimum.

Our pick: Western Digital My Passport Ultra (5 TB)

Photo: Marki Williams

Our pick

Western Digital My Passport Ultra (5 TB)

This 5 TB drive gives most people the best balance of price, speed, capacity, portability, and usability. That makes it a great choice for backing up your laptop or transferring large files between your office and home computers.

We recommend choosing a portable hard drive because such models offer simplicity and versatility whether you’re backing up files on a laptop, expanding your computer’s storage capacity, or transferring files from one computer to another. The best portable hard drive for most people is the Western Digital My Passport Ultra (5 TB), whose capacity and cost per terabyte make it a better value than most. It connects to USB-A and USB-C ports, and its body has a native USB-C port, which is more durable and easier to plug in than the Micro-B connectors on older drives.

Its 5 TB capacity makes it an excellent value. At about $26 per terabyte, the My Passport Ultra offers more for the price than the competition. For example, the 4 TB Toshiba Canvio Advance Plus we tested is a few bucks cheaper per terabyte, but it has a lower maximum capacity and has a less sturdy Micro-B connector on its body. Our former pick, the Toshiba Canvio Flex, is pricier at about $28 per terabyte, and it’s also limited to 4 TB.

The My Passport Ultra has a USB-C cable that’s long enough for you to place the drive close to your laptop, whether on your desk or on a laptop stand. Photo: Marki Williams

It comes with a three-year warranty. That coverage could help you save some money if the drive does die early. Most other drives have a two-year warranty. Consider the more expensive portable solid-state drive option if you want an SSD’s longer lifespan.

The My Passport Ultra has a USB-C port on its body, a rarity for a portable hard drive. USB-C ports are easier to connect and more durable than the wider Micro-B ports. The cable comes with a USB-A adapter for older PCs and Macs. Photo: Marki Williams

The My Passport Ultra has a USB-C port on its body, a rarity for a portable hard drive. USB-C ports are easier to connect and more durable than the wider Micro-B ports. The cable comes with a USB-A adapter for older PCs and Macs. Photo: Western Digital

The My Passport Ultra has a USB-C port on its body, a rarity for a portable hard drive. USB-C ports are easier to connect and more durable than the wider Micro-B ports. The cable comes with a USB-A adapter for older PCs and Macs. Photo: Marki Williams

The USB-C cable is easy to plug in. USB-C ports are great because you don’t have to worry about flipping the cable to plug it in. We like that the My Passport Ultra comes with a cable with a USB-C connector on both ends, as well as a USB-C–to–USB-A adapter to match whichever port your computer has (or whichever one your next computer may have). The cable is on the short side, but it’s certainly long enough for you to plug the drive into a laptop on your desk, even if it’s on a laptop stand.

Real-world file transfers, in minutes

All times are expressed in minutes:seconds. Our tests include a variety of data transfers to mimic real-world situations.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

It’s slower than competing hard drives at transferring files. Even so, it’s still plenty fast enough for backing up your laptop while you work or for copying the occasional file folder. The declining cost of 1 TB portable SSDs is making those models more competitive with 4 TB and 5 TB portable hard drives, however, so we suggest looking at SSDs if file transfer speed is more important to you than storage space.

The My Passport Ultra is formatted for Windows PCs. If you have a Mac, you can either reformat this drive or purchase the Mac-compatible version.

If you need more than 5 TB of storage

Try the Western Digital Elements, which was a previous runner-up pick and is still a solid option especially if it’s on sale. Because it’s a larger desktop drive, you have to plug it into a power outlet as well as the USB port. But it comes in a wider range of capacities (from 4 TB to 22 TB) than the My Passport Ultra does, and it performed decently in our tests.

The competition

External desktop hard drives

The Seagate One Touch Hub has USB-C and USB-A ports on its front panel, which are handy for charging mobile devices or connecting portable drives to your PC or Mac. This desktop drive was significantly slower in our testing than our portable hard drive pick. If you don’t need the extra connectivity, the WD Elements desktop drives listed above are less expensive for most capacities above 4 TB.

Although the Fantom Drives Gforce 3 Pro is a 7,200 rpm drive, its transfer speeds were mediocre in our tests. It’s also heavy, expensive, and selective about which computer ports it connects to, a problem we didn’t have with any other drive.

We tested the Sandisk Professional G-Drive at a 12 TB capacity, and it tested faster than most of the other desktop drives, but it’s expensive, and it’s a specialized model for Mac media professionals. It comes formatted for Macs and works only with USB-C ports.

The Seagate Expansion drive performed fine in our large-file transfer tests but had the slowest speeds of any desktop drive we tested in our small-file transfer tests. It also disconnected itself from our PC without warning in the midst of testing and failed to connect again afterward.

The WD My Book, a previous pick, didn’t stack up well against the models we tested more recently. In comparison, it produced slower transfer speeds across the board, and it took significantly longer to perform backups.

Portable hard drives

LaCie’s Mobile Drive costs way too much for a drive that doesn’t offer unique benefits, and it performed atrociously in most of our testing.

We dismissed the LaCie Rugged USB-C drive because it cost more than the LaCie Mobile Drive, and we expected that the performance would be comparable. If you’re drawn to a “rugged” drive, consider buying a portable SSD instead, since it lacks moving parts and will survive rough handling better than most hard drives.

The Toshiba Canvio Flex was a pick in a previous version of this guide. The Canvio Flex and Canvio Advance Plus come with USB-A and USB-C cables, but both drives still have a Micro-B connector on the body. The more durable USB-C port and the higher capacity of our new pick, the Western Digital My Passport Ultra, make it a more attractive option.

The Toshiba Canvio Gaming has firmware to improve performance when it’s attached to a game console, but in our standard testing it produced mediocre results. If you find it on sale, it isn’t the worst portable drive you can buy.

We dismissed the Toshiba Canvio Slim because both models were too expensive per terabyte at the time of our research and capped out at 2 TB of storage.

What to look forward to

Hard drives are a mature category, so we don’t anticipate many innovations down the road. Capacities will continue to increase—as of this writing, drives up to 24 TB are now entering the scene. We’re more excited about adoption of USB-C as the cable and connector standard, as evident in our latest pick.

This article was edited by Caitlin McGarry and Arthur Gies.

Meet your guides

Haley Perry

Haley Perry is an associate staff writer at Wirecutter covering video games and technology. She used to review video games full-time, and she’s also a big fan of mezcal. If you get enough in her, she may just admit that she still plays The Sims … a lot.

Joel Santo Domingo

Joel Santo Domingo is a senior staff writer covering networking and storage at Wirecutter. Previously he tested and reviewed more than a thousand PCs and tech devices for PCMag and other sites over 17 years. Joel became attracted to service journalism after answering many “What’s good?” questions while working as an IT manager and technician.

Further reading

  • The Best Portable SSD

    by Joel Santo Domingo

    A great portable SSD is much smaller and more durable than a hard drive and will generally transfer files much faster.

  • How to Format Your External Hard Drive

    by Justin Krajeski, Kimber Streams, and Dave Gershgorn

    You might need to format an external hard drive before you can use it with your computer. We have some tips to help the process go smoothly.

  • Choosing the Right PlayStation 5

    by Arthur Gies and Haley Perry

    The new PlayStation 5 launched on November 12, 2020. We break down the differences that matter and consider whether it’s worth the upgrade.

  • The Best USB Flash Drives

    by Arthur Gies

    Almost any flash drive can be used as a cheap storage option, but the best ones won’t keep you waiting when opening, saving, and transferring files.

Wirecutter is the product recommendation service from The New York Times. Our journalists combine independent research with (occasionally) over-the-top testing so you can make quick and confident buying decisions. Whether it’s finding great products or discovering helpful advice, we’ll help you get it right (the first time).

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BLU external driver – PRORUBIM

Complies with BIM standard 2.0


BLU external driver is compatible with SFA800 floodlights.

Distance between luminaires and external driver up to 70 meters.
When the distance between the lamps is less than five meters, the output voltage of the external driver is 48V DC.
At a distance of more than five meters – the output voltage of the driver is 190V DC.


AMIRA Group of Companies is one of the largest enterprises specializing in the production of poles for the implementation of main and road lighting programs, as well as lamps and spotlights for each type of pole.
AMIRA Group sells lighting poles in St. Petersburg and other regions of the Russian Federation on favorable terms for customers. The lighting poles presented for sale are made of durable steel, resistant to mechanical damage.

Lighting poles can be ordered from the company, which are characterized by:

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To use the family, you must first install Autodesk Revit version 2018 or later.

  • installation
  • Files with the extension rfa and txt must be saved on the computer in the same folder.


  • After the installation procedure, run Autodesk Revit ;
  • Go to tab Insert ;
  • Next, using the command Load family , specify the file with the extension rfa ;
  • Position the family in the project.

TRM20-DR150 Driver TRM20-DR150 external for magnetic track system Nova 220V 150W B0054800 ERA, price 2131 rub.

External driver TRM20-DR150 for magnetic track system Nova 220V 150W B0054800 ERA


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Pickup from the warehouse:
today, June 19 — free of charge

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We deliver to Boulder, check with the manager for the cost and delivery time.

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20 000

delivery cost in Russia – free of charge

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21 days to return the goods

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with extended warranty

Payment Methods:

Visa, MasterCard, MIR, Uniteller, Halva


Track lights

Busways, tracks




Power connections

Side plugs


Track linear lamp ERA Nova TRM20-1-30-10W3K-B

Code: 416063




Track linear lamp ERA Nova TRM20-1-60-15W3K-B

Code: 416065




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Code: 416078




Track linear lamp ERA Nova TRM20-3-11-6W3K-B

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Code: 416082




Track lamp ERA Nova TRM20-6-10W3K-B

Code: 419614




Track lamp ERA Nova TRM20-6-10W4K-B

Code: 419615




Magnetic driver TRM20-DR150 from the Nova series from the Russian manufacturer ERA is made in gray aluminum color. Power 150W. Suitable for 220V power supply. Order ERA TRM20-DR150 online at a low price with flexible delivery terms on Fedomo.ru!

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Busbar type


Materials and colors

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Total power, W






ERA Nova





Rostest (GOST R certification system)

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On the lighting market since 2009

We give a 2-year warranty on lighting equipment

Delivery to all regions of Russia without prepayment


Driver Crystal Lux 48V 80W

Code: 444343

Crystal Lux



Driver Novotech DRIVE 358558

Code: 375459



4 275

Driver for magnetic busbar 48V, 200W Crystal Lux SPACE CLT 0.