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Best portable hard drives: These models earned our highest ratings

Macworld Favorite Portable Drives Primary Image

At a Glance

The Seagate Backup Plus Fast is indeed fast. It's also capacious. But use it for backup—not primary—storage. It's very difficult to recover data from a RAID 0 failure.

Price when rated: $269 (street price)

Pros

  • Very fast
  • 4TB of capacity
  • Very low cost per gigabyte

Cons

  • Very difficult to recover from a RAID 0 failure
  • Thicker and heavier than single-drive alternatives
backup plus fast portable back
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At a Glance

A plain and simple drive, with ample room for storage. The DashDrive HV620 from ADATA isn't flashy or faster than average, but it's got a lot of space and average speeds, with a great price-per-gigabyte.

Price when rated: $110.00

Pros

  • Plain and simple with lots of space
AData HV620 portable hard drive
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Where to buy
Price when rated: $100
Lowest price: $80.00 via Amazon.com

Pros

  • USB bus powered
  • 1TB capacity

Cons

  • Middling performance
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At a Glance

The SSD versions of the Aegis Portable 3.0 offer far better write performance than the hard-drive models, and are lighter and more rugged. But they cost nearly four times as much.

Price when rated: $399

Pros

  • Fast (internal SATA 6Gbps interface)
  • USB 3.0 external interface, with cable
  • SSD version is very light

Cons

  • Slow when copying a collection of small files
  • SSD version is expensive for its capacity
 Compare

At a Glance

More secure portable storage than a thumb drive can provide, and the on-device keypad provides easy access. It's pricey, but so is the competition.

Price when rated: $499

Pros

  • FIPS 140-2 Level 2 validated
  • Good performance (for an encrypted drive)
  • Super portable

Cons

  • No battery
  • Stubby USB cable
apricorn aegis padlock ssd portable hard drive
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At a Glance

For wireless streaming of media and storage, Seagate's Wireless Plus is a polished, fast, and reliable external drive.

Price when rated: $200

Pros

  • Provides a web portal for media streaming
  • Elegantly simple design and functionality
  • DLNA compatible server

Cons

  • No Internet pass-through
  • Requires a reboot when switching from USB to Wi-Fi operation
 Compare

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