Best Cheap Hard Drives For Pc And Mac

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  • Dec 15, 2021 In order to be able to offer you the best mac portable hard drives available on the market today, we have compiled a comprehensive mac portable hard drives list. The best mac portable hard drives of 2021 is found after hours of research and using all the current models. See what we ranked below! 10 Best mac portable hard drives: Editor.
  • Nov 22, 2021 Most of the options on this list of the best external hard drive models will work across platforms - whether you have a Windows PC, Mac computer, PlayStation 4 or Xbox - so long as the drives.
  • Nov 25, 2021 The Best Mac External Hard Drive and SSD Deals This Week.Deals are selected by our partner, TechBargains WD My Passport 5TB Portable External USB 3.0 Hard Drive — $109.99 (List Price $149.99).

If you are planning to get the best external hard drive for MAC, Time Capsule is the most reliable, and it comes with 3TB and 2TB storage space. Those who are in need of more MAC hard drive can consider having the 3TB one. Packed with so many interesting features, this Time Capsule is not comparable with any other storage devices.

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Adding an external hard drive to your Mac is a cost-effective and easy way to expand your storage capacity. Not only is it simply a matter of plugging the drive into a free USB port on the computer, but it’s almost always a lot cheaper than upgrading your storage when you buy the Mac. And if you need a lot of storage space—like many terabytes for video storage—an external drive may be the only way to pack all those bits and bytes into a MacBook.

Buying a hard drive can seem harder than it should be, though. You have to choose between two kinds of drives—HDDs and SSDs—as well as the interface (USB or Thunderbolt). And some drives support esoteric technology like RAID.

So what hard drive should you get for your Mac? That largely depends on how you plan to use it. While a voluminous HDD might not be the best thing for running programs from, it’s perfectly suitable for Time Machine backups. But if you want to access your Photo Library or edit raw 4K video from an external drive, you’ll want a speedy SSD—and probably Thunderbolt 3 if your Mac supports it. We’ve rounded up some of the very best external hard drives for Macs. Scan the list below and be sure to refer to the FAQ at the end of the article if you need help understanding which kind of drive is right for you.

  • Best External Hard Drive For Mac Overall: Sabrent Rocket XTRM-Q 2TB Thunderbolt 3 External SSD
  • Best USB-C External SSD: LaCie Mobile SSD
  • Best High-Capacity Portable External Hard Drive:WD 5TB My Passport Ultra
  • Best High-Capacity Desktop External Hard Drive: G-Technology 14TB G-DRIVE
  • Most Stylish External Hard Drive:Seagate Ultra Touch SSD 1TB
  • Most Secure External Hard Drive:Samsung T7 Touch
  • Best Thunderbolt 3 External Hard Drive :LaCie Rugged SSD Pro
  • Best External Hard Drive For DIY:OWC Envoy Pro Enclosure
  • Fastest External Hard Drive:Samsung Portable SSD X5
  • Best Bargain External Hard Drive:Seagate Portable 1TB

Best External Hard Drive for Mac Overall

Sabrent Rocket XTRM-Q 2TB Thunderbolt 3 External SSD

Sabrent Rocket XTRM-Q 2TB Thunderbolt 3 External SSD

It’s hard to find an SSD over 2TB, so finding a drive model that comes in capacities ranging from 500GB all the way up to a massive 8TB is remarkable. Sabrent’s Rocket line of external SSD hard drives is more than just sheer capacity, though. It’s also among the fastest drives money can buy when paired with your Mac’s Thunderbolt 3 port as it delivers sustained transfer speeds up to 2,700 MBps. Of course, you can also use it with a USB 3.2 port for the slower but still impressive 900 MBps.

The drive comes in a tiny aluminum enclosure—it’s just four inches long and 1.77 inches wide—designed for durability and heat dissipation, and has integrated temperature and health monitoring to ensure it performs well.

Best USB-C External SSD

LaCie Mobile SSD

LaCie 2TB Mobile SSD High‑Performance External SSD

The LaCie 2TB Mobile SSD drive is an external USB-C drive with more than enough space for all of your digital files. An Apple Store exclusive, its brushed aluminum exterior makes it look like it was made by the gang in Cupertino. Its performance is a respectable 540 MBps—far from the fastest on this list, but adequate for routine productivity tasks.

If you’re editing large files like video or graphics though, you should definitely look elsewhere—the real appeal here is the drive’s aesthetics, which is no doubt what landed it in the Apple store. You want a drive that's reliable, quiet, cool (literally and figuratively) and can last years longer than similarly-sized traditional hard drives since it has no moving parts. It works with any USB-C port ort a USB 3 port and has its own on-board software to work with Time Machine.

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Best High-Capacity Portable External Hard Drive

WD 5TB My Passport Ultra

Western Digital is one of the most iconic names in storage; it has been making hard drives since external storage was a thing. This drive benefits from that history. It’s USB 3.0 and USB-C compatible and comes pre-formatted so that you can start streaming Time Machine backups to the drive right out of the box. It’s also about the size of a deck of cards, so it’s very portable. Just make sure you don’t bump it around too much. Unlike similar SSD drives, HDDs aren’t shock-proof, so your data is a little more fragile.

Best High-Capacity Desktop External Hard Drive

G-Technology 14TB G-Drive

Clocking in with a jaw-dropping 14TB of space, the G-Technology 14TB external drive leaves the other drives on this list with serious storage envy. Is 14TB not enough? You can daisy chain up to five devices for an incredible 70TB of space. To get the same capacity in an SSD... well, you can’t.

It supports USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt 3, so you’ll be able to take advantage of the fastest port on your Mac with transfer speeds up to 250 megabytes per second. The only real caveat? This is not a portable drive—to support this much storage capacity, the G-Drive needs to be plugged in, and it’s too bulky and heavy to move very often. Nonetheless, if your work includes video production or other projects that demand enormous amounts of storage, this is a logical choice.

Most Stylish External Hard Drive

Seagate Ultra Touch SSD 1TB

Seagate Ultra Touch SSD 1TB External Solid State Drive Portable

This diminutive drive from Seagate stands out not because of its performance—it tops out at 400 MBps—but because of its looks. The textile finish of the Seagate Ultra Touch SSD is unique in a field dominated by metallic finishes. Instead of trying to look like it was made by Apple, the Seagate drive stands out. That's actually a big plus when it comes to portability. You don't want to waste time trying to find your drive when you're heading out the door. The other plus is that, if you have an Android phone, you can upload files directly to the drive with the included USB-C connector.

Most Secure External Hard Drive

Samsung T7 Touch

How do you ensure that someone isn't accessing your data if your drive gets stolen? Samsung has a solution with their T7 Touch. The black or silver aluminum casing has a square 'Motion LED' on the top of the unit that lets you know when the drive is in operation and also houses a built-in fingerprint scanner. It also features good, old-fashioned password protection and AE 256-bit hardware encryption for extra security.

The T7 Touch is considerably faster than previous Samsung SSD devices with a top read speed of 1,050 MBps and a write speed of 1,000 MBps. The drive comes with USB-C and A cables and is compatible with Windows, Mac and Android.

Best Thunderbolt 3 External Hard Drive

LaCie Rugged SSD Pro

The LaCie Rugged SSD Pro is a stand-out for multiple reasons. First and foremost, the Thunderbolt 3 compatibility means it’s one of the fastest external drives around, offering a top speed of 2800 MBps. But as you can tell from the name, this drive is also plenty rugged.

The rubberized casing offers an IP67 rating, which protects the drive with a 3-meter drop tolerance, two tons of car crush resistance and protection from more mundane risks like dirt and dust, plus the ability to withstand being immersed in up to a meter of water. The LaCie Rugged drive is more expensive but the physical security you get for your data is worth it if you're looking for a true 'emergency' drive.

Best External Hard Drive For DIY

OWC Envoy Pro Enclosure

OWC Envoy Pro Portable, Bus-Powered USB 3.0 Enclosure for Apple Flash SSDs

Not everyone has a spare Apple SSD sitting around, but if you do (say in a retired MacBook or iMac), then you can repurpose that drive and create your own external SSD. The OWC Envoy Pro's chipset is specially made to work with Apple's SSDs (and Apple SSDs only). The enclosure is fanless and completely silent. The brushed aluminum exterior pairs perfectly with your Mac and has a bright (maybe a little too bright) white activity LED. It's USB 3.0-powered, so it'll reach speeds up to 500 MBps and doesn't require an external power source. For $90, you really can't beat the price.

Fastest External Hard Drive

Samsung X5 Portable Thunderbolt 3 SSD

If the only thing you're concerned about is speed, then the Samsung X5 should be at the top of your list. It uses NVMe technology and a Thunderbolt 3 interface to achieve speeds of up to 2,800 MBps. It's fast enough to edit video, render graphics and just about anything else you might want. It's maybe even faster than the internal drive on your Mac. It reaches these speeds without cooking itself thanks to a beefy heat sink that makes up a large portion of the drive. It's all enclosed in a race car-inspired enclosure that's shock resistant up to a 6-foot drop.

Best Bargain External Hard Drive

Seagate Portable 1TB

Listen, sometimes you just need a cheap drive to store stuff. You don’t care how fast it is or whether it will last for decades. The Seagate Portable 1TB drive, however, is a rare combination of a drive that won’t break the bank and is from a reliable manufacturer with experience in the external hard drive storage business. At under $50, this is one of the least expensive storage options out there. You could find something less expensive from a no-name company, but you risk losing your data if their reliability is unproven. With Seagate, you’ll get a very capable (if not a bit plodding) drive that will last for years.

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HDD vs SSD: What’s the difference?

There are two fundamental “flavors” of hard drives: Hard Disk Drives (HDD) and Solid State Drives (SSD). It’s important to know the differences if you want to get the most out of your storage.

An HDD is a traditional hard drive. It is a mechanical device that relies on spinning platters and a magnetic read/write head that resembles a phonograph tone arm. HDDs are a very mature technology; they’re inexpensive to manufacture, cheap to purchase and available in very high capacities (you can get consumer-grade HDDs as large as 16TB, for example). On the other hand, they are slower than SSDs and, as mechanical devices, are prone to mechanical failure as they age.

In contrast, an SSD is similar to a USB flash drive—with no moving parts, it’s just a large memory chip. Much faster and far more reliable than HDDs, they can move large files in seconds that it would take mechanical hard drives minutes to do. On the other hand, they tend to come in smaller capacities and cost relatively more. The price varies by brand, capacity and performance, but as a ballpark estimate, you can expect to pay about 50% more for a comparably sized SSD.

Will hard drives formatted for PC work on a Mac?

Generally, yes—for the most part, a hard drive is a hard drive, and any hard drive you buy for a Windows PC should work fine on a Mac as well. The difference is that hard drives packaged for PCs come formatted with the NTFS file system for Windows, so you’ll need to use the MacOS Disk Utility app to format it for your Mac, an operation which removes all data. Otherwise, any hard drive with a USB connection should have no trouble working on a Mac.

How the hard drive connection affects speed

Most modern hard drives use a standard USB-A connection and transfer data at speeds up to 10Gbps. If you have an older Mac, you might have a Thunderbolt 2 port—it can connect to Thunderbolt 2 hard drives that has a top transfer speed of 20Gbps. But recent-model Macs come with Thunderbolt 3 ports. Thunderbolt 3 looks just like typical USB-C port but has the potential to be dramatically faster—up to 40Gbps. Thunderbolt 3 drives, paired with the Thunderbolt 3 port on a Mac, is the fastest external hard drive you can currently buy.

Bestinternal hard drives (HDD)Windows Central2021

When it comes to storing files and games, it's hard to beat the value proposition of the classic hard disk drive (HDD). Sure, it's old technology at this point, but with the best SSDs still costing significantly more in some cases, it's no wonder that HDDs have stuck around. Seagate's FireCuda is still one of the best ones you can buy right now. Its flash-accelerated disk means that load times should be faster than traditional hard drives, and it goes up to a 2TB capacity. It also comes in either a 3.5-inch or a compact 2.5-inch size, meaning it'll fit nicely in your case or enclosure.

Best overall: Seagate FireCuda

Not quite a hard drive, not quite an SSD, the Seagate FireCuda blends both storage types into one unit, an SSHD, if you will. It features an embedded 8GB NAND along with up to 2TB of traditional storage to create an enhanced drive. The flash unit speeds up read/write speeds. With SATA 6Gb/s support onboard, Seagate promises a 140MB/s read speed. At 5400 RPM, the drive itself is quieter and generates less heat.

The benefits of the 8GB NAND aren't always readily apparent since the drive effectively learns your most used applications and loads them faster. For games, it might help with initial load times after you've launched the game a few times. It's easy to get excited about the possibilities with this drive, but even a SATA SSD will still outpace it by a considerable margin.

The whole point of the FireCuda is to enhance the traditional mechanical hard drive. You can still get higher capacities without breaking the bank, all while experiencing improved performance that is noticeably better than even a 7200 RPM HDD.


  • Great value
  • Faster than traditional HDDs
  • Five-year warranty


  • Still outclassed by SSDs
  • Flash-acceleration results don't always appear immediately
  • Not as many storage options

Best overall

Seagate FireCuda

Faster than an HDD

The FireCuda is the perfect option if you want an inexpensive storage option that blends HDD and SSD technology into one package.

Best Cheap Hard Drives For Pc And Mac

Source: Western Digital

Western Digital's cream of the crop, the Black line, represents some of the best the company has to offer with traditional mechanical hard drives. While not the fastest performer, outdone by both the FireCuda and WD VelociRaptor, the Black drives are trustworthy and reliable. They're great for game storage, especially for titles that don't need to load super quick like singleplayer games.

In a world where the FireCuda SSHD doesn't exist, the WD Black would be my top choice, not only for its performance and reliability but also for its price. More expensive than its Blue cousin — which we'll get to in a bit — the Black still represents a tremendous performance-to-value ratio.

Thankfully, Western Digital dropped the 'Caviar' moniker, opting for just naming its HDD lines by their respective colors. You can start at as little as 500GB or get up to 6TB, depending on your budget. These are the drives I run in my rig, and I've never had a problem. If you're worried, WD throws in a five-year warranty.


  • Can get loud
  • Outpaced by the FireCuda


WD Black

A solid performer

Western Digital's flagship HDD line, the Black, is an excellent drive for storing games and other media.

Source: Seagate

In a similar vein to the WD Black, we have the Seagate BarraCuda Pro series of mechanical hard drives. Sporting Seagate's most robust reliability claims and a higher warranty than the regular BarraCuda — again, we'll get to that shortly — the Pro series aims to last for years to come.

The BarraCuda Pro features a 300TB/year workload maximum, so like the WD Black, it's best left for things like games where you're not going to be moving them back and forth. It's a 7200 RPM drive that supports SATA 6Gb/s for that fast transfer speed.

Where the BarraCuda Pro outclasses the WD Black is the storage options available. You start at 2TB and can climb up to a ludicrous 14TB. You'll pay a pretty penny for that much space, though.


  • Excellent performance
  • Plenty of storage options
  • Five-year warranty


  • Not as good of a value as the WD Black or FireCuda
  • Beaten by the FireCuda for speed

Best storage

Seagate BarraCuda Pro

Another great HDD

Seagate's BarraCuda Pro features more storage options than the WD Black but comes in at a higher price.

Source: Amazon

If you're looking for best-in-class HDD performance, then look no further than the WD VelociRaptor. Western Digital is a massive name in the hard drive market, best known for various product categories, including internal hard drives. There are several different WD options — Blue for budget, Red for NAS, Black for performance, Purple for surveillance — but the 10,000 RPM VelociRaptor is the king among hard disk drives.

However, this drive is pricy and comes in lower storage sizes, not to mention the SSDs still outclass it. The 2TB Kingston A400 SSD, for example, is roughly the same price and runs laps around this drive at double the space. There's no longer a place for a drive like this.

But, I suppose if you're set on sticking with HDDs, and don't want to go with an SSHD, then the VelociRaptor is the best you'll get in terms of performance. Western Digital also includes a five-year warranty in case anything goes wrong.


  • Fast 10,000 RPM
  • Five-year warranty
  • Highly reliable


  • Still outclassed by SSDs
  • Questionable value
  • Limited storage options

Best performance

WD VelociRaptor workstation hard drive

High-performance at a price

The fastest HDD available, the WD VelociRaptor, is neat, but it's a questionable value when you consider similarly priced SSDs.

Source: Seagate

If you want to save money, then the Seagate BarraCuda is it. The value here is nothing to sneeze at. Undercutting its own Pro cousin, the regular BarraCuda packs in the same 7200 RPM rotational speed, SATA 6Gb/s, and generous storage options.

There isn't too much else to say here. Frankly, you can't beat the value of the BarraCuda, and word has it that the reliability of this drive has improved drastically in recent years. One of its most significant downsides from all reports is that it lacks robustness when it comes to random read/write speeds — arguably a better indication of real-world use.

The BarraCuda HDD starts at 1TB and goes up to 8TB, with the value proposition getting better and better at the higher capacities.


  • Incredible value
  • Plenty of storage options
  • Two-year warranty
  • Generally, a quiet drive


  • Sketchy reliability in the past
  • Lower random read/write speeds
  • Shorter warranty than the Pro

Best value

Seagate BarraCuda internal SATA hard drive

Best bang for your buck

If you need to add storage to your PC and want to keep the price down, the Seagate BarraCuda is the best option.

Source: Western Digital

Coming in hot behind the BarraCuda is the WD Blue, Western Digital's budget line of HDDs. They're essentially comparable to the BarraCuda but generally run for a few bucks more on average. Western Digital has typically had a better reputation for reliability.

The WD Blue is to the Black like the BarraCuda is to the Pro. Essentially, it's the same drive with a shorter warranty and a few performance tweaks left off to keep costs down. That's fine, but Western Digital needs to keep an eye out on Seagate and drop its prices a tad to stay competitive beyond simple brand loyalty.


  • Great value
  • Several storage options
  • Two-year warranty


  • Slightly more expensive than Seagate
  • Some trouble reported with the warranty
  • Shorter warranty than the Black

Most reliable

WD Blue

Reliable and affordable

The WD Blue line is second only to the BarraCuda in terms of value.

Source: Seagate

What if you're not looking for game storage but rather something for all of your important files? That's where a NAS (network-attached storage) comes in. Whether you're building your own or buying one ready to go, you'll need some hard drives to keep everything backed up. And my pick for that is Seagate's IronWolf.

I run these personally in my own NAS, and they're great. NAS drives are a bit different than desktop-class HDDs because they're designed to run 24/7 while maintaining a higher level of performance. According to Seagate, the IronWolf comes in storage sizes ranging from 1TB up to 16TB with a three-year warranty. There's also the IronWolf Pro line, but that's aimed more at the business and otherwise professional level.

If you opt for the 3TB or above, you'll get Seagate's IronWolf Health Management, which works well with some NAS manufacturers to ensure that the drive is running at its best. Also, bear in mind that the 4TB drives and below run at 5,900 RPM rather than 7,200 RPM. The 1TB and 2TB models lack the vibration sensing features. The Pro line doesn't feature these disparities, but you pay a bit more of a premium to compensate.


  • Excellent value
  • Multiple storage options
  • Three-year warranty
  • Solid reliability


  • Lower capacity drives lack some features
  • Shorter warranty than the IronWolf Pro

Hard Drive Storage For Mac

Best for a NAS

Seagate IronWolf

Great NAS performance

If you're building a NAS or expanding your existing one's storage, the Seagate IronWolf is the best drive for the job.

Source: Seagate

Once again, Seagate has come out with a drive that matches Western Digital's offering and beats it on price. Above the IronWolf, and even the IronWolf Pro, is the Exos X. These enterprise-grade HDDs are meant for servers and are a bit outside the scope of the consumer market unless you're a 'prosumer' who's running a home lab or just want some of the best and most reliable performance you can get.

The Exos X ranges from 1TB to 16TB, with the top-of-the-line X16 models sporting 14TB and 16TB capacities. It's much easier to find the X16, though the X10 model (a few steps down) and X14 are available, too. All told, the Exos X16 can handle 550TB of workload per year and has a Mean Time Before Failure (MTBF) of 2.5 million hours. That's pretty awesome. Seagate also includes a five-year warranty.

Whether you go with a Seagate or a Western Digital — or even HGST — enterprise drive depends on your brand loyalty and what's on sale when you're shopping; the performance is nearly identical between the brands. Keep in mind that these enterprise-grade drives come at quite a cost over NAS or desktop HDDs.


  • Good performance
  • Five-year warranty
  • Power efficient


  • Pricey
  • Lacks some of the IronWolf features
  • Fewer smaller storage options

Best enterprise HDD

Seagate Exos X (4TB)

Enterprise grade

Seagate seemingly one-upped Western Digital again with the Exos X enterprise hard drives. These go all the way up to 16TB capacities, but they're a premium.

Bottom line

Long gone is the heyday of HDDs, but they're still a great option if you want the best GB-to-dollar ratio. Seagate and Western Digital remain the big players in this space. Yet, ultimately, our recommendation for the best HDD for your money isn't an HDD at all, but the SSHD FireCuda. It packs a great value with some extra performance, outpacing the next runner-up.

A SATA SSD will still outclass each of the drives mentioned on this list, even the FireCuda, and VelociRaptor. While you don't get quite the spacious storage options, you can pick up an SSD as a boot drive for pretty cheap these days. Assuming you want to just bulk up your storage for your games library without breaking the bank, then the Seagate FireCuda is the way to go.

And if you want to move beyond desktop-class drives for a NAS or home server rack, Seagate's got the IronWolf and Exos X drives to do what you need them to.

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Best Cheap Hard Drives For Pc And Macbook

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