Best External 8tb Hard Drive For Mac 2019

  1. Best External Hard Drive For Mac
  2. Best External 8tb Hard Drive For Mac 2019 Reviews
  3. Internal Hard Drive For Macbook Pro
  4. Internal Hard Drive For Mac
  5. External Hard Drive 4tb Deals
  6. Best Portable External Hard Drive

Best Buy customers often prefer the following products when searching for 8tb external hard drive. External hard drives are a must-have for anyone with a large digital media collection. They're great for backing up your computer, storing your music or movie collection, or even using as a network drive for multiple computers. The best 8TB external hard drive to buy is the WD 8TB My Book (view at Amazon). It's relatively compact for the size, being housed in a 3.5-inch unit. It has fast transfer speeds, backup software for both WIndows and Mac, and it includes a three-year warranty. For a more budget-friendly option we like the Seagate Expansion 8TB (view at Amazon. G-Technology 10TB G-DRIVE USB-C External. G-Technology 12TB G-RAID with Thunderbolt 3 Hard Drive Storage System - Previous Gallery Image. G-Technology 12TB G-RAID with Thunderbolt 3 Hard Drive Storage System - Next Gallery Image.

Aug 26, 2020 Best External Hard Drive For Mac 2019. Table Of Contents. Top 6 External Hard Drives for Mac. #1 Pick WD My Book 3TB. #2 Pick Seagate 2TB USB 3.0 Backup Plus Slim Portable Hard Drive.

External drives are quick and easy to use, and they’re usually extremely portable. Transferring files from one computer to the next can be much faster with the help of an external hard drive. They’re often used to store backup files or files too large to keep on a primary computer.

If you find that you’re constantly running out of space — or your overall computer performance is beginning to suffer — an external hard drive can be very safe and secure way to move files around.

External hard drives vs. flash drives

External hard drives are basically hard drives (HDD) or solid state drives (SSD) that are wrapped in their own protective casing and connect to your computer from the outside as opposed to the inside. Flash drives are external drives, but they aren’t as fast, and they don’t usually store as much space as their larger external hard drive relatives. Some external hard drives get power directly from the computer connection. Others will need to be plugged into the wall. There are varying levels of storage capacity in an external hard drive, and the overall size of the HDD depends on the model.

There are hard drives that may hold values like 3TB, 6TB, and 10TB, but they are much less common than the standard hard drives that hold: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, and 8TB.

Key considerations


For Mac users, buying an external HDD already formatted for your system makes getting started much easier. This is because when you initially connect an external HDD made for Mac (to a Mac computer), you won’t be required to format it before you begin transferring files. External HDDs that are not specific to Macs may also work, but you’ll need to reformat them first, which could take some time.

Even though Mac computers are capable of reading hard drives that are formatted for Windows, if you intend on using your external HDD as a bootable disk or want to use it to backup files with your Mac’s Time Machine, you must format it to be entirely Mac compatible.


Best External Hard Drive For Mac

Your HDD will need to power itself by either an AC power cord or through its data cable that plugs into your computer. There are obvious benefits to getting power directly from your computer, but hard drives that are larger and more powerful may need the independent power source to optimize efficiency.

Storage capacity

In terms of storage space, 1,000GB is equal to 1TB (terabyte). Typically, 1TB is enough for 250,000 MP3s or 200,000 digital photos. This is also how much space you’d need for about 120 HD videos.

Common storage sizes for external HDDs include:

  • 500GB

  • 1TB

  • 2TB

  • 4TB

  • 8TB


Portable hard drives are designed for travel. They’re lighter, thinner, and will likely have extra protection for the casing. They’re made to easily slip in and out of a laptop case or bookbag, taking up very little space. The best external hard drives should be able to withstand an occasional drop or two.


Some external hard drives are meant to stay relatively stationary. They tend to be bigger in size and don’t have as much protection against drops. These drives tend to pack a slightly larger punch than smaller, more portable HDDs.

When testing HDDs for Macs, a key factor is the power source. Some HDDs have independent power cables while others draw power from the data cable that connects to the computer.n
We consider the storage capacity of the external drive, testing models that store between 500 GB and 8 TB. Larger hard drives are helpful for gaming and movie storage, while smaller ones tend to be sufficient for backing up personal files and photos.
We tested internal HDDs already formatted for Macs as well as hard drives formatted for Windows to compare functionality and ease of reformatting.
In our testing, we consider the hard drives' portability. Portable external hard drives should be small enough to travel with but sturdy enough to withstand taking a little damage.
We compared the benefits of desktop external hard drives and portable ones. While portable hard drives tend to be sturdier, they are also smaller and offer less storage.
During testing, we compare the HDD's connection type. External hard drives for Mac tend to have Thunderbolt connections and USB, which all offer different transfer speeds.
We consider how much a consumer wants to spend on an external hard drive for Mac. HDD's that store between 500 GB and 3 TB of storage are available for under $100, while more expensive external drives can hold more than 10 TB.
When testing external hard drives, we consider the HDD's lifespan. Files should typically remain on an external hard drive until they are deleted or destroyed, but the lifespan can vary.n
We evaluate the external hard drive's ability to resist dust and water to protect its contents.n
During testing, we evaluate how easy it is to transfer data and how quickly the transfer takes place.

Connection types

USB 3.0

This is a common connection type for many external hard drives. USB is very compatible with Mac machines, especially those with older versions. It’s max transfer rate is 10 Gb/s. Most (but not all) Mac computers and will have at least one USB port that supports external memory.


This is a newer form of USB connection that delivers more power and slightly faster speeds for Mac users. New hard drives will come with the proper connection cords to ensure compatibility. The max transfer speeds provided by USB is is 20 Gb/s.


Thunderbolt connections are the latest in data and power transfer and popular amongst Mac devices. Its strength is in its speed and power as well as its ability to chain more than one device to a single computer. Its max transfer speed is about double that of USB-C at 40 Gb/s.

It’s possible to install and run programs or games directly from your external HDD. There are a few downsides, however, such as longer loading speeds and the need to have the drive with you in order to play the game.

External hard drives for Macs: prices

Overall storage space will typically play the main role in the final price you’ll pay for an external hard drive.

$50 and under


In this range, you’ll find quality external drives that hold 500GB to 1TB of storage for Mac computers.

$60 to $80

If you’re looking for anywhere between 2TB and 3TB of storage space, you’ll be spending within this price range.

$100 to $150+

You won’t be able to find many quality HDDs that hold 4TB of space for under $100. As you get closer to 8TB of storage, you’ll be looking at spending $150 or more.


For those who want hefty amounts of storage — 10TB or more — you’ll need to invest $200 or more.


  • Avoid unplugging your hard drive before unmounting it from your computer. Disconnecting your HDD while it’s transferring or updating can cause files to become damaged or even lost forever. It can also put unnecessary stress on your computer and the hard drive itself.

  • Even though many external hard drives are built for portability, you’ll still want to take extra care of them so they last. If possible, look to keep them in a traveling pouch or case for greater protection. This will undoubtedly extend the overall life.

You can partition most HDD to support as many different operating systems and file formats as you’d like. A disk partition is a section of the hard drive that is separated from other segments.


Q. How long will files last on a quality external HDD?

A. Typically, the files will remain until you delete or destroy them — intentionally or by accident. Generally, your external HDD for Mac should last anywhere between three to five years. A good indicator is how long your manufacturer's warranty is for, as studies have shown that they are fairly accurate when it comes to HDD lifespan.

Q. Can I use my HDDs with my Mac and Windows computer at the same time?

A. Technically, yes. Mac-compatible hard drives will come formatted for Mac right out of the box. If you want to use if for Windows also, you’ll have to partition your drive and create the needed space to support your windows files or disks.

The best external hard drives for Macs are more vital than ever, especially with the latest MacBook Pro 14-inch and MacBook Pro 16-inch being even pricier than their older counterparts. Hard drives are a vital tool for professionals, especially those in the creative field who deal with large files. But, with Macs and MacBooks making it expensive to upgrade their storage, these storage solutions have become indispensable.

Finding a reliable external hard drive for your Mac lets you acquire more storage space without having to shell out a lot of cash, making it the most cost-effective solution. That’s especially if you don’t really need something incredibly speedy – for even faster read and write speeds, you might want to consider an SSD. Even if you can afford to spend more, you’re getting more storage capacity with an external hard drive. As a bonus, these drives are also built to be light, portable, and rugged.

Get one of the best external hard drives made for Macs for your storage upgrade needs. Here are our top picks below, alongside our price comparison tool so you can also get the best deal available.

Protect the data on your external hard drive with this cloud storage solution

IDrive, the cloud storage veteran, delivers tons of storage online for an incredibly small outlay. 5TB for $3.98 for the first year is unmatched till now and so is the support for unlimited devices and the extensive file versioning system available.


Protect the data on your external hard drive with this cloud storage solution

IDrive, the cloud storage veteran, delivers tons of storage online for an incredibly small outlay. 5TB for $3.98 for the first year is unmatched till now and so is the support for unlimited devices and the extensive file versioning system available.

1. Western Digital My Passport 4TB external hard drive

Interface: USB 3.0
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

This is the latest generation of the Western Digital My Passport external hard drives comes in capacities from 1TB to 4TB, and features cloud storage and 256-AES encryption, along with WD's own backup software. While transfer speeds aren't the quickest, due to its USB 3.0 connection, it offers a good balance between speed, capacity and price.

2. Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt external hard drive

Best External 8tb Hard Drive For Mac 2019 Reviews

Interface: Thunderbolt, USB 3.0
Reasons to buy
+Low price compared to other Thunderbolt drives+Mac-formatted
Reasons to avoid

If you want to make use of your Mac's Thunderbolt port, then this is the best external hard drive for Macs. It provides twice the speeds of standard USB 3.0 drives. It still uses a traditional hard drive, rather than an SSD, and while this means speeds aren't quite as fast as possible, it at least keeps the price down, while offering large capacities. There's also a USB 3.0 port for connecting to computers that don't have a Thunderbolt port.

3. G-Technology G-Drive USB 3.0 4TB external hard drive

Interface: USB 2.0, USB 3.0, eSATA, FireWire
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

This is one of the fastest high capacity hard drives you can plug into your Mac, with a huge 4TB of storage space that zips along its USB 3.0, eSATA or FireWire connection. The all-aluminium enclosure gives the drive a premium look and feel, while also protecting your data from knocks and drops, and keeping the drive cool when used.

Speedy and large

Interface: USB 3.1

Internal Hard Drive For Macbook Pro

Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

If you really want a super-fast external hard drive for your Mac, then the Samsung T3 SSD is easily one of the best. As it uses a solid state drive, the read and write speeds of this drive are much faster than external hard drives that use traditional hard drives. It does mean the price is higher, but if transfer speed is the most important consideration when looking for the best external hard drive for your Mac, then this is the drive to go for.

5. Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC external hard drive

Interface: USB 3.0
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

With compatibility for both Mac and Windows machines, the Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC is very flexible, and comes with a rugged case that's dust and water resistant, along with a built-in USB 3.0 cable. Not only is your data kept protected from knocks and drops with the rugged shell, but it's also got 256-bit AES security features and NFC (Near Field Communication) features as well. This is a great external hard drive for your Mac if you are concerned about keeping your data safe and secure.

6. Western Digital My Passport Ultra external hard drive

Interface: USB 3.0
Reasons to buy
+Large capacity+Type-C connector+Suite of applications
Reasons to avoid

The latest generation of the Western Digital My Passport Ultra range of external hard drives has landed, coming in sizes from 1TB to 4TB. It features cloud storage and 256-AES encryption, along with WD's own software suite.

It is a good performer when it comes to data transfer speeds but doesn't come near the top of the leaderboard. Unsurprisingly, it doesn't reach the top speeds of solid state external drives, but for external hard drives based on traditional HDDs, this is the drive to consider.

USB-C star

Interface: USB-C
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-You need USB-C ports to take advantage of speed

You may have stumbled upon the LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive when perusing the Apple website for USB-C accessories. There’s a reason for that: the Porsche Design ships with both USB Type-C to Type-A and USB Type-C to Type-C connectors, making it a worthy candidate regardless of your setup.

It’s expensive for an external hard drive, don’t get us wrong, especially if you’re in the market for the top-end 4TB option. On the other hand, this is an HDD that could theoretically output speeds of up to 5Gbps, if it weren’t hindered by the limits of SMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording) technology. With MacBooks coming with USB Type-C connections, this is an excellent - and stylish - external hard drive that makes the most of this speedy new port.

A brilliant external hard drive for extra security

Interface: USB 3.0
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

Internal Hard Drive For Mac

If you're worried about people getting access to your data if your external hard drive is stolen, than you'll like the iStorage drive here. If someone tries to tamper with your iStorage drive, you can configure it to self-desturct. What's more, the data is encrypted by the 256-bit AES protocol, with multiple forms of protection in place to ensure the bad guys don't get in no matter how persistent. When you consider all that extra security, the prices won't scare you away either. It's more pricey than the other drives of its capacity, but the extra security it offers will be well worth it for many people.

What to look for in a external hard drive for your Mac

When choosing the best external hard drive for your Mac, you need to consider other things beyond storage capacity and price. Of course, those two things are absolutely vital. Finding one that’s not only affordable, but has enough storage space – a minimum of 1TB is highly recommended – for your present and future needs is definitely ideal, even if you have more than enough money to splurge for something expensive.

Another deciding factor, however, is the connection. Many external hard drives have USB 3.0 connections, but since MacBooks and Mac accessories rely on the power and data transfer speed of USB-Cs, USB Type-C or Thunderbolt 3 or 4 connections are certainly favorable.

If you’re storing very important files, especially for work, consider getting one that has more robust security features. There are other things as well, including a rugged build if you plan on taking it out in the field with you, and portability if you plan on traveling around with it.

External Hard Drive 4tb Deals

Best external hard drives for Mac: How we chose them?

While we will talk mostly about hard drives as storage device write and read on spinning metal or glass platters, we have to mention SSD (solid state drives) as well as they have grown both in capacity and in performance. That however came at the cost of endurance, especially at the lower end of the market and is likely to be an issue if you use our SSD storage extensively.

Best Portable External Hard Drive

All newer MacBook and desktop Macs (iMac, Mac Mini, Mac Pro) come with one or more Thunderbolt ports which are also compatible with USB Type-C. So we look not only at the versatility and general performance of the drives - across a number of benchmarks - but also their relevance to specific use cases, after sales and warranty as well as sheer value for money.

You might also want to check out the best PS5 external hard drives.

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