10 Best External Hard Drives 2020

10 Best External Hard Drives 2020

Although cloud-based storage is popular these days, there’s still a need for external hard drives that can handle large amount of data transfers and are accessible without WiFi. Gone are the days of big, bulky hard drives. These days, external hard drives come in a range of sizes and sleek designs, allowing you to take them with you wherever you go or sit on your desk as part of the furniture.

There are several features you need to consider when choosing an external hard drive. These include:

  1. Storage Capacity
  2. Size
  3. Use
  4. Compatibility
  5. Price

We’ve carefully selected the best external hard drives at Officeworks to make it easier for you to find the right one.

Our top 10 best hard drives

  • Best Hard Drive for Gaming

    Samsung 1TB Portable Solid State Drive T5

    Samsung 1TB Portable Solid State Drive T5

    Capacity: 1TB
    Compatibility: Mac, Windows & Android
    Price: $248
    Best suited to: Gaming, on-the-go, creatives (photographers,videographers)
    Call out feature: Fast transfers

    Solid state drives feature no moving parts and use flash memory chips to store your data or shared documents. This makes them faster than other hard drives, and the Samsung 1TB Portable Solid State Drive T5 is no different. With ultrafast transfer speeds of up to 540MBs when used with a USB-C connection, it is 4.9x faster than most external hard drives. It also one of the more compact hard drives when comparing it to other portable ones. It allows for password protection to keep your files secure.

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  • Best Affordable Hard Drive

    Seagate Backup Plus 5TB Portable Hard Drive

    Seagate Backup Plus 5TB Portable Hard Drive

    Capacity: 5TB
    Compatibility: Mac & Windows
    Price: $218
    Best suited to: Students, everyday use, backing up
    Call out feature: Best value for money

    This portable hard drive is great for students and for everyday use as it provides different back-up options including back-up on-demand, scheduled, automatic back-ups and mirrored folders. It is affordable for the storage capacity you receive and comes with two months of Adobe Creative Cloud free! This portable hard drive comes in different colours like blue, red, silver and black so you can match it with your laptop or laptop accessories.

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  • Best Portable Hard Drive

    SanDisk Extreme Pro 1TB Solid State Drive

    SanDisk Extreme Pro 1TB Solid State Drive

    Capacity: 1TB
    Compatibility: Mac & Windows
    Price: $367
    Best suited to: Gaming, creatives, outdoors
    Call out feature: Shock proof and waterproof

    This solid state hard drive is great for working on the go as it has an IP55 rating making it shock, water and dust proof. It is lightning-fast due to NVMe technology so you can transfer large files faster. You’re also able to edit directly from the drive. It is quite compact compared to other portable hard drives.

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  • Best Hard Drive for Mac

    WD 2TB My Passport Portable Hard Drive Mac

    WD 2TB My Passport Portable Hard Drive Mac

    Capacity: 2TB
    Compatibility: Mac only
    Price: $139
    Best suited to: Everyday use, students, dedicated Mac users
    Call out feature: Formatted for Mac

    This portable hard drive is great for students and people who use Mac products every day as it is specially formatted for Mac. It has Apple Time Machine ready for automatic backups. It also features password protection to keep your files more secure. This hard drive is very easy to use, so it’s great for beginners.

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  • Best Hard Drive For Photographers

    LaCie Rugged USB-C 4TB Portable Hard Drive

    LaCie Rugged USB-C 4TB Portable Hard Drive

    Capacity: 4TB
    Compatibility: $299
    Price: Mac & Windows
    Best suited to: On-the-go, creatives
    Call out feature: Waterproof, drop-proof and crushproof

    This portable hard drive is perfect for people working outside and on the go as it is waterproof, drop proof and crushproof. Its bright orange colour means it can be easily found on the ground, in the bush, or in your bag and it’s small enough to be carried wherever your work takes you.

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  • Best Hard Drive for Small Business

    Seagate Backup Plus 10TB Desktop Hard Drive

    Seagate Backup Plus 10TB Desktop Hard Drive

    Capacity: 10TB
    Compatibility: Mac & Windows
    Price: $479
    Best suited to: Small business, backups, creatives
    Call out feature: Built-in charging station

    This desktop hard drive connects to your device and backs up pictures and videos via the Seagate Mobile Backup app. You can choose how you want to back up files including on-demand, scheduled, automatically and mirrored folders. Not only that, you can charge your other devices through the built-in charging station located on this drive. With 10Tb of storage, it’s best suited to small businesses who need a lot of data storage.

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  • Best Hard Drive for Backups

    Western Digital My Book 8TB Desktop Hard Drive

    Western Digital My Book 8TB Desktop Hard Drive

    Capacity: 8TB
    Compatibility: Mac & Windows
    Price: $347
    Best suited to: Small business, backups, creatives
    Call out feature: Automatic backup software

    This desktop hard drive has a large 8TB capacity, perfect for small businesses. It is equipped with password protection functionality to protect your data and can be paired with WD Backup or Apple Time Machine. It is designed to sit on your desk next to your computer so you can easily transfer files as you need to or set it up to automatically transfer data, so your drive is always up to date.

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  • Best Hard Drive for Video Editing

    LaCie Rugged 4TB Portable Hard Drive with Thunderbolt

    LaCie Rugged 4TB Portable Hard Drive with Thunderbolt

    Capacity: 4TB
    Compatibility: Mac & Windows
    Price: $398
    Best suited to: On-the-go, creatives, need for speed
    Call out feature: Drop-proof, crush and water-resistant

    Another great portable hard drive, this one has a crush resistance of up to 1 tonne. It is also water resistance and drop proof so you can take it anywhere. It features Thunderbolt and USB 3.1 ports, and a tethered cable for extra protection. This is the more affordable external hard drive for people who need to transfer files on the go like photographers and videographers.

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  • Best Secure Hard Drive

    LaCie 2Big 8TB Dock with Thunderbolt 3

    LaCie 2Big 8TB Dock with Thunderbolt 3

    Capacity: 8TB
    Compatibility: Mac & Windows
    Price: $978
    Best suited to: Small business, backups, creatives
    Call out feature: Data protection measures

    This dock is made up of two 4TB removable hard drives and allows for RAID storage which stores the same data in different places across multiple disks to protect data in case of drive failure. It includes a USB, SD and compact flash ports. It can be connected to your monitor, making it great for small businesses who need to transfer data constantly.

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  • Best Hard Drive for Students

    Seagate One Touch 1TB Solid State Drive

    Seagate One Touch 1TB Solid State Drive

    Capacity: 1TB
    Compatibility: Mac & Windows
    Price: $259
    Best suited to: style-conscious, backups, students, need for speed
    Call out feature: Stylish & compact design

    This fashion-forward hard drive has a textile covering available in black or white so you can match it to your other devices. It is compact which is great for portability around university or school. You’ll also never have to worry about a lost assignment again as it has continuous back-up when plugged in thanks to Sync Plus software.

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How to choose the best hard drive

The best type of hard drive depends on your situation and needs. Different types of hard drives are designed to suit different types of people. It’s important before you make a purchase that you recognise what you need the hard drive for and how you’re going to be using it.

If you primarily save documents and use the cloud a lot, you should search for a hard drive with a smaller capacity. If you save movies and videos and use a lot of apps for editing, you should lean towards something larger.

An external hard drive is a good option for when you have important documents on your computer that you need to back up in case they’re accidentally lost or deleted. If you want to add extra storage to your computer or device, the external hard drive can stand right next to it. It will give it that extra storage boost, providing peace of mind in case anything goes wrong.

For quick data transfers and collaborative work, a portable hard drive is recommended. They’re easy to use with USB connectivity and are slim so you can fit it in your bag and use it on the go. If you’re at university or school and have documents you need to share, a portable hard drive will suit your needs.

It’s also important to look at the type of technology the hard drive has before buying. SSD drives perform faster transfers and make less noise, but with the HDD, you can get more storage for a lower price. The decision is entirely dependent on what you need.