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If your computer has insufficient storage space, or you often move large files between two machines, we recommend that you buy a fast portable drive. In this article, we will take a look at some of the best portable SSDs you can buy on the market right now. Portable SSDs are more expensive than portable hard drives, but they have no moving parts and are faster. We managed to add some of the best SSDs in this series with dozens of portable drives.
Before starting our collection, let's take a quick look at some important things to consider before buying a portable SSD:
With this, let us now take a detailed look at the available options:
It took Samsung a long time to launch a successor to the popular T5, but the new T7 is ultimately a worthwhile upgrade. Samsung T7 is one of the best SSDs you can buy on the market right now. It has two variants-a normal vanilla model and a model with a fingerprint reader. The standard T7 SSD is more suitable for ordinary users who just want to add more storage space, while the T7 Touch with fingerprint scanner is suitable for more advanced users.
Both SSDs are available in 500GB, 1TB, or 2TB capacities, and are available in blue or silver options. The hardware required for the biometric function adds a bit of weight to the device, but it still adopts a portable form factor. Both variants have a solid aluminum monolithic structure and use a C-type connector for file transfer. Samsung uses NVMe SSD behind the USB 3.2 Gen 2 bridge to provide high sequential read and write speeds of up to 1,050MB/s and 1,000MB/s, respectively.
You will also get the Samsung Portable SSD Plus software that comes with the SSD. It will be one of the files in the storage to enable the fingerprint function. Setting up a fingerprint reader is as simple as enabling fingerprint authentication on a smartphone. However, a drive needs to be connected for the fingerprint reader to work. This is not a problem, because if you do not connect the drive to the device, you will not be able to access the data. You can also download the software as an application to use the SSD with your Android phone (if it has a type-c connector).
Both T7 and T7 Touch SSDs come with a three-year limited warranty, Samsung's portable SSD Plus 1.0 software (described above), and AES 256-bit hardware encryption. Despite its amazing build quality and long list of features, the T7 is a surprisingly affordable drive, starting at just $79 for the 500GB model. The cost of the T7 Touch variant is higher, but we think the added security advantage makes it untouchable in the market (pun intended).
The only real disadvantage of the T7 SSD is the lack of IP rating, but it is not a deal breaker, especially in this price range when considering other benefits. Samsung has been raising the bar in the field of portable SSDs through its drives. The T7 and T7 Touch portable SSDs are not only the best in terms of overall structure and functions, but they are also one of the best performance drives. Of course, there are faster drives on the market, but they are also more expensive and far less cost-effective than T7.
Yes, we have selected Samsung's T7 as the best portable SSD on the market, but we think the T5 is also worthy of a place in our collection. T5 is the starting point of everything. It is with this SSD that Samsung has proven that external storage devices can be smaller, but still provide impeccable performance. The T5 measures 74 x 57 x 10.5 mm and weighs only 51 grams. It is small enough to fit easily in the pocket of skinny jeans.
Samsung T5 abandoned the two-tone color scheme of its predecessor, with a simple appearance. It is made of metal with brushed aluminum finish, power LED and Type-C connector. Samsung T5 SSD has four different capacities-250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB-you can choose black, red, gold or blue. Samsung is using advanced 64-layer 3D V-NAND Triple Level Cell flash memory to achieve reliable performance.
The T5 drive has USB Type-C Gen 1 and can provide a transfer speed of up to 540MB/s, which is still very commendable for such a high cost drive. It also comes with 256-bit AES hardware encryption, and Samsung bundles USB Type-C to Type-C and Type-C to Type-A cables with the drive. In addition, you can also get software suites for Windows, macOS and Android.
Overall, Samsung T5 portable SSD is a comprehensive product in this field, and it is very suitable for those who want to add more storage space to their settings without burning a lot of space in their pockets. Even the 2TB variant of this drive is now only $230, which is great for adding more raw storage space to existing equipment. With fast transfer rates and three-year warranty, T5 is definitely one of the best portable SSDs you can get without spending too much money. It is worth noting that if your PC does not have USB Type-C, T5 is also backward compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0.
Samsung's T3, the predecessor of T5, is also a good choice for people who are struggling and are not too keen to take advantage of T5 performance enhancements. We look forward to Samsung launching a new version of its portable SSD for those who prefer affordable drives, but T5 will be our recommendation until then. T5 SSDs tend to be removed soon, so be sure to use the link below to get your device.
SanDisk is also a popular name in the SSD field, and there are various storage drives on the market. However, what we think deserves a place in our collection is the SanDisk Extreme Pro v2 portable SSD. This is a fast, safe and durable portable SSD, using USB 3.2 Gen2 x2 interface can provide up to 2 GB/s continuous throughput. This is a good choice for professional users who are looking for drives that are compatible with as many devices as possible.
The SanDisk Extreme v2 portable SSD has two capacities, 1TB and 2TB. The 1TB model costs $300 and the 2TB model costs $500. However, they have a warranty period of up to five years. SanDisk says that when used with 20 Gb/s host devices, these Extreme v2 portable SSDs can provide speeds of up to 2,000MBps in read and write workloads. It has an SLC drive cache that can absorb most of the inbound write data to increase speed. However, as the cache is filled, performance will degrade during long transfers. This is a common warning for high-performance SSDs that use SLC caching to gain instantaneous speed advantages.
Extreme v2 SSD has AES 256-bit hardware encryption password protection, which is a major upgrade to the mediocre software-based AES 128-bit encryption password protection of the previous version. This ensures that the new drive provides better protection and quicker access to the drive on macOS and Windows. You can also get a USB Type-C cable and a USB Type-C to Type-A cable along with the drive, as well as easy-to-use security management software.
What we like most about this SSD is its IP55 waterproof and dustproof rating. The drive is rated to withstand a drop of two meters, which is good. It is 85 grams heavier than the Samsung T7 SSD, but it is still very compact. The $500 price of a 2TB drive makes it a fairly expensive option on the market. This is why we think it is more suitable for professional users with complex workflows than casual users.
If you are looking for an economical option, you can also check out the other options in our series, but please note that you may have to accept a trade-off between slower speed and less consistent performance. If you want to buy a Sandisk drive and don't mind tolerating slower transfer speeds, SanDisk also sells an older generation of the product. Or, you can check other drives, such as Seagate Fast SSD or even Adata SD700 external SSD. The SanDisk Extreme v2 portable SSD is a bit difficult to obtain, so please click on the link below to check availability.
Buying a reliable portable SSD does not necessarily mean spending a lot of money. The Adata SD700 external SSD is a great choice for those who want to add more storage space to their settings without spending too much money. It is available in 256GB, 512GB and 1TB capacities, and you can buy black or yellow options. The SD700 weighs only 74 grams and measures 85 x 85 x 14 mm, making it ideal for putting in a pocket.
The best thing about Adata SD700 is that it is a rugged and durable drive with IP68 protection rating, which means it should be waterproof up to a depth of 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes. It has also passed military-grade tests and can withstand shocks even when in use. As you can see, the drive is protected by a non-removable rubber ring, and the internal parts are trapped inside the aluminum housing to provide protection. There is also an LED indicator to show the status. Without a doubt, this is one of the most durable portable SSDs you can buy on the market.
SD700 uses 3D NAND to ensure that it consumes less power per unit of storage. It uses a USB Type-A connector (3.1 gen 1) to connect to the host device, and the maximum theoretical transmission limit provided is 5Gbps. Yes, it is not the fastest drive on the market, but considering its price, this is not surprising. In addition to cables, you can also get a three-year warranty for the drive and some software such as Macrium Reflect backup kit, SSD toolbox, Acronis True Image HD, etc. It also supports AES 256 encryption.
You can now get the 1TB version of Adata SD700 for as low as $130. This makes it comparable to some other SSDs on the market, such as Samsung T3 or even SanDisk Extreme 500. Adata can improve SD700 in many ways to make it a better product. We would love to see the option of using a USB Type-C connector, which will also make it smaller in size.
It is only a matter of time before other manufacturers provide economical shoppers with affordable drives like SD700. However, for the time being, this is sufficient for reasonably priced SSDs on the market. We recommend that you choose the 2TB variant of this drive for the best price/performance ratio. We will look for other reasonably priced products, so be sure to check again as we will update this space with a new drive.
The Samsung X5 is one of the fastest portable SSDs you can buy right now. It's not the most affordable drive on the market, but it can't be better. The Samsung X5 is driven by the OEM variant of the Samsung 970 EVO and the Alpine Ridge Thunderbolt 3-to-PCIe bridge. It has 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities, and the price is $150, $350, and $600, respectively. We recommend buying a 1TB or 2TB variant, which combines the huge bandwidth of Thunderbolt with the advantages of the efficient NVMe protocol.
These models can provide sequential read and write speeds of up to 2.8 GB/s and 2.3 GB/s, respectively. In contrast, the 500GB model has a lower write performance level. However, you need a real Thunderbolt connection to use these SSDs, so please keep this in mind. These do not even apply to USB-A (USB 3.0/2.0) systems. X5 also supports TRIM, which means that its performance will not be degraded by background garbage collection.
The Samsung X5 hard drive comes with a 20-inch Thunderbolt 3 cable and pre-installed portable SSD software for Mac and Windows. You can use this software to enable optional device encryption. It supports full AES 256-bit hardware encryption without performance loss. However, it will force you to enter the password every time you connect the drive.
One of the best things about the Samsung X5 is that it is equipped with a large magnesium alloy body, which helps to dissipate heat. It is not as compact as Samsung's T-series drives, but this is a trade-off for high-performance drives. X5 measures 119x62x19.7 mm and weighs 150 grams. It also has Samsung's dynamic thermal protection device to prevent overheating. This means that you may experience throttling speed due to heat output, but this is not common. The drive itself looks great, but we hope that Samsung will provide more colors.
We recommend the Samsung X5 hard drive to creative professionals who need to handle large amounts of content such as video, audio, and pictures. These large file transfers can take a lot of time, and having a faster drive like X5 is a godsend. It comes with a three-year warranty, and we think that considering it is a performance-based drive, we think it might be more. We may soon see faster drives on the market, but this is already the best. It is relatively expensive, but you pay an extra price for faster file transfer speeds. If you only need a reliable portable drive and don't mind a slight reduction in speed, we suggest you look at Samsung's T5 or T7 drive.
As we all know, Western Digital is second to none in terms of storage drives, and they also have a large number of portable SSDs on the market. However, what we think deserves a place in our collection is the My Passport Wireless SSD. This portable SSD is a new addition to its existing Wi-Fi drive product stack. My Passport Wireless is a durable high-speed solid state drive. However, the highlight of this product is the built-in SD card reader, which can charge your device when you are out.
My Passport Wireless SSD is available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities, starting at $210. Western Digital provides a two-year warranty for this drive and a 30-day money-back guarantee in certain markets. The SSD is equipped with a detachable anti-drop rubber buffer, which is sturdy and durable, and the non-slip surface can improve the grip. However, it does not have any IP rating, so please keep this in mind.
My Passport Wireless SSD is equipped with a built-in SD card reader, 802.11ac Wi-Fi connection and built-in lithium-ion battery. When you are on the go, the built-in battery can also be used to charge other small devices. The reading speed of My Passport Wireless is only 390MB/s, which is not the fastest SSD on the market. However, the built-in SD card reader is one of the main attractions here. For example, a photographer can quickly insert an SD card reader to transfer photos to the SSD and free up space on the card.
You can easily connect the drive to Android or iPhone to charge them and handle the file transfer part. You can also check your images instantly on your phone or tablet, and even upload them to social media while shooting on-site at the same time. In addition, you can also use it as a NAS box by wirelessly sharing the onboard storage with other devices.
We want it to have a USB Type-C port instead of a non-standard 10-pin micro-B USB 3.0 connector. We also hope that WD will update the drive with a faster transfer speed, making it a comprehensive product. However, if you can accept these warnings now, then we cannot recommend this portable drive. Photographers should definitely grab this, or at least look out for an upgraded version with a USB type-C or Thunderbolt connector. WD also sells wireless hard drives, but they are definitely slower than this SSD.
We know that many people prefer durable drives over anything else, which is why we added LaCie Rugged SSD Pro to our product line. It also happens to be one of the fastest SSDs on the market, competing with the Samsung X5 SSD. LaCie Rugged SSD combines Seagate FireCuda NVMe SSD with Thunderbolt 3 interface to provide read and write speeds of 2,800MB/s and 2,300MB/s, respectively.
LaCie's rugged drive houses the SSD in an aluminum housing that is waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, and pressure resistant. In addition, the drive is also wrapped in a silicone skin, adding more friction to improve overall grip. The entire device measures 0.7 x 3.9 x 2.6 inches and weighs only 100 grams, making it one of the most portable drives on the market.
Rugged SSD Pro's dust and water resistance rating reaches IP67. It can survive in shallow water for up to 30 minutes. The best thing about this drive is that the water resistance does not depend on whether you remember to close the flip cover on the Thunderbolt 3 port, because the connector itself is waterproof. LaCie rated the drive's drop tolerance at 3 meters, which is about the same as the rugged drives on the market.
The LaCie Rugged Pro SSD has a USB Type-C port and comes with a USB-C-to-USB-C cable. Both ports and cables support Thunderbolt 3. The drive is pre-formatted with exFAT, so it can work normally on PCs and Macs. In addition, you can also get the downloadable LaCie Toolkit, five-year warranty and five-year Rescue Data Recovery service. The included toolkit will allow you to reformat the drive without any problems.
LaCie Rugged Pro is one of the best portable drives you can buy, if your main focus is on ruggedness and you spend a lot of time working on the move. Having a faster transfer speed is like icing on the cake, because most rugged drives do not necessarily have faster sequential read and write speeds. It is bundled with Samsung X5 drives for best performance and beats almost all other rugged drives on the market. It is safe to say that it has almost no room for complaint. If you need ruggedness and extreme performance, then this is what you want.
Sabrent is a brand known for breaking the boundaries of fast flash memory and high capacity, and we think its Rocket XTRM-Q deserves a place in our series. We consider 8TB flash drives to be a niche product, but Sabrent has now entered the market with a 16TB model. This is an upgrade to its popular 8TB Rocket XTRM-Q drive.
As you can see, the capacity of the new version has doubled, but it is not the most portable option on the market. This is due to its size and power requirements. Yes, you need an external power supply to use this drive. We know that powering the drive all the time is not easy, especially when you are on the go, but at least you can put it in your backpack, which is different from the huge desktop drive used to sit on the desk next to the computer.
The new 16TB model has two Rocket Q M.2 NVMe SSDs behind the Thunderbolt 3 bridge. These things can become very fast. However, it comes at a price, in this case, about $3,000. It provides continuous read speeds of up to 2.8 GB/s through Thunderbolt 3, and can be configured as RAID 0, RAID 1, or JBOD.
Rocket XTRM-Q comes with a USB-C Thunderbolt cable and a power brick for powering the device. Remember, this brick is not optional, and the SSD will not work without it. In addition, you can also get Sabrent's RAID assistant software, which allows you to easily configure drives in RAID 0, RAID1, or JBOD settings. The hard drive measures 115 x 65 x 16 mm and weighs 233 grams, which is smaller and lighter than the desktop hard drives we mentioned earlier. We also like the overall aluminum manufacturing quality of the drive. It is equipped with rubber feet to prevent slippage and two power/activity indicators.
XTRM-Q is powered by Intel JHL6340 Thunderbolt 3 controller, and each SSD is allocated two PCIe 3.0 channels. These drives support Trim and SMART data reporting, but they are only compatible with Thunderbolt 3 and cannot be used with standard USB Type-C connectors. It is also worth noting that the RAID function is not built-in through the hardware controller. Instead, it uses the software RAID function built into Windows or macOS.
The price tag of Rocket XTRM-Q is unaffordable for ordinary users, but if you are looking for high-capacity flash memory, this is the best choice. At least in this price range, no other product on the market can match the absolute capacity and performance offered by this drive. If you don’t need a large-capacity drive, we recommend that you check out some of the other drives in the collection.
As you can see, there are many portable SSDs to choose from on the market. We think Samsung T7 is the best portable SSD you can buy right now. If you need extra security, Samsung also sells variants with fingerprint scanners. If you prefer more affordable products, Samsung T5 is also a good choice. We have also added more relatively affordable options to the list, such as Adata SD700 external SSD. There is also My Passport Wireless SSD, we think it is definitely the best choice for photographers and content creators on the move. Finally, we added the Sabrent Rocket XTRM-Q drive for people who need a lot of storage space to dump all their files (whether it's media library or game folders).
As we mentioned before, choosing the right portable SSD boils down to balancing some important things. You don’t have to worry about brand reliability, because we only added options from well-known manufacturers. It all depends on your workflow and how you want to handle the backup process. For example, if you do nightly backups, you should look for a backup with a larger capacity rather than a faster transfer speed. You may also want to buy drives with a longer warranty because these drives, like many other technical products, will not last forever.
That being said, remember that SSDs are almost always better than HDDs with rotating drives. These drives tend to withstand bumps and drops better than rotary drives. They may wear out faster than hard drives, but this is a transaction you should be willing to make for faster transfer speeds.
Well, we have collected the best portable SSDs you can buy right now. If we end up missing any of your favorite drives, please let us know. If you want to add more storage space directly to your PC or laptop, we also recommend that you check our list of the best M.2 SSDs. We also have other useful collections, such as the best motherboards and the best CPUs. If you plan to build a new PC now, you might be interested.
XDA »Buying Guide» The best portable SSD you can buy right now
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