Best External Hard Drive For Mac 2021: WD, Seagate, Toshiba

In this era, people are using handy hard drives to store their data more than ever because of their convenience. However, you cannot always find the perfect products, especially if you are a Mac user. Today, in this article, we will list the best external hard drive for Mac that you cannot miss up to now. Plus, we also include a buying guide so that you can improve your knowledge and find out other solutions on your own.

Best External Hard Drives For Windows 10 (Updated)
Best External Hard Drives For Windows 10 (Updated)

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How To Pick The Best Portable Hard Drive For Mac

Best Portable Hard Drive For Mac

How much storage capacity do you need?

Of course, more storage means extra cost. However, hard drive storage is inexpensive. If you are not struggling with your life, you had better purchase at least a 1-TB model. When you need more storage capacity, upgrading to 2TB, 3TB, or even 5TB is dramatically more cost-effective and convenient than buying multiple hard drives at the same time.

Therefore, investment in the new model is a wise choice. 1TB can achieve approximately more than ten thousand 192 kbps-quality music albums, which seems to be redundant. However, it becomes a small number when it comes to 4K video.

Supposed that you are using an iPhone 8, every three minutes of a 4K video will take up to 1GB of data. Then if you have a big collection of high-resolution images and videos, heavyweight games, some extra TBs of data are necessary for the future.

How fast do you need the hard drive to be?

The most popular speed of hard drives is around 5400 rpm, which is okay for data backup. Actually, if you usually carry out clone backup or a full backup when you do not use your PC, sometimes even overnight, a little higher speed is unnecessary.

The faster a drive is, the more cost it charges. In most cases, a 40% faster hard drive may even double the expense. If high speed is a must in your projects, an external Solid State Drive (SSD) is more suitable for you.


Shockproof is the most critical protection for a hard drive because their moving parts are likely to be damaged permanently after a drop. Sturdy drives should feature a kind of rubber coat that decreases impact forces, or a tough enclosure that can stand against types of normal pressure.

While some models are water-resistant, not many of them are rated IP67 like an iPhone X. In other words, a few can endure the underwater environment, and some can prevent liquid drops or fluid splashes. Don’t hesitate to pay extra fees for useful protective functions because they can not only protect your data from loss but also save you even more money from buying new hard drives.

Do you need any bonus features?

Bigger hard drives are bulky but often have some substantial features. Desktop units can integrate a “hub” that allows users to plug-in their memory cards or other peripherals into USB ports.

This is very handy in case your existing connectivity setup is limited, or your USBs are not appropriate. Besides, making sure the hard drive’s connectors compatible with those of your Mac is crucial. Once you open the box, you will find some cables with either a USB or USB-C shaped plug.

If your MacBook is the older pattern from some years ago, it requires the older USB type. Vice versa, if your Mac is a recent model, a USB-C connector is in need. Still, not every USB-C is the same. MacBook laptops support Thunderbolt 3 whose bandwidth is eight times of USB 3.0. Nonetheless, conventional disks themselves do not reach the data speed limits of standard USB 3.0.

Positive Reviews from previous customers

In terms of shopping, reviews of previous clients are basically helpful. Buying a hard drive is of no exception, so read them to both improve your experience and choose the right product.

We should only trust hard drives that have been rated four stars or over by hundreds of customers. Also, pay attention to detailed comments from long-year and professional users. They are the most dependable ones.

List Of The Best External Hard Drive For Mac

Toshiba Canvio Advance Model HDTC920XL3AA

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With its plain design and modest price, Toshiba Canvio Advance is one of our top choices for the low-price segment at present. Once you reformat it in minutes, you can have a “Premium for Mac” hard drive at a much lower cost. The drive still allows users to utilize the Time Machine backup function on the Mac operating system.

However, its coating is made of semi-gloss plastic rather than aluminum. At 14-mm thickness, this pocket-size item is not too sturdy, but it can cut down on expenses and save space effectively.

This model comes with a full-size USB cable instead of a Thunderbolt-style USB-C and a micro USB 3.0 connector to be a better alternative for old hard drives. In terms of speed, the Toshiba Canvio Advance can read at 140.2 MBps and write at 120.3 MBps on average when it is transferring 5GB of data. That’s pretty good.

As a bonus, the LED will glow white if you attach the drive to a USB 2.0 port. It will turn to blue if connected to a USB 3.0 port. In this way, you can know whether you have got the most suitable port to connect.

Most noteworthy, the device features an encryption tool that allows users to set a password for drive access. Once you reformat it, the password will be removed. Last but not least, there are options available from 500GB to 4TB for you to choose from.


  • Budget-friendly
  • Compact
  • Good speed
  • LED indicators
  • Encryption and backup functions


  • Not durable
  • Not the best choice for latest Macbooks

Seagate External Hard Drive HDD model STGX5000400

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Although desktop-style hard drives are becoming less attractive in front of affordable pocket-size ones, this hard drive can still attract many users who rarely carry their drives away. As an offset for its bulky 18-inch size, the Seagate Hard Drive offers its customers with the highest storage capacity of up to 8TB. Drag and drop, then you can back up and store a huge amount of data easily.

You do not have to worry about the setup process. Your Mac devices will recognize it the moment you connect them together. In fact, we cannot realize the differences between getting access to the files on our Macbook and on the hard drive. In other words, it reads data very fast via a 3.0 USB port.

However, on the contrary, the writing speed is quite terrible. Therefore, if you are doing creative projects on your Mac, this drive is not a priority. In general, in spite of its bulky outfit and slow writing speed, this Seagate product is still a dependable hard drive for people who do not require much portability and writing speed.


  • High capacity
  • High reading speed
  • Easy to use
  • A USB 3.0 cable and one-year warranty included


  • Bulky
  • Slow writing speed

RAVPower Mini External SSD Hard Drive model RP-UM003

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This tiny item makes a glimpse into the next generation of SSDs. Despite its small size and low cost, for its specs, this external drive still does great jobs with good specs and encryption software. Above all, there are not many opponents at such a low price and minimal size that can offer up to 1TB capacity and 540 MBps data transfer rates like this RAVPower SSD.

Actually, its dimension is solely 7.2″ x 5.1″, which may make many people mistake it with a USB. Powered by a USB-C cable, this drive can work with all USB-C compatible devices and connect to a computer by USB-C to USB-A cables. At the data transfer rate of 540 MBps, the RAVPower SSD is not comparable to $130+ SSD hard drives. Still, it is more than expected for an external drive at such a small capacity.

If you do a quick calculation, 540-MBps speed could help you fill this drive fully in roughly 15 minutes for the 500GB model and 30 minutes for the 1TB model. Not bad! Moreover, the password-protection feature and the superb portability are worth using enough for most people. Of course, if you are looking for bigger things, just go for other choices.


  • Super ergonomic
  • Encryption feature available
  • Very cheap


  • Low capacity
  • Medium speed

G-Technology G-Drive Mobile model 0G10264-1

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At first glance, we can feel this G-Technology G-drive Mobile a premium product. Although it is not too bulky as the Seagate above, the aluminum core and the plastic shell give it sufficient durability to survive after a fall from four meters and in the most extreme conditions.

Made of carefully picked materials, the hard drive can get 4-meter drop protection, IP67 water and dust resistance, and a 1000-lb crushproof ability. That’s why while other brands merely guarantee their drives’ quality with one or two years of warranty, G-Technology shows complete confidence in its three-year warranty.

In addition, the hard drive also comes with a maximum capacity of 5TB, USB-C, and Mac-ready default setup, USB 3.0, and Thunderbolt 3 compatibility. Unfortunately, the transfer rate of 140 Mbps is unsatisfactory in comparison with other rivals in the current market. This speed is only acceptable to people who have a lot of free time and rarely transfer much data.

The most significant benefit of the product is just you will never fear of losing data because of the damaged hard drive. This seems to never happen with this G-Technology G-Drive Mobile hard drive!


  • Superb durability
  • Big capacity
  • Three-year warranty
  • Widely compatible


  • Extremely slow speed

Silicon Power Armor A60 Hard Drive

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This is another ultra-durable hard drive from the Silicon Power brand, which is assured of quality with a 3-year warranty. Additionally, because of its cable-carry design, it is ideal for people who frequently lose their cables and want an easy way to store them.

On top of that, the military-standard shockproof, in combination with the IPX4 water-resistant protection, will make sure that your hard drive and the data inside it are always safe. The super robust rubber casing and the internal suspension system create an excellent buffer effect and protect the product from scratches, pressure, dust, or slipping, too.

The speedy USB 3.0 interface lets users transfer large files with blazing-fast speed performance. Big libraries of high-resolution photos and HD videos, or a number of bulky documents can be transfered easily in a few seconds to several minutes. However, if your device features an older interface, don’t worry because the hard drive can also be backward compatible with USB 2.0 ports.

By default, the package always includes two cables – a USB C and a USB A. Hence, you do not have to struggle to transfer data between different-USB-enabled devices.

Last but not least, the Silicon Power Armor A60 hard drive is pre-formatted to FAT32. Thereby, clients manage to utilize it instantly on both Mac and Windows platforms without having to format. Nevertheless, in case you want to transfer a single file that is larger than 4GB, you will need to reformat the hard drive to the exFAT format first. (You might like to backup your drive before you reformat it.)


  • Very sturdy and well-protected.
  • Big capacity is available.
  • Wide compatibility.
  • High-speed data transference.
  • It is smartly designed and programmed from inside out.


  • Inconvenient for people who need to transfer over-4Gb single files.

Wrapping Up

So, we have found out how to pick the best portable hard drive for Mac and learn through five good examples of them. We strongly believe that you must find out the best choice for your own after this article. Bear in mind our guide, and you will succeed. Ask us in the comment if you need that. Thanks for reading!

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