Best External Hard Drive (2024): LaCie vs WD vs Seagate vs Toshiba vs HGST & More

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Here’s how it works.

Hard drive on table: Best External Hard Drive Review You went to your computer and moved the cursor around. Nothing happened. Panic has set in. All your pictures, documents and files are on that computer. Your family pictures from the past 10 years, vacation pictures from last summer, tax files, grad school papers and more are saved to that computer. Now, it’s all lost.

If you had purchased an external hard drive and backed up your computer you would still have all of those files. But you didn’t, so now they’re all gone.

Hopefully you’ve never found yourself in this situation but, just in case, our experts have done a megaton of research to make our recommendations for the best external hard drive in various categories so you can pick which will work most effectively for you. Because, now you know just how important it is to backup your data!

Article Overview

Best External Hard Drives (By Category)

Our experts have reviewed hard drives in three categories: disaster proof, wireless, and portable. See a hard drive or category that’s not included and you’d like to see in our review? Let us know in the comments!

Disaster Proof: Lacie Rugged Mini

Lacie Rugged MiniView on Amazon

This LaCie Rugged Mini is our pick for the best disaster proof hard drive due to its shock, rain and pressure resistance. LaCie is owned by Seagate technology.



  • Can be used on Mac and PC
  • Password protection
  • Compatible with USB 2.0
  • Shock, rain and pressure resistant
  • USB 3.0 port fails sometimes
  • Poor customer service

Tech Specs

  • Size: 3.5 x 1 x 5.5 inches
  • Weight: 8 ounces
  • Hard drive rotation speed: 5400 rpm
  • 1-5 year warranty (depending on LaCie version)


Wireless: WD Passport

WD PassportView on Amazon

We’ve chosen the WD Passport as our winner in this category because of its small, thin size. And it doesn’t have to be plugged in to an outlet, so you can use this on the go.



  • Powered by USB 3.0
  • Compatible with USB 2.0
  • Great customer service
  • 256-bit AES encryption (optional)
  • Formatted to be used on Windows but can be reformatted for Mac
  • None found

Tech Specs

  • Size: 4.33 x 3.21 x 0.62 inches
  • Weight: 5.4 ounces
  • Hard drive rotational speed: 5400 rpm
  • 3 year warranty


  • Passport 1TB External Hard Drive – 
  • Passport 2TB External Hard Drive –  $99.99
  • Passport 3TB External Hard Drive – 

Portable: Seagate One Touch

Seagate Backup PlusView on Amazon

The Seagate One Touch wins this category because of its slender size.



  • USB 3.0 connectivity
  • Good customer service
  • Can be used on PC or Mac (no formatting required)
  • No password protection but can be used through 3rd party

Tech Specs

  • Size: 4.47 x 2.99 x 0.48 inches
  • Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Hard drive rotational speed: 5400rpm
  • 2 year warranty


What About Toshiba And HGST?

Toshiba and HGST (a Western Digital company) make solid hard drives as well. They didn’t make the cut for our winning positions this year, but they may have unique features that suit your needs best, so we encourage you to check them out.

Toshiba | HGST

Toshiba Canvio Basics

Toshiba Canvio BasicsView on Amazon

This Toshiba Canvio Basics has good customer service but doesn’t offer built-in password protection.



  • Compatible with PC and Mac (reconfigure needed)
  • USB 2.0 or USB 3.0
  • Good customer service
  • No built in password protection (must use 3rd party)

Tech Specs

  • Size: 4.7 x 3.1 x 0.59 inches
  • Weight: 8.2 ounces
  • Hard drive rotational speed: 5400rpm
  • 1 year warranty


  • 1TB 
  • 2TB 
  • 3TB 

HGST Touro S

HGST Touro SView on Amazon

HGST, Inc. was formerly known as Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. This HGST Touro S has no password protection and the company lacks in customer service.



  • Compatible with PC and Mac
  • USB 3.0 compatible (backward compatible with USB 2.0)
  • No password protection
  • Lacking in customer service

Tech Specs

  • Size: 0.47 x 4.53 x 3.15 inches
  • Weight: 5.4 ounces
  • Hard drive rotational speed: 7200 rpm
  • 2 year warranty


How To Use Time Machine Backup On Apple (Video)

Need help backing up your computer? Here’s a tutorial on how to backup your computer if you have an Apple computer.

Backup Your Data Online (Into The Cloud)

An external hard drive does a great job of backing up your data. And these days with evolutions in data transfer, it can do so quickly, and you can store a large amount of data on a small hard drive at a relatively affordable cost.

But in the event of a natural disaster, or your hard drive simply getting too old, your data will still be at risk of loss. This is why our experts recommend making the primary backup of your data online, or to the cloud. We’ve reviewed the best online backup services with pricing, pros, cons, user reviews, member discounts, and more.

Decide on a hard drive? Let us know which one in the comments!

Tagged With:

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

Notify of
Oldest Most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments