Best External Hard Drive: LaCie vs WD vs Seagate vs Toshiba vs HGST

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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.

Pros

Cons

  • 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)

Pricing

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.

Pros

Cons

  • 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

Pricing

Portable: Seagate Backup Plus Slim

Seagate Backup PlusView on Amazon

The Seagate Backup Plus Slim wins this category because of its slender size.

Pros

Cons

  • 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

Pricing

Other External Hard Drive Reviews

Below are reviews of other external hard drives for you to take into consideration.

HGST | Toshiba

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.

Pros

Cons

  • 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

Pricing

Toshiba Canvio Basics

Toshiba Canvio BasicsView on Amazon

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

Pros

Cons

  • 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

Pricing

How To Use Time Machine Backup On Apple

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)

Person Managing Data Server, Caption (Best Online Backup Companies)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.

What are you most worried to lose on your computer in the case of a crash?

About The Author:

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts from Simpson College with a major in multimedia journalism and a minor in marketing. She has been writing about business solutions since 2014, covering subjects such as tax software, email marketing, office equipment and more. Her work has appeared in many notable brands, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Reader's Digest, Forbes, People, Woman's World, and Huffington Post.

In 2015, she started her own business and continues to learn how to run it more efficiently thanks to her work on We Rock Your Web. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing and personally testing products and services. With every piece she writes, her goal is to help our readers find the best fit for their unique needs.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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8 Comments
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1TB external hard drives
July 18, 2018 8:32 am

Hi Admin,

This is nice information, Can you please tell us about the price of the 1TB Seagate External Hard Drive.

Thanks in Advance.

John Anderson
June 15, 2018 1:01 pm

Thanks, Kimberly, I lost my data when my hard drive crashed. I read your article and saw all the different drives which suits me. I also purchased one.

KSC15
April 1, 2016 12:56 pm

Kimberly, appreciate you taking the time to compare these, they all seem pretty comparable in terms of pricing for the size of the drive, so in your opinion is there one that stands out overall that you recommend?

Kimberly Alt
April 4, 2016 9:25 am

Great question! I recently purchased an external hard drive and chose our pick for Best Wireless External Hard Drive: WD Passport. I like that I can use it on the go if need be and it doesn’t need to be plugged into an outlet. It is slim so it fits in a bag easily and it works great for my needs.

Alex
July 2, 2017 2:04 am

Except that the failure rate of the WD is high? Just as a hint: size and running noise are almost irrelevant when the backup fails miserably just like the main hdd – maybe you guys should also include reliability and rate of failure in your reviews.
I mean, what portable hdd will actually store your data without failing inexplicably in 6 months? Despite avoiding all mechanical or thermal shocks, safe storage and all.. This should be more important than mate finish, small pocket size or transfer rate!

ittybittybob
September 28, 2017 11:53 pm

Hear Hear!