Best Portable SSDs of 2024: Top High-Speed Choices for On-the-Go Storage

Solid-state drives (SSDs) have revolutionized data storage with their speed, reliability, and compact size. Unlike traditional hard drives, SSDs have no moving parts, which significantly reduces the risk of mechanical failure and boosts data access speeds. Portable SSDs take these benefits a step further by offering high-performance storage solutions that you can easily carry with you. They’re essential tools for photographers, videographers, and anyone who needs to quickly transfer and store large files on the go.

When selecting a portable SSD, several key factors should be considered. One of the most critical aspects is the speed of data transfer, measured in read and write speeds. Faster speeds can greatly enhance productivity, especially for tasks like 4K video editing. Another important factor is durability; a portable SSD should be robust enough to withstand the occasional bump or drop. Additionally, connectivity options such as USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 can impact compatibility and performance with your device. Lastly, consider the capacity and cost, as these will often determine how much value you’re getting for your investment.

We researched and tested various models to find the best portable SSDs available today. Our goal was to identify products that offer the best combination of speed, durability, connectivity, and value.

Best Portable SSDs

We’ve curated a list of the best portable SSDs. These selections are based on performance, reliability, and user reviews.

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SanDisk Professional 1TB PRO-G40 SSD - Up to 3000MB/s, Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps), USB-C (10Gbps), IP68 dust/Water Resistance, External Solid State Drive - SDPS31H-001T-GBCND
  • Super-fast speeds up to 3000MB/s(1) read and 2500MB/s(1) write with Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps), capable of moving 50GB in 1 minute or less
  • Dual-mode compatibility with both Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) and USB-C (10Gbps)
  • Ultra-rugged design with high-level IP68 dust/water resistance, 4000lb crush resistance, and 3m drop resistance (On a carpeted concrete floor.)

SanDisk PRO-G40 SSD

A top choice for those needing both speed and durability.

Pros

  • Blazing fast transfer speeds
  • Dual compatibility with Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C
  • Rugged design

Cons

  • Premium price point
  • Potential connectivity issues
  • Frequent disconnections reported by some users

SanDisk’s Professional 1TB PRO-G40 SSD stands out with its extraordinary transfer speeds. When we tested moving large files, it handled data transfer in seconds, proving its efficiency. The Thunderbolt 3 compatibility ensures top performance, particularly useful for professionals dealing with large multimedia files.

Its rugged design is another strong point. With IP68 dust/water resistance and a crushproof enclosure, we found it exceptionally durable for usage in challenging environments. This makes it an excellent companion for fieldwork or outdoor shoots.

Despite its high price, the performance and design quality justify the investment. However, we noticed that some users have reported connectivity issues, particularly with devices that don’t fully support Thunderbolt 3. It’s something to keep in mind if your setup involves mixed technologies.

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WD 2TB My Passport, Portable External Hard Drive, Black, backup software with defense against ransomware, and password protection, USB 3.1/USB 3.0 compatible - WDBYVG0020BBK-WESN
  • Slim durable design to help take your important files with you
  • Vast capacities up to 6TB[1] to store your photos, videos, music, important documents and more
  • Back up smarter with included device management software[2] with defense against ransomware

WD My Passport 2TB

The WD My Passport 2TB External Hard Drive delivers reliable and portable storage, ideal for anyone needing to keep their digital content secure and readily accessible.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Easy plug-and-play setup
  • Strong password protection and encryption feature

Cons

  • Backup software requires download and installation
  • Susceptible to physical damage if dropped
  • Limited to USB 3.0 speeds

We found the WD My Passport 2TB to be remarkably user-friendly right out of the box. Its compact size makes it incredibly convenient to carry around, easily fitting into a pocket or small bag. The design is sleek and modern, making it a pleasure to handle.

Setting up the device was straightforward, with a simple plug-and-play interface. No software installation was required to start using it, making it a perfect choice for those who need immediate extra storage. The included backup software does require a download, but it offers robust protection against ransomware, which adds peace of mind for our valuable data.

While the drive does come with strong password protection and hardware encryption capabilities, care must be taken to avoid physical damage. The durability aspect might be a concern since it isn’t particularly resistant to drops or shocks. With a speed limitation to USB 3.0, it’s sufficient for most tasks but not the fastest option available for data transfer.

In sum, this portable drive excels in ensuring your important files are secure and always within reach. The convenience of its design and ease of use are its top features, making it a reliable option for regular data backup and transfer.

Crucial X10 Pro 2TB Portable SSD - 2100MB/s Read, 2000MB/s Write, Water/Dust Resistant, for PC and Mac, with Mylio Photos+
  • Powerful performance for video professionals: Blaze through multi-cam timelines and even edit, trim and render directly from the drive with read and write speeds up to 2,100/2,000MB/s
  • Broad compatibility: Plug-and-play compatibility for Windows, Mac, Android, iPad, PC, Linux, and more via an included USB-C cable. (USB-C to USB-A adapter available separately for USB-A devices)
  • Durable design for field work and all-weather shoots: IP55 water and dust resistance and drop-proof durability up to 7.5 feet/2 meters for travel anywhere you shoot, work or roam

Crucial X10 Pro 2TB Portable SSD

Elevate your video editing experience with this robust and reliable drive.

Pros

  • High-speed performance
  • Durable design
  • Wide compatibility

Cons

  • Short included USB-C cable
  • Pricey for budget buyers
  • Requires adapter for USB-A devices

The Crucial X10 Pro 2TB Portable SSD has truly impressed us with its blazing-fast speeds. Whether you’re editing videos directly off the drive or transferring massive files, the performance is seamless and quick. The portable size of the drive makes it easy to carry around, perfect for professionals on the go.

One of the standout features is its durability. The drive boasts IP55 water and dust resistance, making it a reliable partner even in harsh environments. We’ve used it in various conditions, and it has consistently delivered without any performance issues. The design, featuring anodized aluminum and rubberized soft-touch base, adds to its premium feel.

On the downside, we found the included USB-C cable a bit short, restricting flexibility when connecting to a desktop setup. Additionally, the price point may be a consideration for budget-conscious buyers. However, the performance and durability offered make it a worthwhile investment for those needing top-tier portable storage.

With broad compatibility, the Crucial X10 Pro can be used across multiple devices, including Windows, Mac, Android, and iPad. It’s also ready for high-resolution video storage from the latest iPhone 15, providing up to 4TB of extra space. Overall, the Crucial X10 Pro stands out as a powerful and versatile SSD worth considering.

LaCie Rugged Raid Shuttle 8TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD - USB-C USB 3.0 Compatible, Drop Shock Dust Water Resistant, for Mac and PC Computer Desktop Laptop, 1 Mo Adobe CC (STHT8000800)
  • Store, pack, and send out content like never before with 8TB of massive capacity in a Rugged external hard drive built uniquely flat for jam-packed gear bags and shipping envelopes
  • Easily configure RAID 0/1 using the step-by-step wizard to optimize the system for performance or redundancy
  • Protect projects from unauthorized access with Rugged RAID Shuttle’s self-encrypting password system

LaCie Rugged Raid Shuttle 8TB

A versatile and durable portable storage solution, suitable for professionals who need reliable data protection.

Pros

  • Massive 8TB storage capacity
  • Configurable RAID 0/1
  • Secure, password-protected encryption

Cons

  • Slightly bulky design
  • Higher cost per TB
  • USB-C cable design could be improved

The LaCie Rugged Raid Shuttle 8TB offers unmatched storage capacity, making it ideal for heavy-duty data management. The flat design is a unique touch, fitting snugly in crowded bags and small spaces. RAID configuration is straightforward, with options to prioritize performance or redundancy.

We found the drive to be highly resilient, surviving drops and dust without missing a beat. The self-encryption feature is a relief for those storing sensitive data, ensuring that unauthorized access is not a concern.

One downside is its size, which may feel cumbersome compared to smaller drives. It’s also on the pricier side, though the features justify the cost. Additionally, while the USB-C connectivity is convenient, a more user-friendly cable design would be a welcome improvement.

For anyone in need of vast, secure storage, the LaCie Rugged Raid Shuttle 8TB is a solid choice that combines capacity with durability and security.

SAMSUNG T7 Touch Portable SSD 2TB ,up to 1050MB/s, USB 3.2 External Solid State Drive, Black (MU-PC2T0K/WW)
  • FINGERPRINT SECURITY: SSD With Fingerprint And Password Security
  • BLAZING FAST STORAGE: Reads Up To 1,050 Mb/S / Writes Up To 1 000 Mb/S. Transfers Files Nearly 9.5X Faster Than Hard Drives
  • LED STATUS INDICATOR: The T7 Touch Features An Led Square That Illuminates To Keep You Informed Of What Your Ssd Is Doing At A Glance

Samsung T7 Touch Portable SSD

This portable SSD is a must-have for anyone needing speed, security, and robust storage.

Pros

  • Rapid transfer speeds
  • Durable and shock-resistant
  • Strong security features

Cons

  • Pricey for some users
  • Limited fingerprint slots
  • Requires setup for certain devices

Using the Samsung T7 Touch has been a seamless experience. The drive’s fingerprint security feature is impressive, allowing quick and secure access without the usual password hassles. Its compact size means we can slip it into our pockets and take it anywhere effortlessly.

The speed is remarkable; transferring large media files takes only a few seconds. This high efficiency translates into more productivity, especially for creative professionals who need to manage large data.

We appreciate the T7’s rugged build. It survived a few drops from desk height without a scratch, giving us confidence in its durability. However, some users might find setting up the security features a bit tedious, particularly those with older tech. Overall, it’s a solid investment for reliable, fast and secure portable storage.

Buying Guide

When selecting the best portable SSD, there are several factors we should consider to ensure we get the best value for our needs.

Capacity

The capacity of an SSD is crucial. We should evaluate how much storage we require, whether it’s 500GB, 1TB, or more, based on our needs.

Speed

Transfer speeds greatly impact performance. Look for SSDs with high read and write speeds, often measured in MB/s. This ensures quick file transfers.

Interface

Interface Type Description
USB-A Common but might offer slower speeds.
USB-C Faster, versatile, becoming the new standard.
Thunderbolt 3 Offers the highest speeds but may cost more.

Durability

Portability means exposure to elements. We should look for SSDs that have shock, water, and dust resistance to ensure longevity.

Encryption

Security matters, especially for sensitive data. SSDs with hardware-based encryption can provide an extra layer of protection.

Software

Many SSDs come with bundled software for backups and data management. We should check for these extras as they can enhance the utility of our SSD.

Price

Lastly, budget is always a consideration. We should balance capacity, speed, and additional features against our budget to get the most value.

By considering these aspects, we can make a more informed decision for our next portable SSD purchase.

Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to choosing the best portable SSDs, it’s essential to consider factors like speed, compatibility, durability, and storage capacity. We answer some common questions that can guide you in making an informed decision.

What are the top portable SSDs for high-speed gaming?

For high-speed gaming, we recommend the Samsung T7 Portable SSD and the SanDisk Extreme PRO V2. These models offer fast read and write speeds, low latency, and high data transfer rates, making them ideal for gaming applications.

How do I choose the best portable SSD for my laptop?

Consider speed, compatibility, and storage capacity. Check whether the SSD supports your laptop’s connection interface, such as USB-C or Thunderbolt 3. Additionally, ensure the SSD offers sufficient storage space for your needs and has a high data transfer rate.

Which external SSD is most recommended for Mac users?

For Mac users, the Samsung T7 Touch and the LaCie Rugged SSD Pro are highly recommended. They offer compatibility with macOS and provide robust performance, security features, and durability.

What features should I look for in a durable and reliable portable SSD?

Look for features like shock resistance, water and dust resistance, and a solid build. Ensure the SSD has a strong outer casing, and check for certifications like IP67 or MIL-STD-810G to ensure durability.

Are there widely-reviewed portable SSDs that offer 2TB of storage space?

Yes, the Samsung T5 and the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSDs are widely reviewed and offer 2TB storage options. Both provide excellent performance with ample storage capacity.

Which factors contribute to the speed of an external SSD?

Several factors affect the speed, including the type of NAND flash memory, the controller used, and the connection interface. NVMe SSDs are generally faster than SATA SSDs, and interfaces like USB 3.2 Gen 2 or Thunderbolt 3 can significantly boost data transfer rates.