Solid-feeling aluminum enclosure. Useful LaCie Toolkit software handles backup and restore, as well as mirroring. On-the-mark performance. Cons: A little hefty. Toolkit utility requires a download.
The Best External Hard Drives for Mac in 12222
It's geared to macOS users, but it will please anyone with an eye for style in their gadgets. Pros: Fabric-covered enclosure. Small and light. Data protected by password and AES hardware encryption. Cons: Fabric cover a bit slippery to grip. Seagate Toolkit a separate download. Plus, a fabric coat adds appeal. Pros: Excellent performance.
Includes USB 3. Android-, Mac-, and Windows-compatible. Cons: While a comparable good per-gigabyte value, the drive itself is expensive.
Pros: Excellent connectivity options and transfer speeds. Solid build quality and attractive aluminum finish. Easy disassembly. Cooling fan can be disabled. No software required for Macs. Hardware RAID controller. Cons: Expensive. Only 27W of power delivery. Pros: Relatively low cost per gigabyte. Drive is easily removable from its enclosure. Thunderbolt 3 support. Cons: Included Thunderbolt 3 cable is short. Pros: Internal power supply. Little to no setup required. Supports daisy-chaining other Thunderbolt 3 devices. Lightning-quick file transfer times.
Cons: Does not boast class-leading throughput. Multiple capacity options. Sleek design. No USB support. Difficult to connect to Windows PCs. Bottom Line: The sleek, expensive Samsung Portable SSD X5 offers the fastest single-drive external storage money can buy, but it's suited mainly to well-heeled content-creation pros using late-model Macs.
Pros: Durable. Plex support. Doubles as a power bank. No Thunderbolt support. The Best External Hard Drives for He previously covered the consumer tech beat as a news reporter for PCMag in San Francisco, where he rode in several self-driving cars and witnessed the rise and fall of a few startups. Before that, he occasionally dunked waterproof hard drives in glasses of wate See Full Bio.
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CalDigit Tuff. Product CalDigit Tuff. Western Digital My Book. LaCie Mobile Drive. Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch. CalDigit AV Pro 2. Promise Pegasus3 R4.
Best Mac Hard Drives External Storage & Backup - Macworld UK
Pros: Rated to survive 4-foot drops. Read Review. Tom Brant Senior Analyst, Hardware. Get Our Best Stories! The Ultimate Cord Cutter's Guide. How to Block Robocalls and Spam Calls.
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There's a Seagate Barracuda Pro drive inside, which costs more than this drive when bought alone. Makes no sense, right? This is far better than the speed of a rival 2. The LaCie Rugged Secure that we reviewed from LaCie last year is still on sale, and is a good option if you need a really tough portable drive that can take plenty of punishment when you're travelling or working on location. However, there's now only one version left - with 2TB storage - and LaCie introduced a newer range of Mobile Drives at CES earlier this year that provides a much wider range of options and also introduces a new 'diamond cut' design.
Rather than the neon-orange rubber bumper of the Rugged drives, the new Mobile Drives are wrapped in smart aluminium. They're available in two colours: 'moon silver' and, of course, 'space grey' that is intended to match the latest Mac models and is only sold through the online Apple Store. The 'diamond cut' design simply refers to the exaggerated angular edges and corners of the drive, which look a bit like the facets of a carved diamond. Looks aside, the aluminium casing feels really sturdy - in fact, the 5TB model that we tested weighs in at g, and could give someone a serious concussion if you whacked them over the head with it.
There are smaller and lighter alternatives, though, depending on how much storage you need. Those two drives measure just 10mm thick, 88mm wide and mm long, and weigh a more modest g. This is a good option if you use your Mac at work, and have individual projects organised in their own folders. Any folder that is 'mirrored' is automatically backed up and updated as soon as you make any changes to any file within that folder.
This ensures that your backups are always up to date with the most recent versions of your files whereas Time Machine still leaves a one-hour gap between backups. Our only complaint here is that LaCie's skimpy manual doesn't provide much information about the ToolKit app, or the various formatting options for the drive, simply leaving you to wade through a bunch of FAQ files on its website.
Buffalo's MiniStation Extreme is slightly more expensive than some of its portable rivals, but it's a seriously tough and rugged little drive that will be a great option for people who work outdoors or who enjoy trekking across the Pennines for their holidays. It does stick with a standard USB 3.
However, there are still millions of people who have USB 3 laptops, so there's certainly an audience for a rugged portable drive such as this. It's not the smallest or lightest portable drive we've ever seen, measuring a rather chunky 21mm thick, 90mm wide and mm deep, and weighing in at g. You can't just slip it into your pocket when you're on the move, as you can do with some of the portable drives that we review here, but it won't be any trouble to carry it in a case along with your laptop when you're travelling. And the size of the drive reflects its sturdy design, as the internal drive is wrapped up in a rubber-padded and shock-resistant casing that meets US military standards and is capable of resisting falls from a height of 1.
The case is also rated IP53, which means that it's both water- and dust-resistant, so it'll be ideal for use on building sites or in muddy fields at music festivals.
The Best External Hard Drives in 12222
For extra convenience, the drive has an integrated USB cable that is permanently attached, and wrapped in a thick layer or rubber to help keep it safe. The cable is only about six inches long, but we were pleased to see that Buffalo also includes a USB extension cable in case the fixed cable isn't long enough. That's perfectly adequate for routine backups when you're out and about, and the drive worked fine with Time Machine on my trusty old MacBook Air as well.
Our only minor complaint is that - once again - Buffalo seems a little uncertain about the Mac side of things. However, we had trouble locating the software on Buffalo's website - and the site also seemed to indicate that it wouldn't work with the current Mojave version of the macOS although it did run perfectly well on Mojave once we'd managed to download it. The rather confusing hotch-potch of PDF help files was a little irritating as well. Fortunately, you can use Apple's own Disk Utility to reformat the drive, so you don't need to spend too much time wading through Buffalo's website, and the ultra-rugged design of the MiniStation Extreme will ensure that it earns its keep when you're out in the soggy British summer, or working in harsh environments.
However, the company recently overhauled the Backup Plus range , putting more emphasis on portable drives for laptop users. The new models are all compact, portable drives, although they offer a number of different designs and features.
What to look for in external hard drives this Black Friday
However, the top-of-the-range model is the new Backup Plus Ultra Touch. The Ultra Touch measures just 12mm thick, 78mm wide and mm long, and weighs g, so you can easily slip it into a jacket pocket or a bag when you're travelling with your laptop. It's available in either black or white, and finished off with a smart woven fabric that makes a nice change from the dull monochrome colours of most hard drives.
There's a standard USB 3. The drive can be used for automatic Time Machine backups on your Mac, but you can also use the 'mirror' option in the ToolKit app to automatically back up individual folders so that they're always right up-to-date and don't have to wait for Time Machine's hourly backups. The ToolKit app also handles the encryption process for the Ultra Touch, although we found Seagate's manual - or lack thereof - to be rather unhelpful, leaving us to look around for FAQs and information about this encryption and other features on the company's website.
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