Best External Hard Drive for Mac

Traditionally a bigger storage capacity of a laptop seemed to be more than enough, but now there are hundreds of different things that a person needs to store from photos, videos, documents, games, movies, and television series. 

Hard drives are an integral part of computers and laptops and store all the data from files to the software. But unfortunately, hard drives do not have unlimited storage capacity. For most users, 500 GB (Gigabyte) is considered more than enough, but these days, it is insufficient to store large files such as graphics-intensive PC games, high definition movies, and advanced software. 

Fortunately, users these days have the wonderful option of storing additional data on an external hard drive that can easily connect with the laptop or PC with a USB cable. The biggest advantage of the external hard drive is the big capacity of up to 1 TB (Terabyte), 1000 GB. Another wonderful benefit is portability as external hard drives can easily be carried. 

The Best Options in External Hard Drives for Mac

As most people own a Mac, having an external hard drive is necessary, particularly for professionals using graphic intensive software. But upgrading Mac’s storage is not economical, and Apple MacBooks and Macs are not easy to customize, and upgrading the storage cost a considerable amount of money. 

However, you have a certain cost-effective solution for external hard drives that are portable, light, and have a rugged design. Some of the best options you have if you are a creative content producer or professional photographer and need a suitable storage option to back up the RAW images and 4K video files are

– Western Digital My Passport 4T

One of Mac’s best rated external hard drives is none other than Western Digital My Passport range that comes from 1 TB to 4 TB. The portable hard drive also features cloud storage, backup software, and 256-AES encryption. 

The speeds are not exactly similar to a solid-state drive, but data can be quickly transferred without much hassle. The Western Digital My Passport 4TB is the best value for money if you are looking for fast file transfers and big storage capacity. 

– G-Technology G-Drive USB 3 4TB

Suppose you are looking for a sleek design and sturdy built with large storage capacity. In that case, G-Technology G-Drive USB 3 4TB is a wonderful option that also supports Firewire connection and USB 3.0. The portable hard drive is encased in fashionable aluminum that exudes a premium look and also prevents the data from corrupting if the hard drive fell from the table or while holding it. 

– Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt

If you want to use the Mac’s Thunderbolt port, then the most affordable option is the Buffalo MiniStation that is known to provide nearly twice or three times the speed compared to USB 3.0.

The Buffalo MiniStation is a conventional hard drive and not SSD but still capable of faster data transfer, and it also features a USB 3.0 connection. The portable hard drive is Mac formatted and fairly low priced as compared to other expensive Thunderbolt drives. 

– Western Digital My Passport Ultra

The latest model in the Western Digital Passport series is the Ultra version with large storage (1TB to 4TB), Western Digital’s own software, 256-AES encryption, and a long warranty. The Ultra model does not give faster speeds like the SSDs but is still one of the best picks for traditional hard drives. 

– Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC

If you want wireless security and an external hard drive with flexible features, Buffalo MiniStation fits the bill. It has a built-in USB 3.0, a rugged design that keeps the data protected, and NFC (Near Field Communication) feature. If you are looking to keep your Mac data safe and secure, you must go for Buffalo MiniStation NFC.

– Samsung Portable SSD T3

The fastest option and arguably the best external hard drive for Mac is the Samsung T3 SSD, which from the SSD tag suggests that it is faster and more efficient than traditional external hard drives. In fact, the premium price is due to fast data transfer speeds. 

The Samsung T3 SSD supports the latest USB 3.1 specification and speeds up to 550 MB/sec. As there are no moving parts, which means even if it falls, then the data would not be affected. 

Factors to Consider when Buying External Hard Drives

For a PC user, all the external hard drives may seem the same, but the choice is difficult for a Mac fan as all the modern Mac models come with Thunderbolt 3-ports. However, the advanced external hard drives do come with a Thunderbolt connection port.  

Most of the new portable hard drives are purposefully developed to support the Apple interface and allow video content producers or photographers to access heavy data and video files seamlessly. The minimum storage capacity one should go for should be 500 GB, and getting an external hard drive from 1TB to 4TB is ideal. 

Apart from the price and performance, another important factor to examine is the file system of the portable hard drive. Recently, Mac OS (Operating System) High Sierra was released, and Cupertino replaced the existing Mac OS extended file system with the new Apple File System, which is now primarily used in Mac and other Apple iOS devices. 

Once the file system is also selected, you have to choose whether to go with a traditional external hard drive or SSDs. The solid-state drives are the talk of the town and preferred due to being light, compact, and most importantly, incredible data transfer speeds. But SSDs are also expensive as compared to conventional spinning hard drives. 


If you want to make a backup of your files, then an inexpensive traditional external hard drive is suitable, but if you are a professional photographer or videographer, or avid gamer, you should get an SSD external hard drive. The best pick according to price, performance, and reliability will surely point towards Western Digital My Passport 4TB. But make sure that the external hard drive you get has the right connection port for your Mac device. 

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