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Are you one of those that feel like it was just yesterday that SSDs entered the mainstream? SSDs effortlessly outclassed HDDs when it comes to performance aspect. Nevertheless, this particular improved performance at a price because SSDs used to be a little bit expensive per GB.

However, since we’re now in 2020, SSDs are now more affordable. Aside from that, these kind of hard drives are now perfectly suitable as external storage solutions.

With that said, in this review, we will be examining some of the best external SSD Drives (1TB, 2TB, 4TB) that you can acquire this year 2020. Now, if you’re already planning to get one, then make sure to stay tuned until the end so you can make a smart purchase!

Quick Summary

If you’re looking for enough space only and doesn’t need any unnecessary elements, then what you want to get is the WD 1 TB My Passport SSD External Portable Drive. This particular model can ensure that anything you want to back up won’t lose anytime soon. It features data recovery software, backup syncing, and encryption that keep you safeguarded. Moreover, it can endure fall of around six feet mark.

On the other hand, if you prefer versatility and durability, then the Samsung T5 Portable SSD – 2TB is your best bet. This one features a slick metal exterior casing. It comes with an ultra-fast read and writes speed rating. Also, it features USB-C.

If you have large volume of data that you want to securely backup, then the VectoTech Rapid 4TB External SSD is perfect for your hard-earned money. But aside from that, this drive also comes with a light profile, shock resistance, strong warranty, and sports plug-n-play functionality.

Who Should Get This?

In this digital era, a portable SSD is an excellent long-term investment, regardless if you just want to back up your personal files or simply a power user. Though if you don’t really have any kind of reason on why to get one, check these enquiries:

  • Do you value cross-platform as well as speed functionality?
  • Do you need to offload some large amount of unnecessary old files from your computer because it’s been running slow?
  • Are you worried about how reliable cloud servers are, and just want to back your important files securely and practically?
  • Is your job involves digital rendering, photo or video editing, and high-graphics-related tasks?

If you have at least one “yes” answer from these questions, then most likely you must really get an external SSD drive. You see, SSDs operate efficiently and quickly to make a safe space storage for your small and important files, that’s why, for the most part, they are essential.

On the flip side, if you don’t have any “yes” answers from the questions above, and still confused whether to get a SSD, then an HHD or a USB flash drive will suffice your needs of storing files.

What to Consider?

Read & Write Speed

For all we know, all kinds of drive, which include SSD drives have a rating for the time they take to read and write certain information and data. Most of the time, the higher the read and write speed, the better. Also, it indicates better efficiency.

Nonetheless, make sure to keep in mind that any advertised speeds are probably overclocked. In particular, you will most likely experience speeds that are closer to around 2/3rds of the read and write speed rating.

Furthermore, make sure not to fall to an overpriced SSD drive that only features slightly higher speed rating.

Memory Type – MLC and SLC

External SSD drives utilizes flash memory to store information instead of the physical rotating disk, making SSD more stable compared to HDDs – which are more susceptible to physical damage. Now, remember that SSD come in two cell versions. The first one is the MLC or multi-level cell. The second one is called SLC or single-level cell.

The thing about MLC is that it is generally more inexpensive. It can also store more data. On the other hand, SLC features better precision and has minimal chances of errors. Nonetheless, a lot of SSDs offers now an error-correcting that can compensate for this difference. Thus, it will probably come down to what you think will be the best drive for your specific purposes.

Capacity

Obviously, this factor is the number one thing to consider when looking for the best external SSD drive. Do you need a 1TB capacity? Or perhaps you need a 2B or 4TB? For the most part, it will be based on your needs. Even though an SSD is pricier compared to HDD and could tempt you to sacrifice the accuracy, make sure to know what you really want.

Furthermore, as time goes on, you’ll probably opt to one large drive instead of a few small ones because it’s just inconvenient not to get one. Aside from that, opting to multiple drives might just slow down your computer, thus it’s wise to just get one large-sized capacity in the first place.

Best External SSD Drives (1TB, 2TB, 4TB) : Our Picks

1. WD 1TB My Passport SSD External Portable Drive

WD 1TB My Passport SSD External Portable Drive, USB 3.1, Up to 540 MB/s - WDBKVX0010PSL-WESN

This external SSD drive is arguably the best in the WD’s prominent My Passport line of portable drives. The WD Passport SSD is versatile, durable, fast, and comes with strong encryption as an option. Aside from that, it is compatible with both MacOS and Windows OS.

This model is engineered to be small enough in  order to fit your side pocket, white still large enough to not get lost if you’re a little bit messy kind of a person. We featured the 1TB version; however, this model also comes with 256GB as well as 512GB. Moreover, it covers the most prominent varieties and it simply sits cleanly in WD’s portfolio with the durable SanDisk devices as well as more business-oriented G-Tech G-Drive products.

Furthermore it features a USB Type-C connector. This means that this model can hit 10 Giga bits per seconds if linked to a compatible device. It comes with dimensions of 90mm by 45mm by 10mm. It weighs only 120g. The half of the drive is cladded in plastic matte black. Meanwhile, the other half sports a ridged gunmetal finish.

Overall, this drive looks really solid, compact, and light. It has great performance and works on both MacOS and Windows OS. Also, it’s worth mentioning that it features strong encryption to protect your data just in case it got loss.

What We Like:

  • It has nice design and it’s compact
  • Much faster compared to the standard USB hard drives and thumb drives
  • Features password protection with hardware encryption
  • Trusted drive built with WD reliability
  • Ultra-fast file transfers with read speeds up to 540 Mbps

What We Don’t Like:

  • A little bit pricey per gigabytes
  • Its connection with cable seems a little bit wobbly

2. Samsung T5 Portable SSD – 2TB

Samsung T5 Portable SSD - 2TB - USB 3.1 External SSD (MU-PA2T0B/AM), Black

Do you think that an external storage device can’t be smaller compared to a high-powered power bank? Well, you are wrong. This particular SSD drive from Samsung is about the size of a stack of credit cards. It’s a cool drive, in particular considering that swaps the connector for ten gigabytes USB 3.1 Type-C Generation 2 version to give twice the optimal theoretical transfer rate of the previous models.

Utilizing a USB Type-C Generation 1 connector, thus restricting to 5GB, the Samsung T5 Portable SSD comes with a read and write speed rating of 323 Mbps and 433 Mbps. Moreover, it is very versatile and perfect for those people who want to carry or move impressively huge amount of information. With its 3-year warranty and excellent fast transfer rate, this implies that the brand – Samsung is still at the top of its game in terms of NAND technology.

Furthermore, from top to bottom, the metal design fits in the palm of the user. As we mentioned, it also features an optional password protection as well as AES 256 bit hardware encryption.

What We Like:

  • Ultrafast read and write speed of up to 540 Mbps
  • Excellent design and compactness
  • Features optional password protection as well as AES 256 bit hardware encryption
  • Comes with USB Type C to C and USB Type C to A cables
  • Very solid and durable built and construction

What We Don’t Like:

  • It looks two times larger than it needs to be most likely because it contains a lot of plastic
  • As expected from Samsung, this drive is quite pricey

3. VectoTech Rapid 4TB External SSD USB-C Portable Solid State Drive

VectoTech Rapid 4TB External SSD USB-C Portable Solid State Drive (USB 3.1 Gen 2)

This model can provide you three to four times faster data transfer speeds compared to the traditional spinning HDDs. With VectoTech Rapid 4TB external SSD drive, you’ll be able to transfer your files with ultra-fast speed of up to 540 Mbps. With this unit, you can save your time on copying or moving your music, documents, videos, photos, and more. Aside from that, this unit features SuperSpeed of USB 3.1 Generation 2 as well as UASP support which are perfect for DJs, gamers, videographers, and photographers out there.

When it comes to compatibility, this unit features two cables which are Type-C to Type-A and Type-C to Type-C. This feature makes it compatible with old and new generation PCs. Also, it means there’s no need for any adapters out there. The VectoTech Rapid 4TB external SSD drive also features durable aluminum case. It is aluminum 1050-grade and linked with ABS plastic. This particular design makes this drive resistant to minor scratches.

Furthermore, this drive is easy to use because it is preformatted as exFAT, thus it can work with both Windows OS and MacOS alike. With such feature, users won’t need any kind of installation. Aside from that, its reversible USB-C port along with a USB 3.1 Generation 2 interface makes it very compatible with USB 3.0/2.0 devices. Lastly, it has impressive shock and vibration resistance. It has resistance of up to 1500g at 0.5 m/sec which is similar to a fall from six feet. Moreover, it can endure operating temperatures from 25 degree Celsius or 85 degree Celsius.

What We Like:

  • It is designed and assembled in California
  • Features slick and lightweight design
  • Amazing and fast transfer rate
  • Trusted, reliable, and prominent brand
  • Excellent performance

What We Don’t Like:

  • It is quite expensive compared to magnetic disks out there
  • Unfortunately, it doesn’t feature any integrated encryption software

Useful Tips | Keep This in Mind

Here’s what you want to know so you can make a smarter decision before completely buying an external SSD drives:

Remember that even the worst SSD is for the most part 3 times much faster compared to any regular hard drives out there. Depending on what you want to do with it, the performance delta between decent and excellent SSDs can be a little bit vague. Overall, just keep in mind that any SSDs out there are generally better compared to any hard drive.

Now, let’s say your PC supports Optane drives or NVMe-PCIe then what you want to do is get a drive with one of these technologies. On a short note, SATA drivers are more usual, features impressive performance and less expensive, especially for general applications. In other words, SATA is less expensive; however, it’s slower.

Here’s a great tip. Don’t try to get an external drive that only comes with 256GB of storage or less because it’s just not worth it. What you want to get is a drive that has 500GB storage space. This is a decent balance between capacity and price range. Meanwhile, a better much choice are drives that have 1TB space storage. Just make sure that you really need that much space so you don’t waste the capacity.

Lastly, before making any purchase, make sure to see if you have slots for M.2 drives on your PC’s motherboard and room in the chassis. If ever you don’t have any slots, then you might consider a 2.5 inch drive instead. In short, know your home computer.

Closing Words:

Do you now understand all the essential details that separate SSD types and SSDs themselves? If so, then for sure you’ll be able to do a smart decision. Keep in mind that high-end drives, though practically faster, will not really look faster compared to those inexpensive options when it comes to general tasks.

That’s why, if you’re looking for amazing speed for certain reasons such as for your job or professional stuff, then it is always wise to pick a reasonably-priced mainstream drive that features the capacity you want at a price range that you can afford. You see, upgrading to any modern SSD over a conventional spinning hard drivers are big difference that you will immediately notice. Moreover, most computer hardware actually comes with diminishing returns for mainstream users out there.

How about you? Do you have any experience using external SSD drives? Did they do well than HDDs? Please leave your thoughts or feedback in the comment section below and we will get back to you as soon as possible. See you!