Best External Solid State Drives

Last update December 30, 2016
Need to add some storage to your computer? Want to enjoy the highest data transfer rates? Then, get a solid-state external hard drive, which is compact, lightweight, yet unbelievably reliable and fast. Read our external solid-state drive review and keep up with the cutting-edge technologies! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Capacity
Interfaces
Compatibility
Data protection
Weight
 
PROS
You can configure the software of this external solid-state drive depending on the type of the computer you use. Unlike some other solid state external hard drives, this model can work with Android-based gadgets.
CONS
Additional adapters are required for connecting the drive to mobile devices.
OUR VERDICT
Excellent portable external solid-state drive for storing your valuable data securely and well-protected from unwanted intrusion.
detailed parameters
Capacity
2 TB, 1TB, 500GB, 250GB
Interfaces
1 x USB 3.1
Compatibility
Windows, Mac OS X, Android
Data protection
Shock-resistant, AES 256-bit encryption, Password protection
Weight
1.8 ounces
PROS
A built-in Transcend Elite app allows you to control and sync your data. There is a handy LED indicator that tells you about the operation of this Thunderbolt solid state external hard drive.
CONS
The easily soiled casing requires careful use.
OUR VERDICT
That's the ideal Thunderbolt solid state external hard drive for adding storage to your Mac computer. And it's equally compatible with PCs!
detailed parameters
Capacity
1 TB, 512 GB, 256 GB
Interfaces
1 x USB 3.0, 1 x Thunderbolt
Compatibility
Windows, Mac OS X
Data protection
Shock-resistant, AES 256-bit encryption, UASP support,
Weight
4.8 ounces
PROS
SanDisk SecureAccess software allows you to safely configure, edit, and back up your data without any difficulties. This solid state external hard drive has a hard rubber bumper, making the device really durable and shock-resistant.
CONS
The rubber bumper gets soiled very quickly, so you should clean it from time to time.
OUR VERDICT
This solid state external hard drive is very lightweight and suitable for photographers who need to store scores of pictures and videos without any safety concerns.
detailed parameters
Capacity
480 GB, 240 GB, 120 GB
Interfaces
1 x USB 3.0
Compatibility
Windows, Mac OS X
Data protection
Shock/Heat/Vibration-resistant, AES 128-bit encryption, Password protection
Weight
2.7 ounces
PROS
This LaCie solid state external hard drive boasts IP54 protection level, which means it's extremely durable against any external influence. Also, the unit is very stylish and bright, so you will easily find it if it slips off your pocket or backpack.
CONS
There's only one capacity option for this wireless solid state external hard drive.
OUR VERDICT
LaCie solid state external hard drive is the best pick for those who travel a lot and want to access their data even under extreme conditions.
detailed parameters
Capacity
500GB, 250 GB
Interfaces
1 x USB 3.0, 1 x Thunderbolt
Compatibility
Windows, Mac OS X
Data protection
Shock/Dust/Water-resistant, AES 256-bit encryption, Password protection
Weight
9.9 ounces
PROS
Despite its compact size, this external solid-state drive provides rather high data transfer read and write speeds thanks to the UASP compliance.
CONS
The plastic casing of this external SSD is more likely to be damaged than that of the devices with the metal casing.
OUR VERDICT
MyDigital external solid-state drive is ultra-compact, which makes it the fantastic device that is always at hand.
detailed parameters
Capacity
512 GB, 256 GB, 128 GB, 64 GB
Interfaces
1 x USB 3.0
Compatibility
Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
Data protection
Shock-Resistant, Password protection, UASP support
Weight
4.8 ounces

What Is It

An external solid-state drive is a digital device for storing large amounts of data. Unlike external hard disk drives, these drives have no magnetic discs inside and all the information is stored on memory chips. One of the advantages of this data storage technology is the enormous data transfer rate - up to 500 MB/s (via USB 3.0) and up to 10 GB/s (cia Thunderbolt). Moreover, since there are no moving parts in the casing, any solid-state drive works without making any noise at all. And such SSDs are rather resistant to external influences (shock, dust, etc.).

If you think that the overall storage space is more important than a data transfer speed, make sure to check out our review of the best External Hard Drives available on the market.

What To Look For

The first aspect you should consider when choosing an external solid-state drive is the Capacity and Speed. Actually, these are the most important issues for any device of this kind and you should decide on the capacity first hand. The choice depends on what you need an external SSD for. If you need one for storing your favorite movies or other media files, pick the model with the capacity of over 500 GB. However, if you simply need to have a safe and reliable storage for your working documents, a lower-capacity device is sufficient. Next, make sure to check the data transfer speed each device supports. Why is it important? The higher the speed is, the faster you will be able to copy files to and from the SSD. If you think that all external hard drives have more or less the same transfer speed, you are wrong! This feature depends on many different issues, such as connection type (USB 2.0, USB 3.0, Thunderbolt, etc.), your system, and so on.

Once you've decided on the above-mentioned parameters, check the Compatibility of each solid-state drive with operating systems (OS). Most modern external SSDs are compatible with nearly all available operating systems but we still recommend you to double-check it. If you have used your external solid-state drive with a Windows-operated computer and then want to use it with a Mac, a reformatting of the SSD will be required. Thus, you should make a backup copy of your data before doing it; otherwise, your information will be deleted. Next, go ahead and check the Interfaces (Ports) each external solid-state drive has. Any external SSD must be somehow connected to a computer and that's why different types of connection are used. Most devices have a USB 3.0 port that ensures pretty high data transfer speeds. If your laptops or PC has a USB 3.0 port, choose the external solid-state drive having the same one. If your computer is rather old and has no USB 3.0 compatibility, don't worry - any external solid-state drive with a USB 3.0 interface is backward compatible with the older USB 2.0 interface. However, the data transfer rates will be significantly lower in this case. Also, there are some superb external solid-state drives with a so-called Thunderbolt port - this type of connection is blazing-fast and transfers data twice as fast as USB 3.0, namely up to 10 Gb/s. Some devices are equipped both with USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt ports.

A typical external solid-state drive is a small and portable device that you can easily carry every day. So, you should certainly pay attention to the Design and Protection. When choosing the design of a solid-state drive, you should rely mainly on your own preferences. However, there are some major points that are worth considering. For example, we recommend you to choose a device with a metal casing because it guarantees a fairly decent shock resistance of the device (so, your data won't be lost if you accidentally drop the unit on the ground). In addition, some manufacturers make their external SSDs dust- and water-resistant. Now it's time to draw your attention to the safety of your data. The best external solid-state drives encrypt your data and allow you to set a password, which means nobody but you can access the data. It's particularly important if you deal with some classified business information that should not get into the wrong hands. There are 2 major encryption types: 128-bit and 256-bit. It's self-evident that the latter option provides far better safety for your data.

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Review of Samsung T3 Portable External SSD

Samsung T3 Portable External SSD

Samsung T3 Portable External SSD

Capacity and Speed

This is a new external solid-state drive from one of the world's most powerful high-tech companies, Samsung. This device comes in several capacity options: 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB, and even 2 TB (which is quite a lot for an external SSD). Thus, you can choose the right one for your needs. For example, we recommend you to get a 2 TB solid state external hard drive if you need to store lots of 4K and HD movies and videos, whereas a smaller version of this external SSD can be purchased if you deal with working files only. According to our tests, this external SSD shows the maximum data transfer rate of up to 450 MB/s. However, you should bear in mind that this feature depends on the type of connection, OS settings, etc. However, one thing is beyond any doubt: this Samsung non-wireless solid state external hard drive is fast enough!

Compatibility and Interfaces

Samsung T3 external SSD is compatible with the most widely used operating systems and what's really great - it supports Android 4.4 (and higher). Thus, you can easily connect this external solid-state drive to your Smart TV (or another supported multimedia device) and enjoy watching your favorite movies on a wide screen. The SSD uses USB 3.1 interface for connecting to other devices and, therefore, the data transfer speed is fairly high - up to 5 Gb/s. Unlike USB 3.0, USB 3.1 has the Type-C connection port. If your computer has no USB 3.0 port, you can still use this Samsung solid-state external hard drive because it's backward compatible with USB 2.0, but the data transfer speeds will be significantly lower.

Design and Protection

This solid state external hard drive is rather compact and very stylish. It boasts a casing made of genuine aluminum, which adds to the reliability of the device. In general, the dimensions of the unit are as follows: 2.91'' x 0.41'' x 2.28'', so it fits your palm. The weight varies depending on the capacity option, and the 2TB solid state external hard drive weighs just 1.8 oz. As for the level of protection, this device withstands the force of up to 1500G, which equals falling from a 6.5-foot height. However, that's all about the casing and what about software? Relax! Your information is safe thanks to an AES 256-bit encryption and password protection. In other words, not only are your all files encrypted, but you can also set a password so that NOBODY but you can access the data. Don't forget to install special software in order to configure the protection parameters!


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Samsung T3 Portable External SSD
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Review of Transcend StoreJet Thunderbolt External SSD

Transcend StoreJet Thunderbolt External SSD

Transcend StoreJet Thunderbolt External SSD

Capacity and Speed

Transcend external SSD is a great way to expand the storage capacity of your computer or another device. It goes without saying, you can get one of several available capacity options. For example, a 1 TB solid state external hard drive is the perfect choice for users who store media files (movies, cartoons, music, etc.). If this top model seems too much, make sure to get the one with the capacity of 512 GB. And if you use an external solid-state drive for work (reading emails, exchanging files, editing reports, etc.) - the version with the capacity of 256 GB will be just fine. The data transfer rate this device shows is as high as 440 MB/s, so copying your files will be lightning-fast. However, the transfer speed may vary depending on the capacity of your external SSD and your OS.

Compatibility and Interfaces

StoreJet 500 Thunderbolt solid state external hard drive is pre-formatted in HFS+, so this device is pre-set for Mac computers. If you aren't an IT savvy, here's some bad news for you: the SSD must be reformatted into NTFS or FAT32 for working with Windows-operated computers and laptops. If you already have some files in the device, back them up or they will be deleted during the reformatting. You can connect the external solid-state drive to computers via a USB 3.0 port. However, the very name of this Transcend device hints at having a Thunderbolt port. This technology boasts an incredibly high maximum data transfer rate - up to 10 Gb/s. The secret of such an awesome bandwidth is the use of a dual-channel connection. Also, the Thunderbolt technology allows you to connect up to 6 devices in a row and the data transfer speed will remain stable. Awesome!

Design and Protection

This Transcend Thunderbolt solid state external hard drive has an aluminum casing that looks very up-to-date and fits the design of Mac computers. The dimensions of this external SSD are 4.8'' x 3'' x 0.5'' and the weight is 4.8 oz., which makes this device rather compact and allows you to carry it in your laptop bag or backpack every day. The casing is very durable and shock-resistant; it can withstand the impact 5 times higher than any conventional external HDD. As for data protection, the device comes with Transcend Elite app that allows you to set the password to protect your files from being viewed or copied by other people.


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Transcend StoreJet Thunderbolt External SSD
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Review of SanDisk Extreme SDSSDEXT Portable SSD

SanDisk Extreme SDSSDEXT Portable SSD

SanDisk Extreme SDSSDEXT Portable SSD

Capacity and Speed

SanDisk Extreme 500 solid state external hard drive is offered in several capacity options: 120 GB, 240 GB, and 480 GB. If you are a designer who needs to store lots of different projects and images, pick a large-capacity version of this external SSD. However, common PC users might prefer more affordable lower-capacity options. The maximum data transfer rate supported by SanDisk Extreme 500 SSD is pretty high - up to 430 MB/s (for 480 GB model) and up to 415 MB/s (for 120 GB and 240 GB models). Thus, copying a Blu-Ray movie will take just several minutes and you won't need to wait for eternity.

Compatibility and Interfaces

This solid state external hard drive is compatible with Windows and Mac computers and needs no additional software for connection. The advantage of SanDisk is that it supports most modern versions of Windows - from Vista to Windows 10, so no matter which one you use - this SSD will work properly. The device has a USB 3.0 interface for speedy data transfer. Of course, SanDisk Extreme 500 is backward compatible with USB 2.0. As the majority of external SSDs, this gadget is USB-powered, so no power cable is required.

Design and Protection

It's a really compact solid state external hard drive that has the following dimensions: 2.98'' x 2.98 x 0.42''. Thus, the device easily fits in your pocket or camera bag. The weight of SanDisk Extreme 500 is just 2.78 oz, so even if you put the device in the inner pocket of your jacket, you won't feel any inconvenience. The casing itself is made of metal and has a rubber edge and a rubber plug for the USB slot. Thus, even if you drop the device on the ground - it will withstand it! (unlike an HDD that will most likely be fatally damaged). Also, the device works with SanDisk SecureAccess software created to guarantee your privacy: you can create a vault protected by a 128-bit encryption and a password. If you want to protect some of your files - just drag them and drop into the vault.


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Review of LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt External SSD

LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt External SSD

LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt External SSD

Capacity and Speed

This LaCie solid state external hard drive has the capacity of 250 GB. If you think it's insufficient, you are not totally right. Just imagine how many files you need to transfer to fill this device up! Movies, videos, music, images, photos - you can copy everything to this SSD. As for the data transfer speed, this 250GB solid state external hard drive can transfer files as fast as 387 MB/s. Yes, it's not the record-high result but it's still really fast!

Compatibility and Interfaces

LaCie solid state external hard drive is compatible both with Windows and Mac computers. You can connect it using one of the two available interfaces: USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt. And the Thunderbolt port can be used to connect the solid state external hard drive to not only Mac but also a Windows-operated computer (no matter if it's a laptop or a PC). Thunderbolt connection is twice as fast as USB 3.0, so that's a real advantage over many other competing external SSDs. In all, if you need to deal with Windows- and Mac-operated computers, this Thunderbolt solid state external hard drive is one of the best and most reliable options!

Design and Protection

The casing of this 500 GB solid state external hard drive is made of genuine metal encompassed in a rubber coating. The device is IP54-rated, which means it's resistant to elements (water, heat, etc.), shock, and even dust. The size of the unit is as follows: 3.5'' x 5.5'' x 1''; the weight of the external SSD is 8.8 oz. As you can see, the unit is slightly bigger and heavier than most of its counterparts, but it's still fairly compact and portable. LaCie solid state external hard drive has an integrated Thunderbolt cable, so you will never lose it. The slots are protected by a special rubber lid. If you are worried about data protection, this device boasts a 256-bit encryption of your data and you can protect the files with a password (use LaCie Private-Public app). Thus, your information will always be confidential. Finally, you can use LaCie Backup Assistant app to schedule automatic backups of your most precious files).


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Review of MyDigitalSSD OTG Mini mSATA External SSD

MyDigitalSSD OTG Mini mSATA External SSD

MyDigitalSSD OTG Mini mSATA External SSD

Capacity and Speed

MyDigitalSSD is available in several capacity options: 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB. As you can see, there's no high-capacity 4 TB solid state external hard drive, but it isn't a problem at all: you can pick the right device and it will serve you for many years. Though it's a pretty small external SSD, it boasts blazing-fast data transfer speeds: up to 465 MB/s, so you can copy files in a blink of an eye. Keep in mind that sometimes the overall transfer speed depends on a variety of other parameters, such as the OS settings and connection type. So, if you notice the speed is lower - calm down, it's totally normal.

Compatibility and Interfaces

Mini External SSD is compatible with the most widespread operating systems used in the world - Windows (including some outdated versions like XP), Mac (OS X 10 and higher), and even Linux. If you are a software developer who works on a Linux-operated computer - this external SSD is your best pick. As for connection interfaces, the device has one USB 3.0 port. This type of connection is far superior to an older USB 2.0 version and the maximal bandwidth amounts to 5 Gb/s.

Design and Protection

It's one of the most portable solid state external hard drives with the dimensions of 3.43'' x 1.89'' x 0.39''. Actually, you can easily carry this device in a pocket of your pants. And the weight of just 1 oz. is so little that you won't feel any discomfort even if you carry the external SSD all day long. Unlike many other devices, Mini External SSD has a plastic casing that is rather resistant to shock but, of course, less durable than a metal casing. If you want to protect your data, find and install free TrueCrypt software, which will allow you to set a password. Thus, you can lock separate files or the whole device so that your data remain fully confidential.


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MyDigitalSSD OTG Mini mSATA External SSD
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