Portable external hard drives to back up your files and photos

Make sure your data is secure.

desk with hard drive, lamp, and laptop
Keep your videos, music library, and baby photos safe from a nightmarish computer crash.Jonathan Farber via Unsplash

Even if you don't deal with huge files for your job or side hustle, a portable hard drive is worth a place in your inventory. It not only let's you bring your files and memories with you, it also is an added layer of protection in the event of a computer implosion. And these days, you have options. You want to choose between either a regular hard drive or a solid-state drive, which will be faster and better suited for uploading videos. Here are some we recommend.

Western Digital 1TB My Passport Portable External Hard Drive
A simple, basic hard drive.Amazon

This is a solid option if you’re only looking to back up your personal information and you don’t have excessive amounts of data that will eat up the space, like high-resolution photos or videos. It’s affordable and comes in orange, red, bright blue, and yellow.

LaCie Rugged Mini 2TB External Hard Drive
Braves the elements.Amazon

This portable hard drive is ideal if you’ll need to rely on this device daily and plan on traveling with it frequently. The external rubber cover makes it water-resistant and durable to transport. The USB cable is also designed to fold into the device, which helps ensure water can't breach your tech.

Samsung T5 Portable SSD
The solid-state drive is ideal for uploading video or software.Amazon

This Samsung solid-state drive will be faster and more efficient to use than a standard hard drive, as well as quieter. It’s the way to go if you’re looking to upload video, software, or games regularly. It’s a little more expensive, but if speed and efficiency are top priorities, it’s worth the cost.

Transcend 2TB USB 3.1 StoreJet 25H3 Portable Hard Drive
The silicone rubber case makes it extra durable.Amazon

Transcend uses a three-stage shock protection system, including a silicone rubber case, to protect your device from breaking. Of course, this is an important detail when you’re storing valuable data, and a factor to consider for anyone who tends to break things. It has a one-touch auto-backup option, comes in blue or purple, and you can choose the 1TB, 2 TB or 4 TB options.