External hard drives creative professionals can rely on

Multi-purpose storage for your studio and archives.

external hard drives for creatives
Save all of your work, even if today you hate it.Jonathan Farber

If you’re a photographer, videographer, graphic designer, or musician you know that creative files take up a lot of digital space. Reliable storage means you don’t have to decide now if something’s a keeper. After all, that magnificent failure from a year ago could be the foundation of your greatest achievement. Spend less time worrying about your data and more time imagining your next work. Here are four external hard drives chosen to fit an artist’s workflow.

Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB External Hard Drive

Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB External Hard Drive

A compact digital storage unit.Amazon

Hard disk drives have moving internal parts, which makes them both more fragile and slower at reading and writing data. However, you can get a lot more storage space for your money—making them perfect for creative people who have lots of projects to save. This hard drive has 2 terabytes of storage and is available in black, red, silver, and blue to help you color code and organize your output by medium or client. It connects to both Macs and PCs with USB 3.0 and measures just 5 inches x 3 inches. You’ll also get data transfer speeds up to 120MB a second.

LaCie Rugged 4TB USB-C and USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive

LaCie Rugged 4TB USB-C and USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive

Durable backups for less.Amazon

We hope that you don’t plan on driving a 1-ton car over your hard drive, but it’s comforting to know that this tough product has remained functional in a test of this scenario by the manufacturer. If your creative studio is full of lighting equipment, heavy wooden frames, amplifiers, and mic stands, the extra protection this hard disk drive offers (drop and rain resistance) might be worth the cost. Enjoy four terabytes of storage and data transfer speeds up to 130MB per second.

Samsung T5 Portable USB 3.1 External Solid State Drive

Samsung T5 Portable USB 3.1 External Solid State Drive

Does its job quietly and efficiently.Amazon

Are you a filmmaker or composer who edits video and audio directly from an external hard drive? If so, this solid state drive is an excellent option with data transfer speeds up to 540MBs per second with USB 3.1—leaving hard disk drives in the dust. It’s colorful, small, and portable at approximately 3 inches x 2 inches and less than half an inch thick. Carry one in your bag from the shoot to post-production, and easily save and work with raw footage, rough studio mixes, and overdubs.

SanDisk 1TB Extreme PRO Portable External SSD

SanDisk 1TB Extreme PRO Portable External SSD

Years of work in the palm of your hand.Amazon

This rectangular 1TB solid state drive is a little bigger than the Samsung T5, but is an upgrade in terms of read speed at up to 1050MB per second using USB 3.1. (The write speed is more comparable to the Samsung.) If you are always shuttling files back and forth between other creators editing on a deadline, and working on equipment that can make use of the added speed, it could make a tangible difference in your workflow. The small opening in the upper corner could be used to clip the drive to an inside pocket of your backpack so it’s harder to misplace, and the design resists water and dust to further protect your creations.