11 Best External Hard Drives for Mac in 2019

An external hard drive is the best solution for storing your files, music, and photos.

Who does not love a Mac, MacBooks or iMac? However, it is not easy to upgrade a Mac manually if you are out of storage capacity. Buying an external hard drive is the best way to expand and boost Mac storage capacity. To ensure that you purchase the best hard drive for your Mac, you need to evaluate the various features of external hard drives

Features to look out for when buying an external hard drive best suited for you Mac

iCloud provides a perfect storage option for your data; however, when you do not have access to the internet, it is impossible to access your data. Therefore, it is crucial to have a backup for your data, such as an external hard drive. External hard drives provide additional storage space for your laptop. In the market today, there are many types of external hard drives and choosing the right fit is a bit tricky. You should be knowledgeable about the different features crucial to the performance of a hard drive. To select the best external hard drive for your Mac, you need to look at the following characteristics

Storage Capacity

It is the most important feature to look out for when buying an external hard drive that matches your needs. If you work with large files, such as videos, high-resolution pictures, then it is imperative that you buy a hard drive with ample space, from 1TB or 2TB, to accommodate all your files. However, if your work does not require large storage space, then you should buy a hard drive with a storage capacity in the ranges of 500GB to 1TB.


An expensive drive means more space, speed and additional security features that guarantee the safety of your data. Also, a hard drive can be custom made to fit your taste. Like the WD My Passport wireless, some customers can pay top dollar for an external hard drive as long as their workflow is streamlined.

Transfer speed

The size of the drive is not important when buying external hard drives. Attention should be on the rate with which you transfer files back and forth. The storage technology and connectivity play a significant role in the speed of a drive. Hard drives with SSD (Solid State drives) read and write data faster than the standard external hard drives. The external SSDs are more expensive with a smaller storage capacity compared to external hard drives which are a bit cheaper with ample storage space.

USB connectivity is also crucial when determining the drives speed. There are several generations of USB with the oldest and the slowest in terms of speed being USB 2.0. USB 3.0 provides the user with a relatively faster speed of 5Gbps. The latest version is the USB 3.1 which offers a speed of 10Gbps and the Thunderbolt 3 which is the fastest in terms of speed as it is capable of transferring files at a speed of 40Gbps.


If your hard drive is for home use, portability is not paramount. However, if you need to have your hard drive close by while moving around, you should buy an external hard drive that is easily portable. It should be small and light to fit in a pocket or a bag. Most of the external hard drives are easily portable, for example, The Samsung T5.


The durability of an external hard drive is vital when making a buying decision. Therefore, you should choose between an HDD or an SSD. HDDs are most often encased in a protective cover that protects them against damage in case they fall. The SSDs are more durable than the HDDs because they have no moving parts and offer more protection.

Data security

An external hard drive should be encrypted with software that protects data from unauthorized access in case the drive is lost or stolen. The hard drives are encased in a cover that protects it from damage in case it falls.

Extra features

Due to the stiff competition, some drives offer additional features such as WIFI accessibility and warranty.

Below is a detailed list of the best external hard drives for your Mac in 2019


1. Western digital my book

This is the best external hard drive for your Mac as it has the largest capacity ranging from 4TB-20TB.

It also provides users with backup solutions for their Windows. Moreover, it is suitable for businesses in need of enormous storage space. Western Digital is compatible with the time machine app for Mac users. For security purposes, it has inbuilt 256-bit encryption hardware and a warranty of two years. Western Digital My Book has both USB3.0 and USB 2.0, which allows it to connect to several different computers. You have to plug it in a socket to use.

If you are looking for a drive that stays on your desk storing and backing up your data, then, Western Digital My Book is the best external hard drive. The WD My Book is usually pre-formatted for Windows users, so for the External hard drive to be compatible with Mac, you will have to reformat it.

The pro of using Western Digital My Book is the ample storage capacity, automatic backup system, and the relatively good transfer speed while the cons are the need to plug into power to use and the limited portability.

2. Samsung T5 Portable SSD

It is a small compact drive that plugs into a Mac with either USB-C or USB-A cable. The external hard drive is suitable for photographers and videographers. It is fast with the speed of reading and writing going up to 540 MB/S, making it easy to transfer photos and video files. THE external SSD is more expensive than a hard disk. However, the speed of the SSD is worth the extra money.

Samsung T5 Portable SSD has a software that allows you to protect your drive with a password and an AES 256bit hardware that encrypts your files.

One of the advantages of buying Samsung T5 Portable SSD is the presence of USB-C, which can be used with the new Mac models. It is small, making it easily portable, the presence of the encryption software guarantee security for your data. Due to its sturdy metal casing, it can withstand falling 2 meter down. The downside of purchase the external hard drive is that it is expensive while its storage capacity is low making it less suitable for back up.

3. LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt

This external hard drive is best suited for travelers because it is a sturdy portable drive that can withstand harsh conditions such as crushing, dirt, and it is water-resistant. LaCie external hard drives orange casing makes it easy to recognize. The orange casing is made up of rubber which keeps the disk and your data safe in case it falls on the ground.

LaCie offers a series of hard drives that are available in capacities of 2TB TO 5TB. More so, they have a USB cord attached in different modes such as USB-C, USB-C Thunderbolt, Thunderbolt, and USB 3.0.

Due to the high demand, LaCie introduced a newer ‘diamond cut’ designs of Mobile Drives that offer users a wide range of options. Diamond cut designs refer to the angular shapes of the Mobile Drive. The new Mobile Drives covers are made of aluminum, and they come in two colors, moon silvers, and space grey.  The space grey mobile drive color matches with the latest Mac model. The 5TB drive weighs at 400gm and could cause severe injuries if you are hit with it. The price of Mobile Drives depends on storage capacity.

LaCie is fitted with a toolkit app that allows you to mirror folders. Mirrored folder are automatically updated and backed up once changes are made in a file within the folder.

The advantage of buying a LaCie external hard drive is that it is exceptionally durable and has a large storage capacity as well as an integrated system of connecting cables. However, the hard drive has several cons in that it is expensive, and it disconnects easily.

4. CalDigit Tuff

If you are the type that throws things when excited, then CallDigit Tuff is the best external hard drive for you. The hard drive best suited for wildlife photographers, travelers and construction foreman to work without being worried because it is small enough to be fitted in a pocket and tough enough to withstand dust and being dropped. It is also water-resistant as it can be immersed in water up to a meter high for 30 minutes. The drive is IP57 certified and has a speed of 130 MB/s. It works best in extreme environments such as wildlife or desert.

CallDigit Tuff 2TB has a 3.0 port that allows it to connect with the old Mac while the 1TB has a USB-C port that will enable it to connect the new Mac models. The drive is bus-powered and has a bumper cover that comes in five different colors. The only con to buying CallDigit Tuff is that it offers only one point of connection.

The 1TB tuff is extremely fast in terms of speed, but the 2TB tuff is much slower hence its lower price.

5. G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0

Do you need an external hard drive that is best suited for your Mac? Look no further because G-Technology G-DRIVE USB has a USB-A and Thunderbolt connect that is compatible with the new Mac models. The drive is made of metal, making it stylish and durable. It has a 7200 RPM speed which allows the hard drive to achieve a read and write speed of 195MB/s. Its fast pace will enable you to transfer large files quickly and efficiently.  You will have to pay a small fortune to get the drive.

The plus side of buying G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 is the metal design that matches Macs silver aluminum. It also has USB3.0  and Thunderbolt connect for secure connection with both old and new Mac models. More so, it has 7200RPM which enables it to transfer files faster. The only disadvantage is that it is preformatted for Window user; therefore, it has to be reformatted before connecting it with Mac.

6. Silicon Power Rugged Armor

It is an external hard drive that has a storage capacity of 3TB. It is rugged and portable and has a military-grade body which shock-proof with a cable carry design. It is best suited for your gaming needs. Silicon Power Armor has a USB 3.0 which is compatible with Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS4 Slim and PS4 PRO. It is compatible with a Mac or a gaming console. It is light to carry as it weighs 0.7 pounds.

With Silicon Power Armor, you can save as many as 50 plus Xbox games, whereby each game has a capacity of 35GB to 50GB. It is fitted with a rugged rubber cover and an in-built suspension system that protects your data from crashes and falls. The rough surface also provides for a firm grip that prevents the drive from accidental drops. The Silicon Power Armor is also water-resistant providing overall protection from water.

The external hard drive uses USB 3.0, which gives the user incredible read and write speed allowing you to transfer huge files such as videos and games faster.

7. Seagate Backup plus

This external hard drive is best for Mac book owners. It is an ideal back up option for desktop storage both at home and in the office. It has three options from which customers can choose from, and these include Seagate backup plus slim, Seagate backup plus ultra-touch and Seagate backup plus hub.

  • Seagate Backup Plus slim

The drive has a decent storage capacity ranging from 1TB to 2TB. The hard drive is 12mm thick, which makes it easy for you to carry around. More so, it has a stylish design suitable for a MacBook. It also offers encryption which provides your files and data with extra security.

It has a backup system that allows you to schedule backups which ensure that you do not lose critical files in case something corrupts your computer such virus invasion. The system enables you to schedule daily or monthly updates automatically.

When you buy Seagate, you can access a complimentary subscription of one year from Mylio Create and Adobe Creative Cloud membership for two months. Mylio Create is a photo management tool.

The pros to buying Seagate Backup Plus Slim is their affordability, metal casing that protects it in case it falls, USB 3.O which can be used with the old Mac model and the excellent backup system. The con of the hard drive is that it is not compatible with the new Mac models.

  • Seagate backup plus Ultra touch

They are compact and portable drives that provide users with a variety of designs and features. For ample storage for your Mac, this external hard drive is the best for you as it comes in either 4TB or 5TB. The drive measures at 115mm long, 21mm thick, 78mm wide and weighs about 151g. This makes it possible to fit them in a pocket or your laptop bag. The drives are either black or white with a smart woven fabric cover.

The Ultra Touch drive has a standard port of USB 3.0 as well as a USB 3.O cable suitable for Mac. In its packaging, it includes a USB-C cable that can be used with the new Mac models that have USB-C ports. It is also fitted with the same toolkit app as LaCie mobile drive, which allows it to use time machines for backup. The ‘mirror’ is also applicable to Ultra Touch, and it helps folders to be updated automatically. The toolkit encryption process keeps data safe, even if the drive is lost or stolen.

  • Seagate Backup Plus Hub

It is a desktop drive with a relatively large storage space and quite affordable. It is available in several sizes such as 3TB, 4TB, 8TB UPTO 10TB. It has Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) drives. The SMR drive allows more. The drive has two other port that allows users to charge other devices while they are working. It has a write speed of 107 Mbps.

8. Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt

This external hard drive is best for connecting with Mac’s thunderbolt port, which provides double the speed of a standard USB 3.0 drive. Instead of using SSD, the drive still uses a traditional hard drive which limits the speed of transferring data. However, while the drive is quite affordable; it comes with a large storage capacity of 1TB-2TB. The drive can also connect to a Mac old model with its USB3.0 port.

9. Adata SD700 External SSD

It is a rugged-looking external storage hard drive that is relatively cheap and has an ample storage capacity. It is the only SSD that is rated at IP68 and performs quite well. Due to its solid-state, the drive is faster than traditional external hard drives; thus, high data transferring speed and rugged protection.

It has a storage capacity if 1TB.

10. Toshiba Canvio Advance 2TB

When buying an external hard drive to boost your Mac’s memory, you do not have to explicitly choose one that is ready to plug in and play. You can opt to go with Toshiba Canvio Advance 2TB which resembles hard drives for premium Mac. Its storage capacity ranges from 1TB, 2TB, and 3TB. The hard drive is usually formatted for windows; therefore, it has to be reformatted to get ready for Mac OS. Compared to buying a Mac specified version of hard drive, repurposing Toshiba Canvio Advance 2TB saves you some money. The reformatted drive can be used for Time Machine Feature for your Mac. It is a pocket-sized hard drive that can be used with the MacBook older models.

The hard drive is made of a white semi-gloss plastic shell that makes it a stylish fit for Macs and MacBooks. When plugged into a machine, a ring in the corner of the drive glows blue and flickers once it starts transferring files. It has a micro-USB 3.0 port and a backup utility that enables it to auto-copy files from the laptop once selected as well as a security app that allows you to protect your data with a password. The drive has a decent performance speed of 122MB/s when transferring large files.

11. Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro

The upgraded version of WD my Passport wireless pro resembles an external DVD drive as it has an onboarding SD card slot which is perfect for photographers. The hard drive is made of ABS plastic which has anthracite color with rounded corners. It the best external hard drive as it has an inbuilt 64OO mAh battery. The battery gives the drives wireless capability with access to over 2.4GHz or 5GHz channels. The drive does not have a USB-C port as it uses USB Type-B to USB Type-A.

The drive capacity ranges between 2TB and 3TB. The pro title is aimed to attract those customers whose primary concern is streamlining their workflow irrespective of the cost of the hard drive.


Before making the buying decision, you have to look at and evaluate the different features of external hard drives. These include storage, speed, price, portability, and durability of the drive as well as the security of your data. These features help you in choosing the best external hard drive for your Mac. The list above has some of the reputable brands in external hard drives such as WD My Passport Pro and Seagate backup plus hard drives.