One of the best options for a 10 Gbit-capable USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface that you can find for the price. The other things that make it special are TRIM and S.M.A.R.T. technologies, which enable monitoring the state of memory cells and keeping the transfer rates optimised.
The digital application updates are few and far between.
Samsung is definitely still a force to be reckoned with, as when it comes to high-quality SSDs there are few to no rivals of their products. A fast transfer rate, superior build quality, and general ease of use make this T7 model an optimal choice for demanding users.
2 TB, 1 TB, 500 GB
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2
Up to 1050/1000 MB/s
Fingerprint & Password, AES 256-bit hardware encryption
Windows, Mac OS X
3 years, limited
Owing to ePCM technology and an additional Dynamic Thermal Guard, the appliance won't overheat even if used as a stationary SSD model. Moreover, the appliance is reinforced and features fall protection from heights of up to 2 metres.
The cable connection is a bit loose.
The Samsung T7 is an all-upgraded SSD with high capacity and performance. Sealed into a protective aluminium casing it doesn't lack in the write/read departments and can transfer data at a rate of 1 GB/s with ease to match.
1 TB, 2 TB, 500 GB
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2
Up to 1050/1000 MB/s
ePCM technology, Dynamic thermal guard, Password protection
Windows, Mac OS X
3 years, limited
The drive is reinforced to withstand falls, heat, water, and dirt getting inside the device. Thanks to the rugged housing, the device can be used at any condition without fear of losing valuable data.
The included EncryptStick software requires a fee to update.
Probably the most protected SSD out there, the SanDisk Extreme also boasts high transfer speed and pretty impressive storage capacity. While the paid software updates do end up making this model pricier than average, we'd still call it a great pick for people leading an active life.
1 TB, 2 TB, 500 GB, 250 GB
1 x USB Type C
Up to 550/ 550 MB/s
Shock/Heat/Vibration/Water/Dust-resistant, Password protection uses 128‐bit AES encryption
Windows, Mac OS X
3 years, limited
The low weight and optimal, small dimensions of the housing make this WD SSD an excellent device for the role of a travel SSD. The dual interface design, on the other hand, makes it essential for working with multiple devices simultaneously.
The data cable is rather short.
This convenient and compact SSD with impressive capacity (including different capacity options) from WD is a decent solution for PCs and laptops. However, the thing that really makes the My Passport shine is the direct compatibility with computers that run on both Windows and Mac OS. And to top all that, the housing is additionally reinforced so even if you drop it, your data won't be compromised.
1 TB, 2 TB, 4 TB, 250 GB, 500 GB
1 x USB 3.2 Gen-2
1 x USB Type C
Up to 1050/1000 MB/s
Shock/Heat/Vibration/Drop-resistant, AES 256-bit hardware encryption
Windows® 10, Windows 8.1 operating systems macOS Catalina, Mojave, or High Sierra
5 years, limited
The drive can operate with Windows Bitlocker to Go as well as the FileVault application from Apple. On top of that, it doesn't require additional tweaking in order to be used with Symantec and McAfee syncing and data recovery software.
Drive's casing tends to get hot during use.
A compact, stylish SSD from Crucial, the X8 CT500X8SSD9 supports a high-speed data transfer interface - USB 3.2 Thunderbolt, which ultimately puts it among the fastest data drives available for the price. In addition, it is reinforced with a rugged housing made of anodised aluminium that makes it shock-proof and protects it in case you accidentally drop it.
500 GB, 1 TB
1 x USB 3.2 Gen-2
3D QLC NAND
Up to 1050 MB/s (read speed)
Heat, Shock, Vibration protection, 2.3 m drop-proof, Complete data protection
Windows, Mac OS X
3 years, limited
Samsung T7 Touch
Everything You Need in One Appliance
The Samsung T7 Touch is an external NVMe solid-state drive with a USB 3.2 Gen-2 based memory unit that combines the compact size of flash drives and the capacity of a fully-fledged HDD in one small device.
Being a SATA alternative, NVMe doesn’t have the data cap that is often incorporated with AHCI and HDDs that SATA uses. Owing to this, you are getting much less lag than with a drive that has moving parts and doesn’t need to adjust for them upon communicating directly with the CPU.
When it comes to the actual speed, the T7 has very few rivals in the same price category, which puts it quite high on our list. To be more specific, the read speeds are capped at 1050 MB/s, while the write speeds are only limited to 1000 MB/s, making the T7 Touch one of the fastest portable SSDs that you can find for the money. The capacity of this particular model is capped at 2 TB and that is, perhaps, the optimal amount of memory for a compact drive that can be carried pretty much anywhere. Alternatively, 1 TB and 500 GB variants are optionally available.
The looks of the flash drive incorporate the standard SSD design or something that resembles a big power bank battery, which is not a bad thing at all. Measuring 8.5 x 5.7 x 0.8 cm, it is reasonably small and quite compact, which enables carrying it in a pocket of your bag or a laptop backpack. However, we highly recommend getting a separate protective case for it, for safety reasons.
Securing Data Without Compromises
Speaking about safety, it is essential not to omit security aspect. Luckily, the appliance has multiple safety measures that will prevent access to sensitive data directly. Firstly, the T7 Touch utilises 256-bit encryption for better protection of the digital password that is used to access the drive on new devices or every time you connect the data cable. Secondly, the appliance has a fingerprint reader that can be used as a secondary safety measure. The scanner can be used to save multiple fingerprints just like on any modern smartphone, which is a nice touch.
The only real gripe with this particular model is its digital application from Samsung that tends to get updated quite rarely. Although you may have some issues with setting the password for the drive for the first time, once set, you won’t really have to worry about it.
To wrap things up, the Samsung T7 Touch is one of the best options among other NVMe SSDs of the same class. Boasting excellent write and read speeds, it also features quite a few security measures that won’t compromise your data even if you don’t have access to the SSD.
|Last updated price||£288.58|
Quick, Nimble, And Convenient
The Samsung T7 is an upgraded external SSD model that is almost twice as fast as the previous iteration of the drive in the same price category - the T5 model. It has everything you need from a portable drive, it is just slightly bigger than a regular SSD, however, the appearance is not the main selling point of T7.
To start off, the casing of the drive can withstand quite a beating including but not limited to scratches, cuts, and falls from heights of up to 2 metres. This is achieved thanks to a robust metal housing that firmly protects the inner components of the SSD and your data at the same time.
With a weight of only 57 grams, the T7 is an excellent option for the role of a portable external drive. Since the appliance doesn’t feature any moving parts inside, unlike hard drives, it is fairly safe to use as storage for important files. The drive's data protection, on the other hand, features a hardware encryption system that can be accessed with a password at any given time.
Owing to the dynamic thermal guard system, the housing, as well as the casing of the drive won’t overheat during use, which is a nice bonus to the overall great set of features that this Samsung model has.
Speaking of compatibility, this tiny drive is compatible with virtually any desktop PC that runs on Windows or Mac OS X. Alternatively, it can be used with Linux computers and laptops, however, you may run into some hiccups with compatibility. Likewise, this particular drive model can be used together with Android devices like phones, tablets, and even most of the Smart TVs that run on Android.
One of The Fastest SSDs Out There
Moving on, let’s talk speed. Even though most of the modern SSDs are quite fast from the get-go, this Samsung model blows generic drives out of the water with its read/write rates. While being quite small, it manages to transfer data with speeds of up to 1050 MB/s with ease to match.
To accommodate a wide variety of different devices, the package is equipped with two cables - a USB type-C (both male and female) that is compatible with portable gadgets and a standard USB to USB type-C for desktop PCs. Capacity-wise, this T7 has 1TB of free space to offer. If 1 TB is not enough for you or on the contrary - too much, this model is optionally available in 500 GB and 2 TB variants.
In conclusion, the Samsung T7 will prove to be an excellent way to store data that can be accessed on the fly. The high write and read speeds of the drive also enable you to utilise it as either a temporary or long-term storage mean for exceptionally big files.
|Last updated price||£141.24|
Extreme Protection from Everything
Live an active lifestyle and take your laptop with you everywhere, whether to upload photos of your trips or for work? You’re going to need a sturdy device that can store your data with no risk of the elements ruining the electronic storage. For that, we recommend the SanDisk Extreme Portable.
This external solid state drive is made to resist all type of damage, not just regular physical one. Sure, it’s going to be fine if you drop it off of your table but it can also withstand extreme heat and vibrations. Not even a sweltering summer or an earthquake will ruin this SSD (well, okay, an earthquake might). It’s also reinforced to withstand water leaking into the drive, though the extra protection should keep moisture away anyway.
Moreover, your data is also protected from hackers and prying eyes as well. The SanDisk Extreme uses 128-bit AES encryption to secure your files and the data is also locked under a password that should deter would-be snoopers. However, you’d probably want your protection software to be up to date at all times to keep up with the new malware and viruses. But the EncryptStick software that comes with the drive requires a flat fee before it opens access to updates. While it’s not that high, it’s still a disappointing move on the manufacturer’s part.
At the Speed of Light
It’s also reasonable to want the fastest external SSD possible since data transfers can take a while and it makes sense to speed up the process to the best of your abilities. Luckily, the SanDisk Extreme Portable is probably one of the fastest SSDs out there, boasting a 550/550 read/write speed. Even if you get the 2TB model, you could fill it up in less than an hour, regardless of whether you’re copying a bunch of smaller files or one huge one. And if you go for the less capacious 250Gb model, your drive can get filled up in a matter of minutes.
However, the one flaw of this drive would be the fact that the TLC memory system is more prone to errors than its counterparts. This could lead to interruptions in some transfers, which ultimately prolongs the process and is just plain annoying.
It doesn’t matter what type of OS or computer you have since the SanDisk Extreme uses a USB Type C cable and has the right drivers to be compatible with both Windows and Mac OS. No matter what PC or laptop you have, you can transfer data to and from it.
In the end, if you want an ultra-reliable drive that you can take with you on the road, the SanDisk Extreme is a good choice. It has impressively high transfer speed, withstands a lot of wear and damage, and is sure to become a long-term companion for your digital needs.
|Last updated price||£116.99|
WD My Passport (New Generation)
Drive That Fits Everywhere
The WD My Passport is the so-called New Generation of the company’s portable NVMe line of SSDs. Naturally, the external computer gadget is quite small with the dimensions of just 9 x 4.5 x 1 cm, which makes it easier to carry around even in the pocket of a jacket, jeans, or backpack. Moreover, the overall weight of 46 g also contributes to its portability and ease of use since this low weight is barely noticeable.
Just like other similar SSDs in the same class, this external flash drive utilises a USB Type-c connection as its main data transfer method. Conversely, the secondary means of data transfer here is a USB 3.2 port for extra-quick pairing with different devices. The data transfer rate is pretty much on par with the best models on the market today, which makes this model a totally viable solution for storing data and quick transfers between different machines. The write and read speeds are capped to 1050 MB/s and 1000 MB/s, respectively.
Moving on from the speeds, let’s take a look at the compatibility. Although the appliance will work flawlessly with regular PCs that work on Windows, you will also be glad to know that this SSD is also compatible with macOS Catalina, Mojave, and High Sierra, which will come in handy if you own a Mac computer or laptop. These features alone make the WD My Passport a great compromise for users that tend to work with both Windows- and Macintosh-based systems on a regular basis.
A Decent Travel Option
As for the capacity, this particular variant of the WD’s My Passport lineup of products features 1 TB of internal memory, which might be just enough for portable use on the go or for quick transfer of data between multiple computers. If you feel like 1 TB won’t be enough, you are in luck since WD offers 2 TB and 4 TB models in the same form-factor. Alternatively, if you think that you would do with a WD My Passport but are on a budget, 500 GB and 250 GB options are also available at a lower price.
Moving down the list of features, the reinforced housing of the portable drive firmly protects the internal components of the SSD from damage even if you accidentally dropped it on the ground. Moreover, the device features a software backup service that allows backing up larger files on cloud storage. However, you will need to activate this feature via a stable internet connection.
Finally, the WD My Passport (New Generation) will be an excellent option if you need a small, lightweight, and more importantly - a highly reliable SSD that can be used with PCs, laptops, and other appliances that have a USB port.
|Last updated price||£143.99|
Tiny But Awesome
The Crucial X8 is yet another portable drive that has no movable parts, but this time around it resembles a flash drive more than a bulky HDD drive that somehow got slimmer.
First things first, the main noticeable aspect of this portable drive is its size. But that’s not really what you are here for, right? Surely, it is quite small, measuring only 10.99 x 1.14 x 5.29 cm, yet the Crucial X8 can store an immense 500 GB of data, which easily makes it one of the most convenient drives to use with other gadgets.
We should also mention that the appliance is compatible with Windows PCs, Mac OS X computers and laptops, as well as with the PlayStation and Xbox game consoles, which is no small feat at all. Thanks to that, you can store important data that requires quick access on the drive and carry it with you whenever needed.
Aside from the drive itself, the box includes a USB-C cable with a convenient USB-A adapter that enhances the compatibility of the whole kit even further. What is more, the SSD is compatible with native Windows and Apple backup and data encryption software, which not only allows you to retrieve damaged files but also enables the protection of sensitive data. As an alternative, this external flash drive can be reinforced with third-party protection software applications from McAfee, Symantec or similar ones.
More Than Just a Flash Drive
With the means of software protection out of the way, let’s take a quick glance over the housing at its capabilities. On top of the shock-proof protective layer of the SSD’s body, it is additionally reinforced with a fall-proof buffer that gives the stored files an additional protective layer. Thus, even if in case you accidentally drop the drive on the ground or if it falls out of your pocket, the data stored on the SSD won’t get compromised.
Last but not least, the read/write rates of this USB 3.2-capable appliance make it easy to transfer data at lighting-fast speeds. To be more precise, once you connect the SSD to a 3.0 or 3.2 USB port, the transfer speed of your data can reach up to 1050 MB/s, which makes it almost 7 times faster than the fastest HDD out there.
In the end, this budget-friendly SSD will be a great way to upgrade from a regular flash drive to something that can both store more data and hold a punch at the same time. The combination of the small casing and large internal data capacity lands it a spot on our list, especially if you were looking for an external model that is ideal for the roles of a portable and stationary drive.
|Last updated price||£110.99|
What Is an External SSD?
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 (via USB Thunderbolt 3.2). Moreover, since there are no moving parts in the casing, any solid-state drive works without making any noise at all, which is nice if you are looking forward to building a silent PC case. Likewise, most of the rugged external SSDs are rather resistant to such influences like shock, fall and physical damage in general. Moreover, modern SSD models can be rather small, which enables carrying them around in a pocket, just like a standard USB flash drive. While technology allows making them rather compact, the capacity of smaller drives can be rather lacking, and so it is important to keep that in mind upon picking the right model.
If you think that the overall storage space is more important than the data transfer speed, make sure to check out our review of the best external hard drives available on the market.
What Features to Compare
Capacity and Speed
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 favourite movies or other media files, pick the model with the capacity of over 500 GB. However, if you simply need to have 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.
Compatibility and Interfaces
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 backwards compatible with the older USB 2.0 interface. However, 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.
Design and Protection
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 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.