Picking the best external hard drive for PC isn’t an easy task as there are many things involved, especially if you have specific requirements. The market is flooded with HDDs, so to help you choose the right one, we’ve handpicked several drives that are viable storage solutions for different purposes. Be it for storing media files, important documents, backing up content or running a server, you’ll find options in all capacities below.
1. Western Digital My Passport Ultra:
Western Digital is one of the most preferred HDD companies on the market and they have products that server almost very storage need. The My Passport Ultra is a portable drive that looks classy and offers high performance. The hardware is just about half inch thick and it comes in different storage options starting at 500GB and up to 2TB max. It works on both, USB 2.0 and 3.0 interfaces and is supported on Windows as well as Mac systems.
WD notes that the device is also optimized for Windows 8. Where durability is concerned, the drive is designed to be long-lasting and shock-tolerant. The company is offering the SmartWare Pro companion software, but you’ll have to shell out extra cast for it.
Price: Starts at $59.99
2. Buffalo DriveStation Axis:
The Buffalo DriveStation Axis is one neat looking storage unit that offers high capacity hoarding provisions at affordable prices. And this is exactly what makes it a viable pick on the best drive for PC roster. Sporting plug and play connectivity, you can hook this piece of hardware up to a Windows or Mac computer via USB 2.0 or 3.0 interfaces. The device is quite compact measuring 1.5 x 4.8 x 7.5 inches and it can be positioned vertically or flat on a surface.
Apart from storing files, you can schedule daily backups with the Buffalo Backup Utility. What’s more, the drive is compatible with Time Machine on Mac and it can even be plugged in and used with the Wii U gaming console. The Buffalo DriveStation Axis can be picked up in storage options of 1TB, 2TB, 3TB and 4TB.
Price: $110 and above
3. LaCie Blade Runner:
The LaCie Blade Runner is a one-of-a-kind external HDD flaunting a non-traditional design. It might not look like your everyday external drive, but it can sure perform as one. The form factor comprises of a cage-like enclosure and the interior is made from liquid metal. The company is marketing it as a limited edition system and with a premium price tag, of course.
The device comes in a single configuration of 4TB and it supports USB 3.0 as well as older interfaces. Being compatible with Windows and Mac systems, you get the Backup Assistant software, free 10TB of cloud storage and password protection.
4. Western Digital My Book:
Our next recommended drive is the My Book from Western Digital. This storage solution isn’t a portable one like the My Passport Ultra, but it comes with enhanced features. The device supports USB 2.0 and 3.0 standards and it tags along the Acronis True Image WD Edition software. With this, you can backup entire drives including the OS, apps, settings and much more, keeping all of your data safe in case of a system failure.
The company has also added password protection and hardware encryption for added security and to make sure no one accesses your content apart from you. The Digital My Book supports Windows and Mac and it comes in 2TB, 3TB as well as 4TB storage options.
Price: Starts at $99.99
5. Seagate Backup Plus:
The Seagate Backup Plus range comes in three options, one highly portable, the second high on storage and the third being a desktop solution. The first and last choices are Mac compatible, while all three will work with Windows. The Backup Plus Slim is being offered in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities and it has a lot of interesting features. With the Mobile Backup application, you’ll be able to make a copy of data stored on mobile devices and there’s the option to backup content from Facebook and Flickr as well.
The Backup Plus Fast is also a portable drive, but it offers 4TB of storage encased within a metal form factor. And unlike most options on this list, you won’t have to format it to get it working on Mac. Last on the list is the desktop model that starts from 2TB and goes up to 4TB. All options offer USB 3.0 connectivity.
Price: Starts at $69.99 (Plus), $269.99 (Fast), $99.99 (Desktop)
6. LaCie 5big:
The LaCie 5big is a mammoth of a storage unit. This is by far the the most sort after hard drive by Mac users. It comes in high capacity options only, namely 10TB, 20TB and 25TB. The company has designed it with dual Thunderbolt ports, allowing you to transfer data at speeds of up to 785Mbps read and up to 695Mbps write. This system has a five drive bays and supports RAID 0 as well as hot-swap.
The drives are enclosed within a sleek aluminum enclosure and the company has thrown in the Noctua magnetic levitation cooling fan to keep the temperatures down whilst also minimizing operational noise. The system tips the scales at 173mm x 220mm x 196mm and it weighs 7.6kg.
Price: Starts at $999, up to $2,499
The best external hard drive for PC is the one that puts a tick against all of your check boxes. So is it on this list? If so, which HDD are you planning to pick up? Also, if you’ve got a recommendation or two, be sure to drop it in along with a few words below.