Usually, Apple laptops don’t have staggering storage on the hard disk drives. And that is a usual dilemma for mac users.

Usually, we all have tons of data that one needs to carry for office or personal use – and need external storage for apparent reasons. Yes, there are always other storage options like cloud storage, but there’s a risk of data theft.

This is why hard drive storage is a feasible option. That said, buying storage space in Apple laptops gets hefty on the pocket and doesn’t offer flexibility like an external hard drive.

The best external hard drives become an easy gadget to store data, but they are also portable devices. Depending on the data, price, usability, and encryption feature, there are various external hard drives to choose from.

If you pick the device smartly, you can use the external hard drive with Windows operating system, PS 5, and whatnot.

The newest technology, portable SSD, can be beneficial in carrying digital files and heavy on disk drive applications. Plus, they offer faster data transfer speeds too.

Why Use External Hard Drive for Mac?

Some laptops’ capabilities supersede in terms of storage. However, everything else about the Mac laptop is fine besides the storage capacity.

Many mac laptops come with a max storage limit of 128 GB, which is relatively more minor after some time. And upgrading the storage is extremely costly compared to getting an external drive, and it is also tricky in general.

Comparatively, external drives are easy to carry, cheaper alternate, and faster to use. Also, when you require to transfer data between Mac or Windows OS, it can be a fantastic mediator.

Another frequent use of the external hard drive is to take the backup of the laptop to incase the data in the laptop gets compromised.

Some applications and software slow down the performance and speed of mac laptops. Hence having these in an external hard drive make it super convenient, accessible, and portable.

Difference Between SSD and HDD

Besides other differences, storing data sets these two types apart. Hard Disk Drive (HDD) uses mechanical platters to move, read, write, and access the data.

While a Solid Disk Drive is faster, accessible, and newer technology. It stores the data on memory chips that make the data attainable.

Our Pick of Top 6 External Hard Drive for Mac

Below you will find our top six picks of hard drives for mac. In addition, these hard drives for mac are listed with features, specifications, pros, and cons for your ease.

Sabrent Rocket XTRM-Q 2TB USB 3.2 / Thunderbolt 3 External SSD

Sabrent Rocket Xtrm is a two-terabyte external SSD Drive. It comes with Thunderbolt 3 connections, with a read and writes speed of 2700 Mb per second. Similarly, a USB mode transfer gives around 900 MB per second.

It is well-suited for gaming, work, and personal use. Also, there is no need to install any drivers before using the plug-and-play feature.

The SSD Drive is made in a solid aluminum casing with proper heat dissipation. It is also integrated for health and temperature monitoring.


  • Plug and play feature
  • Heat and health monitors
  • Sturdy casing
  • Thunderbolt compatible
  • USB Type-C compatible
  • Anti-slip stickers for stability


  • May incur damages from significant fall

LaCie Rugged Mini 2TB, USB 3.0, Portable HDD

So, this mini drive in 2 terabytes has a lot to offer more than storage. First, LaCie Rugged Mini 2TB External Hard Drive is shock-proof, dust-resistant, and Drop-shock resistant.

Second, it read and writes data at 130 megabytes per second. Also, it is password-protected, so all the data in the drive is uniquely protected. Finally, it is compatible with USB 3.0, faster than the old USB 2.0.

With the Application Guide, one can change the drive’s compatibility for Mac OS. In addition, the device comes with Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps Plan with a 1-month complimentary membership.


  • 2 TB space
  • Dust resistant
  • Drop-shock proof
  • Rain resistant
  • Compatible with USB 3.0


  • Not compatible with Thunderbolt

Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB Ultra Touch Portable External Hard Drive, USB-C, USB 3.0

The Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2 TB Ultra Touch Portable External Hard Drive comes with a unique feature of Rescue Data Recovery Services for three years.

Now you can use this 2 Terabyte hard drive worry-free since the data is secure. It is compatible with both operating systems, Windows and Mac. Mostly you can backup all the data with merely one click.

Additionally, this best external hard drive is encrypted for password protection. So you can take it everywhere, knowing your data is password protected.

An occasional format cleans and preps the hard drives for mac, and Seagate backup plus slim can be used between different operating system types.

The Seagate Backup Plus Slim can be used with USB C and USB 3.0. And it comes with four-month membership of Adobe Creative Cloud Photography and a one-year subscription to Mylio Create.


  • 2 TB
  • Compatible with USB 3.0 & USB-C
  • Encrypted with password protection
  • Compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems


  • It cannot be used with a Thunderbolt port

Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive

The Buffalo MiniStation Portable Hard Drive is a 1 Terabyte, rugged drive. It is integrated with NFC (Near Field Communication), making it compatible with recent technologies.

It is a plug-and-play device, easy to use, and no requirement of any drivers before using it for the first time. To use Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC with Mac operating system, format the Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC before use.

Not to forget, it is encrypted for extra protection. It can be used in USB port 3.0 and is water and dust-resistant.

As can be seen, the manufacturer is sure about its product and offers a three-year product warranty.


  • 1 TB
  • Compatible with USB 3.0
  • Encrypted with password protection
  • Compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems
  • NFC integrated


  • not shock-resistant

Western Digital My Book 2TB USB 3.0 External Hard Drive

Known as one of the best external hard drives, Western Digital My Book is highly lightweight and sleek. It has a storage capacity of 2 terabytes which is also password protected.

Western digital my book has the excellent feature of automatic backup that reduces your work. In addition, it is compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 systems.

It can be used with Mac and Windows operating systems. Before using Mac Os, it needs a quick format, and the device is all set to use.


  • 2 TB
  • Compatible with USB 3.0 &2.0
  • Encrypted with password protection
  • Compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems


  • Avoid big drop

Samsung T7 Portable SSD 2TB – Up to 1050MB/s – External Solid State Drive

Those who have used Samsung t5 SSD would be interested to know more about this model. Samsung T7 Portable drive is an SSD nine times faster than the external hard drive. It can read up to 1,050 MB/s and write 1,000 MB/s.

The Samsung T7 portable drive gen two is supported and can be used with USB Type C-C and Type C-A. Moreover, when downloaded the firmware for the device, performs at optimal speed.

Uniquely the device comes with Dynamic Thermal Guard Technology that monitors device health and heat dissipation. It protects the device from excessive heating up and safeguards the data.

It can be used with multiple operating systems and is secured with a password. Furthermore, the device’s construction assures it from dropping as high as six feet.


  • 2 TB
  • Compatible with USB Type C and Type A
  • Dynamic Thermal Guard Technology
  • Compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems


  • cannot sustain a significant drop

Buyers Guide to Best External Hard Drives

Here are some essential aspects that need to consider and evaluated. These would help you determine what gadget will make you the best external hard drive.


Depending on the work’s nature, you can opt between SSD or HDD. If you require a hard drive that offers loads of storage space, then HDD is your immediate choice.

But if transfer speed is your priority and storage space doesn’t matter much, you should opt for SSD.

Hard disk drives are made of a spinning platter. Meanwhile, SSD is made with no moving parts and data stored on flash memory.

SSD requires less power and is faster comparatively, but HDD gives you ample space at a lesser price than HDD. So, in short, if speed is essential, opt for an SSD, but if storage is necessary, HDD is your best bet.

Brands like Western digital my passport, Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC, and LaCie are top names for best external hard drives.

Meanwhile, Sabrent Rocket, Samsung Pro, and Intel Optane are famous names for a solid-state drives.

Storage Capacity

On average, an Apple laptop has a 128 GB hard drive. However, it becomes increasingly difficult to manage the data within this limited storage space with time.

Hard drives come in various storage plans, such as less than one terabyte and go up to 8 terabytes. So if you require storing data files, you may not need much space.

But if you require to keep software, and applications, you need ample space. Usually, a video made in standard phone settings goes up to 30 Mb, and a 4k file of a movie goes up to 100 GB.

In that case, having 2 or 4 terabytes is most convenient. But if you require external hard drives for office work, only 1 or 2 terabytes is the best.

Cable Standard

There are now various available options. However, it would be best to be careful with what standard you are buying, for many recent mac laptops require Thunderbolt 3 only, while some are integrated for USB 3.0.

However, earlier technologies only work with USB 2.0. So knowing what cable standard works for you will help immensely in buying decisions. Otherwise, you would require to buy a converter.

Thunderbolt 3 is a recent technology, and if most of the devices in use are current, it would be the best choice. Also, the best external hard drives for mac require faster transferability. Otherwise, USB C is compatible with most devices.


Usually, external hard drives or solid-state drives are tiny, almost pocket-sized. Some may be four to six inches long; it varies from brand to brand.

However, the sizes are easy to carry and can be carried around in a laptop bag with ease.

In addition, some external hard drives or solid-state drives come with a protective casing, adding little to the overall size but increasing the level of protection.


The make and construction of the case make the external hard drives durable. For example, if the casing is thicker and made with sturdy material, it is less susceptible to shock and damage.

Some external hard disk drives are robust with a thicker casing or even a rubber casing to protect them from dust, damage, or fall.

It is essential to look for a durable external hard disk drive that protects your data in the hard drive.


Every brand has different features and can uniquely suit an individual’s needs. What makes the best external hard drive for mac depends on your requirement.

The best thing to look for in a hard disk drive is compatibility with both operating systems. Also, the manufacturer’s durability is backed with a warranty, and its resistance to mild to moderate shocks is gold.

If you need to use it with Mac operating systems, only look for USB compatibility; otherwise, you will add another gadget to your bag for conversion.

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