Save your Data and Sanity with an External Drive

One day just like any, you open your favorite browser and the screen goes blank. You press a bunch of buttons hoping it’s just a glitch, but nothing happens.

After several minutes of waiting, you decide to restart the computer. On startup, you get a blue screen displaying an error message. In short, your computer has crashed, taking thousands of family photos, videos, prized music, and even movie collections.

Even worse, your tax, other important documents, business-related data, shortcuts, favorites, bookmarks, applications, and software are all gone.

You can try a data recovery service, but there is no guarantee the files can be retrieved.

You can get an external hard drive but take note that these often have no security/safeguards, doesn’t allow network storage, and often have a low performance with high-frequency file transfer and editing.

Most of all, typical External Hard Drives are usually not portable, do not have WiFi access, nor additional cloud backup options.

What you need is an up-to-date Drive that’s USB 3.0 ready, is a portable hard drive, has good security or safeguards, and maybe even cloud storage add-ons.

I’ve prepared a list of the best portable USB 3.0 hard drives to help you pick the best this technology has to offer.

So here they are and in no particular order.

1. Seagate Expansion

seagate expansionThis hard drive is made by Seagate. It comes with 500GB, 750GB, 1TB, and 2TB of space. It’s portable and requires no software installation, just plug and play.

It’s also USB 3.0 and 2.0 compatible. It charges via USB, but the performance is not much better than similar drives. This device is also Mac OS X 10.4.8 compatible. -> Buy on Amazon

2. WD My Passport Ultra

western digitalThis hard drive is made by Western Digital. It comes with 500GB, 1TB or 2TB of space. It’s portable and also has security features like hardware encryption and password protection which is a big plus.

It’s USB 3.0 compatible and charges via the USB. It also allows for cloud backup storage if you care to buy a subscription. It comes in 4 colors that include blue, red, gray and black. -> Buy on Amazon

3. Toshiba Canvio

toshibaThis hard drive is made by Toshiba. It comes with 350GB all the way up to 2TB of space. It has Shock Sensor and Ramp Loading Technology. It’s also portable and charges directly through USB 3.0 or 2.0.

This device is also Mac OS x 10.8.3 compatible and requires no additional software to work. Just plug it in and it’s ready to go. Also, this hard drive is very fast with a transfer rate of 480MB per seconds. -> Buy on Amazon

4. Silicon Power Rugged Armor A80

siliconThis hard drive is made by Silicon Power. It comes with 500GB, 750GB, 1TB of storage space. It’s USB 3.0 and 2.0 compatible allowing up to 5GB of transfer bandwidth.

This device is certified Military Grade, water proof, and compatible with Mac 10.3 X and above. It’s one of the most popular drives with a 4.3 out of 5-star rating. It’s also portable. -> Buy on Amazon

5. Seagate Backup Plus Slim

SeagateThis hard drive is made by Seagate. It comes with 500GB or 1TB of space. It’s specifically made for Mac but is PC compatible. This device is also 3.0/2.0 ready and is cloud storage ready for DropBox or Google Drive.

Two key feature of this device is it allows mobile device backups and is WIFI ready. It’s also very popular with a 4.5/5 rating and also only weighs 8.8 ounces which allows it to fit into your pocket. -> Buy on Amazon


Portable External Hard Drives are a relatively new technology. Nevertheless, they are packed with features that many find useful for a variety of reasons.

Although my list doesn’t have devices with all the same features, perhaps you can find something that fits your situation. I tried to find the best drives that are portable, is USB 3.0 ready, has security or some damage safeguards, comes in various capacity and/or has cloud storage options.