Solid State Drive, or commonly known as SSD, is the new type of storage drive on the market. On top of providing superb performance with up to 20 times faster data transfer rate compared to traditional hard drives, they also offer better durability, power efficiency, and greater portability. If you’re looking for the best portable SSD that you can buy, look no further. We made this list based on our own opinion, hands-on experience, research, and user reviews. The products that made it on our list have exceptionally exceeded our expectations in terms of quality, performance, features, and overall value.
5. Seagate Expansion
When we talk about storage drives, one of the brands that come into mind is Seagate. The company has perfected its technology in manufacturing storage drives such as HDD and SSD. Because of their development and experience, Seagate was able to offer one of the most affordable, if not the cheapest, portable SSD on the market in the form of the Seagate Expansion, which is available in 500 gigabytes and 1 terabyte. The Seagate Expansion only weighs about 0.143 pounds and has a dimension of 2.95 by 2.18 by 0.39 inches. This portable SSD is very lightweight, lighter than your everyday fast-food burger, and its credit card size makes it convenient to carry anywhere. In terms of connectivity and features, the Seagate Expansion has an integrated USB 3.0 port, plug-and-play functionality, support for Windows and Mac, a rated data transfer rate of up to 400 Megabytes per second, a minimalist design, shock resistant, and a limited 3-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Its pros are:
- Affordability and overall product value
- Exceptional performance with SuperSpeed USB 3.0
- Shock resistance
- Credit Card Size Product Dimension
- It doesn’t use the more updated USB Type-C port
- It could not saturate the 625 Megabytes per second bandwidth of USB 3.0
But if you have a budget to consider, then we highly recommend the Seagate Expansion SSD.
4. WD My Passport
The WD My Passport is a product of Western Digital that specializes in manufacturing storage drives. The company has a legacy of producing storage drives that are affordable, reliable, and durable with a mind-blowing performance. The WD My Passport is crafted with elegance and affordability in mind. It features a slick design with a blazing fast transfer speed of up to 540 Megabytes per second. The drive also utilizes a USB Type-C port eliminating any form of performance hiccups during data transfer. For older systems, this external SSD also comes with a free Type-C to Type-A adaptor offering a wide range of system compatibility running on Windows and Mac.
It comes with a wide variety of features, from performance-enhancing technology up to enhanced hardware encryption for file security. If there’s one thing that impresses us about this drive, it’s the support for the USB3.1 Gen 2 system. It has software tools support such as WD Discovery for social media and cloud services storage connection, WD Security with built-in 256-bit AES hardware encryption, and WD Drive Utilities for easy files and device management. Another thing worth noting is that the drive is capable of withstanding a drop of up to 6.5 feet, which is higher than the height of an average Joe.
Its pros are:
- It has no data transfer hiccups with its Type-C USB Port
- It comes with an excellent Data Transfer Rate of up to 540 Megabytes per second
- It can withstand a drop from 6.5 feet above the ground
- It has support for 256-bit AES Hardware Encryption
However, its cons are:
- It is not compatible with Android or iOS system
- It is slightly expensive
So if you want the best performance from an external SSD without breaking the bank that much, then the WD My Passport is a great option.
3. SanDisk Extreme
The Sandisk Extreme Portable is by far the most durable portable SSD on our list. It provides the best durability without compromising performance. If you’re someone who’s always on the go, has an active lifestyle, or someone who constantly needs to transfer files from one place to another, then this portable SSD is a reliable option to consider. The SanDisk Extreme Portable has a ton of features to offer. Other than having a data transfer speed rate of up to 550 Megabytes per second, it also comes with a ruggedized design that’s water, shock, and dust resistant.
It’s also capable of withstanding 30 kilopascals of water flow, a drop up to 6.5 feet on a concrete floor., and it is resistant to the vibration of up to 5 GRMS, 10-2000 Hertz. One of the key features of the SanDisk Extreme Portable is the USB 3.1 Gen 2 technology. It offers a bandwidth of up to 10Gigabit per second that eliminates any possible slowdowns within the drive. Furthermore, it has an IP55 rating which protects the drive from rain, splashes, spills, and dust.
Its pros are:
- It has a Certified IP55 Protection Rating, so it’s guaranteed to last long
- It can also withstand a drop from 6.5 feet above the ground
- It has a ruggedized design with a screw gate holder
- Its excellent data transfer rate performance with Type-C port
However, it is a bit pricey. In the end, SanDisk Extreme Portable is an excellent option for those who are always on the go or do fieldwork in all weather conditions.
2. Crucial X8
This drive is no ordinary. If there’s an SSD on our list that offers flexibility, top tier performance, and supports lots of systems, it’s the Crucial X8. The Crucial brand is a storage product series made by Micron Technologies that specializes in dynamic random-access memory, flash memory, and computer storage drives. What makes the Crucial X8 stand out from the rest is its phenomenal transfer speed rate.
It’s capable of reaching up to 1050 Megabytes per second, that’s twice the speed compared to the ones we already mentioned in this list. In terms of features, the Crucial X8 is pretty straightforward. It’s a plug-and-play, no drivers needed, and you can use it with Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It also utilizes the USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C interface. It is shock resistant, capable of withstanding a drop of 7.5 feet above the ground.
Its pros are:
- The Data Transfer Speed Rate is phenomenal
- It utilizes USB 3.2 Gen 2 Interface
- It supports Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One
- It can withstand a 7.5 feet drop
However, the Crucial X8 has no IP Certification for water-proofing. If you want the best performance that you can get from a portable SSD but have a restricted budget, then look no further than the Crucial X8.
1. Samsung X5
Are you looking for a portable SSD that has it all? Then Samsung X5 Portable SSD is the one. It is by far the fastest, most durable, and most secure portable SSD in our list. It features a blazing fast transfer rate of up to 2800 Megabytes per second via Thunderbolt 3 interface. It has a full metal rigid and durable body that can withstand a drop of 6.5 feet. Capable of securing your files with AES 256-bit hardware encryption, this SSD is paired with 3 years limited manufacturer’s warranty.
Also, note that this drive is only supported by computers and laptops that have Thunderbolt ports. The speed rate degrades depending on the version of the Thunderbolt port. For example, you won’t be able to achieve its rated speed with Thunderbolt 1 or 2 ports, but you can use the drive.
Its pros are:
- Blazing Fast Transfer Speed via Thunderbolt 3
- Full metal rigid body with heatsink for optimal performance
- It utilizes the NVMe interface that offers wider data bandwidth than SATA
- It has an optional password via AES 256-bit hardware encryption
However, its cons are:
- It requires a Thunderbolt port to work
- It does not work on USB Type-C Ports
- It is expensive
- It has limited device compatibility
So, if you’re someone who desires performance above anything else without much worry about the cost, then the Samsung X5 Portable SSD is the top choice to consider. It is perfect for you, especially if you own a computer or laptop that has a Thunderbolt port readily available.
Alternatively, if you want a portable SSD that works on all platforms and has a good mix of performance, features, durability, and value, then we also highly recommend checking out the Samsung T7 Portable SSD. If you find our number one choice a bit lackluster since your computer or the device you use does not support Thunderbolt port, then this is an excellent alternative. Similar to the rest in our list, the Samsung T7 Touch is a very straightforward device. It’s a plug and play without any drivers needed, shock resistant that’s capable of withstanding a drop from 6 feet above the ground, and has a rated transfer speed rate of up to 1050 Megabytes per second. Furthermore, it’s compatible with various operating systems such as Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. One key feature that makes the T7 Touch on a league of its own is its built-in optional security features that let you set up security either via fingerprint or password. The security function takes advantage of the AES 256-bit hardware encryption, ensuring that the files inside will only be accessible on the computer that you stored it with or with your fingerprint/password.
Its pros are:
- The fingerprint security option
- The capability of withstanding up to 6 feet drop
- Excellent data transfer rate of up to 1050 Megabytes per second
- Its compatibility with Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One
However, the T7 Touch is not water-resistant. So that completes the list of our top 5 portable SSD that you can buy on the market today.