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The Five Best 1TB Portable Hard Drives

Updated on March 26, 2015
Extra storage on the go.
Extra storage on the go.

Massive storage isn’t just for 3.5” drives anymore. Now portable hard drives are hitting the one terabyte mark as well.

Kiss that wall wart goodbye. Portables offer the huge advantage of being able to run on USB bus power. On the down side, you’ll be paying a premium for the portability. As most 2.5” drives spin at 5,200 rpm, the speeds aren’t particularly inspiring. Still it is an adequate solution for the vast majority of people.

Pint-sized external drives tend to allure consumers with impressive form factor. Don’t be pulled in by good looks alone. When shopping for a portable hard drive, your main concerns are durability, transfer speeds and connectivity.

For the most part you can expect less connection options with portable hard drives. Most PC users don’t want or need anything other than USB. Mac-heads on the other hand appreciate Firewire support. Occasionally, stand out products like the LaCie Rugged All-Terrain offer a little bit of everything: USB 2.0, Firewire 400 and Firewire 800.

Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable External Hard Drive

Seagate’s slick black drive offers more features than Western Digital’s portable offerings at the same price. Especially innovative is the boasted upgradability. Out of the box, it has a standard USB 2.0 interface. By pairing the FreeAgent with optional GoFlex cables you can upgrade to USB 3.0, Firewire 800 or eSATA. The included automatic backup software works with both PCs and Macs. This is an outstanding choice for people that want all connectivity options open.

LaCie Rugged All-Terrain Portable External Hard Drive, 1TB

Most highly portable drives don’t have connection options that go beyond USB. This is where the LaCie trumps the competition. Mac users with the advantage of Firewire can get the drive configured with USB 2.0, Firewire 400 and Firewire 800. Another version offers PC users with eSATA support plus USB 2.0. That is the perfect blend of mainstream connectivity and blazing-fasts speeds for when the circumstances allow it. Also noteworthy is the rubberized casing which allows the drive to survive falls up to 2.2 meters.

Toshiba Canvio Plus Portable External Hard Drive, 1TB

Although not typically well-known for producing great portable drives, the Canvio Plus series is changing everything for Toshiba. Reliability feedback has been superior to that of the competing Western Digital My Passport Essential SE. It is powered directly from the USB port and offers data transfer via USB 2.0. Included software includes backup tools and 256-bit data encryption. The Canvio Plus is a good choice for business people or anyone who travels with confidential documents.

Iomega eGo Compact Edition Portable External Hard Drive, 1TB (Ruby Red)

Style-conscious travellers in need of a full terabyte of storage will impressed with the eGo’s styling. It isn’t as quite as tough as the LaCie but can resist falls of up to 5 ft., making it a reliable choice as well.  Connection options are limited to USB 2.0 as is typical with form factor drives. Inside the eGo uses a Toshiba 2.5” hard drive making this offering very comparable with the Toshiba Canvio Plus. Pre-loaded AES XTS 256-bit full-disc hardware encryption protects your sensitive data. The free 12 month subscription to Trend Micro Internet Security is a nice bonus. On top of that you get typical backup software.

Western Digital Elements SE Portable External Hard Drive, 1TB

It isn’t as sexy as WD’s super thin My Passport Essential SE, however the Elements SE has proven to be more reliable. A standard USB 2.0 connection allows you to transfer all your favourite videos, music, photos, and important files to the huge 1 TB drive inside. No power adapter is necessary. Just plug it into your notebook or desktop machine and you are ready to go. Although the Elements SE drive is solid, it isn’t very inspiring. For the same price you can get a competing model with shock- absorption or more extensive connection options.


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    • inspirearun profile image

      inspirearun 7 years ago from Bhavani, Tamil Nadu, India

      Very nice work, very much informative