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To help you find the best 1 TB external hard drive, we’ve tried out a slew of different models, testing them out for plug-and-play simplicity, high build quality and drive speed, choosing products that allow you to store a whole bunch of files with very little hassle. To that end, we were attracted to small, light drives that offered portability, just in case you find yourself in different locations, and drives that were compatible with a variety of different formats, such as gaming consoles. These days storage devices are essential, whether you are gaming or just using them for work. Find even more great storage devices with our best external hard drives guide.
The best 1 TB hard drive we tried was the Toshiba HDTB410XK3AA Canvio Basics, which is truly plug-and-play, with no drivers to install, comes in at a low price point and operates via USB 3.0, eschewing the need for a power cord. It’s also light, just five ounces, and features a sleek matte finish design. Keep reading to learn more about the Toshiba HDTB410XK3AA Canvio Basics and the other hard drives on this list.
The Toshiba HDTB410XK3AA Canvio Basics 1 TB hard drive boasts a speedy 5,400 RPM design, with true plug-and-play simplicity and absolutely no drivers to install in order to get it to work. It is compatible with just about every operating system, including gaming consoles, and features a light form factor, coming in at five ounces, and a sleek matte finish design. It also powers via USB 3.0 connection, so doesn’t need a power source, and is backwards compatible to USB 2.0.
Though the product does come with a warranty, it is only for one year, while many similar products offer warranties in the two year range. Additionally, we had some issues connecting it to Windows 10 computers, but these issues were resolved. Also read about the best external hard drives for Xbox One.
The Toshiba Canvio Advance 1 TB hard drive is a fantastic product that is available in four vibrant color options. It also comes with a two year warranty, which is nice, and a robust suite of backup and security software, helping to keep your data safe and secure. The 5,400 RPM drive integrates nicely with just about every operating system and it is powered via USB 3.0 connection, so you won’t need to plug it in to a power source.
In order to access the robust security and backup features, you will have to download some drivers, which was fairly simple. Additionally, Toshiba does offer a sturdy aluminum case as an option, but it costs significantly extra. For console playing gamers, read the best external hard drive for PS4.
The Seagate Portable 1TB External Hard Drive is available in an array of size options, beginning at 1 TB and going all the way to 8 TB, suiting a variety of needs. It’s slim and light, weighing around six ounces, and offers plug-and-play simplicity, with no drivers to install. The 5,400 RPM drive also operates nicely with Windows PCs and Mac computers, delivering drag-and-drop functionality.
Though it does come with a one year warranty, other options on this list boast warranties in the range of two or three years. Additionally, the included USB cable is just 18 inches, which may not fit every layout. Mac users will want to read best external hard drive for Mac.
The Samsung T5 Portable SSD is the solid state drive to beat, offering extremely fast read and write speeds, up to 540 MB/s, and an incredibly convenient form factor, fitting in the palm of the hand and weighing under two ounces. It’s also available in four neat color options and comes with an astounding three year warranty, which we love.
This is a high end product and, as such, is the most expensive item on this list by a fairly large margin. Additionally, due to the innovation of solid state technology, this drive cannot be used with older operating systems. For Macs, make sure you have updated to at least Mavericks and Windows users need Windows 7 or above. Browse more external hard drives and compare.
The Silicon Power Armor A30 boasts an incredibly rugged design, with a military-grade shockproof case that that double shields the interior via a secondary silicon layer, and a scratch-resistant surface. Despite all of these features, the 5,400 RPM drive is still on the lighter side, clocking in at around seven ounces. The company also throws in a three year warranty, adding to this product’s stellar safety rating.
Though the drive does feature an innovative cable carry design, allowing the included USB cable to wrap around the exterior of the product, the included cable is the shortest we received, at just three inches or so. Additionally, it does not feature a waterproof rating. Check out more computer accessories.
The Western Digital My Passport Portable hard drive is a great value, offering high end features at a slightly lower price point. It is small, fitting in the palm of the hand, and light, weighing just four ounces, making it a truly portable product. It is also available in three cool colors and comes with a three year manufacturer’s warranty, tied for the best warranty available on this list. It is also password protected, so your data will be safe.
Though this drive is plug-and-play, requiring no additional power source to function, the included USB cable is on the shorter side, at around 12 inches. Additionally, it will require driver downloads in order to access certain features, including the password protection. Speaking of storage, check out our micro SD cards list.
The Maxone Ultra Slim Portable Hard Drive features an extremely slim, 0.4 inch thick, enclosure that is made entirely from aluminum, giving it a pleasing look that maximizes data safety. The hard drive integrates nicely with every major operating system, in addition to providing flawless use to gaming consoles, such as the PS4 or Xbox One. The three year warranty is also tied for being the longest on offer.
This hard drive weighs a bit over eight ounces, which is still fairly light, though slightly heavier than the other models on this list. Additionally, though the metal enclosure is extremely sturdy, we couldn’t help but wish they had upped the ante with some form of shock proof technology. Another on the go storage option are USB flash drives.
To help narrow down to the above list, we favored durable, well made hard drives, ones that shouldn’t fail with the slightest provocation. To that end, many of the products featured on our list are made from high quality, long-lasting components, such as aluminum, and others boast sleek form factors, such as those with a matte finish. Additionally, many are very light, making them shine as portable hard drives. You can use them with your best gaming PCs.
We also wanted to make sure that most of the above products boasted plug-and-play functionality, meaning that they don’t require an external source of power, being charged via USB connection. We favored models that did not require the downloading of drivers, preferring drives that just worked as soon as you plugged them in, allowing for drag-and-drop functionality. We were okay with models that required a driver download, so long as downloading said driver provided access to additional features, such as suites of security software.
On the warranty front, we made sure that each and every hard drive on the above list featured, at the very least, a one year warranty. Many of the products ascend to two or three year warranties. Finally, though most of the above hard drives are flash drives, we did sneak one SSD in, as that will get you the fastest read and write speeds, despite the high cost.