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To help you find the best external hard drives for your PS4, 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 modern games with very little hassle. To that end, we were attracted to small, light drives that offered portability, just in case you find yourself gaming in different locations, and drives that were compatible with a variety of different formats, such as other gaming consoles and PCs. You can also read about the best PS4 headset. Some of the best external hard drives on the market were built for the PS4.
The best external hard drive on this list is the ever-iconic Seagate Expansion Portable, offering up to 4TB of storage space in a sturdy enclosure, with USB 3.0 functionality and a maximum transfer speed of 120 MB/s. The light, just over 2 oz, drive works with the PlayStation 4 right out of the box, requiring no reformatting or downloading of annoying drivers and is also compatible with PCs and Macs, though the latter requires a reformat. Keep reading to learn more about the Seagate Expansion Portable and the other external hard drives on this list.
The Seagate Expansion Portable is an easy-to-use external hard drive. Once we plugged it into an available USB port on our PS4, it showed up in settings and was ready to go, allowing us to transfer nearly 150 GBs in under 20 minutes, which is in line with its promise to deliver a max read speed of 120 MB/s. We also experienced a smooth read time, with no hiccups while playing the games loaded to the device, and absolutely no unintended shutdowns. This is a great hard drive that just works whenever you need it to.
While the build quality is nice, we couldn’t help but wish the casing was made from a sturdy metal, such as aluminum. The included USB cable is on the shorter side, 18 inches, meaning that the drive pretty much has to rest right next to your PS4 in order to function. If you are rocking an Xbox, the best external hard drives for Xbox One is what you need.
The Toshiba Canvio Basics is just a great all-around external hard disk drive for your PS4, with the 4TB model allowing for storage of up to 100 games. The 5,400 RPM drive may not be the fastest on this list, but after we installed it, we had no trouble transferring over 100GB of content in around 20 minutes, with nary a hiccup. After transfer, the games played as smoothly as they would if they ran from the console’s internal HD. You might also like the best external hard drive for Mac you can buy while you are thinking about storage.
We did run into one tiny issue upon installation, with the console not immediately recognizing the HDD, forcing us to restart the PS4. That is one thing that you don’t want your storage devices to do. After a restart, however, things ran smoothly, though the included USB cable is a bit wonky and does not latch as securely as we’d like. You may want to connect to this drive with another cable. Also, check out our review of the WD My Passport 4TB portable hard drive.
The Western Digital Elements Portable External Hard Drive is the perfect HDD for those of you who like to play PS4 in a variety of different locations. It fits in the palm of your hand, while still offering an obscene amount of storage space, up to 5TB. The 5,400 RPM drive is not the fastest on this list, but it does the job reliably, delivering on its promise of 100 MB/s as soon as we plugged it into the PS4. Gameplay was also extremely smooth and hassle-free. Speaking of smooth, check out the best gaming monitors under $200.
Related: If you’ve got an Xbox One then take a look at the best external hard drives for Xbox One.
While the HDD itself is well built and attractive, we couldn’t help but wish for a sturdier, perhaps aluminum, casing for safety reasons. We also found the included USB cable to be short and not of the best quality and, as such, your best bet will be to use one of your own. You could also choose the best NAS hard drive for your storage needs.
The Seagate Portable PS4 External Hard Drive is a high quality product, which is no surprise given its manufacturer, that offers up to 5TB of storage and a drive that spins at a speedy 7,200 RPM, with a maximum read speed of 120 MB/s. We put these stats to the test and were pleased with the results, transferring three large PS4 games, a combined total of 150GB, in less than 20 minutes. The price of the 5TB model is also lower than the competition, further boosting the value proposition of this HDD. If you want a different option, take a look at the best external SSD to compare.
While the device is USB 3.0 compatible, we found the included cable to be too short for our needs, forcing us to lay the HDD directly on top of the PS4, which may not be ideal for all living room setups. We’d also rest easier if the casing was made from a metal, such as aluminum, just in case it fell or was dropped. And since we know that many people use both Microsoft and Sony’s consoles, you may want to read about the best monitors for Xbox One X. Our 8 Of The Best Computer Monitors For Gaming Over 24-Inches list is also helpful.
The Silicon Power Rugged Armor A60 PS4 eternal hard drive is an astounding piece of hardware that can take an absolute beating, with an ultra-rugged rubber and internal suspension system, so it can quite literally be dropped on the kitchen floor without suffering any data loss. The HDD is IPX4 water-resistant and completely scratch-proof, with the company throwing in a massive three year warranty to boot. This isn’t the fastest drive on this list, boasting 5,400 RPM and a max read speed of 100 MB/s, but it is certainly the safest.
Though the product does feature a nifty design that allows for easy USB cable storage, the included USB cable was the shortest on this list, coming in at just a few inches, meaning the PS4 has to be on its side and the HDD has to be right on top in order to make it work. Now that storage is solved, you may want to loom at the best 144Hz gaming monitor.
The Seagate Game Drive Portable HDD is designed to work with the PS4 and, as such, we had absolutely no problems hooking this up to our gaming console, with setup taking under two minutes. The 5,400 RPM drive gave us a reliable 100 MB/s connection, allowing us to transfer around 100GB in 20 minutes and showing no slowdown while playing or saving games. The main benefit, in our eyes, of this product being designed for the PS4 is the colorful PlayStation-inspired design, which features a sturdy aluminum closure.
The drive spins at 5,400 RPM, which is not the fastest HDD on the block, but we found the plug-and-play functionality with the PS4 to be worth the minimal downgrade in speed, compared to the fastest products on this list. For monitors check out 10 of the top rated computer monitors.
The Western Digital Gaming Drive is another great drive specifically intended for use with the PS4 and, as such, boasts a PlayStation-inspired design that looks great sitting next to the console and plug-and-play functionality. Other than that, WD says that they made a series of optimizations to further enhance compatibility with the PS4, which we noticed in the form of shorter-than-average load times while playing games. These load times, as a matter of fact, were slightly shorter than the console’s internal drive.
Though the included USB 3.0 cable also features a PlayStation-inspired design, which we appreciate, it is on the shorter side, forcing the HDD to be extremely close to the console in order to function. However, your PS4 isn’t complete until you choose the best G-Sync monitors.
There are plenty of options out there in the world of PS4 external hard drives. To help us narrow down to the above list of the best external hard drives for PS4, we favored, primarily, products that offered plug-and-play functionality with the PS4. We picked hard drives that automatically appeared on the PS4 settings menu as a viable storage option, requiring just a few minutes or less of simple setup. All of the above hard drives offer USB 3.0 functionality, allowing them to play nice with the PS4.
We were also looking for the maximum amount of storage space available, which winnowed out SSD drives (solid state drives), as the price to space ratio simply did not make them viable options. Modern games often come in at 50GB or more, so we wanted to make sure these drives could have, at least, the ability to store 50 games, as is the case with 2TB models. To ensure whichever external hard drive you purchase has plenty of space, opt for 2 TB or 4 TB models.
We also paid close attention to read speed, with no HDD on the list dipping below 100 MB/s, even in the case of those that offer 5,400 RPM. As we tested these drives, we made sure to actually play the games we had transferred over to them, just to ensure that they ran smoothly, with no graphical hiccups, and that load times were on par with what was on offer via the internal drive. Plus, none of our Top Picks need to be plugged into an external power source. Finally, we picked drives with hefty warranties, as much as three years, just in case it fails down the line.
Other options to consider that just missed our list are the