Best External SSD 2TB for 2020 (May Reviews)

To find the best external SSD 2TB, we searched the market, researching the factors that make a great drive, including speed, durability, form factor, and included warranty. Depending on the tasks you are working on, such as using your external SSD to store and playback movies, you may need to seek out a fast drive. Alternatively, if you’re taking your new external SSD 2TB drive on mountain adventures, you will want something with a small portable form factor and tons of durability. No matter what solution you are searching for in an external SSD, we have you covered with our guide.

In our research, we found the best external SSD 2TB drive to be the Samsung T5 Portable SSD. A compact drive that can fit in the palm of your hand, the T5 offers fast read and write speeds up to 540 MB/s – that’s 5x faster than a standard hard drive, via either a standard USB-A or a newer USB-C connection to your Mac or PC. The metal construction allows the T5 to be shock-resistant, surviving drops up to 2 meters without issue. To top it off, Samsung includes a stellar 3-year warranty to keep you protected. Keep reading to learn more about the best external SSD 2TB drives.

Top 6 Best External SSD 2TB

 #1  Samsung T5 Portable External SSD 2TB

Award: Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: Samsung’s T5 external SSD offers superfast read write speeds up to 5x faster than a traditional hard drive, while providing up to 2 meters of shock-resistance in a palm-sized drive.

Pros
  • Fastest read/write speeds
  • USB-A & USB-C compatible
  • 3-year warranty
Cons
  • Relatively expensive

Samsung delivers a strong performer with the T5 Portable External SSD 2TB drive thanks to its superfast read/write speeds of up to 540 MB/s – that’s up to 5x faster than a traditional non-SSD drive! Included in the box are two cables, one for computers with traditional USB-A ports, and another for newer computers with USB-C ports, so no matter what machine you have, you are ready to plug-in your new drive. Worried about traveling with your drive? Don’t break a sweat, as the Samsung external SSD has employed a metal enclosure that helps the drive be shock-resistant up to 2 meters.

The compact form-factor of the T5 makes it an excellent companion for your laptop or tablet bag, and the included 3-year warranty means that you won’t have to worry about it breaking down. The only tidbit to note is that the Samsung T5 does run on the pricier side, but for its great features and build-quality, we can’t blame it. This device fits right in with the models on our best ssd list.

 #2  Sabrent Rocket Nano External SSD 2TB

Award: Sabrent Rocket Nano External SSD 2TB

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Sabrent Rocket takes off with an outstanding 1000 MB/s connection, making it excellent for working with large amounts of data. Built for newer computers with USB-C, it’s hard to measure up to this rocket-fast device.

Pros
  • Best high-speed
  • Extremely compact form-factor
  • Great for video game storage
Cons
  • Hot to the touch
  • Short warranty

Sabrent shot for the moon with its Rocket Nano External SSD 2TB drive; it reaches super speeds of up to 1000 MB/s, making it the fastest drive on our list. If you have an extensive collection of data, then this is the perfect SSD for you. Sabrent achieves such high speeds thanks to native USB-C support – not only can the device connect via the new USB-C connection, but it supports the high speeds included with the standard. The Rocket Nano also makes the best external SSD for gaming thanks to its high-speed performance, slowing down load-times on your PS4, Xbox One, or PC.

With a super compact design, the Sabrent Rocket Nano is extraordinarily portable but isn’t rated for shock-resistance – so keep this drive safe, it’s not the best option for hiking the trails. We would have liked to see a more extended warranty than the included 1-year, and the drive can become a bit hot to the touch during use. However, if you need speed, the Rocket Nano delivers. And if you are looking for an Apple-specific device, read about the best external hard drive for Mac you can buy. Be sure to take a look at the Samsung T3 Portable SSD 250 GB USB SSD, which has slim dimensions of 2.3 x 2.9 x 0.41 inches if you’re looking for something easy to carry. It also uses a USB 3.1 Type-C port, but it’s still compatible with USB 2.0 if you use an adapter. If you’re looking for power, there’s also the powerful Portable SSD X5, which has write and read speeds of 2,800/2,300 MB/s, which is 5.2x/4.5x faster than a portable SSD with SATA interface.

 #3  SanDisk Extreme External SSD 2TB

Award: Most Durable

WHY WE LIKE IT: For those on-the-go, SanDisk delivers a drive that can handle tough situations with its Extreme option; featuring shock, vibration, water, and dust resistance, this drive is ready for anything you throw at it.

Pros
  • Best shockproof
  • Rated to withstand both water & dust
  • Handles temperatures down to -20 celsius
Cons
  • Might need to configure out of box

SanDisk’s Extreme SSD provides a drive that any wildlife photographer or adventurer can trust with their data. If you find yourself using your gear in extreme conditions, then the SanDisk Extreme is your ultimate solution thanks to its ruggedized, water and dust resistant design that can handle temperatures down to -20 celsius. The shock-resistant core of the device can even handle shocks and vibrations, lower concerns if you drop the device – even on hard surfaces.

SanDisk includes an excellent 3-year warranty with the device, as well as a USB-C cable in the box with a USB-A adapter – making it an excellent option for almost any PC or Mac. You may opt to reformat the drive out of the box as the default formatting can cause small files to appear larger on disk, taking up more space than needed. The SanDisk Extreme PRO SSD, which comes in 1TB 2TB and 500 GB sizes, is a similar product worth checking out, since it has a lightning-fast performance speed so that you and your work don’t have to slow down. It’s one of the best portable SSDs that uses NVMe technology to increase transfer speeds up to 1050 MB/s and saturate the USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface. Note that this portable hard drive is compatible with USB Type-C and A connectors. For more options check out the best external hard drive 1 TB.

 #4  LaCie High-Performance External SSD 2TB

Award: Best Warranty

WHY WE LIKE IT: Not only does LaCie produce an excellent drive and include a 3-year warranty, the company includes 3-years of data recovery services. If your drive was to ever fail, simply send it in for no-cost recovery.

Pros
  • Also great data recovery service
  • Thin, lightweight design & form-factor
  • Multiple cables included in the box
Cons
  • Wide footprint compared to other drives

LaCie delivers an excellent drive with even better warranty support. The LaCie High-Performance External SSD 2TB drive includes not only a 3-year warranty but also three years of rescue data recovery services. Typically a service that can cost hundreds of dollars, LaCie provides it free with its offering. If your drive was to fail during usage, not only is it covered and replaced under the included warranty, but your drive will be sent out in an attempt to recover the data on your dead drive – an outstanding promise.

LaCie’s external SSD is quite fast thanks to its 540 MB/s transfer speed and also features a shock-resistant design so you won’t need to worry when traveling. The lightweight, thin design is also welcomed, but it does result in a drive that is slightly wider than others, making it a poor fit for pockets. It is not one of the best storage devices for pockets for sure.

 #5  VectoTech Rapid External SSD 2TB

Award: Best USB C

WHY WE LIKE IT: VectoTech offers the best external SSD for Mac, thanks to its included USB-C port, the only option present on most modern Mac systems, and its out of the box formatting that supports both Mac and PC.

Pros
  • Also great data recovery service
  • Thin, lightweight design & form-factor
  • Includes cables needed for Mac
Cons
  • Larger than most SSDs

VectoTech offers the Rapid External SSD 2TB drive, the best choice on our list for Mac users, including those with Macbooks, iMacs, Mac Minis, and Mac Pros. Designed with Apple’s systems in mind, the VectoTech comes pre-formatted in exFat – a technical way of saying that it works seamlessly between Macs and PCs without worry. As most Macs now only have USB-C ports, the included USB-C cable means you can get started out of the box without the need for an adapter. The USB-C port is reversible with USB 3.1 Gen 2, so this SSD is compatible with USB 3.0/2.0 devices.

VectoTech also includes a long-term 3-year warranty, standing behind the reliability of its products. While the form-factor is larger than most SSDs, we don’t find it as a significant detractor as it will still fit with ease into carrying bags and notebook sleeves. VectoTech also offers a 4TB SSD external hard drive version for those who need a bit more space. Overall, VectoTech offers a prime option for Mac users with the Rapid drive. These solid state drives are rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon out of hundreds of customer reviews, so be sure to check out this quality product. For gaming specific drives, try the best external hard drive for ps4.

 #6  Fantom Drives SSHD SSD 2TB Drive

Award: Best Budget

WHY WE LIKE IT: Fantom offers the high-speed capabilities of an SSD at the typical cost of a standard hard drive thanks to its hybrid design, providing 2TB of storage and transfer speeds that exceed drives in the same price range.

Pros
  • Excellent 5-year warranty
  • Ventilated design for longer life
  • Utilizes reliable Seagate drives
Cons
  • Large and bulky design
  • Not as fast as a true SSD

Take the low-cost design as a standard hard drive and combine it with the faster speeds of an SSD, and you’ll have created Fantom Drives’ SSHD 2TB drive. Utilizing a reliable Seagate drive under its aluminum exterior, the Fantom Drive SSHD can offer 2TB of storage at a much lower cost than its competitors offering typical SSDs. Additionally, featuring the longest warranty on our list of 5-years, you know that Fantom Drives will have your back if your drive was to fail during regular operation.

The design of the Fantom Drive SSHD isn’t our favorite as it is quite bulky; however, we appreciate the built-in air ventilation to keep temperatures low and your drive lasting longer. If you need the fastest speeds, a hybrid solution isn’t the best choice, but if you’re on a budget, then Fantom Drives offers a great solution. Another one of the best and more affordable SSD’s is the WD My Passport Portable External Hard Drive, which comes in multiple sizes, including 2 TB. This SSD comes with AES 256-bit hardware encryption and WD software for backups, password protection, and drive management. There’s also the standard WD My Password USB 3.2 Gen 1 External Hard Drive as well.

How We Decided

There are enough external SSD 2TB options to make anyone feel overwhelmed, so we took the time to do the hard work and research the best options. All of our options are tested against several factors, including overall speed, durability, form factor, and included warranty. Additionally, we set a minimum set of requirements for each category so that you know that every drive we selected is a great option. In essence, it’s merely up to you to choose the best from the guide above for your lifestyle or workflow.

For each drive, we ensured that it performed at a minimum transfer speed of 540 MB/s – this is about 5x faster than the average hard drive. With these increased speeds, you’ll be able to play HD videos directly from your external drive or move around tons of data without issue. A fast drive isn’t with much if it’s broken, so we also made sure to include durable drives that, at minimum, feature a metal enclosure. Some options, such as the SanDisk Extreme, can handle even more hostile environments thanks to waterproofing, dust-proofing, shock-proofing, and temperature resistance.

You’ll likely be carrying your external SSD 2TB drive around with your computer, so we also made sure that each drive was portable – none requiring an outlet or power supply to operate. Moving around also means that you’ll want a warranty that can cover you, so we chose to disclude any drives with a guarantee under 1-year. Some star performers, such as the LaCie, even include data recovery services at no extra cost.

Best External SSD 2TB Buyer’s Guide

 

Features

  1. Speed: Solid-state drives can perform at incredible speeds thanks to their exclusion of any moving parts. When selecting an SSD, don’t be fooled by anything that states it is ‘Type-C 10GB/s.’ While Type-C USB ports can reach up to 10GB/s, it is unlikely that your drive can reach those speeds, so look for read/write speeds specifically. With SSDs, a minimum read/write speed of 540 MB/s is recommended for ideal performance.
  2. Durability: Are you leaving your SSD on your desk or using it for on the go travel? Luckily, due to a lack of moving parts, SSDs are much more reliable than their older hard drive ancestors. To ensure your drive stays running, seek out a robust casing such as aluminum and opt for drives that are shock-resistant at a minimum of 2 meters, which should help with most slips of the hand.
  3. Form-Factor: SSD technology can be quite small, allowing many external SSD 2TB drives to slip into your pocket with ease. However, some manufacturers still utilize older enclosures from the days of hard drives; while this isn’t necessarily a negative, some drives won’t fit easily into pockets or tight spaces. Keep an eye on how large your drive is when purchasing if compactness is an essential part of your buying decision.
  4. Warranty: Like most technology, SSDs won’t last forever, which is one of the reasons you should regularly back up your data. However, for the hardware itself, brands will typically include warranties so you can replace them with ease. Be sure to select a manufacturer that offers at least a 1-year warranty, but keep an eye out for better 3-year and 4-year warranties – the extra expense might be worth it down the road.

External SSD 2TB FAQs

What is the best external SSD?

In our testing, we found the best external SSD 2TB drive to be the Samsung T5; it offers superfast read write speeds up to 5x faster than a traditional hard drive while providing up to 2-meters of shock-resistance, all in a palm-sized drive.

What is the largest external SSD drive available?

In our guide, VectoTech offers the largest size SSD at 4TB. Upgrade to the 4TB version if you will be backing up multiple computers or plan on storing movies in 4k Ultra HD. Otherwise, a 2TB drive will likely suit you just as well.

Are external SSDs good?

External SSDs can perform exceptionally well thanks to the latest USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 technology. External SSDs can easily reach speeds that we had only seen with internal drives previously. Just be sure to take care of your drive, the biggest threat to an external SSD is dropping it.

Is USB 3.0 fast enough for SSD?

Utilizing a USB 3.0 connection will limit the speed of your drive to around 540MB/s, which is still quite a fast connection. Those looking for maximum speed will want to consider an option that utilizes USB-C standards, such as the Sabrent Rocket option on our list.

Can external SSDs fail?

Just as with any other piece of technology, external SSDs can indeed fail. To prevent your disk from failing, ensure it is protected from hard impacts or drops. Additionally, be sure to select a drive with at least a 1-year warranty, so that if anything happens during regular operation, you are covered.

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Michael Archambault

Michael Archambault is a technology writer and digital marketer located in Long Island, New York. For the past decade, Michael has covered the consumer technology space, reporting on the latest industry offerings while crafting comprehensive how-to guides, hands-on-reviews, and opinion-editorials. Michael has worked for Amazon.com's DPReview, Mobile Nations' Windows Central, onMSFT, PetaPixel, Dotdash’s Lifewire, and Digital Trends.

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