Looking for the best portable external hard drive for your Mac? you are in the right place. External hard drives are a necessity nowadays as not a lot of laptops offer a lot of storage space, especially the slim laptops from Apple like Apple Mac Book Air and Mac Book Pro. Also since most of the recent laptops come with SSD storage which is expensive and less capacity, we definitely need additional storage. Having the best portable external hard drive for Mac will be always handy to take your additional data with you and it can work as a backup or extra storage disk too. Here we are going to review the top 5 best external hard drives for Mac that works on PC in 2021.
This to Consider When you buy an External Hard drive for your Mac
Type: Desktop class or portable type.
Desktop class external hard drives for Mac have a 3.5-inch mechanism hard disk which needs a power adapter. So, mostly this is not portable, suitable to keep in one place, either your home or office desk. Of course, you can move and take it with you, but it should be connected to power always. So, if you want a portable external hard drive for your Mac book or Mac air laptops, then this is not for you.
Notebook class (portable type) is with 2.5-inch mechanism power hard disk. The power adapter is not required here and it can work only with a USB cable/port.
When you have an external hard drive for Mac, you must consider the USB 3.0 support, speed of data transfer rate, Mac OS X and applications’ support and Time machine backup. There are Thunderbolt and eSATA port external hard drivers for Mac too, but you should consider the compatibility with other old Mac machines and Windows PC when you buy the external hard disk. Therefore, always better to go for USB 3.0 considering the compatibility of PCs and Mac.
These external hard drives for Mac can work on most of the Mac OS X version including OS X 10.11, 10.12 Sierra and earlier Yosemite and 10.9 Mavericks. These portable external hard drives are fully compatible with PCs (Windows, Linux Operating Systems) too. This will be a great support to transfer your data between Mac and PCs like Windows 10, 8.1 and Windows 7. The hard disk capacity is available from 500GB to 5TB to meet your budget and your purpose whether you are a photographer or video/sound editing specialist.
WD My Passport Mac 1 TB-4TB (High Capacity Portable External Hard Drive for Mac)
My Passport from Western Digital is the latest external hard drive that offers both performance and style when it comes to the looks of it. It is the upgraded version of their earlier success full Western Digital 1TB external hard drive for Mac. The hard drive supports USB 3.0 that will ensure high-speed data transfer with your USB3.0 Mac ports. The particular model is available in different sizes, such as 1TB, 2TB, 3TB and even 4TB for Mac laptops or Desktops.
This model is better than the previous ‘My Book’ model which is a slightly larger size when you consider portability. The hard drive also comes with its own software suite so you won’t have to go through all the hassle and configure it as it would work right out of the box. It is compatible with PC hardware too, including all Windows Operating Systems. This is one of the cheap and best hard drives for Mac and PC.
My Passport also comes with Time Machine software that will help you back up all your data and some other utilities like a diagnostic tool, smart data collector and sleep timer. What the sleep timer does is that when the hard drive is inactive for a while it shuts down its self and turn back on when you use it. It even covers your security requirements as the external hard drive can be password protected or optionally with 256-bit AES hardware encryption. Since it specially made for Mac OS X, it comes as formatted for Mac OS X. Windows PC users have to reformat the hard drive to use on Windows Operating Systems. For the users of video editing and photographers who looking for the best external hard drive for Mac, this model will be an ideal choice.
Silicon Power Rugged Armor A30 – El Capitan & Sierra Support
It’s one of the best tough hard drives that you can find on the market for your Mac with portability. Silicon Power Rugged Armor A30 external hard drive is not only a portable hard drive but is also shockproof because of the silica gel that surrounds the hard drive that makes it shock resistant and is the best choice for users who travel a lot.
The external hard drive also supports USB 3.0 and come in a storage capacity of up to 1TB with a max transfer rate of 480MBPS. The data cable can also be wrapped around the external hard drive so you won’t forget to pack it while leaving for your journey. It’s fully compatible with the all latest macOS versions and Windows Operating Systems.
Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB Portable Compact Hard Drive for Mac
The best seller product in Amazon with a great customer score. It’s available in black and white colour cases and 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and 3TB capacity. With the USB 3.0 support and reasonable price, Toshiba Canvio Basics is one of the best choices to buy as an external hard drive for Mac. A compact size hard disk that can easily sit on your hand and enable you to carry in a small pocket. The hard disk comes with 5400 RPM and 8MB cache buffer which will make this external hard drive smooth while transferring larger files between Mac computers.
The technology Toshiba has used to protect the hard drive on the go called ‘Shock sensor and Ramp-Loading’. This technology will save your hard drive from accidental drops, but it’s always highly recommended to keep your external hard drives safe without dropping more. Without installing any drivers on Mac or Windows, this hard drive will work on the plug and play mode. It is one of the durable and affordable hard drives on this list, that’s why it’s topping up as a bestseller on the Amazon website.
Seagate Backup Plus Slim
You can say that the Seagate Backup Plus Slim is the thinnest external hard drive for Mac that you can find in the market that offers up to 2TB of storage space and is compatible with Mac OS X 10.12, 10.11 and other versions as well. Seagate Backup Plus Slim also comes in at an affordable price and still offers the same performance that you can get on a high end external hard drive because it supports USB 3.0. Read our earlier guide about the best docking station for Mac Pro laptops.
You also get backup software with the external hard drive but it does not offer security features at all and also comes with only 2 years of limited warranty to compensate for the affordable price.
Seagate Expansion 5TB
Are you looking for a larger capacity external hard drive for Mac? here is the solution. With many happy customers and great reviews, this hard disk is really a good option for photographers and video editors who use Mac desktop or laptop computers. The 5TB capacity will allow you to save lots of files, movies, images and sound files. As a special feature, Seagate Expansion can be connected to an Xbox USB port to increase storage capacity on Xbox.
When you need to use the hard drive with Mac, it needs to be reformatted with Mac OS X. It supports all Mac OS X versions including Yosemite and upcoming El Capitan. It’s called a ‘Desktop drive’, which means it needs to be connected with computer USB and power source, this may not suitable for portability, but still, its worth to have for additional 5TB storage expansion purpose. Whether you need to expand your Mac or Windows computer storage by 5GB at an affordable price, Seagate Expansion 5TB is the best choice as praised by existing users. The price is comparatively cheap with the same capacity as hard drives from other vendors.
The above 5 best external and portable hard drives for Mac on Amazon will suit your requirements and convince you to make the purchase. These models have been selected based on the number of positive reviews, good prices and better performance. In the end, it depends on what you prefer, whether you want a rugged external hard drive like the Silicon Power Armor A30 or a hard drive that offers both better software and more storage space like WD My Book or an affordable hard drive like the Seagate Backup Plus Slim.