Best Shock-Resistant Hard Drives for Mac iMore 2020
Sometimes it's best not to store absolutely everything right on your Mac. For one, it clutters things up, and unless you're willing to upgrade your SSD, which you can't in the latest MacBook Pros, you're going to fill up way too fast. Grab one of these hard drives and know that a shock-resistant enclosure protects your data. Our favorite is the CalDigit Tuff USB-C 2TB for its proven ability to withstand harsh situations.
- Best Overall: CalDigit Tuff USB-C 2TB
- Best Value: Transcend Storejet
- Best Versatility: LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C 2TB
- Best Durability: LaCie Rugged Mini
- Best Aesthetics: ADATA HD 710 Pro
Note: Always keep in mind that just because a hard drive is shock-resistant, that does not mean it is shock-proof. Shock-resistant hard drives can still suffer damage on impact.
Best Overall: CalDigit Tuff USB-C 2TB
CalDigit Tuff is an IP57 (Ingress Protection) certified device. This implies that solids and liquids will have a hard time making their way into the nooks and crannies of this device. The CalDigit Tuff doesn't get its name for no reason. It has been specially engineered to withstand U.S. Military MIL-STD 810G standardized testing. This hard drive is extremely tough!
If you need your hard drive in extreme conditions, this rugged drive may be perfect for you as it has been tested to survive 4-foot drops, it's water-resistant, up to 3 feet for about 30 minutes below water, and it is also dust and sand proof.
This is the perfect hard drive if you're going to have it with you everywhere you go. It comes in bright and funky colors, so you don't have to worry about losing it. It's compatible with Thunderbolt 3 and backwards compatible with the included USB-C to USB-A cable. You'll get transfer speeds of up to 130MB/s and interface speeds of up to 10Gb/s. At $119, this is easily the best option on this list.
- Tested to withstand U.S. Military standardized testing protocols
- Ingress Protection certified device
- Designed for use in extreme conditions
- Can be overkill if you work in an office
An extremely tough and reliable hard drive
This hard drive has been put to the test and can easily withstand extreme environmental conditions.
Best Value: Transcend Storejet
Transcend's 2TB hard drive is military drop-tested for shock resistance, with its three-stage shock protection including a silicone rubber case, a shock-absorbing internal suspension system, and a durable outer casing. It is available in two different color options, iron-gray and military green.
The StoreJet also has a one-touch auto-backup button, which features a 256-bit AES file and folder encryption, and you get access to Transcend's "Elite" data management software. For the cost, this is an excellent drive with tons of space and a hardy build that's sure to last. It features a USB 3.1 Gen 1 interface, which grants rapid file transfers with rates up to 5Gb per second.
- Fast file transfers
- Miltary drop-tested
- Three-stage shock protective design
- Sometimes ships in outdated formatting and needs to be updated before use
This military drop-tested hard drive has a three-stage protective design to ensure that your files are kept extremely safe.
Best Versatility: LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C 2TB
I've never had a LaCie hard drive do me wrong. I used one all through college, and it's still working even now (
eight years later). The LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt is a 2TB drive that features USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt for transfer speeds of up to 240MB/s. It is shock-resistant and can withstand drops up to five feet. Its durable design is also water and dustproof, making it safe to use in all terrains. It is small and compact, measuring at 3.58 x 5.84 x 1.34inches, which makes it great for lugging around with you on the job.
It's powered via Thunderbolt so you can get work done no matter where you are, and if you need a speedy network-attached storage solution in the field, it's compatible with RAID 0 and 1 configurations. This one comes with a USB-C to USB-A cable for backward compatibility, and you can snag it straight from Amazon.
- Can withstand drops of up to 5 feet
- Powered via Thunderbolt
- Safe to use in all terrains
- A little expensive
A versatile, rugged hard drive
The Thunderbolt can withstand a 5-foot drop and is safe to use in all types of terrain.
Best Durability: LaCie Rugged Mini
Similar to the LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt, the LaCie Rugged Mini is an exceptionally durable hard drive. The Rugged Mini is carefully and strategically designed to withstand extreme weather and environmental conditions. It has been put to the test and is rain, drop, and crushproof. The Rugged Mini has been tested to resist the crush of a 1-ton car!
With its signature bright orange rubber sleeve, this hard drive is easily identifiable, so you don't have to worry about losing it on the job. The device measures 5.5 x 3.5 x 1 inches and weighs 10.6 ounces.
The Rugged Mini is easy to use and does not require any installation. Simply, plug your Mac in and start using it! The drive arrives preloaded with Suite software that includes one year's worth of online storage from Wuala. It also has file encryption and Eco power management utility. This is a USB 3.0 hard drive, and it transfers files at a pace of approximately 38.8 MB per second.
- Tested to resist the crush of a 1-ton car
- Bright orange color
- Designed to withstand extreme environmental conditions
- Not as fast as some of its competitors
A mini hard drive tested to resist 1-ton crush
This is a strong external hard drive that's tested to withstand extreme conditions.
Best Aesthetics: ADATA HD 710 Pro
The HD710 from ADATA is 4TD of military-grade shock and water-resistant goodness that has passed both the IEC 60529 IP68 test and the military standard drop-test. This means it's impervious to dust and water. Similar to the Transcend Storejet, the ADATA HD 710 has a triple-layered design for added protection. It is also the most aesthetically pleasing of the drives as it comes in multiple colors and a heavy-duty, attractive design.
This hard drive has been pushed to its limits and has been tested to withstand 60 minutes underwater at 2 meters below. With that said, it is only fully protected if the USB port is firmly closed, so be sure to check that before you go diving with your ADATA HD 710. If you happen to drop your device, it will automatically halt all transfers when a shock is detected, and resume once the vibrations have stopped, keeping your files safe.
For around $160, you get a 1TB hard drive that features USB 3.0, and it's made specifically for Mac, with Time Machine support.
- Passed military standard drop-test
- Triple-layered design for added protection
- Attractive design
- Must fully cover USB port for full waterproof potential
Military- grade shock and water resistent
This hard drive can be plunged 2 meters below water for 60 minutes.
With a ton of options on the market for the best shock-resistant hard drives for Mac, our top choice is the CalDigit Tuff 2TB because of its military tested and proven abilities to resist tough situations.
When you're searching for something rugged and durable to keep your files safe and ensure speedy transferability from your Mac to your hard drive, you want to keep in mind the type of terrain and environmental conditions that you will be working in. If your job or hobby requires you to take save your files while your rafting down a rapid river, or while you're rock climbing up some desert cliff, the hard drives listed above may be exactly what you need.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Camille Sanghera is a freelance writer who loves using the power of words to give individuals and objects a voice. When she is not content writing, you can find her running trails with her dogs or writing fiction and self-help books.
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