Best USB-C Hard Drives for Mac iMore 2020
The current line of MacBook Pro only has Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, but that's OK because USB-C is fast, future-proof, and will likely replace standard USB, HDMI, DisplayPort, power, and more. A USB-C hard drive is the perfect storage box to locally back up all of your most essential files, including photos, documents, music, movies, and anything else that's important to you. Save your Mac's hard drive and pick up a USB-C hard drive. Here are a few options to get you started on your search.
- Fan favorite: G-Technology G-Drive 1TB
- Best for video: Samsung 5X Portable SSD
- Upgrade option: SanDisk Extreme 900 SSD 480GB, 960GB, 1.92TB
- Best value: G-Technology G-Drive SSD R-Series
- Long-lasting: LaCie Rugged 2TB
- Durable and reliable: CalDigit Tuff 2TB
- Compact pick: SanDisk Extreme SSD
The G-Drive by G-Technology is a great USB-C hard drive for most people. It has 1TB of storage and features a quick drive speed of 7200RPM, with transfer rates of up to 136MB/s, thanks to USB 3.1. It comes in silver, as well as Apple-exclusive colours: gold, rose gold, and space grey.
With read and write speeds of up to 2,800MB/s and 2,300MB/s respectively, this portable drive is perfect for videographers. It's designed for rendering and compiling high res photos and videos with up to 40Gb/s data transfer. It also looks like the Ferrari of external hard drives.
SanDisk's Extreme 900 SSD is a powerhouse solid-state drive that offers up to nine times the transfer speeds of external hard drives. It's made of durable aluminium and rubber, and the solid-state core is shock-proof. So, this is far less likely to die on you should you drop it (compared to hard drives).
With a low price for 1TB, G-Technology's G-Drive SSD is one of the more versatile solid-state drives on the market, and it comes recommended by Apple itself. You'll get transfer rates of up to 560MBps, and it comes with both a USB-C to USB-C and a USB-C to USB-A cable.
The LaCie Rugged of yesteryear got me through my entire post-secondary education, and now that there's a USB-C option, it'll help get you (and maybe even your children!) through school or work with reliability and that fast connection. The body is rubberized to help it stand up to daily wear and tear, and 2TB should be more than enough for all of your files, documents, Final Cut projects, and much more. There's a 2-year warranty on these, which includes data recovery services.
CalDigit's Tuff hard drives are rugged, colourful 2TB drives that offer USB-C connectivity and there's even a USB-C to USB-A cable for backward compatibility. With an IP57 rating, these drives are water-resistant in three feet of water for up to 30 minutes. They're dust-resistant, so you can take yours with you anywhere knowing that your data is safe from the elements.
You may know SanDisk for its SD cards, but its hard drives are excellent as well. This solid-state drive is smaller than the average smartphone and has a hole in it so that you can clip it to a bag. It's shock-resistant and ruggedly designed, so it's perfect for life on the move.
Our personal favourite
External hard drives are must-have peripherals for anyone with a computer. They give you additional storage space, which can fill up fast on laptops, and are essential to backing up your data safely and securely. Every one of the drives on this list is easy to set up and start using right away. All you have to do is plug one into your Mac.
The G-Drive is our staff's favourite portable hard drive because it's affordable and reliable. It's Mac-ready but can also be reformatted for Windows computers. If 1TB isn't enough, there is also a 2TB, 4TB, and 5TB version available. The G-Drive is backed by a three-year limited warranty.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.