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Everyone who owns a computer should have an external hard drive. It’s a great way to keep your files backed up and also make them more portable. Unlike cloud storage, you can have access to a huge amount of storage space without paying a monthly or yearly fee.
With solid state drives becoming more and more prevalent, you can get an external hard drive with a huge amount of storage space for pretty cheap. For less than $100 dollars, you buy an external drive with up to 2 TB. That’s more space than the average person will ever need.
In this list we’ll run through the five best options on the market that have a price tag not exceeding $100. Here we go.
Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB Portable External Hard Drive
This thin, sleek portable hard drive is the thinnest and lightest device on the list. It includes 200GB of cloud storage that is good for two years. This is very convenient for sharing files or portions of your library with friends. If you have a certain amount of important files that you need on hand, the cloud storage is fantastic.
The Seagate mobile device includes backup software that makes the process of transferring your files that much easier. The Seagate transfers files at a very snappy rate with USB 3.0.It’s a very good size, very fast, and packed a lot of storage space for a good price. What else can you ask for? At around $70, this is definitely one of the best options out there, if not THE best.
WD 2TB My Passport Ultra Portable External Hard Drive – USB 3.0
Western Digital, or WD, is an American company that makes very good hard drives for an affordable price. Their My Passport Ultra series is fast, reliable and inexpensive. This model features optional 256-bit AES hardware encryption to better protect your files. It also has an automatic local and cloud backup feature that can save you some time and effort. When you plug it in, you have the option to allow it to do its thing and back up all new data, or you can skip it. Even when it’s set to auto backup, you can still skip the process.
It comes in black, white, blue or red and includes a three-year warranty. costs around $90, which is a good deal for two terabytes of storage in general, but especially from a quality, dependable brand.
Toshiba Canvio Basics 2TB Portable Hard Drive
Toshiba makes really great, durable hard drives. This 2TB model is by no means an exception. It doesn’t require any software to be installed in order to run. It was built with an internal shock sensor and ramp loading technology to keep your hard drive safe and in working order. The shock protection helps protect your drive against drops and accidental bumps, but it’s still advised to keep your Canvio Basics in a case as with any of the other above hard drives.
The Toshiba Canvio Basics is compatible with virtually any Windows system. There is an app included on the drive that allows Mac OSX usage. The Canvio Basics comes in black and includes a one-year warranty. It costs only around $80.
Silicon Power 1TB Rugged Armor A80 Shockproof
This super durable external hard drive is reinforced for extra protection from any kind of hazard that may befall it. It’s waterproof, impact proof (to a certain degree; let’s be reasonable here), and dust proof. Dropping this thing from waist level should be no problem at all. Throwing it across the room at the wall is not recommended, but it would likely be fine. It is MILITARY GRADE. That means it’s designed for the roughest conditions a hard drive can go through.
Despite its armored body, the Silicon Power Rugged Armor A80 is still relatively thin and easily pocket-able. It’s designed with a compartment in the side to conveniently stash away your cable for its USB 3.0 connection. It also includes the free SP Widget that has several features that may come in handy when downloading files or storing them for later. The Rugged Armor A80 comes in multiple colors and costs approximately $70.
Samsung T5 Portable SSD 500GB USB 3.1
The Samsung brand is renowned for quality and dependability. If you’re buying a Samsung, no matter what it may be, it’s almost guaranteed to be good. That reputation isn’t undeserved.
This easily portable storage drive isn’t a mere hard disk drive, though, This is a portable SSD or solid state driver which has far faster read and write speeds than a regular HDD. Simply plug this into your computer via a USB cable and you’ll have half a terabyte of storage that can be accessed or tinkered with with incredible speed.
It may boast a lot less storage than the other items on our list but for this steal of a price of only $80, getting this many gigabytes of an SSD is truly exceptional, even by Samsung’s standards. If you care more about speed and efficiency than you do raw size than this portable SSD is a no-brainer decision.
Brands to avoid
Dane Elec makes very cheap external hard drives that are prone to dying unexpectedly. If longevity is of concern when buying your new external hard drive (as it should be), avoid super budget brands that don’t offer the protection against crashing out that more quality brands may have.