Best External Drive

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .


This is the best.

SAMSUNG T7 SSD 20210415 M7dHD-s1000
SAMSUNG T7 Portable SSD 1TB Up to 1050MB/s - USB 3.2 External Solid State Drive, Gray (MU-PC1T0T/AM) Buy at amazon

I have USB 3.1, not USB 3.2, so i don't have the 1050MB/s speed. However, this is cheaper than the previous Samsung version for USB 3. Some say this gets hot. Maybe so when used on USB 3.2. But not when used on USB 3.1 on my machine.


SanDisk 1TB External SSD xkpqc
Buy at amazon

Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch

Bought this at Costco around 2019-12-24.

Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch 2TB HDD 20200823 p7nqV-s900
Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch 2TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD USB-C USB 3.0 Buy at amazon

It's smaller than a iphone and less heavy than a iphone.

It uses a standard USB cable. (included) USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Micro-B Type A-Male to Micro B Male

Not sure i can recommend it. I didn't reformat the drive. It is exFAT. works perfectly on a Mac. But then i got a gaming machine running Microsoft Windows 10, pluggin it cause system to not start up.

Reformatting the disk to NTFS will probably solve the problem.

Disk Speed Comparison

disk speed ADATA SU630 ssd 2021-01-09
ADATA SU630 240GB Internal SATA SSD
(from Xah's Gaming Machine, 2021) Buy at amazon
DiskMark64 u0JxNusGhz XJxHN
SAMSUNG T7 Portable SSD 500GB
Up to 1050MB/s - USB 3.2 External Solid State Drive, (MU-PC500H/AM)
Used via usb 3.1
Buy at amazon
disk speed Seagate ST1000DM010 2021-01-09
Seagate BarraCuda 1TB Internal Hard Drive HDD – 3.5 Inch SATA 6 Gb/s 7200 RPM 64MB Cache for Computer Desktop PC Buy at amazon
disk speed external hdd usb3 2021-01-09 S6tbB
Via USB 3.1, 2021-01-09.
Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch 2TB HDD

Why is it Called Drive?

Now, what's the etymology of drive in hard drive?

In the 1990s we have have floppy disks, because it is disk shape and it is floppy. Then, the reader device is a drive, as in drive mechanism, because it needs to spin the disk. Then, comes hard disk, hard cuz it's not floppy. Then, abridgment, we got just hard drive. Then, just drive, as in, external drive. But, today's external drive don't really have spinning disk so actually no drive mechanism. More fitting term today is storage device, and external storage device.

Flash Drive vs Spinning Harddisk. Which is Better? Which Store Data Longer?

Am thinking getting a backup drive that won't lose data after 2 years non-use.

After some research on flash drive vs hard disk, for small backup expecting to last at least 3 years, it's kinda mixed bag. No absolute say which is better. Rather, you want to shop for expensive high quality ones, either tech.

Reformat Drive, and Which File System to Use

For a technology nerd, I recommend to always to reformat your drive after you bought it.

As of 2021, i recommend:

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