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Portable media storage device reviews

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Last updated: 22 September 2020
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Portable storage lets you take all your files anywhere in your pocket, but what type of drive will best suit your needs? We lab test and review the latest portable storage drives to help you find the best one for your needs. 

Our buying guide reveals what to look for and how we test explains how our experts get their results.

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Our test covers high-capacity USB flash drives, solid state drives (SSDs) and hard drives (HDs).

  • USB flash drives are the most portable
  • Portable SSDs are usually the fastest
  • Portable HDs cost the least per gigabyte (GB).

Our interactive comparison tool helps you find out which drives are the fastest, come with back-up software and have hardware encryption. Our recommended list will help you quickly see which models come out on top.

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Brand

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List of brands we tested in this review.

    Price

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    As of July 2020.

    enter value/s in increments of 1 between 39 and 495

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    Drive type

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    USB flash drive (thumb drive), solid state drive (SSD), or portable hard drive (HD).

      Average read speed (MBps)

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      Real-time throughput is averaged over multiple runs of transferring data sets (large and small files) to and from each drive. Megabytes (MB) were used in the results figures because this is usually the measurement used on packaging.

      enter value/s in increments of i between 108 and 600

      Average write speed (MBps)

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      Real-time throughput is averaged over multiple runs of transferring data sets (large and small files) to and from each drive. Megabytes (MB) were used in the results figures because this is usually the measurement used on packaging.

      enter value/s in increments of i between 24 and 507

      Capacity (GB)

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      Storage capacity in gigabytes (GB). One terabyte (TB) is equivalent to 1000 gigabytes.

      enter value/s in increments of i between 128 and 5000

      USB Type-A 3.0 or 3.1 port (5Gbps)

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      Has rectangular USB Type-A port for USB 3.0 or 3.2 (Gen-1) connection with speed up to 5Gbps (gigabits per second).

        Included in this review

        Members-only access
        • Recommended
        • Overall score
        • Performance score
        • Ease of use score
        • Software versatility score
        • Average write speed (MBps)
        • Average read speed (MBps)
        • Weight (g)
        • Good points
        • Bad points
        • Brand
        • Model
        • Availability
        • Buy now
        • Price
        • Drive type
        • Capacity (GB)
        • Cost per GB ($)
        • Power management software
        • Hardware encryption
        • Software encryption
        • File backup software
        • Image backup software
        • Needs reformatting for Mac
        • Online storage
        • Size DxWxH (mm)
        • Connector type
        • USB Type-C cable included
        • USB Type A cable included
        • USB Type-A 3.0 or 3.1 port (5Gbps)
        • USB Type-C 3.2 Gen-1 port (5Gbps)
        • USB Type-C 3.2 Gen-2 (10Gbps) port
        • Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C) port (40Gbps)
        • Default file format
        • Full model name and number
        • Warranty (years)

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