Skip to content   Skip to footer navigation 

Portable media storage device reviews

Last updated: 22 February 2019

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

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

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

  • USB drives with 128GB capacity
  • SSDs with around 500GB capacity or 1TB capacity
  • Portable hard drives with 4TB (terabytes) capacity

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

Show less

Brand

Expand to view more details.

List of brands we tested in this review.

    Price

    Expand to view more details.

    As of February 2019.

    enter value/s in increments of 1 between 49 and 495

    Recommended products

    Remove product

    Member only

    This test score is for members only. Join now to unlock our expert results.

    Already a member?

    Drive type

    Expand to view more details.

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

      Average read speed (MBps)

      Expand to view more details.

      Connected with USB 3.0, 3.1 gen-1 or 3.1 gen-2 using either a USB-A or USB-C connector. 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 because this is usually the measurement used on packaging.

      enter value/s in increments of i between 108 and 539

      Average write speed (MBps)

      Expand to view more details.

      Connected with USB 3.0, 3.1 gen-1 or 3.1 gen-2 using either a USB-A or USB-C connector. 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 because this is usually the measurement used on packaging.

      enter value/s in increments of i between 24 and 430

      Capacity (GB)

      Expand to view more details.

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

      enter value/s in increments of i between 128 and 4000

      USB 3.1 (Gen-1)

      Expand to view more details.

      USB 3.1 (Gen-1) is same as USB 3.0. Nominal speed is 5Gbps (gigabits per second), or 625MBps (megabytes per second). May use USB-A shape connector or USB-C shape connector.

        USB 3.1 (Gen-2)

        Expand to view more details.

        USB 3.1 (Gen-2). Nominal speed is twice that of USB-C Gen-1/USB 3.0 at 10Gbps (gigabits per second), or 1250MBps (megabytes per second). Uses USB-C shape connector.

          Included in this review

          Members-only access
          • Recommended
          • Overall score
          • Performance score
          • Ease of use score
          • Software versatility score
          • Average read speed (MBps)
          • Average write speed (MBps)
          • Weight (g)
          • Good points
          • Bad points
          • Brand
          • Model
          • Price
          • Drive type
          • Capacity (GB)
          • Available user space (GB)
          • Cost per GB ($)
          • Size DxWxH (mm)
          • Default file format
          • Needs reformatting for Mac
          • Power management software
          • Hardware encryption
          • Software encryption
          • File backup software
          • Image backup software
          • Online storage
          • USB-A connection
          • USB-C connection
          • USB 3.1 (Gen-1)
          • USB 3.1 (Gen-2)
          • Warranty (years)

          Results

          Your filters

          Clear all filters

          Product selected for a detailed comparison

          Clear all
          Join 160 000 members using our independent test results to avoid costly mistakes. Get full access to all our tests and reviews.