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Portable hard drive reviews

We test 13 portable hard drives in the CHOICE labs, including models from Toshiba, Seagate, Buffalo and more.

Last updated: 4th June 2014

We compared 13 portable hard drives available in nine brands in the largest capacities from each manufacturer to see which offer the best combination of performance, features and value. They range from 1TB to 4TB (terabytes).

Portable hard drives have finally broken the capacity barrier that for so long has relegated them to being the poor cousins to desktop drives. You can now buy a drive with up to 4TB of storage space. The release of the first 4TB portable drive, the Seagate Backup Plus Fast, was just in time for our test.

Three drives tested are ruggedised, meaning they're designed to more easily take the knocks and bumps of everyday usage while on the go, while several offer encryption security for greater peace of mind in the event of a loss.

We also compared these standard spinning disc hard drives to a super-fast external solid-state drive (SSD) to see how they stack up in the battle for best bang for your buck.

Brands and models tested

# All hard drives include USB 3.0

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Our test report compares products across these 28 criteria.

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