These USB-C hard drives for Mac can back up or beef up your storage

Best
USB-C Hard Drives for Mac
iMore
2022
You might be wondering why you need a USB-C hard drive for your Mac. Here’s why: even if you use cloud storage to back up all of your data, you should always have a safe “hard” copy on a hard drive if your data is important, so you’re covered in any eventuality. Here are a few options to get you started on your search for the best USB-C hard drive for your Mac.

Long-lasting:
LaCie Rugged 1TB External Hard Drive – Portable HDD USB 3.0

Staff Pick

You can find this one on the shelf of your local Apple store and just about any place that sells hard drives for good reason: it’s reliable. The body is rubberized to help it stand up to daily wear and tear. Choose from 1TB and up, whatever you need for all of your files, documents, Final Cut projects, and much more.

Pro favorite:
SanDisk G-Drive USB-C Hard Drive from 4TB

This hard drive is designed for storage-intensive, multimedia files such as HD video, photos, and music. With support for up to 45 watts of USB Power Delivery through the USB-C port, this drive can charge your compatible MacBook or MacBook Pro so you don’t even have to use a separate MacBook charger.

From $185 at Amazon

From $185 at Best Buy

Best for speed:
Samsung T7 Portable SSD – External Solid State Drive

Samsung’s T7 SSD is a solid-state drive that provides way faster transfer rates than physical hard drives. Solid-state drives don’t have moving parts, so if you happen to drop this one, there’s less to break! SSDs are more expensive, but with this one, you get write speeds of up to 1,050MB/s. If you like to store TV shows and movies on your hard drive, consider a solid-state drive! Capacity ranges from 500GB to 2TB.

From $78 at Amazon

From $80 at Best Buy

Rugged pick:
Glyph Blackbox Plus – 1TB mobile hard drive

The Glyph Blackbox Plus is a rugged, portable hard drive that can keep up with you wherever you go. It’s surrounded by rubber to protect from drops and has enough capacity for all your backups and then some. You get write speeds of up to 140MB/s from just 5400RPM, and It also features fan-free heat dissipation, so it’s nice and quiet.

From $120 at Amazon

From $120 at B&H

Perfectly balanced:
Western Digital My Passport SSD – Portable External Solid State Drive

When we reviewed the Western Digital My Passport SSD, we were impressed by its lightning-fast read/write speeds: read speeds of up to 1050MB/s2 and write speeds of up to 1000MB/s2. Add to that its small, lightweight form factor, drop-resistance, good software support, password protection with hardware encryption, and the fact that works with both Mac and Windows — and you’ve got a winner here.

Durable and tiny:
CalDigit Tuff Nano Plus 2TB – Compact Rugged IP67 External SSD

CalDigit’s Tuff hard drives are rugged and colorful. They offer USB-C connectivity, and there’s even a USB-C to USB-A cable for backward compatibility. With an IP67 rating, these drives are water-resistant in three feet of water for up to 30 minutes. These ultra-portable hard drives are dust-resistant, so you can take yours with you anywhere, knowing that your data is safe from the elements.

2TB: $320 at Amazon

Easily portable:
SanDisk Extreme SSD – Extreme Portable SSD

You may know SanDisk for its SD cards, but its hard drives are excellent as well. This solid-state drive is smaller than the average smartphone and has a hole in it so that you can clip it onto a bag. It’s shock-resistant and ruggedly designed, so it’s perfect for life on the move.

From $104 at Amazon

Great value:
WD 2TB My Passport Ultra – Portable External Hard Drive HDD for Mac

Western Digital makes some of the best hard drives around, and this well-priced USB-A and USB-C compatible model fits right in with all its other excellent drives. It’s made for Mac and is Time Machine ready. Capacity starts at 2TB and goes up from there.

Nicely priced:
Toshiba Canvio Flex – Portable External Hard Drive USB-C

This flexible option works with your Mac, PC, or tablet; it’s formatted exFAT for cross-device compatibility. It comes equipped with both USB-C and USB-A cables. Choose from 1TB, 2TB, or 4TB options. Toshiba backs this hard drive with a three-year warranty.

From $58 at Amazon

Looking good:
Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch – 1TB External Hard Drive

This USB-C hard drive from Seagate not only works incredibly well, but it also looks good doing it. The simple lines keep it from looking like clutter, and the fabric cover adds a designer touch. Choose from black or white to go with any decor.

From $65 at Amazon

From $65 at Best Buy

Tower of storage:
LaCie STHA4000800 d2 – 4TB External Hard Drive Desktop

This towering device starts at 4TB of storage and goes up to 18TB, so this is one way you want to go if you have quite a bit to store. It works interchangeably with Mac and Windows, so if you need to go back and forth between computers, this one’s ideal.

Ultra mega:
SanDisk Professional G-RAID 2 – Enterprise-Class 2-Bay Desktop Drive

If none of the above have quite enough storage for you, the monster SanDisk Professional G-RAID 2 is what you want, with up to 40TB of storage. It sports dual Thunderbolt 3 ports plus a single USB-C port, two 7200RPM Ultrastar hard drives inside, and daisy-chaining for up to five additional devices.

From $600 at Amazon

From $600 at B&H

What if you have an older hard drive with a USB-A plug?
You may already have a perfectly good hard drive, except that it has a USB-A plug. We have a list of the best USB-C hubs for you, so you can use it with your newer model Mac. The current MacBook Pro lineup has added back HDMI and SDXC slots to certain models in addition to Thunderbolt/USB-C ports, but no USB-A ports. That’s OK because USB-C is fast and future-proof.
Our USB-C hard drive recommendation for your Mac
External hard drives are must-have peripherals for anyone with a computer. If you back up your Mac in multiple places, then your data is far safer, and you’re prepared for anything. They give you additional storage space, which can quickly fill up laptops, and are essential to backing up your data safely and securely. All of the USB-C hard drives for Mac on this list are easy to set up and start using right away. All you have to do is plug one into your Mac. If you’re getting an external hard drive, make sure it can connect to your Mac.
If you’re buying a USB-C hard drive for your Mac, the LaCie Rugged is our staff’s favorite portable hard drive because it’s affordable and reliable. It’s Mac-ready but can also be used with Windows computers. If 1TB isn’t enough, there are also 2TB, 4TB, and 5TB versions available. The LaCie Rugged of yesteryear got former iMore Editor-in-Chief Lory through her entire post-secondary education, and now that there’s a USB-C option, it’ll help get you (and maybe even your children!) through school or work with reliability and that fast connection.
On the other hand, if you want something super portable, lightweight, and inexpensive, the SanDisk Extreme SSD is a great pick. It’s roughly the size of your iPhone, and you can even clip it to your bag when you’re on the go.

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