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10 Best External Hard Drives for Video Editing 2021

Is your Laptop or PC running out of hard drive storage space?

As a videographer, at some point, you will find yourself running out of storage space due to handling huge files. Since you cannot rely on your laptop hard drive to store large video files, it would be nice to invest in an external drive and make video editing easier for you.

As you know, there are many external hard drives in the market and you may find yourself asking this question:

What are the best external hard drives for video editing?

Thankfully, today’s article will tackle this question and help you find the best external hard drive to store your videos and other files.

From the best HDD to the best portable SSD for YouTubers and video editors. We got you covered all around.

Can External Hard Drives Store Videos?

Absolutely, external hard drives can store videos. Get this, the hard drive not only enables you to store videos, but you also benefit from storing documents, pictures, audios, and even programs.

Plugged into your laptop via a USB port, all you need is to copy your videos and other files to the external hard drive.

Be aware that external hard drives come in different sizes, with the smallest holding around 128GB to the largest going up to 20TB.

 Is HDD or SSD Better for Long-Term Storage?

Generally, HDD (Hard Disk Drives) are better for long-term storage than SSD (Solid State Drives) provided they are kept in a free static free environment. This means to ensure your data stays intact you need to keep away the HDD from magnets or electromagnets.

Furthermore, the HDD is capable of sustaining memory for 10 years, unlike the SSD. The reason behind this is that where the SSD memory is concerned, it requires power to maintain the data saved on it.

That means you can’t leave the SSD unplugged for long since the charges that define bits in the flash do degrade especially at a higher temperature. Sadly, once the charge is gone, the memory is gone which leaves you with no backup videos or files.

Nonetheless, if the SSD drive is in constant use, then you can use it for a longer time too. The downside is that it is more expensive than an HDD. But, this is understandable since it is much faster, lighter, and less power-hungry than the HDD.

TOP 10 Best Hard Drives for Video Editing

NameCapacity up toTypeTransferCheck

SanDisk Extreme PRO

2TBSSDUSB 3.2 (Gen 2×2) Price

G-Technology G-Drive Mobile

2TBSSDUSB 3.1 (Gen 2) Price

WD 4TB My Book

16TBHDDUSB 3.0
Price

LaCie Rugged Mini

5TBHDDUSB 3.0
Price

SAMSUNG T7 Touch

2TBSSDUSB 3.1 (Gen 2) Price

GNARBOX 2.0

1TBSSDUSB 3.0 Type-C
Price

LaCie d2 Professional

14TBHDDUSB 3.0 Type-C Price

ADATA SD700

1TBSSDUSB 3.0
Price

Samsung X5

2TBSSDThunderbolt 3 Price

iStorage diskAshur2

5TBHDDUSB 3.0
Price

1. SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD – Best External SSD for Video Editing

Best External SSD for Video EditingSanDisk Extreme Pro is our top choice due to its small, thin, and fast performance which is required if you are video editor and searching for the best storage. Meant to make your editing go fast, the SSD is also quiet as a mouse beating hands-down most SSD’s in the market.

The SanDisk Extreme Pro mostly shares similar features and specifications with SanDisk Extreme. For instance, both offer shockproof and waterproof features which you miss in most Samsung drives like the Samsung T7.

More so, the Samsung T7 is prone to dent and scratches which isn’t the case with the SanDisk Extreme Pro even when placed on a desk. Unfortunately, the cables found on the SanDisk Extreme Pro are pretty short unlike the ones provided by Samsung drives.

Also, both the Extreme Pro and SanDisk Extreme drives have space on their cover to hook a carabiner. This is very cool for hanging the drive under your desk rather than placing it on the desk.

What’s more, both SanDisk drives share the same class ratings which are class 10, u3, and V30. Nevertheless; the extreme is only 1050 MB/s while the extreme pro is 2000 MB/s. This 2000 MB/s- USB C, USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 is really fast making transferring videos much easier.

Note that, the USB 3rd (3.2) generation is much faster than the USB 2nd generation when using the SanDisk Extreme Pro. If you aren’t sure if the disk is compatible with your computer/laptop, get a USB Type C or Type-A cable.

Check the Price

Main Specifications:

Capacities:500GB, 1TB and 2TB
Drive Type:Solid State
Transfer Protocol:USB 3.2 Gen 2×2
Sequential Reads:Up to  2000 MB/ s (New Generation) 1050MB/s (Old Generation)
Warranty:5 years
PROS:
  • Built quality is great and device size is nice
  • Simple to use and extremely fast
  • More durable than a regular hard drive
  • Good for international travel as the airport scans cannot erase the memory
CONS:
  • There is no LED to tell you when the drive is actively in use
  • Pricey, but worth it if you like the speed
  • Only with USB 3.1 Gen 2 you get the full read/write speed
Final Verdict:

The SanDisk Extreme Pro doesn’t disappoint when it comes to its beautiful and sleek design, sturdiness, capacity, and portability. Though it is pricey, the drive seems to work well even when transferring files between Windows or Mac, making it one of the best external hard drives for video editing.


2. G-Technology G-Drive Mobile SSD – Best Value External SSD for iOS Users

Best Value External SSD for iOS UsersIs uncompromising speed and build quality of external drive your primary concern?

Then look no further than the G-Technology G-Drive Mobile. A solid storage device that can survive bumps and drops, the G-Drive Mobile is not only powerful but small in size. All these features and even more makes the G-Drive the best value SDD for iOS users especially when on the road.

So, the drive lights up when in use which is a great security feature. It also doesn’t sleep which means it is immediately available after waking up your machine.

Protected by an aluminum core, the SDD is super durable as the flash memory is encased in a solid rubber shell with breathable slats. The slats act like a cooling fan which means there is no absolute heat or noise coming from the drive.

Not only that, the G-Drive Mobile comes with two cables, a USB -C/USB and a USB- C/ USB-C. Too bad, the cables are 2 ½ inches which are absurdly short when compared to other drives offered by competitors such as Sabrent.

When it comes to usage, the G-Drive Mobile works right out of the box with Mac or iPad devices via the USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 (Thunderbolt 3) connection. Nonetheless, if you are a Windows user you must reformat the drive for your computer to recognize it.

So, unless you need to cross-platform between Mac and your PC, just format the drive to NTFS as it’s more stable than exFAT. That’s why we like this SSD for iOS users.

Check the Price

Main Specifications:

Capacities:500GB, 1TB and 2TB
Drive Type:Solid State
Transfer Protocol:USB 3.1 Gen 2
Sequential Reads:560MB/s
Warranty:5 years
PROS:
  • Solid construction
  • Easy to set up and use especially with Mac devices
  • Super-fast
  • Lightweight and very small
  • Lights up when in use
CONS:
  • Comes with very short cables
  • No password protection
  • Doesn’t have a backup utility
Final Verdict:

Although the G-Drive Mobile SSD disappoints us for its short cables; it doesn’t cut corners when it comes to its performance.

Leading other brands with its super-fast SDD’s, its high price doesn’t go to waste as you get to cut your transferring time in half. In addition, you also get a sweet bonus on top with its 5-year warranty.


3. WD 4TB My Book Hard Drive – Best Budget External HDD Storage for Videos

Best Budget External HDD Storage for VideosAre you searching for the best budget external HDD for your videos? We have a great device to offer you.

To our mind, the best budget external HDD for videos in 2021 is the WD 4TB My Book Hard Drive which comes from a major player in external drives known as Western Digital.

Made exclusively to expand the storage on your laptop or PC, the drive weighs 1 kg and is black in color. Also, the WD 4TB My Book comes equipped with WD Backup software and Time machine compatibility, ensuring your videos are safe at all times.

What’s more, the WD4TB My Book drive comes with an AC power adapter that powers the drive and a USB 3.0 interface that provides high read and writes speed. This is great for video creators who are frequently backing up their videos as well as other files.

The good news is that you can set the WD 4TB My Book Hard drive to run automatically to your schedule, therefore, ensuring all your work is backed up all the time.

Housing a 4TB Hitachi Deskstar 5K4000 drive, the My Book is a big device covered by poly-carbonate casing. On the top and bottom sides of the drive are heat vents that remove any heat from the drive. Though there is some vibration when the drive is running, it is less noisy compared to the fw800 My Book Duo model.

Don’t forget, the WD My Book drive also has a Discovery tool that enables you to bring all your videos from social media and cloud storage to one place.

Keep in mind, the drive is pre-formatted in ex-FAT which is good for Mac users. However, for Windows users, you first need to format the drive to NTFS before using it.

Check the Price

Main Specifications:

Capacities:3TB, 4TB, 6TB, 8TB, 12TB, 14TB, 16TB
Drive Type:Hard Disk Drive
Transfer Protocol:USB 3.0
Sequential Reads:Up to 160 MB/s
Warranty:3 years
PROS:
  • Pretty gorgeous
  • Budget-friendly
  • Speedy performance for its price
  • Very simple setup
CONS:
  • Requires external power adapter to operate
  • Comes pre-formatted in exFAT
  • It comes only in black color
  • Doesn’t support USB-C
Final Verdict:

The WD My Book 4TB drive is truly the best budget external HDD for storing videos for content creators, professionals as well as home users in 2021. Though its speeds aren’t the best considering it houses a 5700RPM drive, your huge media collection will be safely stored for the long term.


4. LaCie Rugged Mini External Hard Drive – Best Rugged External HDD for Videos

Best Rugged External HDD for VideosIf you are tired of standard hard drives that aren’t dust, rain, or shock resistant? Get the LaCie Rugged Mini External Hard Drive which is TOP class rugged external hard drive for travelers.

Totally the best rugged external HDD for videos in 2021, the drive is covered with a bright orange rubber around the entire perimeter.

The LaCie Rugged Mini Drive is fitted with USB 3.0 and comes with a variety of storage capacities. Owned by Seagate, the drive is great as it powers itself off with only one USB cable. Just make sure to be careful with the USB connector on the drive since it is very flimsy.

Unfortunately, it easily disconnects on the slightest movement which will cause major problems when transferring your files. To avoid this ensures you push the cord into the unit a little harder or stop moving your laptop around.

When it comes to usage, the Rugged Mini Drive works easily with Windows but not Mac OS systems. That said, for Mac OS users, you can use exFAT to enable your machine to detect the drive. Keep in mind, the drive is only compatible with Mac OS 10.9 and above.

Check the Price

Main Specifications:

Capacities:1TB and 2TB, 4TB, and 5TB
Drive Type:Hard Disk Drive
Transfer Protocol:USB 3.0 (USB 2.0-compatible)
Sequential Reads:1050MB/s
Warranty:2 years
PROS:
  • Very durable portable drive
  • Rugged construction
  • Decent transfer rate
  • No formatting for PC users
  • Drive is powered through the USB port, so there is no need for a power adapter
CONS:
  • A bit pricey
  • A limited selection of preloaded utilities
  • No password protection
  • Drop protection will only work when the hard drive isn’t switched on
Final Verdict:

A handy HDD for video content and editing, the LaCie Rugged Mini is a great option for taking data on the go. Though it is a bit costly, its durable design and okay USB 3.0 performance makes, in our opinion, the LaCie Rugged Mini Drive is one of the best rugged external HDD for videos.


5. SAMSUNG T7 Touch Portable SDD – TOP Security Portable SSD for YouTubers

TOP Security Portable SSD for YouTubersIs security your top priority? Then you can invest in the Samsung T7 Touch State Solid Drive.

An incredible portable SDD for YouTubers and content creators, the SAMSUNG T7 Touch is extremely fast. Slim and nice-looking, the T7 surprisingly is the same size as a regular credit card.

The Samsung T7 Touch essentially has some identical features to the Samsung T7. But mind you, the T7 Touch drive has a fingerprint reader which isn’t found in the non-touch T7. The fingerprint reader is highly popular with YouTubers as well as other content creators since it keeps their files safe.

The drive comes with two USB cables capable of using with it with USC- C or your USB port. However, to get the full speed of the drive, ensure your devices have a USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 port.

Otherwise, if it doesn’t have this port, you will feel like you are using the same speed as the Samsung T5. Interestingly the T7 Touch plugs into the USB port on Samsung Smart TVs enabling you to watch your YouTube videos clearly.

Just be aware that once you unlock the drive, it remains unlocked until you disconnect the drive or shut down your machine. Although this saves you time from unlocking many times, it does pose a threat especially if you leave your machine unattended.

Also be warned that if you forget your password, you won’t be able to format the SDD to remove your forgotten password.

Check the Price

Main Specifications:

Capacities:500GB, 1TB and 2TB
Drive Type:Solid State Drive
Transfer Protocol:USB 3.1 Gen 2
Sequential Reads:1050MB/s
Warranty:3 years
PROS:
  • Slim and nice-looking
  • Very portable
  • Offers fingerprint reader and password protection system
  • Stays relatively cool
  • Fast file transfer
CONS:
  • Pricey
  • Fingerprint takes a few seconds to read
  • Cannot access the fingerprint reader if you are using macOS
  • Requires you to use Samsung’s software to set up a fingerprint and password system
Final Verdict:

Though it has its downsides, the Samsung T7 Touch is the perfect drive for you as a YouTuber or video editor. Apart from keeping your laptop's memory clear of large files, you also get to keep your videos safe for a very long time. One of the best external hard drives for video editing and YouTubers who love traveling.


6. GNARBOX 2.0 SSD – High Performance Portable SSD for Video Editing Experience

High Performance Portable SSD for Video Editing ExperienceIf you want to take your video editing experience to the next level, purchase the GNARBOX 2.0 SSD. A great improvement from the GNARBOX SSD – based version, GNARBOX 2.0 comes with a lot of useful features.

These include a super-fast SSD storage from 256GB to 1TB in capacity, a new OLED display and even a removable battery. Please note, the removable battery enables you to pack extra battery when on the move.

What’s more, the drive is water and dust resistance but not entirely waterproof like the ioSafe Solo Hawk drive. So, even if it is protected from the odd rain showers, you should keep the Gnarbox 2.0 from downpouring rain.

Serving as a mini-computer that fits in the palm of your hand, the GNARBOX 2.0 is also capable of other important things. First off you can be able to transcode your videos through the Safekeep or Selects mobile apps.

The former is used for performing backups and firmware updates, while the latter uses Photo Mechanic’s technology for previewing videos and images.

Keep in mind, by default the GNARBOX 2.0 stores all your videos and other media files in backup folders organized by capture data. Luckily, this makes it super easy to sort out your files once you get back to your machine.

Check the Price

Main Specifications:

Capacities:256GB, 512 G and 1TB
Drive Type:Solid State Drive
Transfer Protocol:USB 3.0 Type-C
Sequential Reads:Up to 350MB/s
Warranty:1 Year(but goes to 2 years if you register your drive with GNARBOX)
PROS:
  • An extremely rugged case that is Water, Dust & Shock resistant
  • Quick and efficient backup of videos
  • Incredible integration with existing mobile and tablets
  • Removable battery
  • Dual function ( works as a Card Reader and External HD)
  • The drive enables users to edit directly from it
CONS:
  • Pricey
  • Rebooting the device can be slow
  • Requires user to follow app workflow to save the videos
Final Verdict:

Unlike its predecessor that could not live up to video creators expectations, the GNARBOX 2.0 doesn’t disappoint one bit. A professional drive for video creators, its performance is miles ahead of the GNARBOX drive. Also, the dual USB-C ports enable you to easily copy videos to two separate storage devices. This makes it a superb backup drive when working at home or on the road.


7. LaCie d2 Professional HDD – Professional External HDD for Video Editors

Professional External HDD for Video EditorsFor a professional external HDD for video editors, look no further than the LaCie d2. A good-looking premium-built drive, the Lacie d2 is ideal for video editors and other media professionals.

Similar to previous models when it comes to design, the front side of the drive is clean except for the blue light. However, the light is mostly too bright which can become a distraction but you can solve this by wrapping a black electric tape around it.

Moving on, the rear side of the drive has a single USB-C port and a power port while at the bottom; there is a stand to keep the drive upright. Unfortunately, the stand limits you from laying the drive down.

When it comes to performance, the USB-C transfer rate is quite high and the best part is it is very quiet with no heat issues. The only concern is that the drive doesn’t have an on/off switch. This means you need to unmount the drive and plug off the power completely every time you finish your backup.

Check the Price

Main Specifications:

Capacities:4TB, 6TB, 8TB, 10TB, 14TB
Drive Type:Hard Disk Drive
Transfer Protocol:USB 3.0 Type-C
Sequential Reads:240MB/s
Warranty:5 years
PROS:
  • Sleek and compact design
  • Transfers speeds are super-fast
  • Straight forward plug and play
  • Doesn’t make any sound due to its lack of fan and a heat sink design
  • Capacity is remarkable for the price
CONS:
  • The blue light is distracting
  • No Thunderbolt 3, only USB-C port at the back of the drive
Final Verdict:

When it comes to capacity, speed, and design, the LaCie d2 beats a lot of other hard disks hand down. Offering massive capacity in a small footprint, content creators and other professionals won’t go wrong with this drive.


8. ADATA SD700 – Best Portable SSD for Travel YouTubers

Best Portable SSD for Travel YouTubersOne of the best portable SSDs for travel YouTubers, ADATA SD700 ensures you can carry your media files at all times.

Sleek and compact design, this pocket-sized drive is smaller than the ADATA AC660 and SV620 but larger than the SE730.

With a fast performance than your average HDD, the SD700 uses the latest 3D NAND triple-level cell technology to achieve fast, consistent, and more efficient performance every time. For instance, the drive can handle a 5GB video file in just 26 seconds. Amazing, right?

That aside, when it comes to durability, the SD700 is on point as it’s made of a solid metal shell that is protected by a non-removable rubber ring. The rubber casing makes it shockproof in addition to dust and waterproof nature. Unfortunately, due to its material, the case picks up lint easily.

As for ports accessibility, the ADATA SD700 comes with a short USB 3.0 Micro-B male to USB 3.01 Type-A male cable. This means the drive is compatible with Windows, macOS and Android devices, but there is a bit of limitation for devices that use USC-C support.

So, if you own a MacBook Pro or Android device with USB-C ports, you need to purchase a USB 3rd generation female to USB-A male adapter. Also, for macOS users, don’t forget you need to format first the drive to exFAT as it comes pre-formatted in NTFS for windows.

Check the Price

Main Specifications:

Capacities:256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Drive Type:Solid State Drive (SSD)
Transfer Protocol:USB 3.0
Sequential Reads:440MB/s
Warranty:3 years
PROS:
  • Ultra-portable
  • Rugged, compact design
  • Fast transfer performance
  • Water and Dustproof as well as military-grade Shockproof
  • Decent price
CONS:
  • No USB Type-C
  • The door covering the port can wear out over time
  • Rubber cover attracts lint easily
Final Verdict:

A great travel drive, the ADATA SD700 compact size and excellent design are definitely meant for YouTubers on move. A great improvement from previous ADATA models, the SD700 performs superbly well due to its fast performance which isn’t found with most drives its price.


9. Samsung X5 Portable SSD – Best Thunderbolt 3 External SSD for Windows Users

Best Thunderbolt 3 External SSD for Windows UsersSamsung’s first NVMe-based portable SSD with Thunderbolt 3 interface, the X5 brings a lot to the table, especially for Windows users.

Having improved from the previous models, the Portable SSD X5 comes with a durable design, AES256-bit hardware encryption and updated storage interfaces.

However, the drive comes formatted in a way that is easy to use in Windows but not on Mac. But still, as a Mac user, you can still use it. All you have to do is reformat as APFS-encrypted and you get the benefits of the APFS file system which is designed for SSD.

A high-performance SSD, the X5 has a speed of 2800MB/s which is five times more than the Samsung T5 has a speed of 540MB/s. Mind you, the drive is only compatible with the Thunderbolt 3 port. Meaning, it won’t work with a USB-3 port even if they are the same USB-C shape.

The good news is that the X5 also doesn’t require an additional power adapter but do note, its case does get quite hot.

Also, be cautious when you place the drive on a smooth surface as the non-slip coating on the bottom of the device isn’t very effective.

Check the Price

Main Specifications:

Capacities:500GB, 1TB, 2TB
Drive Type:Solid State Drive (SSD)
Transfer Protocol:Thunderbolt 3
Sequential Reads:2800MB/s
Warranty:3 years
PROS:
  • Sleek design
  • Exceptional performance
  • Sequential read and write performance
  • Hardware encryption
  • Easy to use with Windows
  • Thunderbolt 3 interface
CONS:
  • Expensive
  • Non-slip coating  isn’t very effective
  • Lack color options
  • Only 3-year warranty
  • Drives get hot
  • No USB support
Final Verdict:

A top-class drive, the X5 is three times more expensive than most USB SSDs.

However, the impressive performance it offers will speed up your workflow making it worth every penny. Just ensure you have a Thunderbolt 3-equipped machine and you won’t regret investing in the Samsung X5.


10. iStorage diskAshur2 – Best HDD for Secure Data Transfers

Best HDD for Secure Data TransfersIf video editing or other data security is super important to you, the iStorage diskAshur2 SSD offers everything you need to transfer your data safely.

To begin with, it is hardware encrypted, using real-time military-grade AES 256-bit XTS full-disk hardware. This means there is no software to worry about therefore making it work in Windows, Mac, Chrome, Linux, or Android.

The drive is solid and well-built with the keypad buttons being sturdy and durable. The text for the numbers is underneath the clear coat and the USB cable is integrated into the drive. Please note at only 3 inches long, it is better to purchase a USB extension cord for more flexibility.

When it comes to security, the drive has both an admin PIN and user PIN which is nice for limiting any interference in changing the PINs on the drive.

Moreover, the drive automatically locks itself up when idle for about a minute, therefore, guarding your information against prying eyes.

Keep in mind; all iStorage products have received all the necessary government certifications to safeguard your data. In short, this gives any iStorage diskAshur2 user the confidence that your data should be secured all the time.

According to all of that, we could say that this storage is one of the top secure and best external hard drives for video editing and YouTubers in general too.

Check the Price

Main Specifications:

Capacities:500GB, 1TB,  2TB, 3TB, 4TB, 5TB
Drive Type:Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
Transfer Protocol:USB 3.0
Sequential Reads:160MB/s
Warranty:3 years
PROS:
  • Impressive security of Admin and User PINs
  • Rugged case
  • Excellent built quality such that the drive is dust and water-resistant
  • Available in many colors and capacities
  • Compact design and protective carrying case
CONS:
  • A bit expensive
  • Has an integrated short USB cable
  • Not the fastest compared to other expensive HDDs
Final Verdict:

The iStorage diskAshur2 is an incredibly secure and rugged external hard drive recommended for you.

It not only looks good but it is fully loaded with great features, except the speed which could be a little bit faster. Anyway, being an encrypted hard drive, with NERO backup and anti-virus protection what’s not to love about it?


Conclusion

External hard drives have come a long way. From dealing with large and heavy drives in the past to compact and lightweight drives, the external hard drives users do get an invaluable tool.

Recommended for various purposes, the external drives can be used for freeing up your machine to being used for backup storage. Also, the external drives are also excellent at transferring a large amount of data from one device to another.

Don’t forget the hard drives also keep your files safe when at the office, at home, or on the move.

So, with so many models of hard drives, we hope this article helps you to choose the best external hard drive for video editing.

If you are a YouTuber, video editor, or any other professional looking to free up your machine or backup large files, the above list got you covered.

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