Black Friday was officially underway yesterday which means that retailers have unleashed the flood of their best Black Friday deals after weeks of early teaser sales, but even though the official sale date has drawn to a close, there’s still time to score a heavily discounted external hard drive if you need some cheap extra storage space for your photos, videos, and other digital goodies. From Western Digital and Seagate to Samsung and others, a lot of the best brands are on sale right now for cheap.
These extended Black Friday external hard drive deals are joined by all sorts of other still-ongoing Black Friday price cuts on computers, gaming equipment, and mobile gadgets. So make your plans for which external hard drive you want, and jump on it before these holiday bargains dry up for good.
Best Black Friday external hard drive deals
How to choose an external hard drive
There are a lot of very appealing Black Friday external hard drive deals to choose from right now — so many, in fact, that the choice can be overwhelming. What you really need to ask yourself is which one best suits your needs. Are you often on the go without fast Wi-Fi and want to bring all your files with you when traveling, even if that trip is just to a nearby café? Will your external hard drive mainly be for gaming? How much space do you need, and will that change over time? External hard drives range from 1TB pocket drives that fit right in your pocket to 12TB backup monuments that are meant to sit under your desk and stay there. To help you decide, we’ve laid out the best external hard drives from which to choose.
Your first decision is the size of storage versus portability. For the latter, we love the Samsung T5 SSD, which packs a huge amount of storage into a tiny, portable design. If you’re dealing with some older machinery, and you want something that can handle USB A and B connections, we prefer the SanDisk Extreme Pro as a top of the line lightweight external drive. And if you’re more professional, and perhaps your needs include lightning-fast video storage, there’s the Western Digital My Book Duo, which can store up to 28TB. Ask yourself if you need to move data around regularly, as in from one computer to another (home to work for example) or if you’re working with one primary machine.
Next, you need to ask yourself what you’ll be using this hard drive for. Is it just for storage? In this case, your decision is pretty simple, and you can go back to figuring out just what size is right for you. But, if you have a job (or hobby) where you are regularly reading and writing to your external drive (many professionals, like architects, engineers, photographers, and video editors are doing this constantly), you have more to consider. For one, you’ll essentially want something with high read and write speeds. Part of this decision is SSD versus HDD (SDD tends to be more reliable, smaller, faster, sturdier, and more expensive). While a contemporary HDD can be pretty fast, with 7,200 rpm being the standard, some are still limping along at 5,400 rpm, so double-check what speed you’re getting. Regardless, SSD drives measure their random access times in microseconds rather than milliseconds, so they tend to be way faster.
Additionally, you’ll want to consider the drive’s connectivity. If it doesn’t have the current USB 3.0 technology, you might want to give it a second look. An older connection can bottleneck speeds of even the faster SSD or HDDs, and you don’t want to cut your read and write speed off at the legs.
Where to find the best external hard drive sales
- Amazon Black Friday: At Amazon, you’ll find discounts on everything from monster 16TB external hard drives from Seagate to tiny flash drives and external 2TB drives that fit super easily into a bag or briefcase.
- Best Buy Black Friday: Best Buy has jumped in early this year but there are still tons of discounted items from the best brands in external hard drives, such as WD, Seagate, and LaCie.
- Target Black Friday: Target also joined the price-cutting party and is currently offering deals on external hard drives from Seagate, SanDisk, LaCie, and more.
- Walmart Black Friday: Walmart refuses to be left out of the discount battle royale, offering deals on every kind of external hard drive from Samsung, Seagate, SanDisk, and more.
Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.
- These are the best cheap external hard drive deals for November 2020
- Turbocharge your laptop by installing an SSD yourself
- These are the best cheap SSD deals for November 2020
- How to choose an external hard drive
- This tiny 480GB Portable SSD is $40 for Black Friday — save $110!