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These are the best cheap external hard drive deals for September 2020

Are you shopping for massive amounts of local storage? Today’s hard drives are bigger and cheaper than ever. If you’re looking for some additional physical storage for your precious data, then you don’t have to look too far to find a good cheap external hard drive that will meet your needs without draining your bank account.

Below, we’ve rounded up a wide selection of the best cheap external hard drive deals available from various online retailers right now. Whether you’re after a portable SSD for taking on the go or a desktop HDD for backing up terabytes’ worth of data, these external hard drive deals have something to meet almost any storage need:

Today’s best external hard drive deals

  • Maxone 500GB Ultra Slim External Hard Drive — $37, was $47
  • Seagate Mobile Drive 1TB External Hard Drive for Chromebooks$50, was $60
  • Western Digital Elements 2TB Portable Hard Drive$60, was $130
  • Silicon Power Rugged Armor 2TB Portable Hard Drive$63, was $135
  • Western Digital Elements 5TB Portable External Hard Drive$99, was $130
  • Seagate Expansion Desktop 16TB External Hard Drive$309, was $390

Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro 3TB Portable External SSD

$180 $200
Expires soon
Wireless technology has even come to external hard drives, and the My Passport Wireless Pro takes portability to another level owing to its innovative design that's perfect for when you're on the go.

SanDisk Extreme 500GB External Portable SSD (USB 3.1 Type-A/Type-C)

$85 $170
Expires soon
This 500GB portable external HDD is a rugged option if, along with portability, durability is a concern for you when transporting data in rough environments.

Seagate Game Drive 2TB External Hard Drive for Xbox

$85 $110
Expires soon
If you've piled up one too many Xbox games (which is admittedly a nice problem to have), then this 2TB storage drive can help ease your console's storage burden.

Western Digital Easystore 10TB External Hard Drive

$238 $250
Expires soon
If you don't need anything fancy such as a RAID setup, the Easystore 10TB is a beefy external HDD that's surprisingly easy on your wallet for a drive this large.

Sabrent Rocket Nano 512GB Portable External SSD

$110 $180
Expires soon
This downsized and super-portable solid state drive from Sabrent doesn't offer an insane amount of storage, but it could just be the smallest external SSD on the market.

WD Black P10 5TB Portable Game Drive

$130 $150
Expires soon
Available in several sizes (5TB being the largest), the Western Digital Black P10 Game Drive is a great storage solution for PC, Mac, PS4, and Xbox when your devices are running short on space.

Seagate Game Drive 2TB External Hard Drive for PS4

$90 $110
Expires soon
Why delete old games when you could store them for a lifetime? With the Seagate 2TB Game Drive, you can hold onto your games and saves and revive them just in time for the PS5.

Western Digital My Book 10TB External Hard Drive

$200 $300
Expires soon
The WD My Book hard drive with 10TB of storage capacity is an excellent option for all your file needs, packing an immense amount of space in one small package.

Seagate Backup Plus Hub 10TB External Hard Drive

$199 $320
Expires soon
Need to store enough files to start your own archive? The Seagate Backup Plus Hub 10TB hard drive is immense and can work on both PC and Mac platforms for universal usability.

Silicon Power Rugged Armor 2TB Portable External Hard Drive

$63 $135
Expires soon
Taking your data outdoors? The rugged Silicon Power portable external HDD features a tough exterior shell that's water-resistant, scratch-resistant, and shock-resistant.

WD Black 12TB D10 Game Drive for Xbox One

$290 $300
Expires soon
Store a (console's) generation's worth of save files and memories with the WD Black 12TB game drive for the Xbox One, capable of storing all your games, photos, data, and more with room to spare.

Seagate Game Drive 4TB External Hard Drive for PS4

$114 $150
Expires soon
Can't get rid of your favorite games from the past few years? The Seagate 4TB game drive lets you store all your files and saves, with enough room to let you make new memories with new games.

Western Digital Game Drive 4TB External Hard Drive for PS4

$117 $130
Expires soon
WD's hard drives have always been known for their durability, and their 4TB Game Drive is no different. This hard drive can pack upwards of 40 games and saves with room left to spare.

Western Digital My Passport 4TB External Hard Drive for Macs

$120 $130
Expires soon
Your Mac not packed with enough space? Take the WD My Passport 4TB hard drive out for a spin, designed specifically for Apple computers, and store as many files as you could ever need.

Seagate 8TB Game Drive Hub for Xbox

$160 $185
Expires soon
Give your Xbox the best storage upgrade available with the officially licensed Seagate Game Drive, offering an immense 8TB of capacity for all your games, DLC, and more.

Seagate Expansion Desktop 16TB External Hard Drive

$295 $390
Expires soon
Augment your computer's storage with the biggest hard drive Seagate has to offer, boasting an enormous 16TB worth of space for all your storing needs.

Samsung T5 1TB Portable External SSD

$140 $250
Expires soon
About as long and wide as a credit card (although obviously thicker), the fast and super-compact Samsung T5 external SSD is our favorite external hard drive thanks to its speed and size.

Western Digital Elements 5TB Portable External Hard Drive

$105 $130
Expires soon
The Western Digital Elements is one of the top lightweight external hard drives, and with a 5TB capacity, this one doesn't skimp on storage space like many portable HDDs.

Western Digital Easystore 5TB External Hard Drive

$108 $180
Expires soon
If you need a well-rounded hard drive that balances price and storage, the WD Easystore 5TB hard drive is definitely what you need, usable with both PCs and Macs alike.

Western Digital Elements 2TB External Hard Drive

$60 $130
Expires soon
For basic desktop storage needs, this smaller version of the popular Western Digital Elements external drive is a steal at this price. It's slim and easily portable, too.

Western Digital Easystore 2TB External USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive

$105 $110
Expires soon
If your storage needs are relatively modest and you're regularly moving data from system to system, this 2TB Easystore portable external HDD from Western Digital is a great pick for the price.

Western Digital 2TB Gaming External Hard Drive Drive for PS4

$80 $90
Expires soon
External hard drives aren't just for PCs -- modern gaming consoles like the PS4 can also use them, and this 2TB Western Digital portable HDD is perfect for expanding your PlayStation's storage.

How to choose an external hard drive

The first two steps of choosing an external hard drive are setting your budget and determining what size you need. As cheap as storage is per gigabyte in 2020, the classic trade-off of hard drive size versus portability still holds; basically, is your primary consideration storage space or physical size? If your external hard drive is for home and office use at a single workstation and will more or less sit in one place, then storage space is more valuable than mobility. If, on the other hand, you’re frequently ferrying data around from one PC to the next, then a portable hard drive might be a better choice, even if you’re sacrificing some storage space for a smaller footprint.

What exactly you are using your hard drive for will also factor into your purchase decision. If your external HDD or SSD is just for file storage, then this is rather simple, but if you’re going to be regularly reading and writing to your external storage (for example, doing video editing right from the drive itself rather than from your computer’s system drive), you’ll want to be sure you get something that has good read and write speeds and that uses up-to-date connectivity standards such as USB 3.0. For more details about external hard drive designs and features to look for when making your purchase decision, read on.

HDD vs. SSD

Storage drives mostly fall into two main categories: traditional hard drives, or HDDs, and solid-state drives, or SSDs. Most hard drives, until recently, were mechanical HDDs. These have moving disks (called platters) inside, where the data itself is written and read. These traditional hard drives have largely fallen out of favor for use as system drives, but their larger capacities and much cheaper per-gigabyte cost means they are still a very popular choice for external storage use.

In recent years we have witnessed the solid-state drive revolution. These drives are basically a type of flash memory, where data is written onto chips rather than magnetic platters — that means no moving parts, which in turn means faster read/write speeds as well as (in theory) increased long-term reliability. However, these drives are typically smaller and considerably more expensive per gigabyte than HDDs; the trade-off is that they are what you’ll typically find when looking for portable external hard drives that are small enough to carry around in your pocket.

There are also hybrid hard drives, sometimes called SSHDs. These hybrid drives are essentially HDDs that feature built-in flash storage (usually a fairly small amount) where your most-used files are stored and read, combining much of the responsiveness of SSDs with the larger storage capacity of HDDs. These could be worth the price if you need the boosted storage of an HDD but expect to actively read and write to the external drive a lot.

Are all external hard drives SSD?

Pretty much any hard drive can be used as an external drive with an appropriate enclosure, and these are available as both SSDs and HDDs. Although SSDs are quickly replacing HDDs for use as internal system drives (the hard drive inside your PC where your operating system and other software are installed), HDDs still remain hugely popular for external use since they are much, much cheaper per gigabyte and thus give you a lot more storage capacity for your dollar.

Are external hard drives reliable?

An external hard drive is simply any HDD or SSD — just like the ones found in laptops and desktop PCs — that’s inside an external enclosure. This enclosure features some means of connecting the hard drive to your computer or another device, usually a USB port, and may also (depending on its size) have some sort of power adapter. What that means is that an external hard drive will be about as reliable as any internal hard drive so long as it comes from a reputable manufacturer. Stick with proven makers like Western Digital, Seagate, SanDisk, Samsung, and Kingston, and your data should be in safe waters.

Are external hard drives fast?

A very important thing to consider is read and write speeds (the speeds at which data is downloaded from and uploaded to the hard drive), but this is less of a potential pitfall than it was in the past. Even traditional rotary hard drives (HDDs) offer pretty solid read/write speeds today, with 7,200rpm being the standard. Be sure to double-check this and avoid any that use the older 5,400rpm standard, although these are less common now. Solid-state drives naturally offer the best read/write speeds, but, as explained above, offer the least value per gigabyte.

Also, don’t overlook connection speeds. The fastest read/write speeds will be bottlenecked when transferring data over a connection that uses an older standard like USB 2.0. Make sure your external hard drive uses at least USB 3.0 (which is about ten times faster than USB 2.0 by comparison).

Do external hard drives need power?

Hard drives are electronic devices that need power from some external source, but that’s not to say that all external hard drives need to be plugged into a wall. Most can typically draw enough power over the same USB connection that they use for transferring data, but larger HDDs may require an external AC adapter that will come with the hard drive. This isn’t a huge problem for most but it is something to be aware of if power outlets are prime real estate where you’re going to be setting up your drive.

Looking for more great stuff? Find tech discounts and much more on our curated deals page.

We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.

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