Best Prime Day External Hard Drive Deals 2020: Last chance to save on HDDs, SSDs

Prime Day 2020 is done and dusted, and as shoppers pick over the leftover batch of Prime Day deals that is still available, it’s a good time to remind our readers that the “cloud” is not the only data storage solution — nor is it usually the best one. The cloud (which, let’s be frank, is really just someone else’s computer) can be a pain to deal with at the best of times and is only useful when you have unfettered online access to it. That’s often not the case.

That’s why many techies will always prefer external hard drives. There are plenty of reasons for that: Ease of transfer, faster upload/download speeds, security, and the knowledge that you have physical control over your own data are just a few that spring to mind. There are more than a few remaining Prime Day external hard drive deals up for grabs, too, but you’ll have to move quickly. Whether you want a backup for your backup, faster USB transfer speeds, or just a physical alternative to the cloud, there’s still a chance to save big on some new storage before the sale’s over.

Today’s best Prime Day external hard drive deals

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WD 1TB My Passport External SSD

$150 $230
This portable SSD offers a high-speed storage that you can password-protect, a hard shell that can survive 6-feet drops, and a modern Type-C port.
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Western Digital Elements 4TB External Hard Drive

$90 $100
Store a small truckload of files with this 4TB hard drive, perfect for working professionals with an archive's worth of documents or the small-time indie multimedia users with a number of videos.
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PNY Elite 480GB USB 3.0 Portable SSD

$59 $150
This SSD puts 480GB of storage in the palm of your hands and is the most affordable option in its category.
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Western Digital Easystore 4TB External Portable Hard Drive

$90 $150
The Western Digital Easystore portable external hard drive is a powerful upgrade to any storage, and with 4TB to back you up, it's a great add-on to your computer that you can take on the go.
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Western Digital Elements 12TB USB 3.0 External Hard Drive

$220 $250
The WD Elements hard drive with 12TB of storage capacity is an excellent option for all your file needs, packing an immense amount of space in one small package.
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Seagate Backup Plus Hub 10TB External Hard Drive

$190 $320
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.
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Western Digital My Passport 4TB External Hard Drive for Macs

$120 $135
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.
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WD Black 5TB P10 External Hard Drive for PS4/Xbox One/PC/Mac USB 3.2

$130 $150
With the high performance of WD Black this hard drive will make sure none of your media stutters and gives the best chance at preventing corruption.
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Samsung T7 Portable 2TB SSD

$291 $370
With a 2TB capacity, the Samsung T7 is a rugged and portable external SSD that gives you tons of space for just about anything you need to store.
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G-Technology G-DRIVE 4TB External Hard Drive

$140 $180
If you aren't sure about the efficacy of WD or Seagate, G-Technology's got you covered, with their G-DRIVE external hard drive offering 4TB of space that you can use to backup your files.
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Seagate 10TB Expansion Desktop USB 3.0 External Hard Drive

$170 $300
Worry less about your computer slowing down due to your collection of files with this Seagate External Hard Drive. It offers up to 10TB of storage to and boasts fast data transfer speeds.
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G-Technology G-DRIVE 10TB External Hard Drive

$315 $350
If you want an enormous amount of space in one compact package, the G-Technology 10TB G-DRIVE external hard drive is great at saving files, space, and — with this discount — cash too.
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Western Digital My Passport 5TB External Hard Drive

$110 $150
The WD My Passport is a reliable hard drive in any situation, and with 5TB of storage, you can comfortably store all your important files without any problems.
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SAMSUNG T7 Touch Portable 1TB SSD

$190 $230
Samsung T7 is the premium SSD to beat with a built-in fingerprint sensor that lets you secure your data, industry-leading transfer speeds, and a shock-resistant exterior.
+ $5 Off w/ Promo Code: 42BKFCYM33
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Seagate External Hard Drive 8TB HDD Expansion

$135 $162
Beef up your storage space so you can save as much files as you need. This 8TB hard drive is compatible with the PC, Xbox, and PS4.
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WD Black 500GB P50 Game Drive Portable External SSD

$130 $180
This is a high-performance sturdy SSD that comes with a shock-resistant exterior and 500GB of storage which should be enough for plenty of console games.
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G-Technology G-DRIVE Mobile 4TB External Hard Drive

$140 $150
The G-Technology G-DRIVE Mobile hard drive is a great add-on to any desktop, compatible with both Macs and Windows, with this one having 4TB of space for all your important files.
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Seagate Game Drive 2TB External Hard Drive for PS4

$80 $110
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.
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Samsung T5 2TB Portable External SSD

$230 $280
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.
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Seagate Expansion Desktop 8TB External Hard Drive

$135 $162
When native storage isn't enough, add the Seagate Expansion Desktop external hard drive to your PC build for a massive boost in storage capacity, with this one offering a whopping 8TB of space.
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Samsung T5 SSD (2TB)

$250 $290
Smaller than a credit card, this tiny portable SSD holds up to 2TB of storage, and can fit in your pocket. With transfer speeds of up to 540 mb/s it's also a blazing fast way to back up your files.
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Western Digital 2TB Gaming External Hard Drive Drive for PS4

$70 $90
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.
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WD Black 2TB P10 Game Drive Portable External Gaming Hard Drive

$70 $90
WD's hard drives have always been known for their durability, and their 2TB Game Drive is no different. This hard drive can pack upwards of 20 games and saves with room left to spare.

How to choose an external hard drive

There is a multitude of external hard drives brands, fabrications, and sizes to choose from when browsing Prime Day external hard drive deals. So many, in fact, that the choice can be overwhelming. To help you find the right external hard drive for you, let’s take a look at the major features — storage capacity, SSD vs. HDD, transfer speed, portability and durability, security, compatibility, and extra features — to make sure you get the right one.

The first thing we should look at is storage capacity. Ask yourself: How big a hard drive do you really need? Look at what you’ve got saved on your computer, and in the cloud and measure accordingly, taking into account your future needs, and how many devices you’re going to back up on this external hard drive, which can range from 64GB to several TB, which is quite a difference. Then consider SSD versus an HDD. We go deep on the difference here, but, basically, SSDs have no moving parts (HDDs do), making SSD drives much faster, less easily damaged, and more expensive. We usually recommend SSDs, with budget considerations in mind, of course. Older drives will have USB 2.0, as a standard, and it’s pretty slow, reaching only 480Mbps. Newer drives will have USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Gen1, or USB 3.2 Gen1 as standard (they’re similar) with speeds of up to 5Gbps. Then there’s USB 3.1 Gen2 and USB 3.2 Gen2 (again, similar), providing 10Gbps transfers. At the top of the USB 3 pile is USB 3.2, or 3.2 2×2, with 20Gbps. Up from there is the Thunderbolt 3 protocol with up to 40Gbps in transfer speed.

Related

One of the main reasons to choose an external hard drive over, or in addition to, the cloud is its portability. Lots of great drives are meant to stay at your home or your office, but if you’re looking for one to take with you where you go, there are some things to consider. External hard drives can vary greatly in size and weight; the smaller ones with the most capacity tend to be, you guessed it, the most expensive. Part of this consideration is durability; no drive lasts forever, and lots of contemporary drives come with rugged casings to protect them against damage. SSDs, without those moving parts, tends to stand up better to impact damage than HDD.

Another consideration is security. How sensitive is the data you are backing up and transferring? If the answer to this question is anything but “not very” you’ll want to consider encryption, either through software or the device’s hardware. You can get software that’s compatible with most drives, but if you want to step up your security, get a drive with hardware encryption. If security is a top concern, you can even look at drives with physical security systems.

Finally, but not least important, is compatibility and features. Hard drives often come formatted for a specific operating system. So ask yourself before buying, ‘Do I have Windows or MacOS and will this change any time soon?’ You can always reformat an external hard drive, or partition it, but you probably want to avoid that challenge by making sure your external drive is compatible with the target operating system. Look at the features too: Consider what kind of warranty is offered; look at your machine and note whether you’re going to need to buy extra cables; some come with Wi-Fi — is this important to you?

When you’re exploring Prime Day external hard drive deals, make sure to get the external hard drive that’s right for you.

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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