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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Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB External Hard Drive

$68 $80
Store all your photos, videos, and important files with the Seagate Backup Plus Slim extern hard drive. This one has 2TB for everything you need, quadrupling what most laptops can afford to store.
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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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Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro 3TB Portable External HDD

$180 $250
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.
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SanDisk Extreme 2TB External Portable SSD (USB 3.1 Type-A/Type-C)

$250 $288
This 2TB portable external HDD is a rugged option if, along with portability, durability is a concern for you when transporting data in rough environments.
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Seagate Game Drive 2TB External Hard Drive for Xbox

$88 $110
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.
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Western Digital Elements 8TB Desktop External Hard Drive

$145 $180
If your desktop's built-in storage doesn't have enough space to satisfy your needs, this WD Elements hard drive has 8TB of space for over eight times the amount of files a regular laptop can hold.
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WD Elements 12TB USB 3.0 Desktop Hard Drive, Black

$220 $250
With 12TB capacity, keep important files and other media safe in this WD hard drive. You can also share the this with family or colleagues to free up space in your respective PCs.
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Western Digital My Passport 4TB External Hard Drive

$109 $120
The Western Digital My Passport 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.
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PNY Elite 480GB USB 3.0 Portable SSD

$57 $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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Seagate Expansion Desktop 8TB External Hard Drive

$145 $165
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 T7 Touch Portable 1TB SSD

$170 $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.
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Seagate 8TB Game Drive Hub for Xbox

$159 $220
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.
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Samsung T5 1TB Portable External SSD

$130 $250
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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Western Digital Easystore 2TB External USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive

$99 $105
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.
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WD Black 2TB P10 Game Drive Portable External Gaming Hard Drive

$80 $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.
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Western Digital Easystore 1TB External Hard Drive

$48 $85
If you aren't in the market for a pricey external hard drive, this 1TB Easystore from Western Digital is a great budget-friendly choice for that small boost in storage without breaking the bank.
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Seagate 2TB Portable External Hard Drive

$62 $72
Do you need extra space? This 2TB Seagate hard drive is compatible with PC, PS4, and Xbox. You can also bring this anywhere thanks to its compact size.
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Seagate External Hard Drive 8TB HDD Expansion

$125 $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 5TB P10 External Hard Drive for PS4/Xbox One/PC/Mac USB 3.2

$120 $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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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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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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Western Digital Easystore 5TB External Hard Drive

$105 $180
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.
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Seagate Game Drive 2TB External Hard Drive for PS4

$90 $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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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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Toshiba Canvio Advance 2TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0, Black

$65 $70
Back up all your important files in this Toshiba Canvio 2TB external hard drive. It comes in a compact size so it's easy to store.
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Seagate Game Drive 4TB External Hard Drive for PS4

$106 $150
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.
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Western Digital My Passport 5TB External Hard Drive

$115 $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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WD 1TB My Passport External SSD

$150 $200
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 5TB External Hard Drive

$100 $130
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.
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Western Digital Easystore 8TB External Hard Drive

$140 $200
If you want a reliable hard drive option, the WD Easystore 8TB is a great and heavy-duty option if you've got more documents and files than you know what to do with.
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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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Seagate Expansion Desktop 16TB External Hard Drive

$309 $390
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.
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LaCie Rugged Mini 4TB Portable External Hard Drive

$130 $150
With a rugged housing surrounding a nice big 4TB HDD, the LaCie mini portable hard drive lets you take your digital treasures anywhere without worry.
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G-Technology G-DRIVE 10TB External Hard Drive

$320 $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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WD Black 2TB P50 Game Drive Portable External SSD

$350 $500
This is a high-performance sturdy SSD that comes with a shock-resistant exterior and 2TB of storage which should be enough for nearly 50 console games.

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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