The best external SSDs of the moment

 The evolution of storage units for a PC has left solid state drives (SSDs ) as the most sought-after product to upgrade a computer in recent years. Currently they are no longer expensive products and that means that, in addition to the day-to-day use of the operating system and some applications and games, users begin to look for them as external alternatives to take them with them and enjoy high transfer speeds anywhere.

This article focuses on those external SSDs, which can also be various in terms of the protection of the drive itself and the connection they use. Although it is common for them to have a USB 3.0 port, either type A or type C, there are also many models that use the USB type C connector to provide them with a much faster Thunderbolt 3 connection.

Things to consider when buying an external SSD

It must be made clear from the outset that an SSD is not a type of hard drive (HDD, English hard-drive disk ) although there are stores that include SSDs in the hard drive section. SSDs do not include moving parts, and instead of cymbals and read heads they use non-volatile NAND-type flash memories. You have more information about the operation of these units in the article What is an SSD: components, technologies and types .

About sequential and random performance

The main problem with external SSDs lies in the controller that translates from the interface they implement (SATA, PCIe) to the external connection bus with the PC. In the case of units that work on Thunderbolt, there is no problem because the controller allows these units to function at full capacity, but USB connections are penalized by the transfer protocol itself, which mainly affects the transfer speed. of small files, often referred to as random speed .

The speed that Thunderbolt 3 allows is up to 40 Gb/s and there are no restrictions on random speed. USB drives allow speeds depending on the version: USB 3.0 up to 5 Gb/s, USB 3.1 up to 10 Gb/s, and USB 3.2 up to 20 Gb/s. They all put restrictions on random transfer to a greater or lesser extent, except in USB 3.2, but in practice it should not be noticed unless an infinite number of small files are transferred. The latter is why professionals, such as photographers, look to Thunderbolt 3 devices.


The formats in which external SSDs are sold is as varied as that of hard drives. Although there are well-designed models that use aluminum to appeal to the senses of the buyer, others include more crude designs but are resistant to falls and are even resistant to water. These waterproof and dustproof units are usually a bit more expensive, with built-in plugs for the connector and other possible water ingress.

There are also docking stations for PCs that have space inside for one or more 2.5-inch M.2-type drives, which gives them versatility beyond the additional connectors they provide, such as more USB ports or video connections, and they are generally bases that work on a Thunderbolt 3 connection. Nor should we forget that there are internal SSD casings so that they can be used externally, which on many occasions can be cheaper, but not always.

Models for backs

Many people want to make backup copies of the information on their PCs and therefore these external drives are perfect for it. There are programs that allow you to do it in a simplified way, and in the case of macOS, Time Machine is integrated, which also allows you to maintain a history of versions of the same file for easy consultation. For this use, it is better to opt for the units that provide the best price per gig rather than those that provide better speeds.

Euro/Gig SSD Comparison Table

Below you can see several tables with which to know the price for each gig of the SSD. It can be the most interesting parameter when buying a drive because most provide the same feeling of speed in loading applications, and they do not have a difference in games, so there is no “SSD for gamers” on the market either. .

With USB 3.0 connection

 ADATA SD600Q and SD700

The SD600Q series is comprised of small, rugged models, so you get the benefit of SSD speed in a pocket-sized package. They have good speed and manufacturing quality.

 SD700 series is similar as above, also small in size with 80mm × 80mm × 15.2mm and waterproof, with USB micro-B interface and provided with USB Type-A cable. Add MIL ultra-durability certificate -STD-810G 516.6. It’s a faster drive than the slightly more expensive SD600Q, but both will perform similarly on a day-to-day basis, whether used to store data or run games from them.

 Western Digital WD Elements

Savage Exo by HyperX

The Savage Exo series of external SSDs perform well, making use of a good USB-SATA controller and bridge. That includes good random read/write speeds of 4KB files, which is often the main problem with external SSDs due to the scrambling of data that the USB standard does. The design is a bit more particular, since HyperX is Kingston’s gamer brand, and therefore somewhat more aggressive, but just as small and portable.

With USB 3.1 or USB 3.2 connection


ADATA ‘s SE770G is a small model, with good performance with up to 1 GB/s transfer rate, and with ARGB lighting on its surface. Its design is really good, and it uses a USB Type-C connector, including two short cables with it, one to USB Type-C and one to the traditional USB Type-A (rectangular).

Kingston XS2000


ASUS ROG Strix Arion S500

Crucial X6 Portable

The X6 Portable series uses a SATA interface internally, somewhat slower, up to 540 MB/s, but more oriented towards a general public compared to the X8 series, which is oriented towards professionals. It’s a smaller drive, with a USB 3.1 Type-C connector.


ADATA Elite SE880

The Elite SE880 series is small in size, 35mm × 64.8mm × 12.25mm, and weighs only 31g. It has a USB 3.2 Type C connection that will allow speeds of up to 2000 MB/s of sequential read/write.


SanDisk Extreme Pro

The Extreme Pro drive is 110mm × 57mm × 10mm in size and features a USB 3.1 Type-C connection that enables sequential read speeds of up to 1050MB/s. The casing is made to withstand small immersions in water and is ultra-resistant against falls, with an IP55 certificate. Its small format and good design in black and orange make it one of the most interesting external SSDs.

Crucial X8 Portable

Crucial ‘s X8 Portable series is an external SSD with USB 3.1 interface and USB Type-C connector, which allows a maximum speed of 1050 MB/s, being compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 but with lower speeds. Internally it works with a PCIe 3.0 interface and is based on the P1 from the same company.

Samsung T7 Portable

The Samsung Portable T7 is 85mm × 57mm × 8mm in size, 58g in weight, and features a USB 3.1 Type-C connector that enables up to 1050/1000MB/s sequential read/write. It supports AES-256 hardware encryption, and has a fingerprint reader to unlock its use on the PC. It implements an ASMedia ASM2362 controller as a bridge from the PCIe 3.0 ×2 connection to the USB.

T7 Shield Portable

The T7 Shield Portable series is similar to the T7 Portable series but for a slightly higher cost it offers an IP65 certified shock, water and dust proof casing. Its size is 59mm × 88mm × 13mm and it weighs 98g. Its connector is a USB 3.1 type C with a speed of 1050/1000 MB/s of sequential reading/writing.

WD_Black P50

Western Digital’s WD_Black P50 series is 62mm × 118.1mm × 14mm in size, and the case is made of aluminum. The PCIe-USB bridge is an ASM2364 from ASMedia, and enables it to reach speeds of up to 1050MB/s. It has a USB 3.2 Type C interface.

Western Digital My Passport SSD

The new generation of the My Passport SSD has a more refined and less industrial design, in various colors such as black or red, and has a USB 3.1 type C connection for speeds of up to 1050 MB / s, and has AES-256 hardware encryption . Its size is 45mm × 90mm × 10mm.

Rocket NANO by Sabrent

This unit lives up to its name by being 29.2mm × 69.8mm × 12.7mm in size and weighing 68g, so it could fit in a cowboy’s coin pocket. It has a USB 3.1 type C interface that allows it to reach 1000 MB/s reading. The case is made of aluminum and is sold in gray and black, as well as an ultra-rugged version of the 2TB model.

With Thunderbolt 3 connection

Plugable TBT3 Series

The TBT3 series features a black aluminum casing and Thunderbolt 3 port, although it comes with a short Thunderbolt 3 cable directly attached to connect to a computer so it cannot be swapped out for a longer cable. It uses TLC-type 3D NAND memory, and has a durability that reaches 3600 TB recorded. The maximum sequential read/write speed is 2400/1800 MB/s.

LaCie Rugged SSD Pro

The LaCie Rugged© SSD Pro is an ultra-rugged 64.9mm × 97.9mm × 17mm, 100g model that is IP67 dust and waterproof certified. It has a Thunderbolt 3 interface based on a PCIe 3.0 ×4 type SSD —a Seagate FireCuda—, and reaches 2800 MB/s of sequential reading. It has 1TB and 2TB models.

External SSD Enclosures and Docking Stations

To close the article you have several models of external casings for internal SSDs below and thus be able to convert them into external ones. There are for 2.5-inch and M.2 drives, as well as with a USB 3.0 port or a Thunderbolt. The latter are much more expensive due to the technology itself, but it allows you to get all the performance out of those that implement a PCIe 3.0 ×4 interface.

There is also a section for the docking stations that have space for M.2 or 2.5-inch drives since they are, after all, external and to some degree portable. There are both normal models and those for ” gaming ” or nerds, which basically do not provide anything additional but have an additional cost due to the inclusion of colored lights.

To use these boxes and bases, it is normal to look for M.2 units above all, since they are smaller, and there are different sizes in them that you have to make sure that they allow you to include them. For example, the M.2 can be in 2230, 2242, 2280 or 22110 format, the last digits indicating the length of the unit: 2280 means that it is 22 mm wide and 80 mm long. There are also plenty of external enclosures for 2.5-inch drives, which are the same as for external hard drives of that format.