6 best portable SSDs for taking your work on the go

The best solid state drives for taking work on the go.

There are plenty of reasons why you’d want to take your work on the go. Maybe you need a break from the mundane office or maybe you’re going to knock some things off your to-do list on vacation. Once the world returns to normal following the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone will enjoy going back to their favorite coffee shop to get things done.

For many creative professionals and those in the tech world, a standard laptop doesn’t have enough storage space. As such, a portable storage drive comes in handy. Thanks to the growing popularity of solid-state drives (SSDs) they are more affordable than ever.

You can get blazing-fast transfer speeds in a portable package that won’t break the bank. Better yet, these six SSDs keep your data safer than a typical hard drive.

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Why Choose an SSD Over a Hard Drive?

There isn’t anything wrong, per se, with regular hard drives. However, they are nothing more than a spinning magnetic storage platter inside a case of some sort. Understandably, those moving parts make regular hard drives fragile. When one is sitting on your desk or is nestled in your computer, it isn’t a big deal. When you’re tossing it in and out of a bag and carrying it around town, it puts your data at risk.

By contrast, solid-state drives don’t have moving parts. That makes them a much safer option for transporting your important data. SSDs are also much faster. When you’re transferring things like video files, 3D renderings, or large databases of code, that speed makes your life much easier.

Unfortunately, since SSD technology is much newer, these drives are also more expensive than a typical hard drive. While a spinning disk can deliver 1TB of storage for about $50, most SSDs cost upwards of $100. Still, if you can stretch your budget, upgrading is well worth it.

SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD

SanDisk knows a thing or two about data storage. So, it shouldn’t be surprising to see this SSD on the list. The SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD has everything you can ask for in a portable drive. It features 10GBps write performance that doesn’t slow down when you’re transferring large files.

Thanks to its rugged design, you’ll also be able to take this SSD anywhere without worrying about damaging it. For those who haven’t been able to give up their standard USB ports, this drive conveniently features standard connections, making it compatible with almost any machine. It comes in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB configurations.

Samsung T5 SSD

For those looking for a sleeker option, Samsung’s T5 SSD is a great choice. Samsung is responsible for making some of today’s most advanced SSDs and this one is no different. It features a USB Type-C connection that enhances its performance when transferring files. It’s also backward compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 for those who don’t have a Type-C port.

Better yet, since this drive has been out for a few years, its price is a bit lower than others on this list. You can snag a T5 SSD in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, or 2TB configurations.

Seagate Fast SSD

Seagate is another well-known brand when it comes to storage. It has decades of experience making drives and that carries over to the Seagate Fast SSD. This is an ideal choice for those looking for a sleek, powerful drive. At just 9mm thick, it easily slides into any backpack compartment. In a pinch, it will likely even fit in a camera bag. It features a USB Type-C interface for quick data transfers. Like the Samsung T5, this is another affordable option if you’re looking for a new SSD. Coincidentally, it also comes in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB configurations.

WD My Passport Wireless SSD

Western Digital (WD) is no stranger to making gear for professional photographers. Its WD My Passport Wireless SSD is specifically targeted towards that group, but makes a great external drive for anyone that hates cables. It allows users to transfer and view files with a Wi-Fi connection rather than a cable.

Of course, wirelessly transferring photos and data somewhat negates the faster speeds of an SSD. If you want to harness its full potential, it does also connect via USB 3.0. Still, it isn’t as fast as other drives on this list that connect with a USB Type-C or Thunderbolt cable.

It also isn’t a cheap drive, with the wireless capabilities pushing the price up. Nonetheless, it is a solid choice for photographers. Reinforcing that point is its built-in SD card reader for easily transferring photos from a camera to the SSD. It comes in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB configurations.

Samsung T7 SSD

For those who are primarily concerned with security, Samsung’s T7 SSD warrants consideration. It has several built-in security features that keep your data safe.

On its top, there is a fingerprint reader that can lock down the drive until you sign in. That’s a helpful feature if you’re a forgetful person who’s concerned about possibly leaving the drive behind somewhere. It also features the option to use AES 256-bit encryption. Users can even customize the T7’s security features through its own management software.

Aside from security, this is a snappy drive that features sequential read and write speeds of 1,050 and 1,000 MB/s respectively. It comes in 50GB, 1TB, and 2TB configurations.

Plugable Thunderbolt 3 External SSD

If you’re looking for an SSD that uses the fastest NVMe technology alongside Thunderbolt 3 connections, then the Plugable Thunderbolt 3 External SSD is the way to go. This drive also comes with a lower price tag than similar units from makers like Samsung.

An interesting feature is its cooling capacities that keep the drive from overheating during large transfers. Speaking of, those will go by almost instantly thanks to sequential read speeds of 2,800 MBps. You can pick up this drive in 480GB, 1TB, or 2TB configurations.


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