Best External USB-C Drives to Back Up Your Data - IGN (2024)

These days, the best USB-C external hard drives are essential, whether you're just trying to back up your personal data, or if you need the extra storage for your PC games or work. While keeping files in the cloud is nice and all, it’s always recommended to have your own copies backed up somewhere, especially if you ever need to transport those files from one device to another.

TL;DR The Best External USB-C Drives

Given how much storage space external hard drives offer these days, any external drive should last for years. USB-C connections offer much faster speeds than the standard USB-A port, so your data will be more accessible than ever, especially if you go a step further and get an external SSD.

The Best External USB-C Drives:

1. LaCie Mobile Portable Hard Drive

Best USB-C external hard drive

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LaCie Mobile Portable Hard Drive

LaCie drives are regarded as the pinnacle of external storage for a reason: they're super reliable and won't break easily.

Pros:

  • Great price for loads of storage space
  • Sleek design

Cons:

  • HDD transfer speeds aren’t great

If you don’t necessarily need the speeds of a SSD drive, then the LaCie Mobile Portable Hard Drive is pretty awesome. Offering a substantial 1TB of storage space (or more) for just $80, the LaCie HDD can host photos, music, documents, and anything else you may need. The drive boasts fast USB-C file transfers at speeds of up to 130MB/s, which isn’t a lot when compared to SSDs.

You can connect to the LaCie Mobile Portable Hard Drive via a USB-C and it works just as well with Windows PCs as it does with Macs or iPads. It will also look pretty great on your desk.

2. WD_BLACK P50

Best USB-C external SSD for gaming

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WD_Black P50

Western Digital Black drives have a decades-old reputation of being the go-to drive for gamers. It's no surprise that this external SSD is our number one pick for gamers.

Pros:

  • Very high reading speeds
  • Durable design

Cons:

  • Rather expensive

The WD Black P50 is a fantastic choice for anyone who needs an external drive to hook up to their gaming consoles. Of course, if it’s good for gamers, as it's a perfect external SSD for your Xbox Series X, it’s also good for professionals. It comes in three capacity options and you can get the one that matches your needs and your budgets.

With read speeds of up to 2000MB/s, this hard drive is perfect for gaming fans who want to see reduced load times and a better overall experience. The portable hard drive can fit in the palm of your hand, but don’t let its size fool you because it’s shock-resistant and durable.

3. SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD

Best portable USB-C external SSD

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SanDisk 2TB Extreme Portable SSD

This SanDisk Portable SSD is fast and sturdy. You won't break it any time soon.

Pros:

  • Fits into your pocket
  • Built-in encryption

Cons:

  • USB-C port isn’t protected

If you want a truly portable external hard drive that won't instantly break if you drop it, the SanDisk Extreme Portable is your best bet. The drive is wrapped up in a rubber case which protects the device from 3-meter drops, while also giving it IP64 water and dust resistance. Plus, it comes with a handy carabiner loop to securely attach it in your bag, for instance.

This USB-C external drive delivers impressive read speeds of up to 1050MB/s and write speeds of up to 1000MB/s, which means you’ll get super quick access to your files. Furthermore, you can ensure your privacy by setting up password protection with 256-bit AES encryption.

4. Samsung T7 Shield

Best rugged USB-C external SSD

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Samsung T7 Shield

With its protective external case, the Samsung T7 Shield is one portable SSD that can take a beating. Plus, it comes with Samsung's robust storage security suite.

Pros:

  • Will live through drops and bumps
  • IP65 water resistant

Cons:

  • Pricey

Another rugged option is the Samsung T7 Shield external SSD. Skillfully blending rugged durability and a speedy performance, the T7 Shield is a great purchase for all users. Coming in three capacity options, starting at 1TB and up to 4TB, this external drive caters to gamers, professionals, and anyone who wants a free way to store all those pics they snap.

Equipped with a USB-C interface, you can hook up the T7 Shied to your Windows PC, Mac, gaming consoles, Android devices, and more. If your computer doesn’t have a USB-C port, don’t worry because there’s also a Type-C-to-A cable available.

5. SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive Luxe

Best USB-C thumb drive

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SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive Luxe

Whether you need a USB-C thumb drive or one with USB-A, this little gadget from SanDisk can do both.

Pros:

  • Compact and easy to carry
  • Good transfer speeds

Cons:

  • No capacity options above 1TB

Now, if you want to have some extra storage space on hand but only want a thumb drive, then the SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive Luxe is a fantastic option. Featuring a USB-C connector, you can transfer files with up to 400MB/s. There’s also a USB Type-A connector available if you need to connect to older devices to salvage documents, which is pretty awesome.

The thumb drive is made out of metal and features a swivel design for added protection, as well as a key ring hole so you can hook it up to your keys, for instance. There are multiple capacity options, starting at 128GB which is just often available on sale for a mere $20, although even the 1TB option is decently priced.

How to Choose the Best USB-C External Hard Drive

When picking out the best external hard drive with USB-C you have to take a few things into account. First of all, you need to consider your specific storage needs. What will you be using the drive for? Are you going to hook it up to your console so you can back up your games? Will you move files around very frequently so you need the transfer speeds of an SSD or are you just backing up photos so a slower HDD will work just fine?

Once that’s settled for you, consider how much storage space you need. The more GB you get, the more you’re going to spend -- unless there’s a sale that makes the 2TB cheaper than the 1TB; which we’ve seen before.

Another thing you have to take into account is the device’s durability. If you travel often or work in challenging environments (or you’re just particularly clumsy), a drive that comes with some sort of protection against bumps and falls is ideal.

Lastly, your budget is also important. Once you figure out which device is ideal for you, make sure to watch out for deals because portable hard drives often go on sale. In this way, you’ll be able to get a larger capacity version.

Best External Hard Drive with USB-C FAQ

Are USB-C hard drives faster?

USB-C hard drives are perceived as faster, mostly due to the capabilities of the USB-C interface rather than the drives themselves. The USB-C standard supports USB 3.1 and USB 3.2 protocols, which can deliver higher data transfer speeds up to 10Gbps and 20Gbps respectively, compared to older USB versions.

Best External USB-C Drives to Back Up Your Data - IGN (2024)

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