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Best External Hard Drives for Designers

5 Best External Hard Drives for Designers in 2020

In current times, designers have a lot of options when it comes to file storage.

You could go the cloud way and upload your files to a cloud service provider and have the ability to access them from any computer. This can get expensive and the recurring costs may not be attractive to many.

To avoid this, and to have a personal backup of your files, you can settle for the best external hard drives for designers. These provide a wide array of features that can help designers in their work and improve productivity.

List of Best External Hard Drives for Designers in 2020

The following five external hard drives are highly recommended for designer. They vary in terms of speeds, price and other features

  1. WD My Passport Portable – Affordable External Hard Drive for Designers
  2. Samsung SSD T5 – 540MB/s SSD with USB 3.1 Interface
  3. SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD – Rugged 550MB/s SSD with shock-resistance
  4. Seagate Backup Plus Slim – Affordable, durable and has USB 3.0
  5. LaCie (LAC9000633) – Rugged 130MB/s External hard drive

1. WD My Passport Portable – Affordable External Hard Drive for Designers

For users who want a minimal external hard drive that will suit their storage needs then the My Passport Portable from Western Digital (WD) will be a great fit.

It comes with options ranging from 1TB to 5TB and also has cases in multiple colors that may appeal to a designer.

The drive is great for users who have large files to store and need a reliable external hard drive that can keep their files secure. The Passport Portable does this by implementing password protection and also features a 256-bit encryption policy.

You also get backup software that protects your files in the event of a disk crash.

The drive has a USB 3.0 interface for connecting to your computer and is readily compatible with Windows Operating Systems. Users may need to format it if they want to work with it on other Operating Systems.

What makes this the best external hard drive for designers is the fact that it cuts costs while maintaining decent performance, proper security, and a good backup strategy.

2. Samsung SSD T5 – 540MB/s SSD with USB 3.1 Interface

For designers who are keen on good performance and portability, the Samsung SSD T5 will be very appealing.

Its an SSD that makes use of a USB 3.1 interface to deliver speeds of up to 540MB/s which makes it the best external hard drive for designers.

Because it’s fast, with this drive, designers can save and transfer their digital content with much ease and it can even handle large file transfers. Additionally, you can work off the drive and still get great performance thanks to the speed of USB 3.1.

The device is small enough to fit comfortably in your pockets and has a metallic case that makes it very durable.

This will give you peace of mind when moving around with the device because it will be able to handle some shocks including drops of about 2M. Being secure, you get password encryption to protect your important files from unauthorized access.

This drive is for users who want great performance and sleek design. It offers both with the added advantage of being secure.

3. SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD – Rugged 550MB/s SSD with Shock-Resistance

The SanDisk Extreme is a compact and rugged external SSD that is built for durability and performance. Its case is ruggedized to provide some shock protection and it helps protect the drive itself from internal damage.

The device comes in a wide assortment of storage capacities to ensure that the users’ needs are met. Because of this, users with higher storage needs will be catered to while those who don’t need a lot of storage can opt for a cheaper low capacity one that fits their needs.

With this drive, you can expect to get fast transfer speeds. It’s quoted at 550MB/s which is enough to let you transfer large files in just a few seconds.

To further supplement this, the drive has a USB 3.0 interface which offers better performance than the previous-generation USB 2.0 ports.

You won’t need to worry if you accidentally splash some water on the device because it has an IP55 rating for protection. Generally, the device is portable and this makes it one of the best external hard drive for designers.

4. Seagate Backup Plus Slim – Affordable, durable and has USB 3.0

The Seagate Backup Plus Slim is a great drive for users who want basic storage and have a tight budget. It checks those boxes and brings in some extra functionality that can make it attractive to designers.

The drive has a USB 3.0 port which lets you move files between it and a computer fast. This will let you copy your files quickly and conveniently to the drive which you can use for storage.

It has a slim metallic enclosure that makes it very durable, allowing it to take some falls easily without damaging the internals. Be that as it may, it is not advertised as shockproof so you will need to take good care of it.

What makes this the best external hard drive for designers is that with some purchases, you can get a 2-month membership to Adobe Creative Cloud. This will grant you access to some software that can help with your work, therefore improving your overall productivity.

Being affordable makes this a great device. The addition of durability makes it even better has an external drive because your files will be safe.

5. LaCie (LAC9000633) – Rugged 130MB/s External hard drive

Having an external hard drive, you can easily rely on to keep your files safe is a feature that many designers need. That makes this the best external hard drive for designers.

It was built with that in mind and it offers decent performance in the process. At 130 MB/s, the performance is on par with many other external HDDs. It also uses a USB 3.0 interface to connect to and transfer files between itself and your computer.

The price is a bit too high considering it’s an HDD. However, it is resistant to shocks, dust, drops, and even some crushing force. With it you get the peace of mind that an accidental drop will not leave you at a loss of files you had worked very hard on.

In addition to having a high resistance to damages, you also get the benefit of large storage capacities for your files.

This drive is ideal for users who are constantly on the move since it can survive harsh conditions. With purchase, you can get free access to Adobe Creative Cloud for a month.


How to Choose the Right External Hard Disk as a Designer?

The term designer is rather broad, so as a designer, choosing a hard drive should boil down to the features you want to use.

Having a concise list of things, you intend to handle with your drive, like working with files from the drive, making backups, or simply transferring your models, can help you choose the kind of drive you want.

Be that as it may, here are some of the main features you need to consider as a designer.


Depending on the kind of drive you want, you will get a wide range of options with varying purchasing prices.

One thing that may affect your purchase though is the cost of the drive itself. If you want a basic drive that will be used to store your files then you may need to pick an affordable drive.

If you’re more inclined to get a hard drive with top performance, high durability, and a wide range of features that you will need then you may find that your options are mostly expensive external hard drives.

In the long run, you should purchase a drive you are comfortable spending on depending on the needs you have.


Best External Hard Drives for Designers
If you want a cheap GB per dollar cost, go for HDD over SSDs.

This one is very straightforward. The capacity of the drive you purchase should match with the volume of files you have with a little extra room for growth.

If you need a lot of storage, consider getting one with a large capacity at the start because it may be cheaper in the long run when you consider the price per Gigabyte.

You will also not end up with very many small-capacity drives lying around that are too easy to misplace.

While you consider capacity, also think about backup drives, as you may need them in the worst-case scenario.


Samsung T5
SSDs take the cake when it comes to performance.

When it comes to performance, things boil down to SSDs vs HDDs. If you need to constantly move large files around then SSDs will save you some time.


SSDs have no moving parts whereas HDDs have a spinning platter that stores all the information magnetically.

HDDs will be better for file storage because they also tend to have larger capacities at cheaper prices.

HDDs also generate some noise during operation because of the rotating disk and their performance is slower than that of SSDs because a moving arm needs to read data from different sections of the disk.

Final Words

Here we reviewed some of the best external hard drives for designers suitable for various purposes.

We looked at affordable, hard disk drives that have slower transfers speeds but a cost efficient GB/dollar value. We also looked at the performance heavy SSD slim portable drives with high transfer speeds.

The option you choose would depend upon your needs and budget. If you need to access your large files quickly from your external hard disk, an SSD drive would suit you well.

On the other hand, if you just wish to archive your designs, then any portable and affordable HDD would work fine.

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