Last Updated on May 30, 2021
The GoPro is a great device for people who love to document their adventures. These hardy little cameras can capture very high-resolution videos and save them onto an onboard memory card.
The problem is, during long recording sessions, these memory cards will fill up and you will need to offload the content into an external drive that has more to store the files for later.
To make things easier, you should get the best external hard drives for GoPro videos. A good one will be an excellent backup device out in the field.
The fortunate aspect is that you can find a wide variety of external hard drives ranging from SSD to WiFi enabled HDD with SD card reader as we review below.
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Comparison of Top External Hard Drives for GoPro Videos
|LaCie Rugged |
|WD My Passport|
List of Best External Hard Drives for GoPro Videos in 2021
The following hard drives in our opinion can server your GoPro adventures quite well.
- Samsung T7 – NVME SSD – Recommended External Hard Drive for GoPro Videos
- LaCie STHR1000800 – Ultimate Travel Protection – Rugged – NVMe SSD
- Seagate Backup Plus Slim – Portable HDD with Automatic Backup
- Samsung T5 – Economical External SATA GoPro SSD
- SanDisk Extreme Portable – Pocket-sized portable 550MB/s SSD
- G-Technology Armor ATD – Rugged, IP54 – HDD
- WD My Passport Wireless – Portable Wireless USB 3.0 Drive
- WD My Book – Desktop HDD for Large Data Archive
1. Samsung T7 – NVME SSD – Recommended External Hard Drive for GoPro Videos
A fast external NVMe SSD with a 1050 MB/s transfer speed. Economical for an NVMe.
If its the ultimate speed at a reasonable price tag that you are after then Samsung T7 is currently the latest and the greatest external hard disk for GoPro users and for videos editors in general.
Like its older counterpart, the Samsung T5 – which is hugely popular itself – this is a slim hard drive with a sleek metallic casing.
In fact, this model is even slimmer due to the fact that this is a new gen NVMe SSD instead of a SATA SSD. While the older SSD T5 model has a transfer speed of about 540 MB/s, this almost doubles that with a speed of 1050 MB/s.
There are other 1050 MB/s SSD external drives out there, but none offer the reasonable GB/dollar cost value that this does.
While this does not have any shock proof protection or IP protection, its price tag for an NVME SSD makes this one of the best external hard drive for GOPro videos.
This hard drive features a USB 3.2 Gen2 port which is found on many of the latest devices as well as on the latest motherboard. It is, however, backward compatible so it can work on older gen USB ports as well.
2. LaCie STHR1000800 – Ultimate Travel Protection – Rugged – NVMe SSD
An NVME external SSD featuring ultimate protection for travelers and outdoor content creators.
If you want ultimate travel protection, then we cannot recommend this external SSD drive from LaCie enough.
Almost all content creators from graphic designers to video editors recommend this drive for the fact that it features the best safety measures for an external hard drive.
Since you will be traveling a lot for your GoPro video content, it only makes sense that you invest in a data storage that will last harsh conditions as well as bumps and falls.
This external SSD thus offers a comprehensive IP67 protection, 3m drop resistance, and water resistance. It also comes with a 5 year warranty with Data Recovery.
As far as the performance goes, this is an NVMe SSD and hence achieves the fastest transfer speed possible for external hard drives at the moment i.e 1050 MB/s.
While this IS an expensive device if you take the dollar / GB value, if you want a robust safety net for your important data, then we find this to be the best external hard drive for GoPro videos.
3. Seagate Backup Plus Slim – Portable HDD with Automatic Backup
A highly portable 2.5″ HDD with automatic backup feature.
The Seagate Backup Plus Slim is a popular drive due to the fact that this is an economical option that offers automatic backup software.
With this, you can schedule daily, weekly or monthly backup for your GoPro footages. With this in place, you can go about your routines knowing the drive will take care of finding new GoPro videos and backing them up when connected.
Note that this is NOT an SSD drive instead this is 2.5″ HDD drive hence it is very affordable and also portable.
It comes with enough storage to store a lot of GoPro media for cheap and is small enough to carry without much of a hassle.
The drive’s casing is metallic, giving it a premium feel while also protecting the drive’s internal components from the harsh conditions of the outdoors.
It comes with a USB 3.0 interface that suffices for 2.5″ HDD drive.
All in all, if you want an affordable HDD with auto backup feature, then this is the best external hard drive for GoPro Videos.
4. Samsung T5 – Economical External SATA GoPro SSD
An affordable SATA SSD. Very popular model.
The Samsung T5 is the older version of the Samsung T7 we reviewed above. The Samsung T5 is also an SSD external drive but it is slower and not NVMe.
Hence it has a much slower speed in comparison the T7 i.e 550MB/s, but is also much cheaper.
This is a pocket-sized unit that delivers great performance and a host of other useful features.
Like the Samsung T7, you get a metal construction that’s sturdy in a package that can fit in the palm of your hand.
It does not have a lot of external protection like the Lacie SSD drive above, but if you can ensure the physical safety of the drive yourself then this can prove to be a pretty affordable SSD investment.
The drive comes with storage capacities of up to 2TB. At the same time, you get disk encryption that will keep the videos safe by preventing unauthorized access.
All its features and an economical price tag work together to make the T5 one of the best external hard drive for GoPro videos.
5. SanDisk Extreme Portable – Pocket-sized portable 550MB/s SSD
A highly portable SATA SSD with IP55 protection and a reasonable price tag.
The SanDisk Extreme Portable is a handy device for people who like to travel and need a compact solution for their data storage needs.
Since traveling is a critical part of a GoPro user’s life, this highly portable external SSD cannot be recommended enough.
It’s small and portable so you can easily carry it around and it also has a tiny hoop where you can attach a hook and tether it to your luggage or other equipment to avoid misplacing it.
The device comes in a rugged enclosure that is made shockproof to protect the components from rough environments.
At the same time, you get an IP55 rating for water and dust resistance meaning the device can handle water flow as well as dust very well without incurring any physical damage.
It comes with a USB 3.1 interface that offers high performance, and as such, you get speeds of up to 550MB/s. This is great for an SSD, and it makes the transfer of videos faster and saves you a lot of time.
If you want a high-performance drive that’s very portable and durable, then this is the best external hard drive for GoPro videos since it offers all this and more.
6. G-Technology Armor ATD – Rugged, IP54 – HDD
Regular 2.5″ portable HDD with IP54, rain, dust and crush protection.
Next up, we have another ruggedized external hard drive like the Sandisk Portable above, however, this is an HDD NOT an SSD.
Hence if you are looking for an economical solution for storage on your adventures, this can certainly help
For those who are into more extreme adventures like rock climbing, a hardy hard drive will be great to ensure peace of mind while out in the field.
While it is very portable, the drive is rugged and can withstand a lot of shocks and vibrations. This is made possible thanks to the triple-layer shock resistance system that the device uses.
Thanks to this, the device will be able to survive a crushing force of up to 1000 pounds.
With this drive, you get large storage capacities of up to 5TB.
The device’s read speeds max out at 140MB/s which is expected for a hard drive. Nevertheless, its key selling point is its durability because it also comes with an IP54 rating.
So in short, if you do not care much for an SSD and you want to get a simple portable HDD, then this is best external hard drive for GoPro videos.
7. WD My Passport Wireless – Portable Wireless USB 3.0 Drive
A wireless portable HDD. The build SD slot can be used for transferring video.
The main highlight of this external HDD is of course the very rare Wireless connectivity.
If you aren’t planning on bringing your computer along to transfer files, then getting the Passport Wireless from WD will be a better option.
The drive has a battery pack that allows it to perform wireless transfers out in the field. To offload pictures from your GoPro, you will need to plug your memory card into the device and initialize the transfer.
The drive will transfer all the necessary files and let you continue using the card to record. Furthermore, with a mobile app, you will be able to stream the drive’s content over Wi-Fi straight to your phone.
The battery can last up to ten hours with regular use, and if you run out of charge in your GoPro, you can even use the hard drive to recharge it as a battery bank.
Storage capacities go up to 4TB, and you also get a USB 3.0 interface to use for USB file transfers.
It is very portable and convenient, and its WiFi what makes this one of the best external hard drive for GoPro videos.
8. WD My Book – Desktop HDD for Large Data Archive
A large and a affordable 3.5″ desktop HDD for archiving video. Not portable
Finally, here we have a desktop HDD. This is NOT a portable hard drive but suitable for those who have a huge data to archive.
If you have a lot of GoPro video footage that you just do not want to delete but keep safe in a storage, then a desktop external hard drive makes a lot of sense.
Desktop hard drives are not portable. For starters, they are large with a 3.5″ form factor. They are heavy since they have plenty of magnetic disks and thirdly, then need an EXTERNAL POWER SOURCE.
They do, however, offer the cheapest storage achievable. On top of that, you can find very large storage capacities on a a single device.
Therefore, while not for traveling, if you need a stationary backup storage, then this is the best external hard drive for GoPro videos.
Can You Transfer Data from GoPro Straight to the External Hard Drive?
Unfortunately, you cannot transfer data directly from GoPro to the external hard drive.
You will have to transfer the videos the old fashioned way. You will first need to connect both the GoPro and the external hard drive to a PC and then manually transfer.
To reduce the amount of times you have to transfer the videos, you can invest in a larger capacity SD card for your GoPro.
Alternatively, you can go for something like the WD My Passport Wireless Pro. This HDD, albeit expensive, has an SD card slot.
You can slot in the SD card from your GoPro into this. Next, you can configure this HDD to automatically transfer the content of the SD card to the hard disk.
How to Find the Right GoPro External Hard Drive?
Whether you intend to use the hard drive as a backup storage device out in the field when recording or a storage device that will stay at home, a good hard drive should be chosen.
By picking one that best fits your use case, you will be setting yourself up for a great experience down the road.
Here are some things you will need to consider before making a purchase.
Portability – If You Carry Your HDD With You
If you intend to take your hard drive out to the field then you should consider getting a portable one.
Doing so will relieve you of the burden of having to carry around a hard drive that’s not practical in the outdoors.
If this is you, then large desktop hard drives should be out of the question.
By portable hard drive we mean that you should at least look for the 2.5″ hard drives either HDD or SATA SSD, if not the smaller NVME external SSDs.
However, SSDs can get quite expensive. Therefore, most of the time we recommend sticking with the 2.5″ HDD if storing videos is your primary requirement.
Durability – For the Rough Adventurers
A lot can happen when you’re out with your GoPro. This is part of the reason these cameras are built to be durable and water-resistant.
The same should go for a hard drive that you intend to use out in the field.
Suffice to say, chances are that the drive won’t be exposed to as much of the action as the camera. Nevertheless, if the drive is shockproof or waterproof, you will have more peace of mind.
It is worth it here to review the ingress protection of your hard disk. There are few certain external hard drive that come with an extensive ingress protection against shock as well as water.
However, hard drives with ingress protection and other external environment protection generally tend to be more expensive than their normal counterparts.
Security, Redundancy and Durability of DATA
Another very important consideration is the security of your data. By security and redundancy we are talking about disaster recovery.
Depending upon how critical your data is, you can choose to have clones and copies of your hard drives so that there is not single point of failure.
Redundancy and backups become important particularly when you are archiving. There are specialized storage devices that come with RAID utility that automatically clone your drive. You need to have at least two drives for the redundancy/cloning to work.
WD My Book Duo is an external desktop drive that comes with two drives and RAID utility. You can set it to RAID 0 for speed or RAID 1 for redundancy/mirroring
The best drives for ultimate fault tolerance, redundancy and archiving of large and critical data are NAS. They are, however, expensive and bulky.
Depending on how much content you’re shooting, the external hard drive you take should have sufficient storage for it.
This means that If you take large volumes of videos in a session then having a drive that keeps up with the files will make it easier on you.
The same goes the other way round and so if you don’t collect a lot of footage, there won’t be much need for a very large capacity drive. This is where your needs affect your choice.
When it comes to capacity, the following is the hierarchy 3.5″ Desktop HDD -> 2.5″ Portable HDD -> External SSD.
The same hierarcy also applies for GB/dollar value.
3.5″ desktop HDDs offer the most storage capacity (easily reaching 16 TB per drive) and the cheapest price tag, but they are not portable at all.
2.5″ Portable HDDs can be carried around and they can offer upto 5 TB of storage.
External SSDs are the most expensive, the most portable and also the fastest. These can have capacities of upto 2 TB.
Wired vs Wireless Transfer
Regular external hard drives solely operate via a cable for data transfers. This is the norm and is a very reliable method for file transfer.
However, some more advanced and rarer hard drives allow you to wirelessly transfer your files. This removes the need for having a computer around, therefore reducing your required luggage.
The potential here is great since some of these drives can recharge your devices when you run out of power. However, you also bear the risk of having the hard drive running out of power while you’re out shooting.
Whichever method you choose should depend mostly on your needs.
Price (GB/Dollar Cost)
All the features and aspects such as storage capacity, transfer speed, portability etc are tied to the price.
If you have a limited budget but you want to maximize the storage capacity, then go for an HDD.
If you have limited budget but want to maximize performance, for of an SSD.
If you want a hard drive just to archive your GoPro footage, again 3.5″ HDD make the most sense.
Here we looked at a variety of external storage for GoPro users. Some can be used for outdoor adventures while others are most suitable for stationary long term storage.
The best external hard drive for GoPro videos for you generally depends on your requirements. Do you want fast transfer speed but with an expensive price tag or a large capacity storage device with a cheap price tag.
If you plan to access your hard drive often and transfer files to and fro your drive all the time, then an SSD can certainly help. SSDs are suited for “Hot Data”. This is data that is being worked on frequently.
On the other hand, if you simply want to store your footage and occasionally access it, then a large cheap storage would make more sense.