When it comes to graphic design, users have a few things they need from an external hard drive.
You may want a drive to store your files in and one whose speed is not the greatest consideration.
And likewise, some prefer to have a hard drive that is first enough to work off with minimal lags.
Whatever your needs, the best external hard drives for graphic designers should be able to fit them.
Therefore, when picking one, you will often have a few things to consider so that you get the best one.
List of Best External Hard Drives for Graphic Designers in 2020
The following HDDs as well as SSDs can be an excellent choice for most graphic designers and content creators.
- Samsung T5 SSD – Recommended External SSD
- G-Technology G-Drive – Large storage 245MB/s HDD
- WD Elements – Basic Affordable External Hard Drive for Graphic Designers
- LaCie Rugged SSD Pro – Very Expensive 2800MB/s NVMe SSD
- Buffalo MiniStation Extreme – NFC, Rugged and Dust/Water resistance
1. Samsung T5 SSD – Recommended External SSD – 540MB/s
This drive has a metallic case that not only gives it a stylish look but also adds to its durability. As a result, you get one of the best external hard drive for graphic designers that you can comfortably travel with.
The device comes in a small package that can easily fit in your bag or your pocket and is ideal for graphic designers who work from their laptops in different locations.
The drive is a bit pricy compared to some other external SSDs, but it does offer great performance that makes up for it.
You get a USB 3.1-ready package that can deliver speeds of up to 540MB/s. This allows you to do a lot of things like transferring large libraries in a matter of seconds.
If you wish, you could work or edit your designs straight off the hard drive and still get great performance.
It comes in a variety of storage sizes of up to 2TB and is also available in multiple colors to fit the designer’s needs.
2. G-Technology G-Drive – Large storage 245MB/s HDD
When you’re looking for a drive that you don’t intend to move around with, the G-Drive from G-Technology will suit your needs.
It has an aluminum body that makes it very hardy and durable against some shocks.
At the same time, you get a high-performance unit with a USB 3.0 interface that is capable of delivering speeds of up to 245MB/s.
This is great for a hard drive and is further made possible because the disk spins at a whopping 7200RPM.
In addition to being a great performer, the drive has storage capacities of up to 10TB. This is great when you have a large library of files that you need to store for your work. It also comes in handy for large file transfers.
The drive is compatible with Apple Time Machine so users on macOS will find this one of the best external hard drive for graphic designers.
3. WD Elements – Basic Affordable External Hard Drive for Graphic Designers
The WD Elements is a simple hard drive that despite not having many features to offer, is one of the best external hard drive for graphic designers, especially when starting.
It has a simple build with a hard-plastic enclosure. This means you don’t get extra durability or waterproofing in case of accidents.
What you get, however, is a USB 3.0 interface that gives you a fast connection line between the drive itself and your computer, allowing you to transfer files to and from it with great ease.
At the same time, the drive is very affordable which makes it an easy buy when all you need is an external storage device for your files.
You get large storage capacities with this, up to 5TB for the portable version. This gives you enough room to store your files and backup your portfolio.
In addition to that, the drive is portable but you will have to take extra care to prevent any damages.
4. LaCie Rugged SSD Pro – Very Expensive 2800MB/s NVMe SSD for Creatives
Unlike SATA SSDs that are limited to a 6Gb/s maximum transfer speed, roughly 750MB/s, the LaCie Rugged SSD Pro uses NVMe technology.
This allows it to exhibit extremely high performance with speeds that can go up to 2800MB/s. This will let graphic designers transfer very large volumes of files with hardly any significant delays.
It should be noted that while this SSD has the potential to have very high speeds, it is limited by the speed of the USB port you install it in.
The connection makes use of a Thunderbolt interface that supports high transfer speeds to compatible computers.
The device’s performance makes it very expensive as a 1TB unit can cost over $350. Despite that, users who choose to get this can work right off it and even run their graphic design software straight from the device.
You get a waterproof casing for the device with an IP67 rating. At the same time, the device is rugged and features advanced shock-proofing and can survive drops of up to 3 meters.
Furthermore, the device can survive the crushing force of a car’s weight, and combining its performance and durability makes this one of the best external hard drive for graphic designers.
5. Buffalo MiniStation Extreme – NFC, Rugged and Dust/Water Resistance
This rugged hard drive is a great companion for graphic designers. Not only is it durable, but it’s also very convenient as you get a built-in USB cable so forgetting to bring one is not an issue.
The MiniStation Extreme comes ready to use as its preformatted to work with Windows. Mac users will need to reformat it to get full use of its features though.
The military-grade rugged exterior keeps the hard drive safe from shocks and allows it to survive drops that could be fatal to unprotected drives.
At the same time, you get hardware encryption that helps keep your files safe, ensuring that if you end up losing the drive, the contents will not be accessed by any unauthorized users.
To supplement the security features, the device features NFC security with a card that gets supplied with the unit.
The card can be used to unlock the hard drive via NFC for extra security. The security features and great performance make this one of the best external hard drive for graphic designers.
How to Choose the Right Graphic Designing External Hard Drive for Creatives?
Graphic design software has evolved and gotten more sophisticated now than ever. There’s always a tool, plugin, or utility for almost anything you would like to do.
This is partly because computers themselves have become powerful enough to handle the demanding software more efficiently.
When creating and exporting your design files, you may need an external hard drive to assist in the work and make it easier.
A lot of the time, matching high performance to large storage spaces in an external hard drive means spending a lot of money.
This is because some of the fastest drives are SSDs and while they have gotten more affordable over the years, a large capacity one will still cost you a fairly high amount.
With combining drives, you can have a large capacity unit that will store all your files and resources, possibly an HDD.
To back it up, a fast SSD can be used, one that you can work directly off without hitting major performance pitfalls.
When discussing external hard drive performance, there are usually two camps in question. HDDs and SSDs.
HDDs have a spinning disk and a moving arm that zaps across the disk as it rotates to read your files from it.
As you can guess, this wastes a lot of time because to read a certain sector, the arm needs to wait until the platter does a rotation for that sector to come up to the arm.
This increases latency and reduces the drive’s performance.
Hard drives with faster-spinning platters have been invented to cope with this issue but there’s a better alternative.
SSDs are not a new technology. But they were once so expensive that most people could not afford them.
They have no moving parts and instead use ICs (Integrated Circuits) to store and retrieve data. Because of this, they have very low latencies and can supply a lot of bandwidth.
External SSDs can be great to work from but when we compare the prices per gigabyte, they are more expensive than HDDs.
External HDD vs SSD, which Is Best?
When it comes down to deciding whether to pick an SSD or an HDD, you’ll have to weigh your needs against a budget.
Your needs and budget will help you decide whether to buy a 2TB external SSD or a 2TB external HDD for example. Nevertheless, a good unit will work perfectly.
Desktop External Hard Drives
Desktop External Hard Drive is basically a term used to describe the large 3.5″ external storage devices.
These storage devices require an external power connect to the wall socket. Hence they are not considered quite portable.
However, when it comes to sheer value and capacity, nothing beats them
If you have a dedicated workstation and you want a huge hard disk to store and archive your designs and other multimedia, we highly recommend these.
However, if you often move around and want to carry your external hard drive with you, then these may not be the best option for you.
If you have super crucial and critical data, then it may be unwise to store all that on a single hard drive.
Hence, if you are getting an external hard drive in order to back your work up, then a large HDD is generally recommended.
Some hard disk come with a backup software built in. However, if they don’t then you can use a third party backup software to automate the process for you.
Alternatively, you can do the good old manual backing up should you wish you to.
An SSD for mere backing up would not be quite recommended particularly if you have huge data to backup. An SSD is generally a work horse hard drive. So unless if you want to use the hard drive very often, they are not recommended for backing up graphic designs.
The only crucial benefit an SSD provides is the speed at which it would backup your work everyday.
Here we checked out some of the best external hard drives for graphic designers and creatives.
Generally, the option boils down to whether you are looking for high performance or for large capacity at a certain budget.
For archiving and backing up we recommend large 3.5″ hard drives particularly if you have stationary workstation.
If you have around too much, then we recommend a 2.5″ portable HDD if you need high amount of storage or a SATA SSD if you need speed.