PC Gear Lab

5 Best External Hard Drives for Long Term Storage in 2020

Hard drives are great for storing your important information. But, when you need to store your data for even longer periods then you need a sturdy and durable solution.

External hard drives have large capacities these days so you don’t have to worry much about the storage space.

You, however, need to consider getting a drive that’s got a sturdy construction which will make it even more resistant to the daily mishaps that may occur.

Because accidents happen, the best external hard drives for long term storage needs to be somewhat resistant.

Also Read: 7200 RPM Hard Drive vs SSD

List of Best External Hard Drives for Long Term Storage in 2020

These are some of the best options when you’re looking for external hard drives with long term storage in mind.

  1. Silicon Power A60 – Large Storage and Waterproofing – HDD
  2. Silicon Power A30 – Compact and Shockproof – HDD
  3. WD WDBU6Y0020BBK – For Users on a Budget – HDD
  4. LaCie STHR1000800 – Premium SSD with Water Resistance
  5. SanDisk SDSSDE60-500G-G25 – Compact and Portable – SSD

1. Silicon Power A60 – Large Storage and Waterproofing – HDD

Recommended, reasonably priced, rugged external HDD for safe file storage.

The Silicon Power A60 is one of the best external hard drive for long term storage due to its sturdy construction and the fact that it has options for large storage capacities. You can get one quite affordably and because it has some water resistance, this is a good choice.

With the Power A60, you can get storage capacities of up to 5TB which is great for large HD video files and large pictures.

Besides the fact that the device can accommodate large amounts of data, it will also keep your files somewhat safe from water damage. The IP X4 water resistance rating it comes with means that any splashes from any direction can be withstood and a little seepage is allowed without too much damage.

The body’s construction is rubber and plastic which give you great shock absorption while the texture of the material reduces sliding and enhances grip when you’re carrying it around.

The hard drive is quite popular for users who want something strong and durable for all their files.

2. Silicon Power A30 – Compact and Shockproof – HDD

Compact external HDD comes with military-grade shock proof design. Excellent for PC and gaming consoles.

The Silicon Power A30 is a modest-looking external hard drive at first glance. Its body which is composed of just rubber and plastic weighs about 105 grams. However, this device is very durable. It’s shock-proof and resistant to scratches.

The plastic casing may seem feeble but this hard drive can withstand some significant amounts of bumps and falls.

The hard drive has an innovative internal suspension system. This keeps the hard drive itself away from the body thus limiting the magnitude of external shocks that can reach it.  As a result, bumping and dropping it may have a lesser effect on it than on an unprotected hard drive.

A silica gel also adds to the shock protection of the device by acting as an extra shock-absorbing layer on the device’s enclosure whose surface is also scratch-resistant.

As one of the best external hard drive for long term storage, the Silicon Power A30 offers great performance with its USB 3.2 interface. You can get speeds of up to 5 Gigabits/s.

To sum it all up, this device offers price for performance and throws in some durability.

3. WD WDBU6Y0020BBK – For Users on a Budget – HDD

A good old highly affordable and reliable HDD. Does not come with shock proof or water resistance capacity, but offers a great value.

Unlike the first two devices we have seen, this model is a basic hard drive with hardly any protection against shock or an IP rating for water resistance. In exchange for that, you get a very affordable device that can serve you very well.

A drive doesn’t need to have premium features to be the best external hard drive for long term storage. If it has a good-enough storage capacity, comes from a reliable brand and thas he relevant features then you can use it for your important files without having to worry too much.

With such a drive, you get the comfort of saving some extra money by not indulging in a costlier external hard drive. However, for the compromise of not having any shock or water protection, the burden of ensuring your drive survives long falls on you as the user.

You’ll need to avoid situations that can expose the drive to excessive shocks and moisture. Otherwise, it has a USB 3.0 interface that allows faster transfer speeds of about 5 Gigabits/s which is moderately sufficient for day to day use.

4. LaCie STHR1000800 – Premium SSD with Water Resistance

One of the best external SSD for long term storage. Rugged, water resistance and shock proof.

Harnessing the performance of an SSD and coupling it with rugged exterior positions the LaCie STHR100800 as a contender for the best external hard drive for long term storage. It’s rugged and shockproof design protects it from mechanical damage while the IP rating protects it from water damage.

To start us off, this is a premium device hence it commands a hefty price tag. But, for all its costs, it has features to match.

The drive itself is an SSD that offers great performance, with speeds of about 950 MB/s hence you can expect your transfers to be snappy.

The device also features an IP67 rating meaning it’s not only dust resistant, but it also offers water resistance full immersion with a depth of 15-100 CM for up to 30 minutes.

The shock-resistant body of the device allows it to survive drops of up to three meters. This coupled with the fact that the device uses an SSD and can resist water damage from submersion is very impressive for an external drive, thus adding to its premium feel.

5. SanDisk SDSSDE60-500G-G25 – Compact and Portable – SSD

A highly portable SSD with tried and tested water and dust resistance design.

While the device has a sturdy-looking body, it is quite friendly in terms of size, and is as a result very portable. The SanDisk SDSSDE60-500G-G25 features a rugged case that shields it from most shocks. It also has water resistance and features fast data transfers.

This device has a lot to offer. Looking at its size, the SanDisk appears small, but this should not fool you as the small rugged body us rated IP55 dust and water resistance.

Not only that, but the body is also rubberized. The main purpose of this is to increase its shock resistance while also improving on the grip.

The device is very compact, meaning that you can easily carry it around and with the fast transfer speeds of up to 550 MB/s, you are sure to get some good performance out of it.

What makes this particular drive stand out as one of the best external hard drive for long term storage is the fact that it combines portability and performance into a sturdy design that can resist a fair amount of damage.

What to Expect

Handed a list of hard drives, what would influence your decision about which one is the best for long-term storage?

Besides storage space, the hard drive will need to conform to some of the following features to come out strong.


Best External Hard Drives for Long Term Storage
Source: LaCie Rugged SSD

There’s a very good reason why some of the most compact and sturdy military electronic equipment are rugged in construction.

They need to survive even in the harshest conditions.

Taking from this, an external hard disk that’s meant to hold files for long periods, maybe as a backup needs to survive harsh conditions as well.

While you may not be on a battlefield, the day to day activities of modern life results in a lot of stress exertion on equipment.

Rugged hard drives are mostly classified as drop-proof. This means that accidental drops from let’s say a shelf, will not be as fatal.

Shock Proof

Military Grade Shock Proof
Source: Silicon Power A30

If you want a hard drive that you can carry with you to each of your destinations, then one that’s classified as shock-proof will be a worthy gamble.

Just as the spec suggests, these hard drives can survive some minor and some major hits. This can, of course, come in handy when you need the means to store long-term data externally.

Shockproof external hard drives are by design built to withstand knocks and some falls. They are also resistant to significant amounts of vibration so if you’re always on the move and mostly on rough terrain, you will probably need long-term external storage that’s shockproof.

As for poof that the device is shockproof, some may carry a tag showing which standard it conforms to, based on the tests that it underwent to prove its validity.

Water Resistance

At the very least, you’ll need your hard drive to be water-resistant if you intend to use it for long-term storage.

Water damage is one of the worst things that can happen to any electronic device and it’s usually difficult to recover data if the hard drive has been exposed to a significant amount of water or moisture.

This may be defined by the IP rating (Ingress Protection) which determines the extent to which a device’s enclosure has been sealed, thus protecting the components inside it from intrusion and damage by the elements around.

The very last character you see on the IP rating (like 7 in IP67) shows the degree of water protection.

Also Read: NVME vs SATA vs mSATA SSD

Final Words

In this article we looked at some of the best external hard drives for long terms storage. We looked at budget and premium, hard disk drives and sold state drives.

If you are looking for ultimate safety, it is important take into consideration how durable the external hard drive is. You need to make sure it is ruggedized since external hard disk are more prone to damage from fall and spills.

All in all, the good news is that there plenty of valuable options out there that you can choose. If you are looking to combine durability with speed, we would recommend you choose an SSD over an HDD.

Plus generally SSDs are more reliable against failure since they do not have mechanical moving parts.

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