External drives are a vital piece of hardware for backing up your data or copying a project from your PC to take with you. Anyone who uses a desktop or laptop computer needs one.
To help you sift through the stacks of external storage options, we’ve combed through our reviews of both external hard disks and SSDs to pick the top drives we’ve tested. We’ll also walk you through what you need to know to buy the best external drive for your needs.
Updated 8/23/17 to reflect the addition of the Samsung T5, which nabs our best external performance drive pick, bumping the Sandisk Extreme 900 to runner-up in that category.