Top 3 Best Portable and Gaming Hard Drives

Over the years, we’ve traveled far and wide while taking a lot of pictures and videos. We’re talking more than 5TB’s worth, which is more than our laptop can accommodate. The only solution to this storage conundrum is to get a portable hard drive — gaming hard drives are an excellent option.

 

A portable hard disk drive (HDD), also known as an external HDD, is a hard drive that connects to your computer via a USB port. Think of it as a bulkier USB flash drive that can store several times more data. 

 

Travelers who document their journeys know how quickly their smartphone storage can fill up. Taking a portable HDD with you can help ensure that you don’t lose a second of footage simply by transferring files from one device to another.

 

Granted, you could subscribe to Google Drive’s premium services for a monthly fee of $1.99 for 100GB. Or—and this is just a suggestion—you could add at least 1TB of additional storage to your laptop or desktop computer via a USB cable. 

 

It’d be nice to have a stable connection 24/7 throughout your travels, but this is most certainly not the case. As travelers, we know how unreliable our phone’s internet can be in other countries. A portable HDD is a failproof method of storing every precious moment of your trip as well as improving your online gaming experience.

 

 

Gaming Hard Drives: What You Should Know About Portable HDDs

Don’t worry yourself too much about choosing the right HDD. There’s plenty of room for error, but if you follow these quick guidelines, you shouldn’t run into any problems.

 

Storage Capacity

As we mentioned earlier, HDDs can store 1TB of data at any time, which is on the cheaper end of the price spectrum. If you’ve prepared a bigger budget, you can certainly invest in a portable HDD that can store anywhere between 4TB and 16TB.

 

Transfer Speed

The overall performance of an HDD relies on a number of different factors, the most crucial of which is RPMs. The RPM figures range from 5400 to 7200 RPM, where a higher RPM rating means quicker data transferring to and from the HDD.

 

Or, for a more accurate description, you should look for the transfer speed in MB/s. Again, the higher the number, the quicker it reads and writes.

 

While an HDD’s transfer speed greatly affects offline performance, it does play a role in online performance too. Say you’re using an online video conversion service. If your internet’s upload speed outpaces your HDDs transfer speed, then your upload speed will suffer. And don’t even get us started on how slower RPMs can impair your gaming experience!

 

Cache Space

Another factor that plays a role in an HDD’s performance is cache speed. Simply put, an HDD has a miniature C: drive in which files are temporarily stored. This acts as a buffer between two physical sections of an HDD to transfer files.

 

Like the RPM rating, a higher cache space figure can indicate faster working speeds. The latest and greatest HDDs have a cache space of between 8MB and 256MB.

 

For Game Consoles

If you’re a console gamer, SSDs are objectively better than HDDs. However, if you prioritize storage space over speed, then a portable HDD is the better option.

 

Except for the PS3, you must make sure that your external HDD has a USB 3.0 interface, which isn’t that difficult to find since USB 2.0 and 1.0 are virtually obsolete now.

 

For Xboxes, your alternatives are to choose either one of the overpriced options that Microsoft offers or find a third-party drive that’s compatible with Xbox’s firmware. 

 

The Best Portable Gaming Hard Drives

So, if you’re looking for an inexpensive way to add semi-permanent storage to your laptop for travel, business, and gaming purposes, you should check out our list of the best gaming hard drives that are also conveniently portable.

 

 

Buffalo MiniStation NFC External Hard Drive

If you want the best portable hard drive that also offers the best bang for your buck, check out the MiniStation by Buffalo.

 

Why You Should Get It

  •         Lightning-fast USB 3.0
  •         Shock-resistance
  •         Durable cable

 

Why You Should Avoid It

  •         Annoying preinstalled programs
  •         Bulky build

 

HDDs are notorious for succumbing to drops and slight bumps, but not the MiniStation. While not indestructible by any means, it comes in a shock-resistant casing to absorb most trauma, keeping both the physical form and digital data intact.

 

The cost of its shock-resistance is its bulkiness, which we think is more than worth it. However, the preinstalled Buffalo nonsense inside of the HDD is annoying, but a quick uninstallation shouldn’t prove too difficult.

 

 

Western Digital My Passport

Western Digital’s lineup has some of the most sought-after HDDs for their designs and performance, including the My Passport.

 

Why You Should Get It

  •         Slim design
  •         Helpful WD Software Suite

 

Why You Should Avoid It

  •         Plastic case not very durable
  •         Slower transfer speed

 

The My Passport has a storage capacity of between 1TB and 2TB, and it comes with 256-AES encryption for added file security.

 

As for the WD software suite, we think you’ll appreciate the automatic backup feature that is also compatible with Dropbox. It transfers files at speeds of up to 115MB/s, which is slightly below WD’s average of 120MB/s.

 

Its slim plastic casing isn’t the most durable. That said, it doesn’t feel cheap by any means, and it’s certainly a piece of hardware you’ll enjoy looking at.

 

 

Seagate Backup Plus

Another excellent option for an external HDD, especially for video conversion, is Seagate’s Backup Plus.

 

Why You Should Get It

  •         Ultra-fast transfer speed
  •         Great bundled Seagate software
  •         Budget-friendly

 

Why You Should Avoid It

  •         Blocky design

 

First and foremost, you should know that the Seagate Backup Plus has several options, including one with a max storage capacity of 5TB, which is most certainly more than you’d ever need. With a USB 3.0 capability, it has an average RPM of 5900, meaning it reads and writes at incredible speeds.

 

Preinstalled in the Backup Plus is Seagate’s own Dashboard application that you use to automatically back up content, both from cloud-based storage and social media, on your smartphone. 

 

Whether your goal is to store travel photos and videos or enhance your online gaming with high-speed storage transfer, investing in portable gaming hard drives is an excellent option.


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