9 Best External Hard Drives for Photos and Videos

9 Best External Hard Drives for Photos and Videos

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As a photographer, A/V professional, or especially a digital multimedia artist, storing stuff in the cloud won’t just cut it. That’s why you need the best external hard drives for photos and videos. 

Don’t know where to get a good one? Skip the browsing and start reading. In this post, we listed the best hard drives for video editing. 

girl operating on a macbook with external hard drive - best external hard drives for photos and videos

9 best external hard drives for photos & videos

Why do we think that these are the best external hard drives for photos and videos? The products we recommended here may have differences, but they’re all portable, reliable, and durable.

As someone who works with a huge amount of media, you should look for these qualities for in a trustworthy best external hard drive for video editing. Have this standard or else risk losing your files and experience terrible setbacks.

1. SanDisk Extreme Portable External SSD

SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable External SSD - Up to 550MB/s - USB-C, USB 3.1 - SDSSDE60-1T00-G25
  • High-speed transfers with up to 550MB/s read speeds let you move hi-res photos and videos faster...
  • Ruggedized, water- and dust-resistant (IP55-rated) (IEC 60529 IP55: Tested to withstand water flow...
  • Shock-resistant solid state core for greater durability (Shock-resistant (up to 1500G) and...
  • Compact and pocket-sized

Sandisk’s external SSD weighs like nothing, but its feather-like weight just reflects its speed. Having up to 550MB/s read speeds, you can confidently transfer high-resolution media like RAW photos and videos in seconds. 

It also comes with nice touches for the multimedia artist with a fast-paced lifestyle. You can use the red hole at the top to hook it to your backpack. You won’t also worry about water and dust damage, as it’s rated IP55. 

Altogether, its qualities make it one of the best external hard drives for photos and videos. This product is available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities.

Must-read: Top 12 professional iPhone filmmaking equipment 

2. WD My Passport SSD

WD 1TB My Passport SSD External Portable Solid State Drive, Red, Up to 1,050 MB/s, USB 3.2 Gen-2 and...
  • Blazing fast NVMe technology with speeds of up to 1050MB/s and write speeds of up to 1000MB/s. |...
  • Password enabled 256-bit AES hardware encryption
  • Shock and vibration resistant. Drop resistant up to 6.5ft (1.98m)
  • Cross Compatible USB 3.2 Gen-2 and USB-C (USB-A for older systems)

Like its name, this SSD is sleek, slim, and stylish. It’s available in red, gold, silver, and black. However, don’t be fooled by its fashionable design—it may not look like it, but it’s fast and rugged.   

This SSD video editing drive has whopping read speeds of up to 1050MB/s and write speeds of up to a 1000MB/s, thanks to its Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) technology. This allows a storage device to deliver the highest throughput and speediest response times. If you ask us, this is already more than enough for transferring large media files. Even too fast. 

You will also feel safe and secure from unauthorized access with its password-enabled 256-bit AES hardware encryption. This SSD is also suitable for clumsy people, as it has a drop resistance of no more than 6 feet.

Whether you’re stuck to your desk editing or traveling nonstop, My Passport is one of the best external hard drives for photos and videos you could buy.


GNARBOX 2.0 SSD (256GB) - Rugged Backup Device for Your Camera
  • USB-C (x2), SD and Micro HDMI ports
  • USB-C transfer 350MB/s & SD backup 75MB/s
  • Water, Dust & Shock Resistant
  • Single-step backup with status & checksum

Like WD’s My Passport, Gnarbox 2.0 is also a lightweight, rugged device; however, Gnarbox is better at looking the part because of its MIL-SPEC water-resistant design. As for its transfer speed, Gnarbox 2.0 has a commendable 350MB/s speed that allows you to move RAW images and videos. This makes Gnarbox 2.0 one of if not the best SSD for video editing.

What’s really special about this storage device? Well, by using Gnarbox, you will have a professional mobile workflow. It has a dedicated photo management app that doesn’t consume storage on your phone, plus a 1TB internal SSD, an SD slot, and two USB-C ports. All of these let you easily transfer files on the road, saving you time in your workstation.

Those features make Gnarbox 2.0 one of the best external hard drives for photos and videos you could have today. Gnarbox 2.0 is available in 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. 

Must-read: 12 Important DSLR Camera Accessories You Should Have in Your Bag 

4. G-Technology G-DRIVE mobile SSD

G-Technology 2TB G-DRIVE mobile SSD Durable Portable External Storage - USB-C (USB 3.1), Up to 560...
  • A durable design with IP67 water/dust resistance, 3M drop tested, and 1000 pounds crush resistance
  • Super fast transfer rates up to 560MB/s
  • Latest generation USB C connectivity (USB 3.1 Gen 2)
  • Shock and vibration resistant solid state drive

Wrapped in a black matte with metallic accents, G-DRIVE looks and feels rugged. It has a higher dust and water resistance, having a grade of IP65. It can also resist damage even after being dropped to the ground from a distance of no higher than 3 meters. 

With transfer speeds up to 560MB/s, G-DRIVE can also move your media with ease. For its speed, design, durability, and portability, it’s rather affordable. That’s why we think that it’s one of the best external hard drives for photos and videos you could order today. 

5. RAVPower 1TB Portable External SSD Pro

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RAVPower is another powerful SSD that delivers in look and performance. Its slim metallic case will remind you of the movie Matrix, while its performance will make you feel like you’re in it. RAVPower has a good transfer speed of up to 540MB/s, which lets you easily view RAW images and 4K videos. 

As for security, you can protect RAVPower with a password using the ATA lock technology and AES-256 encryption through its software. Whether you’re using a Mac, Windows, Android, or iOS device, you can use RAVPower to save your precious files in mere seconds.

If you care about speed, then this is the best hard drive for video editing you could order today.

Must-read: 10 Best Portable Movie Projectors for iPhone (2020) 

6. VectoTech Rapid External SSD

VectoTech Rapid 8TB External SSD USB-C Portable Solid State Drive (USB 3.1 Gen 2) – Up to 540MB/s...
  • PERFORMANCE – Ultra fast read/write speeds of up to 540MB/s, lets you transfer conveniently large...
  • COMPATIBILITY – Works with PC and MAC straight out of the box. Comes with USB Type C to C and USB...
  • DESIGN – Made out of durable Aluminum 1050 grade makes this portable solid state drive resistant...
  • 3 Years Manufacturer warranty

Need the best hard drive for photographers and videographers? You can get the rugged but pretty VectoTech SSD. It’s available in up to a humongous 8TB capacity and power through with a 540MB/s transfer speed, thanks to its 3D NAND technology. This tech is faster, longer-lasting, and consumes less energy than 2D NAND. 

Not only does it have a large capacity but also a great build. VectoTech is made of aluminum 1050 grade or alloy 1050, known for having exceptional rust resistance, attractive shiny finish, and great ductility. That’s why it also has excellent heat dissipation and great drop resistance of up to 6 meters.

Needless to say, if you’re a busy A/V professional, a gamer, or a leader of a full-time video editing team, you should get VectoTech. It’s one of the best external hard drives for photos and videos you could buy.

7. Oyen U32 Shadow External SSD

U32 Shadow 4TB External SSD USB-C Portable Solid State Drive
  • USB-C Gen2 (10Gbps). Compatible with all USB and Thunderbolt 3.
  • Aluminum housing provides excellent protection and heat dissipation
  • Plug and play with Windows, Mac, Sony PS4/PS5
  • Includes: U32 Shadow, USB-C cable, USB 3.0 cable, padded carrying pouch

Oyen’s U32 Shadow is another heavy-duty and rugged SSD designed for multimedia professionals. U32 boasts of durability that can withstand up to 1500Gs operating shock. You won’t need to worry about heat dissipation as well, as it’s made of aluminum. 

As for performance and capacity, it’s anything but flimsy. It has a transfer speed of up to 550 MB/s and is available in 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, and 8TB capacities. But even though it’s a hard worker, it’s amazingly quiet.

So, U32 shadow is the best external hard drive for photographers, especially for ones who don’t like working with a clunky and noisy drive. 

Must-read: 10 DSLR Cameras for Underwater Photography 

8. SAMSUNG T5 Portable SSD

SAMSUNG T5 Portable SSD 2TB - Up to 540MB/s - USB 3.1 External Solid State Drive, Black...
  • Superfast read-write speeds of up to 540 MB/s
  • Top to bottom metal design that fits in the palm of your hand
  • Optional password protection and AES 256-bit hardware encryption
  • Includes USB type C to C and USB type C to A cables. Shock resistance

Now we have one of the more beloved SSD brands on this list. Samsung T5 has always struck the balance among premium design, quality, and performance. That’s why it’s often revered as the best external hard drive for photos.

Even with such a chic design and small size, Samsung T5 incredibly delivers a transfer speed of up to 540MB/s, thanks to its superior V-NAND flash memory. V-NAND’s flash memory cells are stacked horizontally, allowing for higher storage capacity. This can already help you move massive amounts of data in seconds. 

Being a product by Samsung, this SSD comes with great and easy-to-use management software. This is where you can set the password and keep up with Samsung’s updates. Overall, Samsung T5 is one of the best external hard drives for photos and videos. It’s available in 1TB and 2TB capacities. 

9. FD Extreme Portable NVMe SSD

FD Extreme - 1TB Portable NVMe SSD - Thunderbolt 3 40Gb/s - Up to 2800MB/s Transfer Speed - Black -...
  • Fantom Drives eXtreme Portable NVMe SSD is the perfect collision of Power and Speed. Equipped with...
  • The eXtreme Thunderbolt 3 NVMe SSD is an officially licensed and certified product that passes the...
  • Built with high-quality aluminum -- legend has it that the FD eXtreme is strong enough to withstand...
  • Fantom Drives eXtreme Thunderbolt 3 is designed to alleviate any NVMe heat issues and allow proper...

FD Extreme is an underrated SSD that we just had to include in this list. Although it has a classic look and comes in a relatively bigger size than others, it has a solid and reliable performance. 

Having a transfer speed of up to 2,800 MB/s thanks to its 3D NAND NVMe tech, you can seamlessly move large vector illustrations and 8k videos in a jiffy. Its design doesn’t exist without purpose either. FD Extreme has grooved edges that allow for efficient heat dissipation. 

Not only that, but this FD Extreme SSD is also a certified Thunderbolt 3 product, meaning it’s fit for devices with a Mac OS 10.13 or later version and any laptop with a Thunderbolt 3 technology. Although it’s underrated, you could say that it’s best external hard drive for pictures.

Must-read: Top 11 macro photography cameras 


Whether you’re transferring large RAW photos or 8K video clips, you can rely on these portable SSDs. But even if they’re rugged, remember to use them with care. These drives aren’t cheap, but losing files will cost you a lot more. 

Related question

What’s the most reliable external drive?

We recommend Samsung T5. It’s lightweight and unbelievably small, but its performance is that of a giant who’s had three cups of coffee. More particularly, its transfer speed of up to 540MB/s and powerful management software will reduce your loading times, giving your workflow a big boost in productivity. 

What is the difference between an external hard drive and a flash drive?

An external hard drive and a flash drive differ in capacity and speed. The external hard drive is faster and can store more files. The SSD external hard drive can store more media since it can hold up more flash memory chips, as opposed to the flash drive. 

Photo Video Lounge is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc.

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