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The best external hard drives for 2022

Almost nothing is worse than realizing you don’t have enough space on your PC to store your latest files. External drives can be a great solution to that problem, as well as a good backup source to keep your most precious data protected. As outlined in our guide on how to choose an external hard drive, you’ll want one that’s fast, easy to use, and won’t break the bank. Our current top pick is the Samsung T5, a compact, affordable, high-speed storage solution.

In addition to our top pick, we list other drives you should consider for durability, wireless connectivity, and more. We’ve even rounded up some of the best wireless external hard drives available and the latest external hard drive deals if you’re working with a tight budget.

The Samsung T7 Portable SSD.

Samsung T7 Portable SSD 1TB

Best all-around external hard drive

Pros

  • Compact design for easy portability
  • Performed excellently in our speed tests
  • Compatible encryption software

Cons

  • While durable, it’s not ruggedized and not the best pick for outdoor use

Why you should buy this: It’s one of the fastest external hard drives available.

Who it’s for: Anyone who needs a speedy but compact solid-state drive.

Why we picked the Samsung T7:

One of the most well-rounded external SSDs available, the Samsung T7 is a compact, affordable, high-speed storage drive that looks and feels like a top-tier portable storage solution. Utilizing the latest generation of Samsung’s 3D V-NAND technology, it packs up to 2TB of storage space in a tiny design, though it comes in a variety of storage sizes at different prices.

We’ve seen excellent results from the Samsung T-series in our read and write tests, and the T7 upgrades the technology including USB 3.2 Gen 2 support, PCIe NVMe connection support, and ePCM thermal technology to resist overheating. Encased in a solid aluminum shell, Samsung claims this external drive can withstand a drop from as high as 6 feet without difficulty. Although we would hardly suggest you put such claims to the test, it’s important that external drives — which are not protected by the shell of a desktop or laptop — are sturdy enough to withstand a little punishment.

Thanks to its speed, compact sizing, and additional features like compatible encryption software, there is no other drive we can recommend as highly as the Samsung T7 SSD. It can be expensive when you get toward the top end of the storage space spectrum — the 2TB configuration will cost several hundred dollars — but it’s much cheaper than it was a couple of years ago. If you can afford it, this is the external drive for you.

SAMSUNG SSD T7 Portable External Solid State Drive 1TB, Up to 1050MB/s, USB 3.2 Gen 2, Reliable Storage for Gaming, Students, Professionals, MU-PC1T0T/AM, Gray

Samsung T7 Portable SSD 1TB

Best all-around external hard drive

SanDisk Extreme Pro 500GB

Best portable external hard drive

Pros

  • Ruggedized and portable
  • USB-A and USB-C support
  • Handy notch for hooks and loops

Cons

  • Higher storage capacities can grow very expensive

Why you should buy this: It’s rugged, portable, and very fast.

Who it’s for: Anyone who will be traveling or going to places where the weather is extreme.

Why we picked the SanDisk Extreme Pro 500GB:

SanDisk’s Extreme Pro 500GB is a highly portable, NVMe drive that offers read speeds up to 1050MBps, while still being light enough to stow and carry anywhere you’re going. The rugged design resists both water and dust, while the silicon rubber coating and notch make it easy to store the Extreme Pro however you’d like.

We also really appreciate that the SanDisk Extreme Pro is compatible with both USB-A and USB-C connections, so you don’t have to worry about device compatibility — or about upgrading your devices in the future and switching to a USB-C connection. While the 500GB option is the most affordable pick for those on the go, the drive is available up to 2TB, if you prefer.

SanDisk Extreme Pro 500GB

SanDisk Extreme Pro 500GB

Best portable external hard drive

how to download macos catalina adata rugged ssd

Adata SE800

Best all-purpose external hard drive

Pros

  • Equally at home on a desk or outdoors
  • USB-C support
  • Durable enclosure can resist being dropped in water

Why you should buy this: It’s a fast and compact SSD in a metallic chassis.

Who it’s for: Anyone looking for another compact SSD.

Why we picked the Adata Se800:

Searching for an extra-durable SSD drive with super-fast speeds? Look no further than Adata’s latest external SSD, the SE800. It boasts read and write speeds up to 1,000MBps whether you’re using the 512GB or 1TB model. It connects via a USB-C port and supports USB 3.2 Gen2 (10Gbps), though it’s backward compatible with USB 2.0.

The Adata SE800 features a durable enclosure complemented by a black or blue hairline-brushed surface. The company claims this drive meets the MIL-STD-810G 516.6 impact resistance standard, completely resists dust, and can remain submerged in 6 feet of water for one hour — but only with the USB port cover firmly closed.

Adata SE800

Adata SE800

Best all-purpose external hard drive

Western Digital My Passport Ultra

Best HDD external hard drive

Pros

  • A solid HDD option
  • Free backup software
  • Slim design

Cons

  • HDDs fall short of SSDs in several ways

Why you should buy this: It’s got big storage in a slim package, and it’s very affordable.

Who it’s for: Anyone looking for a reliable traditional spinning hard drive.

Why we picked the Western Digital My Passport Ultra:

Western Digital’s My Passport Ultra isn’t the lightest drive on the market, but it does come with a three-year warranty and the company’s reputation for speed. Best of all, the drive doesn’t require external power and showcases a sleek, stylish build, which is likely why it’s the first choice for many on a budget and those looking for an affordable backup drive.

At this price, you can’t expect fast read and write speeds, but the Western Digital My Passport Ultra does include a free WD Backup tool, password protection, and 256-AES hardware encryption capabilities. It’s available in 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, and 5TB capacities along with Blue or Silver finishes. Note that it does have a USB-C connection

Western Digital My Passport Ultra

Western Digital My Passport Ultra

Best HDD external hard drive

Western Digital MyBook Duo external hardrive.

Western Digital My Book Duo 20TB

Best large capacity external hard drive

Pros

  • Excellent high-capacity drive
  • Replaceable drives
  • Plentiful configuration options

Cons

  • Mostly suited for professionals and offices

Why you should buy this: It’s the perfect solution for storing an enormous amount of photos, video, and anything else among multiple systems.

Who it’s for: Those who need a lot of external storage.

Why we picked the Western Digital My Book Duo:

If you want a more robust, long-term external drive, Western Digital’s MyBook Duo is a great choice. This massive enclosure comes with up to 28TB of storage for $1,000, or as little as 4TB of storage for $259 — and five other configurations in between. You can configure the two drives inside this enclosure in RAID, for file redundancy or speed, or take advantage of every byte of storage. Either way, you get a lot of storage space and a two-year warranty from a reliable brand.

Supporting USB 3.1 for high-speed data transfer, the Western Digital My Book Duo’s case also is user-serviceable, meaning you can replace broken drives yourself, and use the enclosure long after the drives break down. And with full support for 256-bit AES hardware encryption, you can make sure nobody can read your data but you.

Western Digital My Book Duo 20TB

Western Digital My Book Duo 20TB

Best large capacity external hard drive

SSK Portable Wireless Hard Drive.

SSK Portable Wireless Hard Drive

Best external hard drive for travel

Pros

  • Allows for partitioning between public and private
  • Built-in Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Can connection additional USB devices

Cons

  • Need to keep an eye on battery life

Why you should buy this: If you want to protect your data and connect with others, it’s an excellent pick

Who it’s for: Business teams or students on the go, frequent travelers

Why we picked the SSK Portable Wireless Hard Drive:

SSK’s drive is built for travel and is particularly friendly for business workers on the go. Its 1TB storage is enough for a variety of project data, and it includes its own Wi-Fi hotspot support to help enable connectivity no matter where you are. Wireless access also means that you don’t have to worry about juggling cable management to access data from a nearby laptop or PC.

You can attach compatible USB storage or card readers to further expand your storage capacity. You can also divide the drive’s storage between public and private for further security. If you want a great drive for centralized data management (Samba and DLNA protocols are both supported) while traveling or working with your team, this may be your best option.

SSK Portable Wireless Hard Drive

SSK Portable Wireless Hard Drive

Best external hard drive for travel

Crucial X8 1TB

Best external gaming hard drive

Pros

  • Great for consoles and other devices
  • USB-C and USB-A support
  • Ruggedized features for drops and vibration

Cons

  • Limited usefulness with Series and PS5 consoles

Why you should buy this: It’s a great external drive for your Xbox or PlayStation consoles.

Who it’s for: Gamers who want to expand their local game library.

Why we picked the Crucial X8 1TB:

Today’s games require a lot of data storage, and you might need more than traditional onboard storage to stay up-to-date on games. This 1TB Crucial drive provides all the storage space you’ll need. It features read speeds up to 1050MBps and hefty aluminum construction that’s drop-proof up to 7.5 feet. The drive is compatible with PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles.

You can also use this drive with USB-A and USB-C connections, which makes it extremely flexible. The Crucial X8 1TB is your best bet for managing your ever-growing game collection — plus it looks impressive next to your console. However, please note that hard drives used with newer Series X and PS5 consoles need to have specific compatibility to play games directly from the drive: Otherwise, drives like this Crucial are primarily useful for storage.

Crucial X8 1TB

Crucial X8 1TB

Best external gaming hard drive

LaCie Rugged

Best ruggedized external hard drive

Pros

  • Ruggedized for all outdoor adventures with IP67 protection
  • Perfect for photographers
  • Integrated SD card
  • Plenty of capacity options

Why you should buy this: It’s eye-catching and has plenty of space inside its rugged casing.

Who it’s for: Photographers and filmmakers

Why we picked the LaCie Rugged:

Those out in the literal field like photographers, filmmakers, and drone pilots need a hardy, speedy external drive to keep up with their work. Lacie’s Rugged SSD was created just for these purposes, with IP67 protection against shock from drops, water splashes, and dust.

But that’s just the beginning of what this USB-C drive can do. It also comes with an integrated SD card slot that’s perfect for photographers switching files to a larger storage device to clear up some room, as well as a useful status screen that shows transfer progress, current capacity, and current battery life. That battery can also be used as a power pack to charge cameras, drones, or other devices that are running low on juice.

While you can adjust the capacity of the Rugged drive anywhere between 500GB and 5TB, we chose the 1TB option as a good compromise between the already high cost of the model and enough storage space to be useful. Just make sure all your devices are ready for USB-C, if necessary, and note that there are also Thunderbolt 3 LaCie drives that can fulfill a similar purpose.

LaCie Rugged

LaCie Rugged

Best ruggedized external hard drive

best external hard drives version 1620844771 buffalo ministation

Buffalo MiniStation

Best budget external hard drive

Pros

  • Highly affordable
  • USB-A and USB-C options
  • Small enough to be portable

Why you should buy this: It’s an affordable way to back up a lot of data.

Who it’s for: Anyone looking for a budget external SSD.

Why we picked the Buffalo SSD-PG:

While SSDs offer plenty of advantages (see our guide below for more), they can also quickly grow expensive, especially as you pass the 1TB threshold. This Buffalo SSD is an excellent option for those interested in affordability: It provides 1TB of storage at a low price, with a durable, compact design that can comfortably sit by your PC or console — or in your pocket.

The SSD-PG model includes both USB-A and USB-C 3.2 ports, so it’s guaranteed to work with both new and older devices. Otherwise, there aren’t a lot of extra features here, but that’s part of what keeps the price so low. If you want to save even more money, you can also choose Buffalo’s MiniStation HDD, although you will be sacrificing speed and portability.

Buffalo MiniStation

Buffalo MiniStation

Best budget external hard drive

best external hard drives version 1620844771 istorage diskashur 2  1

iStorage dishAshur Pro 2

Most secure external hard drive

Pros

  • High security with password protection
  • Dust and splash proof
  • Military-grade encryption

Why you should buy this: It’s a super-secure way to store your data.

Who it’s for: People who care about privacy.

Why we picked the iStorage DiskAshur Pro 2:

If external hard drives are going to store sensitive information, financial documents, personal customer data, or other content that needs to be protected, then security is a priority. Fortunately, security is also the priority of iStorage’s HDD drive, which features a number pad for password protection (up to 15 digits) and military-grade hardware encryption to keep up to 2TB of data safe.

The iStorage DiskAshur 2 is also dust- and splash-proof, so it can easily be carried around without worrying as much about the elements. While there’s no USB-C port, the USB-A 3.2 port works fine for most devices and supports read speeds up to 160MBps. If you need to meet CCPA, HIPAA, or other important compliance measures, this is one of the best external hard drives you could pick.

iStorage dishAshur Pro 2

iStorage dishAshur Pro 2

Most secure external hard drive

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between a traditional hard drive (HDD) and a solid state drive (SSD)?

With no moving parts and circuit board-based memory, SSDs can last longer and are less susceptible to damage than HDDs. However, while prices continue to fall, SSDs also remain significantly more expensive than HDDs, especially at capacities of 1TB and over.

Practically speaking, newer SSD technology has a wide variety of advantages. With no moving parts and circuit board-based memory, SSDs can last longer and are less susceptible to damage than HDDs, and they are available in a wider variety of sizes from flash drives all the way up. They are also much faster, especially newer PCIe and NVME drives. However, while prices continue to fall, SSDs also remain significantly more expensive than HDDs, especially at capacities of 1TB and over.

Should I get a desktop or a portable hard drive?

Desktop-based drives are better for offices where most of the work is done in the same space and the drive serves primarily as extra storage that won’t leave the desk very often. Portable drives, on the other hand, are more ruggedized, often smaller, and designed to easily fit in pockets or cases while people move around.

Portable drives, on the other hand, are more ruggedized, often smaller, and designed to easily fit in pockets or cases while people move around. This is better for on-the-go storage for business travelers, photographers, filmmakers, and anyone else using laptops, cameras, smartphones, etc., to manage large files. Keep in mind that for smaller projects, an SD card is often sufficient, while portable hard drives are designed to hold much more data, like photoshoots and high-definition video.

Can you use any external hard drive with gaming consoles?

For older-generation consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, many hard drives will work with the right connections, making an external drive an easy way to expand storage — although drives formatted for this purpose are recommended, as this helps avoid potential bugs.

For newer consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X, things are a bit different. The PS5 is designed to take official M.2 SSD stick drives, which are a separate purchase. The PS5 does support other external hard drives with the right connections, and while originally these were limited to PS4 games only, support was expanded in April 2021 and PS5 games are now allowed in external storage as well — although you’ll still need to transfer PS5 games to the internal SSD to play them.

For the Xbox Series X/S, the console has a dedicated slot for a specific Seagate Storage Expansion Card, an SSD specifically made to work with this version of Xbox. Other USB 3.1 external drives are supported, but with limited capability reserved for older games, not Seris X/S games.

How long do external hard drives last?

All things being equal, an HDD will last around three to five years before its moving parts will start to cause problems and eventually fail. Studies have shown that SSDs, on average, last around 10 years before failing, although this is also dictated by how many times the SSD flash memory can be overwritten, so frequent use will shorten the lifespan.

Does an external hard drive always need to be plugged in?

Some external drives do need to be plugged in to function, and that includes firmware updates, which is why it’s a good idea to periodically plug in your SSD even if you don’t use it that often. Other drives include batteries and Wi-Fi connections so that they can operate wirelessly without needing a cable connection. Our pick of the My Passport Wireless from Western Digital is one example of these wireless drives, which are often useful for fieldwork in photography or similar purposes.

Are external drives good for long-term storage?

It depends on how long-term you mean. External SSDs don’t have moving parts, which helps with longevity, but they can lose data when powered down for long periods of time. A year or two should be alright with modern SSDs. Any longer than that, and an external hard drive just sitting on a shelf becomes more problematic. There are archiving services that have dedicated, maintained servers to store data in the cloud, which may be a better solution when you want to store data for many years into the future.

How do I use an external hard drive for the first time

Today’s computers are very good at recognizing external hard drives. Typically, you just have to connect it to the proper port, usually via USB. Your computer should automatically recognize the storage device and add it as a storage option along with your other drives. It’s important to find it using your search function to note what name the drive has, and to change the name to something recognizable.

Can I back up my computer to an external hard drive?

Yes, and it’s a popular use for external drives. However, drives may not be able to hold all the data from your computer, especially if you have a lot of media files stored there. In some cases, you may have to choose only the most important parts of your computer to back up. Our guide can help walk you through the process!

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Prime Day External Hard Drive Deals 2021: Sales You Can Still Shop

Leo Watson/Digital Trends

Amazon’s 48-hour summer blowout event has finished and the dust is still settling, but you’ve still got a chance to expand your local storage with a new brand-name external hard drive and save some cash in the process. That said, you’d better act fast before time runs out and all these remaining Prime Day deals are gone for good, because we’re probably not going to see prices like this again before Black Friday.

After buying what you need from the post-Prime Day external hard drive sales that are still going on, check out these offers from Amazon and other retailers for more home office essentials. We’ve also rounded up all the best remaining Prime Day monitor deals, Prime Day printer deals, Prime Day wireless keyboard deals, Prime Day wireless mouse deals, and Prime Day router deals to save you precious time.

While you’re at it, you might even consider buying a new computer from what’s left among these Prime Day laptop deals and Prime Day PC deals. And don’t limit yourself to just Amazon: There are Staples Prime Day sale bargains and Best Buy Prime Day deals still left to enjoy even if Amazon’s sale has officially ended and the Walmart Deals for Days sale is still underway!

Best Prime Day external hard drive deals still available

Should you buy a new external hard drive after Prime Day?

An external hard drive isn’t just for the files that will no longer fit on your computer. You can use an external hard drive to offload large files that you’re not using, freeing up space on your computer or gaming console. You can also use it as a digital safe for important and confidential documents, as it might be risky to leave these files on your computer (or worse, on the cloud) due to the prevalence of hackers. Whatever purpose you think it will serve you, the remaining Prime Day external hard drive deals are your chance to enjoy nice savings on premium models or even to purchase several external hard drives at a time.

Even if your computer or gaming console’s storage isn’t at the limit yet, you should take advantage of what Prime Day discounts are left to buy an external hard drive. It’s hard to predict when your storage will reach full capacity, but if your devices’ storage is already full, then it’s even more of a no-brainer to snap up any remaining Prime Day external hard drive deals while you still can.

There will surely be more deals for external hard drives later this year, especially come Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, you shouldn’t delay purchasing your new storage devices if you’re expecting bigger discounts. While there’s a possibility of a better deal in November or December, it’s not guaranteed that retailers will be offering larger price cuts than what you can enjoy right now. Additionally, if you buy now, you won’t be left waiting for months for your much-needed storage expansion.

How to choose an external hard drive

The top brands for external hard drives are Western Digital, SanDisk, Samsung, and Seagate, although there are several other good ones, too. You should take time to study the different models of external hard drives and the features that they provide, and also be sure to read reviews.

To start the process of choosing an external hard drive to buy in the wake of Prime Day, you’ll need to determine whether you’ll go wired or wireless. Wired external hard drives require a cable to connect the accessory to your computer, while wireless external hard drives are more mobile because you don’t need cables to use them. However, wireless transfer speeds will naturally be much slower, although some wireless HDDs will have the ability to transfer data in wired mode when you want it.

You might want to check out Digital Trends’ best external hard drives and best wireless external hard drives for a better idea of what these accessories offer and the brands and models that we recommend most highly for each type. If you’re planning to use it for a gaming console, however, then you should also take a look at our best external hard drives for the PS4 and best external hard drives for Xbox Series X to help you narrow down your search.

Perhaps the most important factor in choosing an external hard drive is its storage capacity. It will be a waste to buy a 10TB external hard drive if you’ll just be storing your console’s save data. On the other hand, you shouldn’t buy a 1TB external hard drive if you’re planning to store a huge collection of movies or games, as it will fill up quickly.

You should also consider whether the external hard drive will be permanently placed in one location or if you’ll be bringing it along wherever you go. A portable external HDD will require a durability-focused design that will protect the device from accidental damage. You should also check the external hard drive’s physical size. You wouldn’t want to be lugging around a huge brick if you need the extra storage to be available at all times — a pocket-sized SSD might even be a good idea.

We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.

Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.

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Computing

Best Prime Day External Hard Drive Deals for 2021

Leo Watson/Digital Trends

Computer accessories such as monitors, keyboards, and routers are always hot items among the summer Prime Day deals, and external hard drives are no exception. Amazon’s annual shopping event is a great opportunity to buy new technology for your computer, but with the first day of the sale nearing its end, you better get a move on if you want to snap up any of the Prime Day external hard drive deals that remain.

After buying what you need from these Prime Day external hard drive sales, check out Amazon’s offers for other computer accessories, including Prime Day monitor deals, Prime Day printer deals, Prime Day wireless keyboard deals, Prime Day wireless mouse deals, and Prime Day router deals. In fact, while you’re at it, you might even want to consider upgrading your entire computer with one of these Prime Day laptop deals and Prime Day PC deals.

Best Prime Day external hard drive deals

There’s a growing importance to owning external hard drives because of the data that affects our daily lives. The accessory isn’t just for the files that will no longer fit in your computers; it’s also used by gaming consoles for installing games and storing save data. You can use an external hard drive to offload data that you’re not using, freeing up space on your computer or console. You can also use it as a digital safe for important and confidential documents, as it might be risky to leave these files on your computer due to the prevalence of hackers. Whatever purpose you think it will serve you, you should buy from Prime Day external hard drive deals so you can enjoy savings on premium models or purchase several external hard drives at a time because you can never have too many when you’re creating so much data each day.

Some of the popular brands for external hard drives include Western Digital, SanDisk, and Seagate, though many others make quality products. You should take time to study the different models of external hard drives and the features that they provide, but you don’t want to take too long. This is because the demand for external hard drives is growing, and with Prime Day’s external hard drive sales, more people will be buying them because of the discounts that they can avail. You don’t want to choose the external hard drive that you want to buy after hours of research, only to find the item out of stock from Amazon. There’s no telling how long stocks of any product will last during Prime Day, so while it’s important that you thoroughly check the offered external hard drives, you need to finalize your purchase as soon as you can because you’ll be competing for inventory with other shoppers. To help you win this race, we’ve gathered some of the best offers for external hard drives this Prime Day so you can access them from one place.

Should you buy a new external hard drive on Prime Day?

Even if your computer or gaming console’s storage isn’t at the limit yet, you should take advantage of Prime Day’s discounts to buy an external hard drive. It’s hard to predict when your storage will reach full capacity, so it will be better to have an external hard drive on hand so you won’t lose files by being forced to delete them to create space. If your devices’ storage is now full, then it’s even more of a no-brainer to buy from Prime Day external hard drive deals right now. Brands may release newer models soon, but you can buy them later on to enjoy the new features as you’ll always be needing more external hard drives while you create and download more files to safeguard.

There will surely be more deals for external hard drives shortly, including on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, you shouldn’t delay purchasing the storage devices if you’re expecting bigger discounts. While there’s a possibility, it’s unclear if retailers will be offering larger price cuts in the future compared to the savings that you can enjoy from Amazon right now. Additionally, if you’re waiting for months before buying an external hard drive, there’s a huge risk that your computer’s storage will not be able to handle all the data that you need. If you buy a new external hard drive right now, then you can already start transferring files from your computer instead of being forced to delete files, which is something that you may regret.

How to choose an external hard drive on Prime Day

To start the process of choosing an external hard drive to buy on Prime Day, you’ll need to determine whether you’ll go wired or wireless. Wired external hard drives require a cable to connect the accessory to your computer, while wireless external hard drives are more mobile because you don’t need cables to use them. You might want to check out Digital Trends’ best external hard drives and best wireless external hard drives for a better idea of what these accessories offer and the brands and models that are highly recommended for each type. If you’re planning to use it for a gaming console, you should also take a look at our best external hard drives for the PS4 and best external hard drives for Xbox Series X to help you narrow down your search.

One of the most important factors in choosing an external hard drive is its capacity. It will be a waste to buy a 10TB external hard drive if you’ll just be storing your console’s save data, which don’t take up too much space. On the other hand, you shouldn’t buy a 1TB external hard drive if you’re planning to store a huge collection of videos as it will fill up quickly. You should also consider whether the external hard drive will be permanently placed in one location or if you’ll be bringing it along wherever you go since the latter will require a durability-focused design that will protect the device from accidental damage. Similarly, you should also check the external hard drive’s physical size. You wouldn’t want to be lugging around a huge block if you need the extra storage to be available at all times.

We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.

Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.

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Nintendo Switch may be hard to find again, soon

During the company’s full-year financial results revealed this week, Nintendo tipped a drop. The company said that potential issues could arise over the coming year with component procurement. As a result of these issues, Nintendo expects that sales of their Nintendo Switch console could have a 12 per cent drop in sales.

Nintendo only cited potential issues with procuring important components for their console as reason for falling Switch sales, as noted by the Financial Times today. It’s entirely possible that Nintendo’s sales forecast has a bit to do with the surprisingly robust sales of the console over the 12 month period that ended in March of 2021. This is the end of Nintendo’s cited financial year.

The company’s forecast for the year ending in March of last year (2020) showed Nintendo Switch selling 21 million units. At that time, Nintendo forecasted selling 19 million units over the next year.

Fast forward to March of 2021, and Nintendo’s actually sold a whopping 28.8 million units of the Nintendo Switch. The company is forecasting that the year ending in March of 2022 will include sales of 25.5 million units of the Nintendo Switch.

So while Nintendo may be having component procurement issues with the Nintendo Switch, they’re still expecting a fairly monstrous year of unit sales for the console. They’ll still be surpassing the fiscal year that ended in March of 2020 by a significant margin, and they’ve not even mentioned a new model yet. Imagine what the numbers would be like if Nintendo suddenly announced a brand new Nintendo Switch Pro?

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Computing

Best Prime Day External Hard Drive Deals 2021: What to Expect

Prime Day is near which means we’re going to see a tremendous number of Prime Day deals in the near future. This will include some great Prime Day external hard drive sales with big discounts expected on some similarly big name brands in the external hard drive world. If you’re looking to extend the storage capacity of your PC, Mac, or gaming consoles, read on as we take a look at what to expect. We’re anticipating some great Prime Day external hard drive sales and we also take a look at whether Prime Day is the best time to buy a new external hard drive.

What Prime Day external hard drive deals to expect

Prime Day is traditionally a very good time to buy new technology and we’re expecting the Prime Day external hard drive sales this year to be just as strong. It’s likely we’ll see discounts across the board including major brands such as Western Digital, Samsung, and SanDisk. Look out for rugged brands such as LaCie too if you’re looking for some extra safe storage if you travel around a lot.

There should be Prime Day external hard drive deals on everything from the smallest size drives to behemoths that will hook up to your PlayStation 4 or 5 as well as Xbox One or Xbox Series X/S.

What Prime Day external hard drive deals we saw last year

Last year, we saw great Prime Day external hard drive sales across the board. This included discounts on a massive Western Digital Elements 12TB external hard drive as well as price cuts for the likes of the LaCie Rugged 5TB external hard drive. Gamers could also enjoy a price cut on the WD Black Game Drive 12TB edition and there were reductions on slimline devices like the Toshiba Canvio Slim 2TB too.

Effectively, whether you were looking for something slim and smaller in capacity, or a huge drive to store a vast number of files, there was something on offer for you here.

Should you buy a new external hard drive on Prime Day?

Prime Day is traditionally a very good time to buy technology and gadgets and we’re expecting the Prime Day external hard drive deals to be pretty good. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are sure to have good sales too but if you buy now, you can enjoy the delights of your new external hard drive straight away rather than wait a few months. Odds are you need the storage space now rather than later so this is a good time to buy one.

It’s worth taking the time to figure out your budget as well as what you need the external hard drive for. What capacity do you need? It’s good to buy more than you require but if a mere 1TB is plenty for you then don’t be tempted by a good offer on 12TB. It’s probably not worth it for you. Also, consider how portable you need the device to be and whether a rugged design is crucial or not. If it’s going under your TV and won’t move an inch for months then you don’t need to pay the extra for rugged protection.

Finally, check out our looks at the best external hard drives, and the best wireless external hard drives along with the best external hard drives for the PS4, and the best external hard drives for Xbox Series X for some key insight into what to buy.

The best external hard drive deals happening now

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Editors’ Choice




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Game

Fortnite x DC Comics bug is making it hard to claim Harley Quinn skin

If you’re one of the Fortnite fans who purchased the newly released Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point first issue, you may have experienced an error when attempting to redeem the exclusive Rebirth Harley Quinn skin. Epic has acknowledged that problem and says to keep an eye on your inbox for a new code.

If you’re a Fortnite fan, you have the chance to redeem an exclusive Harley Quinn skin called ‘Rebirth’ by purchasing the new first issue of Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point. The redemption process involves getting a code from either the print or digital version of the comic book.

If you’re in the US and you prefer digital copies of comic books, you can get the first issue with the Harley Quinn skin by signing up for the DC Comics Universe Infinite platform. Assuming you’re not under the free trial period, you’ll get the skin redemption code with the comic book.

Some DC UI subscribers say they’ve experienced an error when they attempt to redeem the code for the Rebirth Harley Quinn outfit — the error says that the code was already used to redeem the skin. If you’ve received one of these error messages, don’t panic — Epic has acknowledged the issue and has a solution.

According to the company, DC Comics is sending out emails with news codes for players impacted by the bug. Those codes can then be used to redeem the skin on the Fortnite website, after which point Rebirth Harley Quinn should appear in your game Locker.



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Computing

Acer Nitro 7 review: A good budget gaming laptop that made some hard choices

Acer’s Nitro 7 is a classic example of how every decision matters when building entry-level gaming laptops. Every component must be second-guessed, every trade-off weighed, because a mere $50 can be the difference between standing out and stalling out. Do you opt for a better screen or more storage space? A better GPU or more RAM? High-end laptops get to have it all, but budget-friendly machines don’t have that luxury.

Trouble is, sometimes you get a laptop that’s perhaps perfect for one niche, but suboptimal for your average buyer. Acer’s Nitro 7 opts for an above-average (for this price point at least) 15.6-inch display, a generous amount of SSD storage, and a top-tier CPU—but it skimps on the graphics card, a fairly important component for a gaming laptop.

It’s an odd choice, and my first instinct is that most people will be better off with a different Acer laptop—namely, the Predator Helios 300, which lists for the same price but packs a better graphics card. We’ll get into that later though. Let’s dig in.

Variants

The Acer Nitro 7 is mercifully one of Acer’s simpler lines to navigate, at least at the moment. There are only three variants, running from $1,050 to $1,200.

We reviewed the top-end model, with the catchy model number AN715-51-752B. Try saying that three times fast, eh? In this case $1,200 gets you an Intel Core i7-9750H, an Nvidia GTX 1650, 16GB DDR4 RAM, and a 512GB SSD.

Acer Nitro 7 (AN715-51-752B) IDG / Hayden Dingman

Below that is the $1,100 variant, which scales back to 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. At the bottom, the $1,050 model packs in one of Nvidia’s previous-gen GTX 1050 cards—which is more of a cut than it might seem, as the GTX 1650 is on a par with a 1050 Ti, not a baseline 1050.

Our $1,200 review model is probably the best option. You certainly could run a gaming PC with only 8GB of RAM still, but I wouldn’t recommend it. That alone is enough to cut the two lower-end models from the running, especially given their $1,000-plus prices. As I said up top, $50 can be a lot of money when you’re dealing with entry-level laptops—but in this case, I think the extra money is a necessity. If you’re looking to go cheaper than $1,200, take a look at the Nitro 5 line instead.

Design

Acer’s Nitro line is interesting to me. They’re like gaming laptops gone undercover. Not in a convincing way, mind you. Pull out a Nitro 7 at the office and people will be like, “Hey, nice gaming laptop.” You’re not fooling anyone, especially with the weird pentagonal shape of the base and lid.

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Computing

Amazon’s huge one-day PC gear blowout offers juicy deals on laptops, huge hard drives, and more

The back to school season is winding down, but Amazon still has some BTS deal moments to offer. Today only, the retailer is throwing a huge back-to-school sale on PC devices and accessories. In it, you’ll find deep discounts on microSD cards, external hard drives, laptops, monitors, and more.

We sifted through the entire sale to find the best offerings. Here are three of our favorite deals:

The SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD is one of our favorite external drives and is currently the runner-up for our top pick as the best high-performance USB drive. Amazon is selling the 500GB version of the Extreme Pro Portable for $110 today, instead of the more recent $140. This is a fantastic speedy external drive, with a nice rugged looking exterior, and today it’s going for a fantastic price.

Next up is the Acer Chromebook 315 for $175. This is an excellent price for a Chromebook and offers almost everything we like to see. It has a 15.6-inch display at 1366-by-768 resolution, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of onboard storage. Acer’s Chromebook packs an AMD APU and supports Android apps, as well as Linux desktop apps. This laptop would be perfect if it had 1080p resolution, but at this price we’ll take it as is.

Finally, the Acer Nitro VG271 1080p monitor is $210. That’s nearly $100 below the usual $300 price tag. This gaming-ready IPS panel supports FreeSync, it has a 144Hz refresh rate, and two built-in speakers. Based on AMD’s listings, this monitor supports FreeSync all the way up to 144Hz on both the DisplayPort and HDMI. You won’t find a monitor with specs like this selling this cheap very often. 

These highlights are just the tip of the iceberg though. Be sure to check out Amazon’s huge PC gear blowout to find even more deep discounts on laptops, monitors, storage, mice, and more.

[Today’s deal: Amazon back-to-school PC devices and accessories sale on Amazon.]

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

Ian is an independent writer based in Israel who has never met a tech subject he didn’t like. He primarily covers Windows, PC and gaming hardware, video and music streaming services, social networks, and browsers. When he’s not covering the news he’s working on how-to tips for PC users, or tuning his eGPU setup.

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Computing

The Best Hard Drive Enclosures

Using an external hard drive is a great way to back up what’s most important to you while retaining full access to your data. But you don’t necessarily need to buy a pre-built external drive. If you have an old hard drive lying around, sticking it in an enclosure can give you a new external drive at a fraction of the cost.

These are our favorites, from fantastic USB-C enclosures like the Ineo Shockproof enclosure to the Rosewill RX-358 with its fantastic fan cooling system. There’s something for everyone here.

The best hard drive enclosures at a glance:

The best USB-C hard drive enclosure: Ineo Shockproof external hard drive enclosure

USB-C connections are commonplace on modern laptops and are beginning to appear on desktop chassis, too. But most hard drive enclosures still only use USB-A. Not so with the Ineo 2.5-inch enclosure, which sports not only a USB-C 3.1 connection but a supremely protective chassis, too. The enclosure has a rubberized exterior band to help protect against drop damage, and it’s entirely waterproof.

The Ineo Shockproof enclosure is only compatible with 2.5-inch drives, but that means it can do away with any need for external power. It’s compatible with major consoles, Windows PCs, and MacOS.

The best budget hard drive enclosure: Orico USB 3.0 2.5-inch enclosure

Orico external enclosure

Orico’s 2.5-inch hard drive enclosure might not be bristling with features, but it is dirt cheap and is impressively easy to install new drives in. With a tool-less slide mechanism for access, a built-in anti-shock pad, and a brushed aluminum casing, it looks reasonably good and offers a modicum of protection for your drive.

The Orico USB 3.0 2.5-inch enclosure is limited to 2.5-inch hard drives and solid-state drives, so your old 3.5-inch HDD won’t fit, but for sleeker, modern drives, it’s an incredibly affordable way to give your older drive a new lease of life as an external storage device.

The best 3.5-inch hard drive enclosure: Inateck 3.5-inch enclosure with mesh case

Inateck 3.5-inch

A 3.5-inch drive needs more than a 2.5-inch drive. It needs more power and more space, which in turn can lead to more heat buildup. That’s what makes the Inateck enclosure perfect for our needs. It accommodates drives up to 10TB in the 3.5-inches size, and its external power cable means that it can power them, too. To prevent overheating, one side is entirely mesh-covered, helping to circulate cooling air across the drive, but without the added noise or point of failure of an active fan.

The Inateck 3.5-inch enclosure only supports USB 3.0, so it isn’t the fastest enclosure around. But it should be quick enough for most needs.

The best hard drive enclosure with active cooling: Rosewill RX-358

Rosewill RX-358

If you are worried about the life of your hard drive inside its new home, then an active cooling fan can make sure that it stays at safe operating temperatures at all times. Hard drives don’t typically overheat unless given very little breathing room, but an active cooling fan can guarantee that does not happen.

The Rosewill RX-358 is the best option for a hard drive enclosure with a built-in fan. It supports 3.5-inch drives up to 6TB in capacity and has outputs to both USB 3.0 and eSATA (although that’s a rather dead standard) with UASP support for faster data transfer.

It’s much more expensive than most of the other enclosures on this list, but the Rosewill RX-358 comes with more for the money, so you get what you pay for.

The best hard drive enclosure for multiple drives: Mediasonic Raid 4-bay

You might run into a situation where you’re working with more than one hard drive that you’d like to put into external drives. Whenever that’s the case, it makes sense to get one large external drive for all of them. This model can support a maximum of four 3.5-inch SATA drives, up to 16TB per drive, or 2.5-inch SSDs up to 12TB per drive. It also includes a built-in Raid controller that provides six configuration variations. Both USB-C and USB-A 3.1 will operate well with this enclosure, making it great for a wide selection of drives.

It also features complete support for UASP for an accelerated transfer between the SATA and USB mediums. Moreover, it comes with an active cooling fan with SMART temperature tracking. This helps to ensure that it only starts when it’s essential to cool the drives down if they start to get too hot.

Installation is simple and almost effortless, all because of a quick-slot device at the Mediasonic’s back, with synchronization between your PC and the enclosure, ensuring that the drives never operate longer than needed. Each of these valuable features makes it an excellent option for those with a modestly-sized office or a bustling studio. However, we must point out that the process is a tad more involved than the standard PC build’s method—and it’s also higher-priced.

Editors’ Choice




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Tech News

Apple is screwing you by making third-party repairs hard and expensive

If Apple and other tech companies have their way, it will only become harder to have our phones and other devices repaired by third-party businesses.

Smartphones and many other tech devices are increasingly being designed in ways that make it challenging to repair or replace individual components.

This might involve soldering the processor and flash memory to the motherboard, gluing components together unnecessarily, or using non-standard pentalobe screws which make replacements problematic.

Many submissions to an Australian “right to repair” inquiry have called on tech manufacturers to provide a fair and competitive market for repairs, and produce products that are easily repairable.

The right to repair refers to consumers’ ability to have their products repaired at a competitive price. This includes being able to choose a repairer, rather than being forced by default to use the device manufacturer’s services.

But it seems Apple doesn’t want its customers to fix their iPhones or Macbooks themselves. The company has lobbied against the right to repair in the United States and has been accused of deliberately slowing down iPhones with older batteries.

Opposition against the right to repair from tech companies is to be expected. Cornering consumers into using their service centers increases their revenue and extends their market domination.

In its defense, Apple has said third-party repairers could use lower quality parts and also make devices vulnerable to hackers.

It also defended its battery warning indication as a “safety” feature, wherein it started to alert users if their phone’s replacement battery hadn’t come from a certified Apple repairer.

In the US, Apple’s independent repair provider program grants certain providers access to the parts and resources needed to fix its devices. Independent repair shops in 32 countries can now apply, but the scheme has yet to extend outside the US.

[Read: How do you build a pet-friendly gadget? We asked experts and animal owners]

Impact on users

With the iPhone 12 — the latest iPhone offering — Apple has made it even harder for third-party repairers to fix the device, thereby increasing users’ reliance on its own services.

Apple has hiked its repair charges for iPhone 12 by more than 40%, compared with the iPhone 11. It is charging more than A$359 to fix an iPhone 12 screen outside of warranty and A$109 to replace the battery.

Historically, third-party repairers have been a cheaper option. But using a third-party repairer for an iPhone 12 could render some phone features, such as the camera, almost inoperable.

According to reports, fixing the iPhone 12’s camera requires Apple’s proprietary system configuration app, available only to the company’s own authorized technicians.

It’s not just Apple, either. Samsung’s flagship phones are also quite tricky for third-party repairers to fix.

Impact on environment

When certain parts for repairs aren’t available, manufacturers will produce new phones instead, consuming more energy and resources. In fact, manufacturing one smartphone consumes as much energy as using it for ten years.