Best External HDD or SSD Drives for backup

Best External HDD and SSD drives for backup

Find your best external hard disc (HDD) or solid state (SSD) drive for backup purposes in this article. We tell you what to consider when choosing between SSD and HDD for backup storage. We focus on which models have built-in back up systems provided. We also look at a few alternative that could save you money or get you more storage bang for your buck! Read on.

Introduction – what do I need for external backup?

The main thing most people consider when buying extra storage capacity is cost. Or rather, cost per unit of capacity.

We can give you a few ideas for deciding what capacity you need.

A big determinant of price is solid state drive versus hard disk drive.

To find the capacity you need, consider getting something that can contain your entire PC or Mac internal capacity.

This may be somewhat excessive, so the next size down target would be the size on non-operating system capacity.

That would be the internal drive size less the operating system. The size of a typical Windows 10 installation is around 20 to 30 GB.

You might know that for a new computer. It is roughly the size of empty or available space on the internal drive.

Once people know they want a certain size capacity once that is settled then it is relatively easy to scan through different brands to see what ranges of price there are for that.

There are more things to consider that can save you!

Firstly, If you have no idea what size to get


Which to Choose – HDD or SSD is better for Backup?

Spinning disk or hard disk drives (HDD) store the data on a metal platter and read it with a sensor on an arm that sweeps across the disk.

These have mechanical moving parts and can be damaged by rough treatment.

Even without rough treatment, they have multiple failure modes due to their moving parts.

They are the older technology and therefore are much cheaper.

Solid state drives (SSD) have no moving parts and so have different failure modes. They are less likely to be damaged.

Under most situations they are faster too.

For this latest technology you will pay much more.

Alternatively you will need to get a smaller capacity drive to keep the cost down relative to a similar priced HDD.

You do not really need super high speed for storage purposes.

The drive should be there doing its thing in the background. Hopefully you don’t need to recover files or photos from backup very often.

In most backup situations, I recommend a HDD to my clients.

It is very nice to have a SSD, though.

If you have the additional cash, I do recommend a SSD due to the improved speed and lower risk – especially if you are going to be carrying it around.



Legal Note: You will find here our efforts to help you by giving you an easy link to follow through to buy. If you want to search and find your own alternatives you certainly can. We get a very small fee if you buy in a qualifying way but it does not affect the purchase price. There is no obligation to buy – these are just in case it helps you.

Get an External Drive With Auto Backup to prevent using third party software to recover deleted files.

Sometimes our clients need to recover deleted files, sometimes after they have cleared their trash or recycle bin.

They can be recovered with free software in most cases.

But it is a pain and it is worth it to avoid that problem in the first place.

Start and Automate Your Backups!

For the general user, I’d advise to get an external hard drive of similar size that does the backup properly for you. Much easier than copying and pasting the files you hope are the recent ones, and avoids a lot of duplication.

I suggest the “Seagate Backup” models if you want it to do the backup management for you.


Our recommendation for External Hard drives with backup:

The top brands of external drives I have used are the Seagate Backup models and the WD backup models.

Personally, I use File History, but if that is too complicated you can use these drives which automate the backup process for you.

The links within our recommendations below will open in a separate tab so you can continue to read and browse the store after.

Western digital external drive for data backup

WD External drive for data backup

Here are the Seagate Backup models I mentioned elsewhere previously,  if you are not a tech.

I have bought these for others who are not technically oriented for an easy backup up system for them.

For computer techs (or for your clients with larger file storage demand), and to achieve large storage there are of course a lot of options, but one way to get a lot of extra hard drive storage is to buy a drive docking station and with it buy large internal hard drives to permanently dock inside – it’s a lot cheaper that way for a greater amount of memory. I hope this helps you implement a good back up strategy.

Anyhow, on to recovering your files deleted from the recycle bin!



About The Author


Jeff (Surname withheld for family privacy) is an engineer with over 26 years experience. He first learned to program in Fortran 77! See the 'About Us' for more.

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