External hard drives are used for data backups and transfers. The best external drives in 2021 should be supported by USB 3.0 or higher to make the most of speed, price, and compatibility with new operating systems like Windows 10 S and macOS Mojave. Here are our top 5 picks among other famous models!

When choosing an external hard drive, things to think about might range from basic to complex, depending on your requirements.

To simplify things, we’ve compiled a list of factors that we believe influence your decision to choose the right hard drive.

Volume of Storage

The volume of Storage is probably the first thing you’ll think about when purchasing a hard drive. As many will know, games have increased in capacity tenfold since the likes of Duke Nukem 3D, making many storages feel minor and incompetent. Some of the most popular game titles will now take up 50GB of space (some as much as 100GB), meaning your 300GB/500GB storage will be filling up quickly. However, this is just gamer specific.

If you work in content design, your storage requirements may vary based on your assets’ quality. 4K video files will use the same amount of space in the same period. Your pictures and music on a home desktop computer may not take up much space as 4k video editing, but they will ultimately reach the same purpose.

I’m trying to convey that storage requirements will vary based on the hard drive’s intended use.

A gamer may need at least 2TB of storage, while a video content creator may require the same. A family PC, on the other hand, may only need 500GB. There will be a product for everything you wish to store.

Hard drives come at various sizes and prices, ranging from 250GB to 10TB+, so choosing the amount you need ahead of time might save you some money in the long run.

Speeds of Reading and Writing

When it comes to hard disks, read and write speeds are another essential factor to consider. Read and note rates vary depending on whether you’re using an external hard drive or a static one, and they have a direct impact on how quickly your storage can complete operations.

The read and write speeds are measured in megabytes per second (MB/s). The more data your hard disk can read per second, the more efficiently it can do its tasks. So you’re searching for the fastest read/write times you can achieve while staying within your budget.

These days, the typical read/write speed for an external hard disk is about 110-150MB/sec. So use it as a general guideline when deciding which one is best for you.

Be aware that this may affect the product’s pricing, so you may have to compromise speed to meet your objectives if you’re on a tight budget.


Transfer speeds are influenced by connectivity, which varies based on the USB type used. The USB 3 is the most common option, with theoretical transfer speeds of up to 5GB/sec. In real-world settings, though, you’re more likely to hit 300MB/sec.

Other standard connectors include USB-Type C and USB 3.1 gen 2, which are not available on every machine. However, if you are fortunate enough to access these two ports, you will benefit from substantially higher speeds and more efficiency.

Thunderbolt 3 is a new technology with a maximum speed of 40 gigabits per second, which is fantastic. Bottlenecking, on the other hand, is a problem. Because the drive itself isn’t capable of such speeds, you’ll be bottlenecked long before you reach them. Regardless, it’s a glimpse into what’s possible in the future.

RPM Speed

RPM speed is projected to become obsolete in the future due to new solid-state drive technology that does not rely on a disk. RPM stands for revolutions per minute, and it refers to how quickly the physical disk can move to locate the file you’re looking for.

In a nutshell, the quicker the hard disk, the higher the RPM. Simple. The RPM has a negligible impact on the cost of the hard disk, so try to get one as soon as feasible. Finally, we recommend SSD, which employs cutting-edge technology to provide many enhanced speeds. However, we recognize that this is not always possible.

The “best external hard drive for video editing” is a category that has many options. We listed our five best external hard drives in 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which brand of external hard disk is best?

A: The best brand of external hard disk is the HGST.

Is WD better than Seagate?

A: WD has a higher average rating than Seagate.

Who makes the most reliable hard drives?

A: Seagate is one of the most reliable brands.

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