Last updated: August 9, 2021

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Every year, companies pay large sums of money to protect their data and the data of their customers. However, if you don't want to entrust your data to a company, you can protect it yourself.

One way to back up your data is with an external SSD hard drive.

We have compiled all the important background information and compared the advantages and disadvantages of these hard drives in our big external SSD hard drive test 2021.

To make it easier for you to decide which external SSD hard drive to buy, we have compiled the most important criteria and compared them with the alternatives.

We will also answer frequently asked questions in our article to make your experience with your product as pleasant as possible before, during and after the purchase.




Summary

  • An external SSD hard drive offers many advantages over a classic HDD.
  • External SSD hard drives are suitable for everyone and allow you to transport your data with ease.
  • Data protection is now in your hands: the external hard drive can be formatted or physically destroyed at any time.

The Best External SSD Hard Drive: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying an external SSD hard drive

What is an external SSD hard drive?

Behind the term external SSD hard drive is the meaning Solid State Drive. The external SSD hard drive is a new way of storing data and is an improvement on the HDD hard drive.

An external SSD hard drive has a similar design to a USB stick.

The many flash memories enable the data carrier to work without integrated mechanical parts.

This design is particularly noticeable in the technology. You can find out more about this in the buying criteria.

Who is an external SSD suitable for?

An external SSD hard drive is suitable for everyone.

Basically, you should first think about the main purpose for which you want to buy the data medium. An external SSD hard drive combines private pleasure with the seriousness of work.

If you need to transport your data frequently, be it important documents for work or personal pictures, then you should definitely go for the external SSD hard drive. We'll explain the advantages below.

How much does an external SSD cost?

The price depends on the storage capacity as well as the manufacturer.

Storage capacity price range
Low storage capacity 50 € - 100 €
Medium storage capacity 110 € - 180 €
High storage capacity 190 € - 400 €

You often pay more per GB for an external SSD hard drive. However, the remaining advantages justify the price.

externe SSD Festplatte-1

Your data media can be used to store pictures, films or even documents.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Dylan Gillis)

What alternatives are there to external SSDs?

As an alternative to the external SSD hard drive described above, there is the classic HDD hard drive.

The "HDD" in this case stands for Hard Disc Drive.

The HDD is often cheaper than an external SSD and also offers higher storage capacity, but it has a high vulnerability, which can lead to data loss. For example, nearby magnets can cause data loss.

A comparison of external SSD hard drives and HDD hard drives can be found in the next section.

What distinguishes an external SSD hard drive and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

In order to make a decision about which external hard drive should be the next, it is important to know the advantages and disadvantages of an external SSD hard drive.

Advantages
  • Fast performance
  • Power-saving
  • Silent
  • Robust
Disadvantages
  • Cost-intensive
  • Limited storage space
  • Limited lifespan
  • If damaged: permanent loss of data

An external SSD hard disk also has negative aspects. These occur most frequently in the form of permanent data loss when the data medium is damaged.

However, if you handle it carefully, you need not worry about this.

What types of external hard drives are there and which one is right for you?

When it comes to buying a new data carrier, you have to decide whether you want an external SSD hard drive with many additional technical features or a classic HDD hard drive that still has its advantages.

SSD hard drive HDD hard drive
Robust construction Often cheaper
Almost noiseless More storage space
Faster work possible Less risk of data loss in case of damage
Lighter weight Mechanical construction

Both types have their advantages, but the SSD hard drive is the better option in many aspects.

Should it be an external SSD hard disk or an HDD hard disk?

Now you should be able to understand the difference between the two. Otherwise, take another look at our table in the upper part to compare the advantages and disadvantages.

It will be easier for you to make a final decision after we have explained to you which features you need to look out for when buying.

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to evaluate an external hard drive and compare it with other models

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible external SSD hard drives.

The criteria you can use to distinguish between the data carriers include:

In the following paragraphs, we explain what each criterion means.

Capacity

The storage capacity differs depending on the external SSD hard drive. This is an advantage, however, because it allows you to think about how much storage space you really need before you buy.

Most external SSDs have a capacity of between 500 GB and 2 TB.

If you're deciding between two sizes, go for the one with the higher capacity. This gives you the option of backing up more data at a later date.

Read and write speed

Most SSDs have read and write speeds of 390 Mb/s and 550 Mb/s respectively.

The advantage here is definitely the faster working and saving of data. Notebooks and computers with built-in SSDs start up much faster.

The same observations apply to external SSD hard drives.

Enclosure

The enclosure not only has an optical meaning, but also says a lot about the security of your data. You can find external SSD hard drives with a metal housing or a plastic housing.

externe SSD Festplatte-2

The technical inner workings of a hard drive ensure uncomplicated data backup.
(Image source: pixabay.com / Gray_Rhee)

In the event of a fall, the hard drive should be protected so that no data is lost. Ideally, your hard disk should have a rubber casing to cushion the physical impact on the hard disk.

Size

In contrast to previous storage media with a high capacity, an external SSD is space-saving. With a maximum size of 15 cm x 12 cm x 8 cm, it can be transported easily and carefree.

Connection

Connection is possible via the classic USB port. However, some external SSD hard drives offer the option of wireless connection, which means a WLAN connection is sufficient to save the data on your hard drive or to ensure an automatic upload to Dropbox.

Network storage

By connecting to a WLAN router, you can access the data on your hard drive through your smartphone. This means that you can download images from your hard drive to your smartphone at any time.

Special features

Have you always wanted to record films on TV to watch them again later? An external SSD hard drive can help you with this, because it can take over the function of a video recorder on your Smart TV.

Facts worth knowing about the topic of external SSD hard drives

How do I connect my external SSD hard drive to my electrical device?

By connecting with a USB cable or an existing Wi-Fi connection, your computer or notebook will be able to recognise your external SSD. Most external hard drives are password protected after first use, so no unauthorised person can access your data.

How do I properly care for an external SSD hard drive?

Always make sure your external hard drive is protected from impact.

Avoid contact with liquids and do not expose your hard drive to extreme temperatures. All of this will help preserve the drive and protect your data.

How do I delete my data from an external SSD hard drive?

  1. First, make sure that the data you want to preserve is backed up. Since you have to format the hard drive, you may lose more data. This means you have to make a backup on another storage medium.
  2. Now the hard disk must be formatted. To do this, right-click on the symbol of the connected hard disk and select "format". On a Mac notebook, the shortcut for this is different.
  3. Another option is to use programmes called disc cleaners. These offer the service of permanently deleting the data from the external hard drive.
  4. The last option is to physically scrap the hard disk. We will go into this again in the next point.

How do I dispose of an external SSD hard drive?

When disposing of an external hard drive, the primary goal is to avoid access to your personal data. Unfortunately, to achieve this, you must destroy your external hard drive.

externe SSD Festplatte-3

Make sure that you do not leave any data behind when disposing of the hard drive.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Vincent Botta)

This is an extreme measure, but it protects against data misuse. However, before doing this, be sure that you no longer need the hard drive.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to properly destroy a hard drive:

  1. Open the hard drive so that you have access to the disc.
  2. Now cut or pierce the disc so that it is no longer possible to read the hard disk.
  3. Now your data can no longer be accessed.
  4. A hard disk is electronic waste, so dispose of it properly

Image source: Kinchokawat / 123rf

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