External hard drives are staples in a video editor’s arsenal. Imagine this, you’re away from home or you need to travel but you need to continue your work. You might simply want to use an external hard drive for backing up your precious data. Either way, an external hard drive will come in handy in a lot of situations.

But is it necessary to get an external hard drive? Some may say no. That’s because they either have a lot of disk space left or they aren’t working on a lot of data while on-the-go. But in all my years of working, I’ve noticed that I’m working more on-the-go in the past few days. If you feel like you could do without an external hard drive, then don’t go for one!

But if you decide to go for one, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind.

  • How much space do you need?
  • Does the weight of the external hard drive matter?
  • What other purpose do you have with the drive?

In today’s article, we’ll be answering those questions and much more. So hang on tight as we unveil the best external hard drives for video editing!


Seagate Portable 5TB

seagate 5tb

The best value-for-price external hard drive has to be the Seagate portable 5TB version. Though many people wouldn’t prefer spending much behind an external hard drive, its speed and durability are worth the price.

The Seagate portable 5TB weighs about 0.5lbs. You won’t have to worry about it not being portable. It’s also compatible with Macs, PC’s and all the latest consoles.

Before we talk about the performance and build quality, you should know that this equipment comes with a 2-year warranty (one-year Rescue Data Recovery Services)

The build quality is easily the best among all the external drives on this list. It comes with a modern look. It also has a black aluminum polish that gives it a classy look. Because of its aluminum body, it won’t break easily if it falls from your hand.

We were totally satisfied with the performance too. The portable HDD delivers much more than advertised. Though it has a 120mbps read/write speed, the performance goes way above that as it’ll occasionally reach up to 140 Mbps.

Overall, the Seagate portable 5TB HDD is the best value for the buck external HDD you can get at the moment.


  • Weighs just 0.5 lbs so it’s very lightweight.
  • It’s compatible With Mac, Pc, and all the latest consoles
  • 2-year warranty.
  • It offers rescue data recovery service for a year.
  • Sturdy build quality.
  • Surpasses the advertised read/write speed that goes up to 140 Mbps.


  • Some might find the storage capacity a bit more than required.


WD MY Passport


If you’re looking for something a bit classy but fits in your pocket at the same time, the WD MY Passport could be a perfect choice. I’d pick it up simply because of how good it feels in my hand, to be honest.

Though it’s fairly small-sized, it comes in quite a few sizes. You can pick either the 1TB version up until the 5TB version. Though we recommend going for the higher versions, you can pick up any size based on your needs. As per our testing, we found this HDD to be great for backup and storage.

How is the build quality you ask? Well, it can sure take the occasional bump. You surely won’t use it to play football right? It looks stylish too. As for compatibility, it comes ready to use on your PC or Mac without the need to install any kind of driver.

On the specs side, this external HDD comes with both USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports. Even if your computer doesn’t support USB 3.0, you’ll be able to make use of it. This external HDD also has hardware encryption in order for your precious data to not reach the hands of people you don’t want. On top of that, you can easily backup your data using WD backup.

Though it doesn’t have shock resistance, we couldn’t help but fall in love with the looks and prowess of this HDD. You have to pick this one!


  • Small-sized and fits in the pocket.
  • Available up to 5TB versions.
  • Great for backup and storage purposes.
  • Solid build quality.
  • Compatible with PC and Mac, and doesn’t need any kind of drivers.
  • Has both USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports
  • The hardware encryption secures your data.


  • No shock resistance.


WD Elements


Granted the WD MyPassport is a great external HDD, it isn’t a durable one. If durability is your main choice and you want a WD External HDD, the WD Elements is the best one you can go for.

Like all other brands, the WD Elements external HDD also offers various sizes. You can choose from 1TB up to 5TB sized HDD depending on your needs. It measures up to 3.5 inches and weighs about 4.7 ounces. So it isn’t far off from the WD My Passport with better durability.

Speaking of durability, the outer layer of this external HDD has a rubber grip. You can comfortably grip it. Even if it slips from your hand, it won’t suffer much because of the outer layer. On top of that, the matte black color looks stylish.

The performance is an area you can’t question on this HDD. This HDD comes with both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 connection interfaces. If that wasn’t enough, the transfer speed can go up to 1 GBPS.

Though the HDD lacks features such as data encryption and auto backup, it would be a solid investment for someone who wants portability and durability.


  • Up to 5TB sizes are available.
  • Very portable as it has a size of 3.5 inches and weighs 4.7 ounces.
  • Comfortable and sturdy rubber grip.
  • Stylish matte black color.
  • Fast USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 connection interfaces.
  • Up to 1 GBPS data transfer speed.


  • Lacks data encryption and auto backup.


Lacie Rugged Mini

lacie rugged

If you’re a traveler or someone who’s constantly outdoors, you need a portable HDD that’s rough and tough. In our inspection, we found the Lacie Rugged Mini to be the sturdiest of them all!

Let’s get onto the main features first. It’s insanely durable! How can such a small HDD be highly durable? The Lacie Rugged Mini is not just durable! It’s resistant to dust, rain, and shock!

The Lacie Rugged can survive a fall from up to 4 feet. So it won’t have any problem if it falls from your hand. The Portable HDD can also hold up to a ton of added pressure.

Onto the performance side now. It’s pretty much the same as all the other portable HDDs. You’ll get a decent read/write speed of 130 MBPS. On top of that, it’s also compatible with the latest Mac and Windows OS.

Though some may complain about the price, I believe the price is justified because of the resistance the HDD provides. Also for further protection, they offer up to 2 years warranty!


  • Insanely durable.
  • Resistant to dust, rain, and shock.
  • It can survive falls from up to 4 feet.
  • The Portable HDD can also hold up to a ton of added pressure.
  • A decent read/write speed of 130 MBPS.
  • Compatible with the latest Mac and Windows OS.
  • 2 years of service warranty.


  • Slightly expensive.


Toshiba Canvio Basics

toshiba canvio

You might’ve noticed that we haven’t mentioned any budget options. Don’t even worry about it as our budget portable HDD pick is the Toshiba Canvio Basics.

The Toshiba Canvio Basics is the definition of a basic portable HDD. It has matte finishing and is smudge-proof. It offers up to 4TB storage. It’s quite easy to use too as there isn’t any kind of hassle of installing drivers.

The Toshiba Canvio Basics is NTFS formatted. It has both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 storage. The read and write speed fluctuated between 100 and 110 MBPS which is quite decent considering it’s a basic HDD.

You don’t need to worry about it getting damaged too as the manufacturers offer up to 2 years of service warranty. Though the HDD lacks the latest features, it’d be a perfect fit for you if you’re looking for a basic portable HDD


  • Sleek matte finish.
  • Smudge-proof design.
  • Up to 4TB storage.
  • Easy-to-use due to its plug and play style.
  • It has both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports.
  • A decent 110 MBPS data transfer speed.


  • Missing a lot of modern features.

Wrapping Up

Most people wouldn’t care much about an external hard drive and would simply buy one. But to bring out the most for your buck you’ll need one that’s both durable and performs well.

In today’s list, we’ve put forth some of the best portable external HDD each serving different purposes. Pick the one that suits you the best!