Best Backup Hard Drive for Mac

You can’t spend a day without your MacBook. Whether it is for business activities or playing games, the machine is your essential asset. If you are storing important files and you want to keep them safe, consider getting the best backup hard drive for Mac.

In this article, we are reviewing Mac backup hardware and how it can benefit users. Whether you have sensitive files to protect or valuable memories, an external backup drive will keep them safe. Check out our reviews to learn the pros, cons, and other details about top-rated items on the market.

Quick Summary

  • WD My Passport Ultra for Mac is a backup hard drive for MacBook that excels in every category. From generous capacity to impressive transfer speeds, you will get everything you might expect from this device.
  • If you are looking for bargain deals, try Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch 2TB External Hard Drive. It offers excellent value for the money, and you will get complimentary subscriptions for Adobe CC and Mylio Create.
  • Samsung (MUPA1T0B/AM) T5 Portable SSD is a premium quality Mac backup hardware. The product has superfast speeds, and it will serve you for long. Additionally, the drive is tiny and light, which makes it extremely portable.

Who Should Get This?

Are you having second thoughts on whether you need the best external backup drive for Mac? If that is the case, check out the benefits brought by these products:

  • Protection against failures – if your default drive fails for any reason, you will always have the backup version ready.
  • Access files quickly – you might be away from your machine, but connecting the drive to another PC will secure quick access to files.
  • Additional protection – if you store sensitive data on external drives, it keeps them safe from viruses, malware, and potential security breaches.
  • System recovery options – if you need to install the OS again, a backup hard drive will help to restore everything the way it used to look.

It is worth noting that using the best backup hard drive for Mac is a piece of cake. You don’t need any technical knowledge since these products are easy to use.

How We Picked the Best Backup Hard Drive for Mac?

Picking the best backup hard drive for Mac requires considering its properties carefully. You want to ensure every detail meets your preferences. Our experts have years of experience, and they know where to look when it comes to backup hard drives. Here are the factors we considered in the process.

Capacity

The capacity of your backup external hard drive for Mac is essential. You want to fit important files, as well as precious photos, videos, and other data on it. That is why you will require as much room as possible. The general rule is that backup hard drives vary from 1TB to 5TB capacity. You will often find the same model in different variations.

Transfer Speed

Transfer speed describes how fast a hard drive can transfer files from and to other devices. These speeds can vary on other factors, but the maximum they can reach depends on the drive. The best backup hard drive for Mac should have at least 100MB/S capability, although these devices often go to 500MB/S or above.

Size

The product’s size is crucial for its portability. If you have a tiny hard drive, it will be easy to fit it into your pocket to carry it around. The good news is that most hard drives these days are of compact size. While it might be tricky to put them into a pocket, placing them into a bag should be a problem. While considering portability, make sure to take into account the weight of the hard drive, too. A lighter product is easier to move around.

Design

The appearance of your hard drive might not be a primary consideration. However, you want the colors to complement your machine. The design can vary from classic black and white colors to shades of orange and other vivid solutions.

Price

It would be foolish not to consider the cost of your backup external hard drive for Mac. You might be able to find a reliable device for under $100. However, if you want a high-quality product with an impressive capacity, be ready for an investment that goes up to or over $200.

Best Backup Hard Drive for Mac: Our Picks in 2020

1. WD My Passport Ultra for Mac

WD My Passport Ultra for Mac

WD My Passport Ultra is a hard drive formatted for MacBook and other Mac systems. It is compatible with USB 3.0 and ready to use with USB-C. The product’s appearance is attractive, and the metal cover adds to the elegance.

Security is at the top level since the manufacturer enabled password protection combined with hardware encryption. The generous capacity of 4TB should be enough for storing all your files. You can also pick 2TBand 5TB options for this Mac backup hard drive. Admirable transfer speed is important, especially when moving large files. The product is fairly portable, and you will receive a long-term warranty.

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At a Glance

  • Capacity: 4 TB
  • Transfer speed: 480 MB/S
  • Dimensions: 4.33 x 3.23 x 0.5 inches
  • Weight: 2.29 ounces
  • 3-year limited warranty

Pros

  • A lightweight product: The hard drive features a compact size, and it is lightweight. That makes it easy to carry it wherever you go.
  • Impressive transfer speed: It can reach up to 480MB/S, which makes the device surprisingly fast when transferring files.
  • A reputable brand: Western Digital is famous for making high-quality products, and this device is no exception.
  • Formatted for Mac: The hard drive is formatted for Mac, which means it was prepared to be used on this operating system.

Cons

  • WD software Is not the most reliable: The app that the manufacturer made to be used with the hard drive might be prone to errors.
  • Cable connection issues: It happens rarely, but the hard drive might disconnect from your Mac for no reason. It seems that it is because of cable quality.

2. Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch 2TB External Hard Drive

Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch 2TB External Hard Drive

Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch seems like the best external backup drive for Mac for all those seeking bargain deals. The first thing you notice is the attractive design of the product. The standard white and black colors are complemented by the fabric on top of the drive. It ensures a better grip, which can be important to prevent the product from slipping from your hand.

The manufacturer made the product for both Windows and Mac. You can rely on the software to create automatic backups at scheduled intervals. If you want to manage photos and other files, you can use the subscription plans you receive with the device. The manufacturer cares about the security of your data, which is why they included password protection and hardware encryption.

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At a Glance

  • Capacity: 2 TB
  • Transfer speed: 120 MB/S
  • Dimensions: 4.52 x 3.07 x 0.46 inches
  • Weight: 5.33 ounces
  • 2-year limited warranty
  • A 2-month membership for Adobe CC, and a 1-year subscription to Mylio Create

Pros

  • Excellent value for money: The product brings plenty of bang for the buck, especially if you consider the price-capacity ration.
  • Password protection: protect your files with the supported AES-256 hardware encryption.
  • The fabric gives you a better grip: The fabric placed on this backup hard drive for Mac will ensure it doesn’t slip from your hands.
  • Complimentary subscriptions: You receive subscriptions to Mylio Create and Adobe Creative Cloud.

Cons

  • It is not shock-resistant: Be careful not to drop it on the floor since the resistance to shock is not impressive.
  • It takes time to back up an entire machine: Since it doesn’t have an impressive transfer speed, you need to be patient when backing up a whole machine.

3. Samsung (MU-PA1T0B/AM) T5 Portable SSD

Samsung (MU-PA1T0B/AM) T5 Portable SSD

If you are looking for a top-quality product, this might be the best Mac backup hardware on the market. Samsung made sure to use components of exceptional quality for this portable SSD. Thanks to that, you can expect the device to serve you for years.

Apart from durability, size is an important advantage of this external backup drive for Mac. The product is among the smallest you will see on the market. That makes it highly portable and suitable for carrying around in your pocket. The only downside is that you don’t get a carrying case.

You can choose between 1TB and 2TB variants, but they are both a bit pricey. However, the impressive durability, size, and transfer speed make the product a great value for money.

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At a Glance

  • Capacity: 1 TB
  • Transfer speed: 540 MB/S
  • Dimensions: 0.41 x 2.91 x 2.26 inches
  • Weight: 1.8 ounces
  • 3-year warranty

Pros

  • Compact size: The product is as small as a portable SSD could be. It can fit inside a pocket, which makes it easy to carry it around.
  • Impressive speed: The device features superfast speeds and can read and write files at up to 540MB/S.
  • Pick your color: You can go with a classic black option, or pick between red, blue, and gold colors to complement your machine.
  • Excellent durability: Samsung includes a three-year warranty, but the quality of construction indicates this backup hard drive for Mac can last even longer.

Cons

  • A pricey product: The product belongs to top-class hard drives, which is the reason why it has a high price tag.
  • No carrying case included: The manufacturer didn’t include a carrying bag or case, which means you will have to purchase it separately. 

4. Seagate Expansion SSD 1Tb Solid State Drive

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<p>Seagate Expansion SSD is a modern and compact solution with a lightweight design. The black color is universal and secures compatibility with all machines. The backup hard drive for Mac is light, which makes it easy to carry around in your hand.</p>
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Seagate Expansion SSD is a modern and compact solution with a lightweight design. The black color is universal and secures compatibility with all machines. The backup hard drive for Mac is light, which makes it easy to carry around in your hand.

While the capacity is not the most generous, 1TB should cover most users’ needs. The device is fast when activating, but also transferring the files. Although it is compatible with MacBook, you might need to reformat it first if you plan on using the Time Machine. Overall, this might be the best backup drive for Mac, especially if you are a fan of Seagate’s products.

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At a Glance

  • Capacity: 1 TB
  • Transfer speed: 400 MB/S
  • Dimensions: 6 x 4.25 x 1.5 inches
  • Weight: 2.29 ounces
  • 3-year limited warranty

Pros

  • Decent transfer speed: Transfer speeds vary, but they are more than decent, and allow you fast file moving.
  • Fast wake up from sleep: If you need to activate your backup hard drive, it will occur quickly.
  • It is very light and portable: The weight of the device ensures it will be easy to carry it from one place to another.
  • Shock-resistant: You don’t have to worry about dropping it on the floor accidentally because the product offers resistance to shock.

Cons

  • A short cord comes with the product: If you plan on using the USB 3.0 cord, you might need to consider to keep the device close to your Mac.
  • Time Machine might require reformatting: If your idea is to use the product with the Time Machine, you might need to reformat the drive first.

5. LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C 5TB External Hard Drive

LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C 5TB External Hard Drive

If you believe the best backup hard drive for Mac is the one that offers most space, this is the product for you. LaCie ensures 5TB of available space, and it secures fairly fast data transfer.

The product features a distinctive design with an orange bumper and a tethered cable. While the latter is convenient, the design is a matter of taste. The material quality is admirable, and the product will remain safe if you drop it on the floor. It is resistant to water and dust, too, and it should serve you for a long time.

This hard drive designed by LaCie might also be the best Mac backup hardware. The manufacturer offers a generous warranty, and a data recovery service includes if you have any problems with the product.

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At a Glance

  • Capacity: 5 TB
  • Transfer speed: 130 MB/S
  • Dimensions: 1.34 x 3.58 x 5.4 inches
  • Weight: 1.32 pounds
  • Free 1-month membership to Adobe Creative Cloud
  • 3-year limited warranty

Pros

  • Extremely durable and resistant: The hard drive is capable of resisting waist-high drops since it features a strong construction.
  • Plenty of space available: The generous capacity of 5TB should make this product enough for videos, photos, music, and other files you want to store.
  • Integrated SD card slot: It is a nice addition that allows transferring photographs and other data from your smartphones quickly.
  • All the accessories you need: From a convenient tethered cable to the membership for Adobe CC and rescue data recovery services, the manufacturer was generous when including accessories.

Cons

  • The drive can get hot: Using the product for hours could make it hot to the touch. You can grab it by the orange bumper, but avoid packing it before it cools down.
  • Not everyone might be a fan of the design: The bumper features a specific orange color that not everyone might find appealing.

Conclusion

Getting an external backup drive for Mac can be beneficial for multiple reasons. It can keep sensitive files safe, and ensure you have access to them in case of system failure. The choice depends on your requirements. You might need a hard drive with a huge capacity, or 1TB might cover all your needs. Durability, size and other details are also factors to consider when selecting the best Mac backup hardware. The experts say it is all about your preferences. No one-size-fits-all formula exists, and the best backup drive for Mac is the one that fits your needs!

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