Expand your Storage Options with External Solid State Drives
These days, most of us have fast and reliable solid state drives in our desktop and laptop computers. However, portable SSDs are an equally crucial part of many people’s digital lives. Like internal SSDs, these drives use NAND flash memory to store files, but they are self contained in their own enclosures. With no moving parts and greater resistance to bumps and drops, external SSDs are perfect for taking your data on the go.
Using an SSD as an external hard drive gives you all of the speed and rugged performance of solid state storage on your laptop, on your game console, in a remote office, at a gig, or wherever life takes you. Portable SSDs are especially popular with designers, photographers, and other people who work with big files outside of an office setting, but they are also great for gamers, students, and anybody who needs high performance external storage.
Choosing the Best External SSD for You
Here are a few of the key elements of an external SSD to consider when you are shopping:
Storage Capacity: How much space do you need? 1 TB drives are a popular happy medium for many users, but external SSDs come in sizes as small as 500 GB and as large as 4 TB and up.
Read / Write Speed: Sequential read and write speeds are the bread and butter of SSDs. Higher speeds mean faster data transfers, although it is worth noting that other elements of your system, such as the USB port you are using, affect whether you can actually use the drive’s rated transfer speed.
Waterproof / Dustproof: These features are incredibly important if you will be using your portable SSD outdoors often, or in other environments where it might encounter harsh conditions. Look for an ingress protection or IP rating, such as IP65 or IP68, to get information about the conditions it is built to withstand.
Hardware Encryption: Security can be a major concern when you’re taking a data storage device on the go. That is why some drives offer hardware encryption, such as the industry standard AES 256 bit.
Connectivity: Almost all external SSDs today connect through a USB C interface, although a few models use the older USB A connector or the ultra high speed Thunderbolt 3. If you need the fastest data transfer, note which generation of the USB 3.0 standard the drive uses. Newer generations, such as the ultra fast, multi lane USB 3.2 Gen 2x2, will be faster offer the best speed and performance on the market, although average users often won’t notice much difference between the various iterations of the standard.
Form Factor: Although form factor matters less with external SSDs than internals since you are not mounting it inside your computer, it is still worth considering the physical size and shape of your external SSD. Some users want ultra compact SSDs that can travel with them anywhere, while others are fine with larger models that will live mostly on their desktops and only travel occasionally such as gaming SSDs.
Browse Micro Center’s full selection of external SSDs here and find the best prices on top SSD brands like Samsung, Western Digital, Seagate, and more. Searching for the most affordable external storage solutions? Don’t forget to browse our external HDDs as well.