Best External Hard Drive For Long Term Storage – Top 4 Picks

If you want to save all of your personal data such as personal pictures, documents, games setup which you rarely going to check, for that you might want to get a best external hard drive for long term storage of your files. An external hard drive is a device which we attach to a personal computer via USB port and can transfer or access all of data. Such drives are easy to carry and some of them are well built so you can store all of your data for longer period of time.

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Best Overall
G-Technology 500GB G-DRIVE mobile SSD Durable...
Budget Friendly
WD 4TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive HDD,...
Best Choice
SanDisk 500GB Extreme PRO Portable External SSD -...
Best Portability
SAMSUNG T5 Portable SSD 1TB - Up to 540MB/s - USB...
Name
G-Technology 500GB G-DRIVE mobile SSD Durable...
WD 4TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive HDD,...
SanDisk 500GB Extreme PRO Portable External SSD -...
SAMSUNG T5 Portable SSD 1TB - Up to 540MB/s - USB...
Type
SSD
Hard Disk Drive
SSD
SSD
Operating System
MacOS, Windows, Linux
MacOS, Windows, Linux
MacOS, Windows, Linux
MacOS, Windows, Linux
Features
1000lbs Crush Resistant, IP67 Water Resistant, 3m Drop Protection, Aluminum Body
Good Build Quality, Not Too Expensive
Shock Resistant, Vibration Resistant, Silicon Rubber Coating, IP55 Water Resistance
Compact Design, Reliable Build Quality
Best Overall
Image
G-Technology 500GB G-DRIVE mobile SSD Durable...
Name
G-Technology 500GB G-DRIVE mobile SSD Durable...
Type
SSD
Operating System
MacOS, Windows, Linux
Features
1000lbs Crush Resistant, IP67 Water Resistant, 3m Drop Protection, Aluminum Body
Budget Friendly
Image
WD 4TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive HDD,...
Name
WD 4TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive HDD,...
Type
Hard Disk Drive
Operating System
MacOS, Windows, Linux
Features
Good Build Quality, Not Too Expensive
Best Choice
Image
SanDisk 500GB Extreme PRO Portable External SSD -...
Name
SanDisk 500GB Extreme PRO Portable External SSD -...
Type
SSD
Operating System
MacOS, Windows, Linux
Features
Shock Resistant, Vibration Resistant, Silicon Rubber Coating, IP55 Water Resistance
Best Portability
Image
SAMSUNG T5 Portable SSD 1TB - Up to 540MB/s - USB...
Name
SAMSUNG T5 Portable SSD 1TB - Up to 540MB/s - USB...
Type
SSD
Operating System
MacOS, Windows, Linux
Features
Compact Design, Reliable Build Quality

Last update on 2021-06-20 / Amazon Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

There are plenty of external hard drives out their which can be used for long term storage. Every portable hard drive has different build quality, performance and warranty which makes it difficult to choose from. To ease your search a little, we have toughly tested and made a list of some of the most reliable external hard drives for long term storage.

Quick Comparison Of Best External Hard Drives For Long Term Storage - Top 4 Recommendations

ProductRead/Write (MB/s)Warranty
SanDisk Extreme Pro External SSD Drive For Storage1050/10005-Years
Samsung T5 External Hard Drive For Long Term Storage540/5003-Years
WD Elements External Hard Disk Drive For Storage100/502-Years
G-Drive External Hard Drive For Long Term Data Storage560/5105-years

1. SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD External Hard Drive For Long Term Storage – Best Choice

sandisk extreme pro external hard drive for long term data storage

  • High Compatibility
  • NvMe SSD Technology
  • Durable Design
Pros
  • IP55 Water Resistant
  • Good Performance
  • Dust Protection
Cons
  • Price

The external drive has quite rugged design and best suited for long term storage. SanDisk Extreme Pro is one of the most reliable external hard drive for offline storage. The drive has Ruggedized design with a forged aluminum body protects the SSD core and heat dissipation. It is IP55 rated for water and dust-resistant while it’s durable, silicon rubber coating delivers higher impact resistance preventing your data from accidental drop. The SanDisk Extreme pro can withstand water flow for 3 min.

Read Also: Best External Hard Drive For Video Editing

Furthermore, the drive is equipped with latest NVMe technology for faster data transfer and increased lifespan. The drive also has shock protection, vibration resistance and high temperature protection as well. The product operating temperature is -0°C to 45°C. Additionally this SSD drive has great performance as well. The drive has read speed of up to 1050 MB/s and write speed of up to 1000 MB/s. If you looking for a long lasting external hard drive than this product is for you. The drive comes with Type-C and Type-A connectivity which makes it compatible with both Windows PC and Macbook pro laptop.


2. Samsung T5 Portable External SSD Drive For Long Term Storage – Best Overall

samsung t5 portable external ssd drive

  • Compact Design
  • Mac OS X Compatibility
  • Secure Encryption Support
Pros
  • Amazing Compatibility
  • AES 256-bit Encryption Support
  • 3 Years of Warranty
Cons
  • Water Resistance Rating Missing

Samsung T5 is another one of the best most reliable external storage device for long term data saving. Samsung are known for making quite reliable portable drives which are quite amazing for offline data storage. The drive has option AES 256-bit password protection which can be uses to secure all of your data in it. It uses V-NAND flash memory for faster data transfer and also increased reliability.

Read Also: Best External Drive For Macbook Time Machine

Like all the other SSD drives, this also don’t have any moving parts in it which makes it more secure and prone to sudden failure. The drive has sturdy-built quality protecting its internals from sudden drop down and make its body shock and vibration resistant. Samsung offers a software using which you can manage all of your data in this drive and can update its firmware as well. The product comes with USB type C to C and USB type C to A cables to connect to PCs, Macs, smartphones and other devices. This product is quite great budget friendly SSD solution for long term photo and other data storage.


3. Western Digital Elements Portable Hard Disk Drive For Offline Storage – Budget Friendly

wd elements external hard disk drive for data saving

  • USB 3.0 and 2.0 Compatibility
  • High Capacity
  • Portable Design
Pros
  • Compact Design
  • Fast Data Transfer
  • USB 3.0 Technology
Cons
  • No Shock and Water Resistant

WD elements is a traditional external hard disk drive which is one of the most popular and can be used for long term data storage. The drive has portable design, unlike other mentioned drives, this don’t have SSD in it. It is a disk drive which means it has rotating mechanical parts in it. But still, such drives can last for up to 10 years before dying completely.

The product is available in up to 5TB of capacity and fully compatible with windows 10, windows 7, MacOS and Linux. To use it with Apple laptops, you might going to need a type-a to type-c adapter. It is not as reliable as an SSD external drive but if you looking for budget friendly solution for long term offline storage than this product is a good choice.


4. G-Technology External SSD Hard Drive For Long Term Storage – Best Value For The Money

gtechnology external hard drive for storage

  • Fast Performance
  • Latest Gen USB-C Connectivity
  • 5-Years Warranty
Pros
  • Blazing Fast Performance
  • Shock and Vibration Resistant
  • IP67 Water Proof
Cons
  • None

G-Technology G-drive not that popular but they make one of the most reliable and longest lasting external hard drive. The drive has rugged sturdy build quality protecting it from sudden drop or from accidently putting weight on it while being in a closet or some other place. It can survive up to 3 meter drop. The drive has aluminum core and looks aesthetically amazing.

The product also features IP67 water and dust resistance. The external ssd drive is also shock and vibration resistance. The product has quite amazing performance as well. It is fully compatible with Microsoft windows and MacOSx operating system. G-drive features USB-C connectivity for faster speed. The portable external ssd hard drive is another great choice for long term storage and reliability.


What To Look For Before Buying External Hard Drive For Long Term Storage

Look out for these things before making purchase.

HDD vs SSD

HDD or hard disk drives are traditional storage devices which use various mechanical parts such as disk rotating motors and a moveable read/write head for storing and reading data. Exactly because of these mechanical parts, HDD are prone to fail early. Also, all of your data store on disk magnetically. This magnetic layer starts to lose its quality after some time (normally after 10 years) hence you going to face a lot of data errors when trying to access it. This is another issue. But plus point of such drives is they are quite cheap and easily affordable.

On the other hand, SSD or solid state drives use flash memory chip for storing all of your data electrically. SSD external drives don’t have any kind of moveable mechanical parts which makes them most reliable external hard drives for long term data storage. SSD drives has more lifespan as compared to HDD. If use this drive once a week and do just one read/write cycle, the drive can survive for up to 30 years. But, SSD drives are quite expensive as compared to HDD.

Protections

Drives which comes with water protection, have accidental drop protection likely to last much longer. A drive which can survive harsh environment is a good choice. Just imagine your portable external hard drive sitting in a cupboard, on it a lot of stuff has been placed unknowingly. A normal drive can gets damaged instantly but a drive which has sturdy built quality can survive such treatment. This can also improve longevity of external drive.

Warranty

Having a decent warranty external hard drive is always a plus point. Sometimes due to bad luck, drive might fail in a month or two. In that case you can claim warranty to get a replacement drive. Also having a good warranty drive means they are made to work for longer time. So, always go for a drive which have at least of 2-years warranty



Final Words

Getting an external hard drive for long term storage is always a good idea. That way you can save a lot of your memories and other data which can be retrieved when needed. We have tested and mentioned some of the most reliable external hard drives which can be long lasting. If you have any question, let us know in the comments below.


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John Stewart
Hi There. I am the creator of this website. I have done Bachelor Of Science in Information and Technology from Drexel University. By Profession, I am working for a reputable company as a Network Support and Cyber Security Engineer. In my free time, I love to explore new technologies, products, and services. Here, my aim is to bring top quality content to my website visitors. I will be posting tech reviews, tips, and much more. I hope you will enjoy your stay here. It's my pleasure to have you here.
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