The best portable SSDs and hard drives for creatives and digital nomads

For creatives and digital nomads alike, it’s important to keep your work organized, secure, and accessible. Lucky for us, portable SSDs, hard drives, and flash drives have only become smaller while providing more space. In fact, a device the size of your smartphone can hold every single file you could ever need.

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Anyone who works on the go knows just how precious storage space is. There’s nothing that fills you with dread quite like the “disk almost full” message. Not only does an external storage device free up space on your laptop, but it also gives you some peace of mind that your files are securely stored.

Of course, not only should you have a portable SSD or hard drive to back up your files, but you should also have a backup for that one, too. To be on the even safer side, it’s advisable to also employ cloud storage. A portable SSD or hard drive makes it possible to take anything and everything you’re working on wherever you’re working on it. Whether you’re flying through Lightroom edits, creating in Final Cut Pro, or filling in endless spreadsheets, a portable hard drive keeps everything in one organized place.

If you’re looking for the best drive for you, it’s important to take note of the difference between a solid-state drive (SSD) and a hard disk drive (HDD). A SSD is what’s referred to flash storage and actually has no moving parts inside. Because of this, it’s typically much smaller and they’re usually faster. On the contrary, a HDD may be slower, but it typically has more space. That said, SSDs with more storage space are becoming increasingly more available.

LaCie Portable 2TB USB-C SSD

Impressively thin and compact, this USB-C SSD from LaCie actually holds up to 2TB of your media and files. With a transfer speed of 540MB/s, it’s a total workhouse for any of your on-the-go tasks. Plus, because it connects via USB-C, it’s compatible with all the latest devices on the market.

Samsung X5 Thunderbolt 3 Portable SSD

Available in three different sizes, the X5 offers insanely fast write speeds. In fact, the 500GB reaches up to 2,100MB/s while the 1TB and 2TB versions can achieve 2,300MB/s. If that wasn’t enough, it has a read speed of 2,800MB/s. In layman’s terms: the X5 can transfer a 20GB 4K UHD video in only 12 seconds.

Western Digital G-Technology ArmorATD Rugged Portable Hard Drive

Designed for those with a rugged work life, the G-Technology ArmorATD is all about durability. In fact, it sports three layers of shock-resistant material. Drop it from the vista on your hike? No problem. Coming in 1 TB, 2 TB, and 4 TB sizes, there’s plenty of space to upload all your content on the go.

LaCie DJI Copilot Portable Hard Drive

Photographers and videographers: this one’s for you. LaCie teamed up with DJI to create Copilot, a portable hard drive designed for drones. The 2TB drive lets you directly transfer all your files. Plus, you can plug in your smartphone for instant access, editing, and sharing so you don’t have to also lug around your laptop.

My Passport Wireless Shock-Resistant SSD

My Passport Wireless was made to make working on the go easier than ever. It features a one-touch copy button. Simply insert your SD card to instantly copy over all your files. Thanks to the built-in power bank, this SSD runs on its own and even has Wi-Fi connectivity for effortless access.

WD My Passport Portable SSD

One of the most popular SSD options on the market, the My Passport Portable SSD is compact and ready to work. You have your choice of 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB and it’s compatible with both Mac and PC. Thanks to some clever software, it also automatically backs up all your files as soon as you plug it in.

Transcend ESD250C Sleek Portable SSD

If you’re in the market for something compact, the Transcend ESD250C is the one for you. Weighing just 1.66 ounces and measuring less than five inches long, it truly goes wherever you go without weighing you down. But, don’t let its small footprint fool you. It offers 240GB, 480GB, or 960GB of storage with transfer speeds up to 520MB/s.

SanDisk 1 TB Extreme Portable SSD

For an even smaller SSD, the SanDisk 1 TB Extreme get the job done. It has a full terabyte of space and offers read speeds up to 550MB/s. And, it comes with a USB 3.1 Type-C connector, USB Type-C to Type-C cable and a Type-C to Type-A adapter. Finally, with an IP55 rating, it’s also dust-, water- and drop-resistant.

Fledging Shell Portable NVME SSD

Despite the small size of the Fledging Shell Portable NVME SSD, it provides you with 2TB of storage space. It can also transfer an incredible amount of data in just seconds. With a built-in cooling system, it can handle all your tasks, transfers, edits, and more while you’re on the go.

A portable storage solution is imperative for remote work no matter where your office may be. Which one is best for your needs?

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Meet Ashley Timms

Ashley Timms is the Editor in Chief at Gadget Flow where she gets to write about the most incredible products in the world. When she’s not writing, she’s producing fine art dog photography.

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