The Ultimate Guide to Buying External Solid-State Drives (SSDs)

Your Guide to buying the best External solid-state drives (SSDs)


External solid-state drives (SSDs) are becoming increasingly popular as high-performance storage devices for both home and business users. They offer superior performance, durability, and reliability compared to traditional hard drives. In this buying guide, we will provide an overview of the advantages of External SSDs, as well as tips for choosing the best External SSD for your needs. We will explain the key factors to consider, such as form factor, capacity, read & write speeds, and price. Finally, we will review some of the top External SSDs currently available on the market. With this guide, you will have the information and confidence to make an informed purchasing decision.

Key features

  1. Drive Capacity: The capacity of the external SSD typically ranges from 250GB to 4TB. Consider the amount of storage you need for your files and pick the most suitable size.
  2. Form Factor: External SSDs offer different form factors such as 2.5-inch, M.2, and SATA. Depending on your needs, choose the form factor that offers the best features.
  3. Data Transfer Speed: The type of data transfer technology used for the external SSD also affects its performance. Look for an SSD that uses the latest transfer technology (e.g. USB 3.0, Thunderbolt) for faster data transfer speeds.
  4. Portability: External SSDs come in various sizes and form factors. Pick an SSD that is small and lightweight enough for easy portability.
  5. Durability and Reliability: Look for an external SSD that is designed to withstand extreme temperatures, vibrations, and shocks. This ensures that the drive will be reliable and durable.
  6. Price: External SSDs can vary in price depending on the size and features. Choose an SSD that offers the best features at an affordable price.

See the most popular External solid-state drives (SSDs) on Amazon

Important considerations


  • Speed and Reliability: External SSDs are extremely fast compared to traditional hard drives, are more reliable, and offer greater longevity.
  • Portability: External SSDs are small and lightweight, making them easy to transport and store.
  • Durability: External SSDs are more durable than traditional hard drives, and are better able to resist drops, shocks, and vibrations.
  • Low Power Consumption: External SSDs consume less power than traditional hard drives, resulting in improved battery life.
  • No Noise: External SSDs generate no noise, unlike traditional hard drives which can produce a loud humming sound.


  • Price: External SSDs are typically more expensive than traditional hard drives or other external storage solutions.
  • Durability: External SSDs are subject to the same physical damage as other storage solutions, such as heat, drops, and shock.
  • Capacity: External SSDs typically have lower capacities than traditional hard drives, making them less suitable for large data storage needs.
  • Speed: External SSDs can generally offer faster data transfer rates than traditional hard drives, but this depends on the model and other factors.
  • Connectivity: External SSDs typically require a specific connection type, such as USB-C or Thunderbolt, which may not be available on all devices.

Best alternatives

  1. NAS Drives - Network Attached Storage drives are external drives that connect to a network and allow multiple users to access the same files and data.
  2. USB Flash Drives - These are small, portable drives that connect to a computer via a USB port and are used to store and transfer data.
  3. Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) - These are traditional spinning hard drives which store data and are larger in size, as well as slower than SSDs.
  4. CD-ROM/DVD-ROM Drives - These are optical drives which are used to read and write CD and DVD disks.

Related tools, supplies, and accessories

  • External casing/enclosure - A casing or enclosure for the SSD that can be used to connect the SSD to a computer externally.
  • Storage cable - A cable for connecting the SSD to a computer externally.
  • Screwdriver - A tool for opening the external casing/enclosure.
  • Cable adapter - A device for connecting the storage cable to the drive.
  • Power adapter - A device for connecting the drive to a power source.
  • Software/firmware - Software and/or firmware may be required to access the drive.

Common questions

  1. What is the difference between external and internal SSDs? External SSDs are similar to internal SSDs in that they both use the same type of flash memory for storing data. The difference is that external SSDs are designed to be used with a computer or laptop outside of the main system, and are typically much more portable and durable than internal SSDs.
  2. How much storage capacity is available on External solid-state drives (SSDs)? External SSDs come in a range of storage capacities, from as low as 128GB to as high as 8TB. Generally, the larger the capacity, the more expensive the drive will be.
  3. What are the performance benefits of External solid-state drives (SSDs)? External SSDs offer much faster read and write speeds than traditional hard disk drives, which makes them ideal for applications such as gaming, video editing, and data analysis. Additionally, SSDs are much more reliable and can last much longer than traditional hard drives.
  4. What type of connection is needed to use an External solid-state drive (SSD)? The most common type of connection for external SSDs is USB, although some models also offer Thunderbolt or eSATA connections. It is important to make sure that the connection type your device supports is compatible with the drive you are considering.
  5. Are External solid-state drives (SSDs) more expensive than traditional hard disk drives? Generally speaking, SSDs are more expensive than HDDs, but the price difference between the two has been decreasing in recent years. Additionally, the performance benefits of SSDs can often outweigh the cost difference.


An interesting fact about external solid-state drives (SSDs) is that performance varies greatly between brands and models. For instance, the same model of SSD may perform up to four times faster when connected via an external USB 3.0 connection than when connected via an internal SATA connection. This means that when purchasing an external SSD, it is important to do your research to ensure that you’re getting the best performance for your money. Source: TechSpot

Disclaimer: This buying guide was not created by humans, and it is possible that some of it's content is inaccurate or incomplete. We do not guarantee or take any liability for the accuracy of this buying guide. Additionally, the images on this page were generated by AI and may not accurately represent the product that is being discussed. We have tried to convey useful information, but it is our subjective opinion and should not be taken as complete or factual.