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The best external hard drive for Mac in 2022

Last Updated on March 14, 2022

It’s fair to say that a lot of modern laptops are slimming down their internal storage, both to reduce cost and unit weight. Popular laptops such as the Macbook Pro only come with a relatively limited amount of SSD storage. This is super speedy when it comes to booting into the OS but pretty much useful if you want to use the Mac for what it’s actually really good at – content creation of any sort.

Pretty much as soon as you get it out of the box, you are going to need some form of external storage solution. This can be annoying if you travel around with your Macbook a lot, as it something else to carry and potentially drop. It’s far from ideal. The prospect of losing all your work to a damaged drive is not an enticing one.

Even if you use a desktop-based Mac you will soon find the need to add some extra storage to the mix. Here issues such as portability and resilience might not be as important to you but speed of data transfer could well be.

Here is our pick of the five best external hard drives for Macs.

Products at a Glance

Our Recommended

The best external hard drive for Mac in 2022

1.
PROS
  • Lightning-fast via Thunderbolt
  • Mac-formatted
CONS
  • Mechanical HD
2.
PROS
  • USB-C is fast
  • Lovely design
CONS
  • Expensive
3.
PROS
  • Large capacity
  • USB-C
CONS
  • Average read/write performance
4.
PROS
  • SSD
  • Very fast
CONS
  • Expensive
5.
PROS
  • Strong case
  • Good capacity
CONS
  • Not silent by any means

Do I need it to Mac formatted?

There is a little bit of marketing spin around this area. Many of these drives reviewed here proudly state they are formatted for Mac, and they are, but all that really does is save you a little time and effort. With a little (and we mean little), know how you can format any external drive to work on any system. You can even format them so they work on both simultaneously. So this ‘feature’ is purely one of convenience. Vice versa, you can also take one of the pre-Mac formatted drives and easily format it to work on your PC. Don’t believe the hype people.

Our Verdict

The Buffalo MiniStation is a great external hard drive at a reasonable price. Its Thunderbolt connector makes it highly suited to an Apple environment, and this is where it shines. It might not be an SSD – if you specifically want that option look no further than the Samsung T5 on show here – but it still zips along at a tremendous speed thanks to the proprietary connection. I would always point to the Things to Consider box regarding finding yourself a decent backup solution too.