External Solid-State Drives
In addition to traditional hard drives that live in your PC, there are also external solid-state drives. While some portable solid-state drives are small enough to fit into your pocket, the ones available as external computer accessories come in desktop enclosures for extra stability.
Why Choose SSDs Instead of HDDs?
Speed and durability are the most attractive benefits of solid-state drives (SSDs). Since SSDs have no moving parts, they can accomplish much faster speeds than traditional hard drives. This lack of moving parts also makes them less prone to failure from physical shock, since there are no fragile disks inside that need protecting. This increased durability makes them safer than their spinning disk counterparts.
Difference Between USB Solid-State Drives and Thunderbolt 3 External Solid-State Drives
Not all external SSDs will use USB, and even then, not all USB ports are the same. To reach proper SSD speeds, both the portable SSD and the device that you plug it into must support at least USB 3.1 Gen 1 speeds. This is the minimum USB standard required for a SATA-grade portable SSD to achieve its full speed. While all USB devices offer backward compatibility with previous generation USB standards, you'll want to stick to newer standards to accomplish the highest speeds. Before acquiring a USB SSD, make sure your devices will be able to use its full speed.
When it comes to Thunderbolt 3 SSDs, things are more straightforward. Thunderbolt 3 SSDs use USB-C connectors, and they offer faster transfer speeds than standard USB. To verify if your devices support Thunderbolt 3 over USB-C, look for a Thunderbolt logo above the USB ports or check manufacturer sites for exact specifications. Thunderbolt 3 SSDs are compatible with Thunderbolt-powered USB Type-C ports and past generation Thunderbolt ports with a physical adapter.
External solid-state drives in desktop enclosures offer all the benefits of solid-state drives, but with even more portability and durability. Explore a selection of external solid-state drives at B&H Photo and Video.