Pick Up a Portable Drive to Protect your Precious Photos


Having more megapixels and higher resolution video isn’t always a good thing. Shooting with the latest cameras is almost certainly going to fill up your hard drives quickly. I know from personal experience, having recently picked up a 61MP Sony a7R IV from which each raw file exceeds 100MB and a couple of minutes of 4K video, will take up gigabytes of space. At home, I have the luxury of a RAID array but, when I’m working on the train or using my laptop at a trade show, I need storage that is a bit more portable. Here are some solid picks for mobile storage solutions.

G-Technology G-SPEED Shuttle 20TB 4-Bay Thunderbolt™ 3 RAID Array with Two ev Bay Adapters

LaCie Rugged Mini USB 3.0 External Hard Drive

This is the ubiquitous portable hard drive. LaCie’s now-classic orange bumper and sleek enclosure can take a beating and leave your data unscathed. The Rugged Mini is effectively universal, with its USB 3.0 interface and bus-powered design, allowing it to be used without any additional power supply. Being a standard hard drive means it’s relatively affordable for its capacity, with 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB models available. The connection is decently fast, too, with speeds up to 130 MB/s. It’s a solid drive for nearly everyone.

LaCie 2TB Rugged Mini USB 3.0 External Hard Drive

G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C mobile SSD

Sometimes what you need is speed, and that is when I would advise an SSD. The G-Technology G-DRIVE mobile SSD works well because it has a faster USB 3.1 Gen 2 connection, and the solid state drive will read and write faster than conventional spinning disks—up to 560 MB/s, in fact. This drive also happens to be quite tiny and is dust, water, shock, and vibration resistant, and crushproof to 1,000 lb. It is a small, sleek drive that will get the job done and is better suited to transferring large video files or image libraries. You can find it in a sizeable 2TB version.

G-Technology 2TB G-DRIVE USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C mobile SSD

WD My Passport Wireless SSD

Now for something a little different: the WD My Passport Wireless SSD. Yes, essentially, it is just another portable SSD and it’s not that bad with speeds up to 390 MB/s. However, this device offers multiple ports, an integrated rechargeable battery, and built-in Wi-Fi for remote connections. This means you can back up your other media without pulling out a computer. Many features can be handled via buttons on the device itself or through a mobile app. This is an awesome device for frequent travelers and photographers because it gives you additional peace of mind without needing the extra weight of a laptop at all times. You can back up nearly anything you can plug into the drive’s USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port or SD card slot. The integrated battery can even charge your phone in a pinch. Better yet, you can review photos, stream movies, and more with the mobile app when connected to the device’s built-in Wi-Fi.

WD 500GB My Passport Wireless SSD

Seagate Expansion Portable USB 3.0 External Hard Drive

If you don’t need that much, or just need something to sit in a desk drawer to perform occasional backups, there are some very good and very affordable options. One of these is the Seagate Expansion Portable USB 3.0 External Hard Drive. It is available in sizes up to a whopping 5TB and is plug-and-play for immediate operation. There isn’t much more you need to know about this, it is straightforward and just works. It is a great quick fix for nearly anyone.

Seagate 2TB Expansion Portable USB 3.0 External Hard Drive

Crucial 1TB X8 External USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C Solid-State Drive

A sleek aluminum unibody wasn’t something you used to be able to find in hard drives, more so for the laptops and computers they work with. Crucial did something special with their X8 series of SSDs. They are super rugged, able to take a 7.5’ drop, and can reach speeds of up to 1050 MB/s. It’s definitely a serious piece of equipment and its USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C connection and exFAT formatted makes it compatible with nearly every modern device. That includes your PS4 and Xbox One.

Crucial 1TB X8 External USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C Solid-State Drive

SanDisk Extreme Portable USB 3.1 Type-C External SSD

For serious adventurers, those who want to tackle extreme environments, you better find a drive that can hold up. Better go with an “Extreme” drive, the SanDisk Extreme Portable External SSD. It’s tiny, durable, fast (up to 550 MB/s), and even has a place to attach it to a keychain or carabiner. The other great thing about this drive is its IP55 rating, meaning it will withstand a water flow of up to 30 kPA for 3 minutes. Adventurers should definitely check this drive out. It is available in sizes from 250GB up to 2TB.

SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable USB 3.1 Type-C External SSD

Do you have a personal favorite drive you have relied on recently? Share your recommendations in the Comments section, below!