Best External Hard Drive for Photos

Looking to upgrade your photography game? Well, you got to hear me out when I say with good skills, you need the best equipment to make your work stand out. The earlier cameras needed films to save all the data, which would take much more effort and money. Now things are much easier with digital cameras saving all your photographs on the external drives.

So when I say invest in good equipment, among other things, specifically, you need to invest in some of the best external hard drives for photos. Trust me, being a photographer myself, I guarantee you will not regret this decision. To help make it easier for you to choose the best product for yourself, I have reviewed some of the best hard drives to store photos.

5 Best External Hard Drive for Photos

1. WD 1TB My Passport Wireless – Portable External Hard Drive

Ok, so when I say I’m going to tell you about some of the best external hard drives for photographers, there’s no way I can start without putting the WD 1TB My Passport Wireless Portable External Hard Drive at the top of the list. Firstly it comes with an integrated slot for the SD card, which as a photographer myself, I find really helpful.

What makes it stand out amongst all the other competitors is that it supports the dual-stream setup of the Wi-Fi connection. This gives it super fast speed to help you recover pictures quickly and efficiently wherever you are. It’s amazing how it supports up to 8 different wifi clients simultaneously to give high power processing to all clients at once.

You’ll also be thrilled to know that this device is compatible with multiple mobile platforms like IOS, Android, and KindleFire. Generally, it has a compact design, but the exact size may vary based on the storage size you prefer to use.


  • Supports faster wifi
  • Compatible with multiple platforms
  • It comes with an integrated SD slot


  • Short battery life

The WD My Passport Wireless Portable External Hard Drive works perfectly well for photographers looking for high-speed wifi connectivity. Similarly, the integrated SD slot makes it very convenient to back up the data in less time.

2. Samsung Portable SSD T5 – Best to Store Photos

Looking for some of the best hard drives for photography means looking for some of the best portable versions on the market. And when we’re talking about portable drives, the Samsung Portable SSD T5 is very hard to miss. With an exterior that resembles a stack of cards in dimensions, it’s shockingly easy to carry around without having to worry about extra weight or any other hassle.

While the construction of this drive ensures ease, the metal covering also ensures that it does not suffer from extra bumps or shocks when you are traveling around taking some amazing shots. It prevents damage from a fall of upto 2 meters due to its shock resistance. At the same time, this metal body allows easy cooling of the device, which prevents overheating of its interior.

Of course, what’s most important to photographers is the speed with which they can transfer their photos. Considering this, the drive has a well reputable speed which helps transfer even the heavy files. No need to worry about transferring all those pictures anymore; with this drive, you get sufficient space and get the speed to do all of it in no time!


  • Very high speed
  • Portable design
  • Shock resistance


  • High price

Being a well reputable brand, Samsung comes with some of the best products for your use. With its fantastic technology, it always ensures convenience for its customers. The T5 does the same by providing suitable storage, speed, and design.

3. Lexar SL200 Portable SSD – Best for Photographers

When looking for some of the best external hard drives for photographers, you want to look for designs that will add convenience. Hence the portability that comes with the Lexar SL200 is what makes it one of the top options.

Weighing only 40.6g, the Lexar SL200 stands out amongst all its competitors. And it’s not just the weight; in fact, the entire ultra-slim design adds the style and finesse that you would want in a product that you intend to carry whenever you are on the go.

I love photography, and I know that anyone who loves this profession can go to any limit to get a good shot, and a durable external drive will make this possible. This is why the SL200 comes with temperature control to prevent overheating or damaging of products no matter where you go. Similarly, high-speed processing works perfectly well to transfer still images as quickly as possible.


  • East to carry
  • It comes with USB Type-C
  • Beautiful construction


  • Not for video recording

The Lexar SL200 is a complete all-rounder that works perfectly for those looking to ace their photography skill. Giving you sufficient storage for all your images, you don’t have to worry about choosing other brands that come in the heavier casing.

4. Samsung T7 Touch – Fast & Reliable Storage

It would be best if you considered several factors when picking the best external hard drive for photographers. Amongst these factors, personally, the one that I find most important is the security of all the pictures I have on the drive. Luckily the all-new Samsung T7 Touch caters to this concern in the most efficient way.

An inbuilt fingerprint scanner helps keep the data secure at all times. So next time you’re on your way off to take some amazing shots, you don’t have to worry about protecting your data.

Another of my favorite features of this product is that it’s super light, weighing around only 2 ounces. So you can literally fit it anywhere in your bag or even in your jeans pocket to have all your data with you on the go!

The problem with small, lightweight, slim designs is that they heat up really quickly, especially with a device that offers such high-speed performance. But nope, not with this little guy. It comes with a phase-change layer that readily absorbs the heat to prevent the device from heating up during continuous use.


  • Heat dissipation technology
  • Fingerprint security
  • Sleek and Slim design


  • High-cost device

Samsung always comes with technology that proves its need in the market, and with the Samsung T7 touch, there’s nothing left to say. The newly introduced fingerprint system ensures the protection of all your data, while the high transfer speeds ensure you never experience any disappointment for the price you pay.

5. Sandisk Professional – G-Drive Rugged External SSD

You know you’re all set for your upcoming shoots when you have an all-rounder SSD like the Sandisk Professional G-Drive rugged external SSD with you. The design of this device is literally everything you could be looking for. The aluminum body makes sure the inside remains safe from sudden shocks or drops.

Unlike similar devices, this comes with a rubber covering as well, which helps add additional security. The protection system does not stop here. Not only does it protect from impacts, but the water and dust resistant technology also help keep it safe from other forms of damage.

Coming to the actual performance, with a theoretical speed of up to 1.25GBps and speed of transfer going up to as much as 1.05GBps, you’re all set with this device. Along with all the excellent features you get with this SSD, the company offers a 5-year warranty. Now that’s what you call impressive.


  • Additional rubber cover
  • Rugged aluminum body construction
  • High-speed processing
  • 5 years warranty


  • The USB port needs protection
  • Slightly bulky

A solid SSD device like the Sandisk Professional G-Drive rugged external SSD is a smart option for photographers who like exploring different places. You can be carefree when traveling without having to constantly worry about protecting your data because that is precisely what this SSD card has taken complete responsibility for.

Hard Drive Buying Guide for Photographers

Now you might be wondering what some of the main features you should consider when looking to find the best external hard drive for your photos. Over the years, I’ve tried out quite a few, and there are some key points that I’ve gathered and am here to share with you to let you know how you can make your pick.

Deciding Between SSD and Hard drive

Hard drives use conventional technology where several parts are susceptible. Most of these parts are moving throughout the process, which may cause friction and heat. This ultimately increases the likelihood of product failure if the product overheats.

In comparison, the SSD’s uses flash technology, meaning no sensitive moving parts are involved in the process. This makes it much more reliable in withstanding heat and rapid processes, especially when photographers need high-speed processing for transferring their photos on the go. Hence this makes it a preferable option when opting for external hard drives.

Compatibility with Different Formats

Usually, different drives are already configured for a particular type of format. Mostly it’s either Windows or Mac. However, with most drives, you can change the format or make the drive operational for other formats as well.

Therefore it is necessary you know exactly what kind of format compatibility you require for the product you’re looking to purchase. Or you might want to check if the drive you like is capable of being compatible with your choice of a format later on. This will probably require installing some additional software; however, if the device has A-grade features, I’d say the hassle should be worth it.

Speed Of Transfer

Speed, of course, varies from brand to brand and model to model, and of course, we all want to purchase some of the fastest external drives for our Mac and android devices for quick copying of files. But one thing that is essential to remember is that you might not always get the best results compared to the standard models that are not portable.

Another factor you might want to consider is that transferring multiple files and images at the same time is bound to take longer for you. Therefore it’s always better to transfer one file at a time, like a single video, etc., to ensure the transfer speed is not disrupted by overburdening the system.

Efficiency of Connectivity

Most drives are connected with USB cables. Thunderbolt connection helps form an efficient connection for the smooth transfer of data on the go. In these cases, no external power supply is required by the system.

If some connections are not possible between the devices due to the unavailability of ports, you can always find cables in the market to help make the USB port designs suitable for your use. Some of the drives also use wireless connections to establish a more robust data transferring link.

Durability Of Casing

Photographers are mostly visiting different places for a good background location, so they need a durable product to be well prepared when on the go. In this case, picking a solid body hard drive is the key. Usually, an aluminum casing is considered best to prevent any damage from dents and drops.

Some of the hard drives come with an additional casing feature to strengthen the coverage of the device. This is usually made of rubber, perfect for absorbing shocks and ensuring the interior remains unaffected.

Security System

Photographers are also very particular about protecting their data; hence a strong security system is a necessity when picking your drive. Some of the products come with a passcode system, while others come with a fingerprint scanner. Either way, choose a drive that has a system well capable of protecting your data in all circumstances.

Additional Features

Of course, the main function of the hard drives is speed and storage. But you probably already know by now that it’s not everything and that the quality of a good hard drive is based on much more.

Many times companies offer backup software with these drives, and some even offer extra cloud storage. Similarly, many manufacturers’ warranty for a sufficient period is highly appreciated, so if you’re looking for a little something extra, these additional perks will be a delight for you.


Is an external hard drive good for storing photos?

An external hard drive is a perfect option for you to store your photos. Not only do they come at little expense, but the high transfer speed makes it very easy to copy data in less time.

Is SSD or HDD better for photo storage?

I know the popular idea is that SSDs are better; however, they have their own issues. They may help transfer data faster, but if they face function failure, data recovery might be much more difficult.

How long does an external hard drive last?

Of course, the lasting time of the external drives ranges from brand to brand; however, the average time is around three to five years.

Wrapping Up

Photography is not an easy task as there’s constant traveling and data organizing and all of this has to be done within a specific time. But if there’s something that can make this task easier, it’s the use of one of such high-quality external drives that I have mentioned above. My top picks from this list are:

  • WD 1TB My Passport Wireless Portable External Hard Drive for its efficient wifi connection that allows the speedy transfer of data
  • Sandisk Professional G-Drive rugged external SSD for its durable construction that helps protect the device’s interior at all costs.
  • Samsung T7 Touch for its valuable fingerprint system that helps ensure the security of all your data.

I think I’ve given you all the information you need, and now you’re all set to decide. Remember, a good purchase will last you a long time, so choose wisely and Good luck!

Latest posts by Victor Olson (see all)

Leave a Comment