The 15 Best Rugged External Hard Drives

Those who live to explore the unknown and need to use technology at the same time should have a look over the best rugged external hard drives. They could be artists or photographers, anyone who goes many places to document their work an can’t afford to lose their data just because their hard drive has been destroyed or corrupted.

Being prepared for the worst when it comes to storing information means having a rugged hard drive that resists the adversities of bad weather, drops, and shakes. A rugged external hard drive should be a part of any adventurous person’s technological gear.

Here are the 15 best rugged external hard drives.

Buffalo Ministation Extreme NFCBuffalo Ministation Extreme NFC

This Mininstation Extreme NFC drive from Buffalo offers military protection against shocks because it features special internal bumpers that absorb shocks and transfer it away from the disk. The chassis of this hard drive is dust and water-resistant, but not removable.

NFC stands for Near Field Communication, which is a technology that allows you to unlock your files by using a smart card that comes with the hard drive. This means you don’t have to remember any password. The NFC technology is efficient when it comes to protecting the data if the hard drive is stolen or lost.

Another great thing about the Ministation Extreme NFC hard drive is that it features an integrated USB cable, meaning you can never misplace it.


CalDigit Tuff External Hard DriveCalDigit Tuff External Hard Drive

The CalDigit Tuff external hard drive resists being immersed in water 3.28 feet or 1 meter deep for 30 minutes. In the same time, its chassis is sand and dustproof, so it can be taken to the beach. It has a USB-C and USB 3 interface and offers improved connectivity, meaning it can be used with most computers.

The IP57, with the IP standing for Ingress Protection, makes the CalDigit Tuff withstand any shock and interaction with liquids. This hard drive has been put through US military tests and functioned perfectly without being damaged.

The SSD option for the CalDigit Tuff external hard drive hasn’t yet been released, but you won’t even notice you’re operating on an HDD when using it because it’s quiet and very compact. It comes with a 2-year warranty.


ADATA Dashdrive HD710 Military Grade External Hard DriveADATA Dashdrive HD710 Military Grade External Hard Drive

The DashDrive HD710 from ADATA is water and shock-proof, as has been proven when subjected to US military tests. This means it won’t let you down in harsh conditions. It has 1TB capacity and a USB 3.0 interface. Its cable will not be in your way because it can be wrapped around the chassis. The LED indicator will show you when the hard drive is working.

When it comes to the enclosure of the ADATA Dashdrive HD710 external hard drive, this is not removable. However, the memory bank still doesn’t look chunky and can be carried anywhere, as it doesn’t occupy too much space.

This external hard drive works can be connected to USB 2.0 ports too. It executes the file transfer very rapidly and keeps the information safe because it’s resistant to shocks and extreme weather conditions.


ADATA SE730H External Hard DriveADATA SE730H External Hard Drive

The SE730H external hard drive from ADATA is very compact and offers increased performance. Available in the colors gold and titanium, it looks very classy while providing a rapid file transfer and protecting your data. Its interface is USB 3.1 with a Type-C connector.

The 3D NAND technology featured by the ADATA SE730H external hard drive makes it more durable and provides increased performance. Besides, this memory bank has an IP68 rating, meaning it’s waterproof and protected against dust.

You can buy the SE730H external hard drive at the 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB capacity. The hard disk is SSD, meaning it doesn’t make any noise and is more rapid to read and write data. This external hard drive can transfer a 5GB movie in only 16 seconds. Also, average AAA games are copied on it in less than a minute.


SanDisk Extreme 900 Portable SSDSanDisk Extreme 900 Portable SSD

SanDisk outdid themselves again with this 1.92 TB external SSD that can transfer massive amounts of data and is small enough to be carried in the pocket. The Extreme 900 Portable SSD is made from aluminum and rubber, so it can withstand shocks and extreme temperatures. More than this, it’s dust and waterproof.

You can use the SanDisk Extreme 900 Portable SSD with any computer that has a USB 3.1 or less port. The chassis on this memory bank is not removable, but then again, it’s small enough to be carried around as it is. Very fast and reliable, this external SSD is surely the choice for those who want increased performance.

The SanDisk Extreme 900 Portable SSD comes with a 3-year warranty and can be taken anywhere, no matter the weather conditions.


ioSafe Portable Aluminum External SSDioSafe Portable Aluminum External SSD

The ioSafe Portable Aluminum External SSD is very fast and can resist any weather or hit. More than that, it can be immersed in water and still work. The software for backup and encrypted data comes with the memory bank. If you’re an adventurer and want to keep your data protected, this is definitely the external SSD you need.

This external drive can be dropped from high altitudes and still not break. You can buy it at the memory capacity of 500 GB or 1 TB. More than this, it’s available with 1, 3, and 5 years of data recovery service. It can be connected to any computer with USB 3.0 or under.

The ioSafe Portable Aluminum External SSD is designed according to military specifications, so you can be sure it protects your data regardless where you may take it.


Samsung X5 Elevate External SSDSamsung X5 Elevate External SSD

This external SSD is created for professionals who are working with high-resolution content. It’s resistant to extreme temperatures and offers password protection of the data. However, it only works with computers that have Thunderbolt 3 ports, so it can’t be connected to a USB interface.

Thunderbolt 3 provides incredible speeds, allowing this Samsung external SSD to transfer files at 40GB/s. Besides, this memory bank features an NVMe interface, meaning it can handle heavy data without compromising the speed.

The Samsung X5 Elevate External SSD makes it possible for a 20GB 4K UHD video to be transferred from the PC on the memory bank in only 12 seconds. This means it reads and writes at 2,800 and 2,300 MB per second.


GNARBOX Portable Backup Editing for Any CameraGNARBOX Portable Backup Editing for Any Camera

The GNARBOX Portable Hard Drive is powered by battery and designed for the on-the-go video and photo backup, as well as editing. It has USB 3.0 charging and transfer ports, so it can be connected to almost any device. More than that, it works with both Android and iOS.

This external hard drive has wireless technology and can stream videos from a considerable distance. It can also backup files from any other hard drive, even SD and microSD cards. It’s resistant to shocks and extreme temperatures, not to mention dust and waterproof.

The battery on the GNARBOX Portable Backup Drive lasts between 4 to 6 hours, whereas its software allows photos and videos kept on it to be edited with the help of a computer, a tablet or a smartphone.


Transcend Slim StoreJet 25M3 External Hard DriveTranscend Slim StoreJet 25M3 External Hard Drive

The Transcend StoreJet 25M3 external drive has been put to military tests. It has a shock protection on 3 stages and completely protects the data stored on it, even if dropped from high altitudes. The 3 stages protection comprises the silicone rubber chassis, the suspension damper that absorb shocks and the reinforced hard casing.

This external hard drive can be connected to an USB 3.1 interface and works at the speed of 5GB/s. Besides, it features a button that once pressed, it allows for the data to be instantly backed up. However, if you want to reconnect it to the computer without unplugging and reinserting it, you need to have the Transcend Elite software installed.

The Transcend Elite software on the StorJet 25M3 external hard drive comes with the RecoverRx program that allows you to search for erased photos, documents or videos.


Western Digital G-Technology G DriveWestern Digital G-Technology G Drive

It can be said Western Digital is one of the biggest names when it comes to making external hard drives. This company has many years of experience in manufacturing these devices. The G-Technology G drive can be called one of their masterpieces, as it’s extremely durable and resists the harshest weather conditions.

This hard drive is placed in a dust and waterproof chassis. It endures any shock and can be subjected to a lot of pressure. It connects to the computer through a USB 3.0 port and has the capacity of 1TB. If you decide to buy it, you can be sure to enjoy its high speed and reliability.

Western Digital offers a 3-year warranty for their G-Technology G-Drive, and also the possibility of a replacement in case the memory bank doesn’t function properly while it’s still covered by the warranty.


LaCie 4TB Mini USB External Hard DriveLaCie 4TB Mini USB External Hard Drive

Orange and with the most interesting design, the LaCie 4TB Mini USB external hard drive is one of the most popular portable memory banks made by LaCie. It’s smaller than others rugged external hard drives from the same company and can easily fit in the pocket.

The LaCie 4TB external mini hard drive connects to the computer through a USB 3.0 port and is resistant to shocks or drops because it features a rubber chassis. But this is not all. LaCie has made this drive resistant to pressure and waterproof.

The speed at which this hard drive works is incredible since it can transfer a 700MB video in about 6 seconds. Of course, the speeds may vary depending on the device with which is used, but a computer with a USB 3.0 can surely get the job done.


Sony PSZ-HCB External Hard DriveSony PSZ-HCB External Hard Drive

With Sony being one of the leaders in technology, this PSZ-HCB external hard drive could be among the best on the market. It can store up to 1 or 2TB of information and functions at incredible speeds because it features the Thunderbolt interface. The good news is that if you need to use with a USB 3.0 port, you can as well.

The drive on this memory bank is covered by a silicon chassis that protects against vibration and any shock. This means the hard drive can resist in harsh weather and the worst working conditions.

The read and write speed of the Sony PSZ-HCB external drive is 138MB/S, so it can transfer files more rapidly than some of the other devices of its kind.


LaCie Rugged Raid With Integrated SD Card Reader External Hard DriveLaCie Rugged Raid With Integrated SD Card Reader External Hard Drive

LaCie has once again proven they’re very inventive with this external hard drive that has USB 3.0, USB-C and Thunderbolt capabilities. More than that, they’ve also installed an SD card reader on the same unit. The drive is protected by a rubber chassis that makes the entire memory bank resistant to shocks, drops, bad weather conditions and vibrations.

The Raid makes the encryption secure and ensures a fast transfer of files, allowing you to focus on your creative work and not on what impedes you from doing what you need.

The LaCie Rugged Raid external hard drive has IP54 protection, meaning it’s dust and waterproof. Its warranty is 3-year and includes a plan for recovering lost data.


ADATA SD700 External SSDADATA SD700 External SSD

The ADATA SD700 external drive is perfect for those who want a rugged storage unit with increased capacity, and that doesn’t occupy too much space. This memory bank is known to perform astoundingly and has an IP68 rating.

The drive is fast and uses a USB 3.1 interface. Therefore, this SSD is not only resistant to shocks and extreme weather, but also highly efficient. More than this, it’s also available in the 1TB memory capacity, so you don’t have to worry that you may not have enough space for your files.

Only 75g or 2.65 ounces, the ADATA SD700 external drive can be carried anywhere. Its dimensions are also small, so it can be taken in the pocket.


Silicon Power Armor A80 2TB External Hard DriveSilicon Power Armor A80 2TB External Hard Drive

The Silicon Power Armor A80 external hard drive is among the few waterproof and rugged external memory banks that don’t look chunky or is big. As a matter of fact, this storage unit can fit in the pocket and be taken anywhere.

This hard drive can resist being immersed in water for 30 minutes because it’s IPX7 waterproof. Besides, it’s as well dustproof and can withstand 661 pounds or 300kg of sustained pressure.

This external hard drive is not much different from the A30 version from Silicon Power, but it’s designed to resist harsh conditions. With a USB 3.0 port, it transfers files at 5Gbps.


How to Shop for a Rugged External Hard Drive?

The market has many good options when it comes to rugged external hard drives. It can be difficult to choose one, so here are a few things to consider before making a purchase.

If you want to first look at the best rugged external hard drives and after to make a decision which one to buy, you should consider things like the interface type, if the external hard drive is SSD or HDD and if it has a fixed or a removable enclosure.

The user interface of a rugged external hard drive can be either USB or Thunderbolt, but Thunderbolt is not so common. The type of interface that’s best for what you need depends only on the ports of the computer you’re using.

While SSDs are taking over the market because they’re more compact and quieter, you could also choose an HDD, mainly because it’s less expensive and offers more storage capacity.

Rugged external hard drives all feature a plastic or rubber shell to resist shocks and drops. This enclosure can be fixed, or you can remove it.