The best external hard drives of 2015/2016

With the amount of media and data people download nowadays, it's always a good idea to get yourself extra storage. Find out which are the best external hard drives.

Rather than dropping a ton of money upgrading your laptop’s storage on a solid state drive (SSD), it may be wise to spend money on a standard USB external hard drive.

Nowadays external hard drives tend to have a minimum capacity of around 500 GB. If that’s not big enough you can get  a 2 TB drive for around £50-£60. Prices are dropping and capacities increasing.

When compiling this list, we’ve taken into consideration portability, capacity and price. The hard drives on our list work also make use of the new and faster USB 3.0 standard as well as being backwards compatible with USB 2.0.

  • Samsung M3
    Samsung M3

    Price: £92.97


    Capacity: 2 TB

    The Samsung M3 is a handy portable storage with ample space to back up all your data, files and photos.

    It’s incredibly fast and able to copy over 320GB worth of data in a few hours.

    The Samsung M3 comes with a black, matte finish and a chequered pattern on its topside that looks nice.

    There are a number of models with varying storage capacities: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and  a 4TB version.

    It should be noted that the Samsung M3 can also be used as an external hard drive for the Xbox One. Just plug it into the USB slot and you’re good to go.

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  • Seagate Expansion Portable Drive
    Seagate Expansion Portable Drive

    Price: £59.99


    Capacity: 2TB

    Simple, reliable and does exactly what it says on the tin.

    It’s super-fast, averaging around 150 mega-bytes per second via USB 3.0. You can transfer over entire mp3 albums in a flash.

    The Seagate Expansion Portable Drive is very silent while operating. In fact it’s so discreet you’ll only be able to tell it’s working by the glow of the LED on the front of the unit.

    While it may not have a whole load of bells and whistles, the Seagate Expansion is small, simple and lightening fast.

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  • Western Digital My Passport Wireless
    Western Digital My Passport Wireless

    Price: £159.99

    Make:Western Digital

    Capacity: 2TB

    Wireless storage for all your devices, including smartphones and tablets. There’s even a handy app called ‘My Cloud’ for iOS and Android devices so you can save and access your files securely from anywhere.

    Not only is the My Passport Wireless free from wires but also the internet! It can also act as a Wi-Fi hub to share an internet connection with multiple devices.

    You can stream up to four HD videos simultaneously to connected TVs, media players, games consoles and DLNA/uPnP devices.

    If you plan on using it on the go it has a battery life of up to twenty hours. There’s also a built-in SD card slot to transfer or back up images and videos on the spot. This nifty little feature makes it ideal for the likes of photographers in the field.

    If you want a centralised storage solution for all your devices, My Passport Wireless from Western Digital is the one.


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  • Toshiba Canvio Aerocast
    Toshiba Canvio Aerocast

    Price: £119.95


    Capacity: 1TB

    The Toshiba Canvio Aerocast allows users to connect up to six devices at once.

    We love that it comes with Chromecast support allowing users to watch movies or stored on the AeroCast drive on a big-screen HDTV. Just download “Google Cast Ready” apps on your mobile device of choice.

    You can also use your smartphone or tablet to control the media playback, using it as a remote of sorts to control AeroCast playback.

    Although it’s a little bulkier, it’s a cheaper alterative to Western Digital’s ‘My Passport Wireless’.

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  • Seagate Expansion 5TB
    Seagate Expansion 5TB

    Price: £112.99


    Capacity: 5TB

    The Seagate Expansion is a desktop external hard drive that offers ample storage for a very reasonable price.

    Silent in operation and ridiculously fast write speeds (142MB/s), the Seagate Expansion is powerful, efficient and comes with a two year warranty.

    Ideal for gamers, you can load over 100 games on this drive and easily unplug it and take it over to a friend’s house.

    Also works on Mac computers though you’ll have to format it before usage.

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The Shopomo editorial team writes our buying guides and reviews based on first-hand knowledge of the products featured and the marketplace they operate in. Shopomo makes a small commission on links to a retailer if a purchase is made but the final decision to feature a product, and how highly it is rated, is purely an editorial one.