Top 10 Best External Hard Drive (For Video Editing)
Backing up video data and editing progress is an essential step in any video editing endeavor.
If need space for your 4k footage, or want to prevent frustrating storage issues when editing media, an external hard drive will most likely be your simplest go-to solution.
So what is the best external hard drive for video editing? Let’s take a look.
Table of Contents
- 1 G-Technology G Drive 12TB – Stackable 7200RPM Drives & USB 3.0
- 2 TerraMaster D5 Enclosure – 300C USB3.0(5Gbps) – Build Your Own High Speed Storage Solution
- 3 LaCie d2 Thunderbolt 2 – 6TB – Best Adobe Premiere Users And Other Industry Professionals
- 4 WD My Book Duo Pro 16TB – RAID + Massive Storage Capacity At A Reasonable Price
- 5 WD Elements 10TB – Fast & Reliable Drive From Western Digital
- 6 Seagate Expansion 4TB – A Portable & Budget Friendly Option
- 7 G-Technology G-Drive Thunderbolt 10TB – Thunderbolt External Hard Drive Option For Mac Users
- 8 SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD 500Go – Maximum Portability And USB Type C
- 9 WD MyCloud ex2 (USB 3.0) 20TB – Maximum Space And Premium Performance
- 10 WD Black My Passport 2TB – Inexpensive Portable External Storage Solution
- 11 Best External Hard Drive For Video Editing – Buyer’s Guide
- 11.1 How much space do I need for raw 4k footage? How about 1080p?
- 11.2 How much difference is there between USB 2.0, 3.0, 3.1, and Thunderbolt?
- 11.3 I work with Final Cut Pro C on a Mac, what do you recommend?
- 11.4 What is the fastest hard drive to import and export videos?
- 11.5 What is RAID 1, RAID 0, etc…?
- 12 Final words
G-Technology G Drive 12TB – Stackable 7200RPM Drives & USB 3.0
This system features both Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0 connectivity so you don’t have to settle.
It gives you tons of flexibility. You can stack them up, choose between RAID 0, 1 or JBOD so that you can quickly access, browse, backup, and edit any videos that you have in progress.
Your entire digital library will be right there for you to get into on your time.
The transfer rates of this drive are up to 480MB/s. It’s an ultra-fast storage solution for demanding creative projects.
This makes the G-RAID ideal for video editing.
It can easily support HD, 2K and compressed 4K video workflows without lagging or stalling.
On the downside, this drive is a bit noisy. You can expect some ticking and clicking as it operates. Still, its a strong, fast, and secure option.
TerraMaster D5 Enclosure – 300C USB3.0(5Gbps) – Build Your Own High Speed Storage Solution
If you need to store a lot of 4k video footage, you’ll find that this is a fantastic solution.
It can install up to 5 either 2.4 or 3.5 inch SATA or SSD drives. It is also compatible with 3.5 inch SATA hard drives that hold up to 12TB of storage for a maximum total capacity of around 60TB.
You’ll be able to store pretty much everything. This is the best option for data security and maximum storage.
It’s also easy to swap out hard drives with the well-designed dedicated drive trays and hot swap capabilities.
You’ll find that the TerraMaster D5 gives you powerful hardware with the latest USB3.0 Type C connectors, actual transfer speeds as high as 410MB/s for SSHD or SSD, a Superspeed USB3.0 interface that supports external storage backup, windows backup software to backup any data in your designated DAS devices.
It also is encased in an aluminum-alloy shell with a low noise fan for silent and cool operation and durability. We suggest using this device with it an SSD hard drive for higher speeds.
Looking for a good balance of space and speed to store video files? We recommend using 6tb barracuda pro drives from seagate if you’d like higher storage capacities for your money.
LaCie d2 Thunderbolt 2 – 6TB – Best Adobe Premiere Users And Other Industry Professionals
This drive offers high speeds of around 220 MB/s making it a pretty good option for all Adobe users and most other design specialists.
It has universal compatibility with its USB 3.0 and Dual Thunderbolt 2 Ports.
The d2 SSD upgrade lets you boost speeds up to 1150 MB/s.
The new innovative all-aluminum Unibody enclosure of the drive gives it incredible durability and lower vibration than ever before.
Additionally, this drive comes with a complimentary one month membership to the Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps Plan.
Don’t get too excited though, the membership only lasts for a month. Still, if you’re planning on using these Adobe services, it doesn’t hurt to get a free month out of the deal.
If you have an iMac and use Adobe applications, this really is a great option.
Downsides include very large bright LED lights on the front and a poor on/off design. The bright lights are pretty distracting if you have this drive on your desktop, you know, where has been designed to sit.
The on/off switch is actually the giant bright LED light. We find this to be kind of confusing and not the greatest design.
Other than that, it’s a one of the best external drives for video editors working on Mac OSX.
WD My Book Duo Pro 16TB – RAID + Massive Storage Capacity At A Reasonable Price
It’s essentially the lowest end top tier external hard drive.
You’ll save a bit of money but still have access to premium features like RAID optimized WD Red drives (Up to 360mB/s speed), new USB 3.1 Gen 1-ready technology, and USB 3.0 compatibility.
It comes formatted in NTFS for out-of-the-box compatibility with Windows 7 and up, and massive storage capacity.
It’s ready to go straight out of the box.
It works amazingly for video storage, meaning that it’s a good option if you do a lot of video editing. RAID-0 mode provides super-fast performance so you won’t have to waste any time.
With up to 360MB/s, sequential read speeds are provided if you’re using the USB Type-C port. RAID-1 configuration is ideal for redundancy and for mirroring data.
A USB Type-C port with all cables included makes it universally compatible and it supports USB 3.1 Gen 1/3.0/2.0.
Additional available USB ports add flexibility for additional connections and accessories.
On the downside, if you want to use any system other than Windows, you’ll need to reformat this external hard drive.
WD Elements 10TB – Fast & Reliable Drive From Western Digital
Transfer speeds range from 40-170MB/s depending on the size of the files you’re working with.
This hard drive offers users fast data transfers, USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 compatibility, high-capacity add-on storage, plug-and-play readiness for Windows PCs, and trusted WD quality inside and out.
If you need to transfer files quickly, you won’t have many issues.
This drive also offers a long list of security upgrades.
In addition to all of this, it comes at a very reasonable price.
For 10TB of storage with dependable and trusted software, it’s a great option for file transfers.
On the other hand, if you have a Mac, you’re going to have to reformat this external hard drive.
However, for the price. size, and speed, you’ll probably find that this is a great deal.
Seagate Expansion 4TB – A Portable & Budget Friendly Option
If your video editing takes place on a laptop or has you traveling from office to office, the Seagate Expansion drive may be a good option to consider.
This particular Seagate Expansion 4TB drive allows you to save media quickly and easily.
It has a simple user-friendly design platform that’s all wrapped up in a small and sturdy package.
It features a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port, which is required for USB 3.0 transfer speeds. This drive is also backward compatible with USB 2.0 ports at USB 2.0 transfer speeds.
It’s easy to save files on this drive, just drag and drop them into place. If you have Windows 7 or higher, you’ll be able to use the drive straight out of the bo.
If you have a Mac, however, you’ll need to reformat the entire device. For the price, we feel that 4TB is a fair amount of storage space.
It’s fast enough to get the job done. The real selling point of this external drive is its compact portability.
It has been designed to stand up well daily to wear and tear and it can help you edit videos while traveling without becoming easily damaged.
As far as disadvantages go, this drive won’t last forever.
At the time of this review, users report that the drive breaks around the 4-year mark.
Though that’s to be expected for the price, we wish this drive would last longer.
G-Technology G-Drive Thunderbolt 10TB – Thunderbolt External Hard Drive Option For Mac Users
With a high-capacity 7200RPM hard drive, you’ll find that saving files is a non-issue.
If you are an iMac user who does a lot of video editing, this will likely be the simplest external hard drive for you.
Impressive features of the G-Drive External Storage Drive include, dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, a USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, daisy-chaining abilities for up to 5 devices at a time, fast transfer rates of up to 250MB/s, a solid all-aluminum case for durability and style.
An enterprise-class 7200RPM hard drive, and plug-and-play iMac compatibility. It’s perfect for both Mac and Windows, though if you’ve got a PC, you will need to reformat it.
You’ll find that this drive has very little latency on accessing files. It’s very solidly crafted as well.
Once again, as if to adhere to the apparent trend with Thunderbolt specific drives, there’s a really bright LED light on the front.
This light is obnoxious enough to be a distraction if you are using the drive in an editing room.
On the other hand, the fact that this drive comes with a Thunderbolt cable is handy. That’ll save you a bit of money, at least.
As far as price goes, this drive is neither a budget buy or a premium top-tier product.
It falls somewhere in the middle range. It’s a well-built external hard drive that works amazingly with Mac systems and doesn’t run hot.
SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD 500Go – Maximum Portability And USB Type C
It gives you high-speed transfers with up to around 550MB/s data read speeds.
This will let you move hi-res photos and videos very quickly. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these numbers are based on internal testing;
You may find performance to be lower depending on your drive capacity, host device, OS and applications. This is a rugged device that is water and dust resistant.
It has an IPS5 water resistance rating and has been tested in flowing water with a 30 kPa at 3 minutes.
It’s also shock resistant. The solid-state core is more durable than other similar options. If that’s not enough, this drive is also well-suited for vast temperature fluctuations, it can survive from ‐20°C to 70°C.
Ideal operation temperatures are 0°C to 45°C.
This drive is also very compact and great for keeping in your pocket. It can be easily used with iMac or PC computers.
It has also been built by SanDisk, a well-known technology leader and the original pioneer of the modern day SSD.
Though this model only holds 500GB, you can upgrade up to 1TB.
Price wise, this device is cheaper than many other external storage solutions, though also significantly smaller in storage capacity.
WD MyCloud ex2 (USB 3.0) 20TB – Maximum Space And Premium Performance
You’ll get speed, space, and features as soon as you plug this drive in and set it up. It gives you a whopping 20TB of storage and operates smoothly for fast and reliable performance.
It utilizes a centralized network for access to stored files remotely from all of your devices. In addition to this, it has a high-performance 1.3 GHz dual-core processor.
It even devotes an entire GB of memory for seamless media streaming and unbelievably fast file transfers.
It has multiple RAID configurations and an automatic backup system for safeguarding important data and files.
Another impressive feature is the automatic file syncing across all computers. This can give you updated access to your videos from anywhere.
It’s powered by My Cloud OS 3 and also has volume encryption and password protection. It’s also been simplified making it more user-friendly than ever.
Another nice feature is the contact syncing that works across all connected computers. It’s a smart way to backup all of your footage and media for access from anywhere.
The only drawback is the price. This thing doesn’t come cheap.
WD Black My Passport 2TB – Inexpensive Portable External Storage Solution
It holds up to 2TB and is easy to carry with you. It’s durable, has a simple design, and fairly fast.
The best part though is the low price tag. It’s one of the cheapest options out there.
This external hard drive auto backs up files, has password protection and hardware encryption features, an imaginative and smart user-friendly interface, and is compatible with USB 3.0, USB 2,0, Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.
On the downside, if you want to use it with your Mac devices, you’ll need to reformat it.
Still, for the price, this is a well-designed and durable external hard drive that has an impressive storage capacity, all things considered.
Best External Hard Drive For Video Editing – Buyer’s Guide
Now, we’ll take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about external hard drives for video editing.
How much space do I need for raw 4k footage? How about 1080p?
Since 4k is significantly larger than 1080p, you’ll need more storage space than you may expect. One minute of 1080p footage requires around 130 MB. A 1 minute 4k video will require around 375 MB.
How much difference is there between USB 2.0, 3.0, 3.1, and Thunderbolt?
These are all system standards that run at different data transfer rates.
In many cases, Thunderbolt works with Mac systems with USB-C ports.
USB 2.0, 3.0, 3.1, and 3.2 tend to work with Windows systems.
Additionally, the Thunderbolt 3 system is a newer standard that utilizes the USB-C port and offers data transfer rates of around 40G per second.
This is four times greater than the USB 3.1 rate and twice as large as USB 3.2. Sometimes cables allow these to be cross-compatible, but not always.
I work with Final Cut Pro C on a Mac, what do you recommend?
While we don’t want to tell you how to spend your money, the best external hard drive for those running FCPX on an iMac is most likely going to be any of the newer Seagate drives.
The Seagate Expansion 5TB Desktop External Hard Drive USB 3.0, for instance, would work well. See it here.
What is the fastest hard drive to import and export videos?
This will depend on many factors. Any external hard drive that runs on 7200 RPMs or more will be pretty fast.
What is RAID 1, RAID 0, etc…?
RAID stands for redundant array of independent disks.
RAID0 is a storage technology that combines the use of many disk drives to create a single logical unit.
Several disks will behave as one higher capacity drive and connect to hardware easily.
RAID 1 offers mirroring redundancy meaning that data is identically written on two drives, this is useful to secure your .avi or .mkv files against storage corruption (you have a backup).
So there you have it. A few of the best external hard drive storage solutions for video makers out there. Any of these devices would work well for those who edit videos either for a living or recreationally.
These drives have been extensively tested and approved, and at the time of this article, ranked highly among competitors.
We want to know which external hard drives have worked best for you.
Please feel free to leave us your review or feedback and let us know what suggestions you have or if we are missing anything!
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