If you need large storage for low prices, a traditional HDD (or hard drive) remains the best option. SSD drives are indeed becoming more popular and are faster and usually more reliable… but they are also extremely expensive, especially at large capacity.
And you don’t even need extremely fast storage if you’re only thinking about back-ups and keeping your files safe. Most likely, you will only use this storage a few times if all else fails. But you still need a solid device and this is what we’re talking about today: the best 4tb external HDD in 2021.
If you don’t want to read all the details and options, the quick answer to the question in the title – what is the best 4TB HDD this year is our top recommendation below (affiliate link):
Now, for those of you who want to get a bit more in depth, we’re here with all the details. When it comes to backup and being able to carry around large volumes of data, an external hard drive is a great choice for those who want a cost-effective way to store their data.
It’s true, the portable HDDs are not as fast as the best portable SSDs out there, but if you need humongous amounts of storage space and low prices, you can’t go the SDD way (yet).
And we’re here to help! Today, we’ll be listing the best external 4TB HDDs for 2021. These are perfect for storing and carrying around large amounts of data, be them movies or photos, music or games… whatever you need, these are perfect for the job.
We went for a huge capacity because that’s exactly what we sometimes need and we were surprised with the relatively low number of external HDDs available at the moment.
Since you only need one and there are still so many to choose from, we’ve decided to narrow down the list and share with you the best of the best and make it easier for you to choose your favorite one – mostly based on the budget you have. Let’s check them out below in our table!
Please note: Our blog gets commissions for purchases made through links in this article.
|Seagate Backup Plus||USB 3.0 connection|
One-click or scheduled backups
2yr limited warranty & Rescue
Data Recovery Services
|WD My Passport||USB 3.0 connection|
Password protection & 256-bit
3yr limited warranty
|Toshiba Canvio Basics||USB 3.0 connection|
1yr limited warranty
CON: Pretty slow
|USB Type-C Connection|
(USB 3.0 adapter included)
Drop, crush and rain resistant
Encryption option available
2yr limited warranty &
Rescue Data Recovery
|ADATA HD710 PRO||USB 3.1 Connection|
3yr limited warranty
Now let’s get a bit more in depth and find out why we chose each model above for our list of the best 4TB external hard drives in 2021!
Seagate Backup Plus External Hard Drive
Most of the HDDs I’ve bought over the years for myself, family or friends were Seagate or Western Digital and I never had any reasons for complaint with any brand. Even though Seagate Backup Plus is the cheapest 4TB external hard drive on our list, it doesn’t mean it’s not really good.
It connects via USB 3.0 to your PC or Mac and also comes with its proprietary backup app. I prefer to do it on my own though and never used that feature, to be honest, but the software is perfect for the less tech-savvy or for automation.
Since it transfers data via USB, you shouldn’t expect it to be extremely fast. Speed is not a characteristic of portable hard drives. Depending on the types of files you write, you can expect writing speeds from around 40MB/second up to around 100 MB/second.
But remember that you’re not going to constantly copy files over, so that shouldn’t be a problem. It is a great product overall and also comes with extended peace of mind for you thanks to its included 2-year limited warranty, but also Rescue Data Recovery Services.
WD My Passport Portable External Hard Drive
A truly impressive solution for data storage and backing up your files, the My Passport HDD from Western Digital comes at a fair price and offers a lot of goodies too.
You can connect it to your computer via an USB 3.0 cable and you can also get the proprietary backup program to automate the back-up process and make it as easy as possible.
Just like the previous model that we recommended, this one isn’t the fastest on the block, but it gets the job done and is very reliable. It’s also tiny and light, making it extremely portable.
Durable, reliable and of a decent size for the amount of storage it offers, the WD My Passport 4TB is a great option if you’re looking for value for your money. And with over 33,000 ratings on Amazon and a score of 4.7 out of 5, you know this is a highly appreciated product, not just by the editorial staff here!
As a bonus, it comes with increased protection for your stored files, thanks to the password protection option, but also the 256-bit AES hardware encryption.
It also has a proprietary software for back-ups, so you can set it and forget if that’s your style.
Toshiba Canvio Basics
Speaking of ratings for a product, this one is definitely up there. With over 32,000 reviews and an average rating of 4.7 stars, it’s clearly as good as it gets. And selling at a low price, too!
There isn’t much of a difference between the first three products that we’re recommending. It’s mostly your choice based on the brand and personal preferences.
All of these three external HDDs offer similar speed, similar connectivity and are all just as durable and good. So for this price range, just pick your favorite!
Have in mind that we’ve seen a few complaints about this particular model’s speed (but you should expect the speed to be low since these are not SSDs), but also some people complaining that it stopped working after as little as two months.
We do consider these exceptions – since all the other ratings tell a completely different story, but it’s our job to mention the CONs as well – even if they are discovered by just a small number of people.
LaCie Rugged Portable HDD – Editor’s Choice
The price jumps a bit, but still remains decent. But you’re paying for extra protection and safety, as this rugged model is drop, crush and rain resistant, meaning that it is perfect for all-terrain use or for taking with you if you travel a lot – even to more extreme places.
And despite the rugged design (which is actually its strong point in my opinion), this external Hard drive remains small and highly portable.
It also has an USB-C port (with a traditional USB adapter included). This means that the transfer rates are faster than they are on the models recommended above, going up to 5 Gb/second. So it does tick all the boxes!
It also offers additional protection measures (encryption) as well as 2-year limited warranty and Rescue Data Recovery Services.
ADATA HD710 Pro
Now, if you want an extremely durable external HDD that can both take a beating a look really good, this is the perfect option. The design is definitely something to write home about – and it’s not there just for the looks!
ADATA’s external hard drive is waterproof, dustproof and shockproof, ensuring the security of your stored files. This makes it perfect for the more adventurous types.
The connectivity is done via USB 3.0, so you’re not getting an USB Type-C here, but we already talked about speeds of external drives… and the fact that you can’t expect too much here.
But you’re still getting an extremely durable, well made product for your money so definitely check it out.
It is true that these external HDDs are much slower than the more modern Solid State Drives, but if you think about the fact that you get two times, three times or even 4 times more storage from external HDDs than from external SSDs for half the price of the latter, you start to appreciate them for their real value!
Since you will only use these for storage and backup and not running an operating system or other programs, they are surely the better option today, in our opinion, and this won’t change until SSDs become more affordable. Which they are, but still nowhere near the prices of traditional HDDs and flash drives.
So pick your favorite on our list and rest assured that you bought one of the best external HDDs of 2021. You will not regret it!