The Best 3TB External HDDs in 2021 Reviewed

With technology growing at a rapid pace, the need for secure and reliable data storage has grown exponentially year after year. The average high-definition movie file boasts over a gigabyte of digital space, making it easier than ever to fill up the hard drive. Purchasing an external hard drive is a smart investment to ensure the preservation of important and personal files. A 3 terabyte hard drive provides ample space for storing any kind of media or digital file.

While external hard drives offer comparable storage capacity, the features of each device vary between models and brands. Some devices can offer faster file transfers while other devices would be better suited for portability.

After comparing several models of external hard drives from a variety of brands, the following hard drives on this list have been curated based on the features that set each device apart while specifying the ideal use for the hardware.

ProductSpeedInterfaceOur Rating
Seagate Backup Plus5400 RPMUSB 3.04.7
Fantom Drives Gforce3 Pro7200 RPMUSB 3.04.8
Western Digital Black Passport7200 RPMUSB 3.04.8
Toshiba Canvio Connect II5400 RPMUSB 3.04.6
LaCie D2220 MB/sUSB 3.04.6
Silicon Power Ultra-SlimN/AUSB 3.04.5
Toshiba Canvio Basics540 MB/sUSB 3.04.7
Toshiba Canvio Premium5400 RPMUSB 3.04.7
Seagate Expansion Drive5400 RPMUSB 3.04.6


When Choosing a 3TB External Hard Drive…

  1. Consider whether you’ll be keeping the drive at home or needing it on the go.
  2. Check the compatibility between the device and your computer.
  3. Keep security features in mind when storing private or confidential information on the device.
  4. Consider formatting requirements if sharing the device with different operating systems such as between a Macintosh and Windows computer.
  5. Remember the device is for storing files externally and files should be transferred to the computer before use to prevent corruption issues.
  6. Some devices require software installation in order to operate while others can simply be connected to compatible computers.


Our Choices for the Best 3TB External HDDs in 2021

1. Seagate Backup Plus

This externally powered desktop storage unit provides thorough support for users who own multiple devices. A main feature of the Seagate Backup Plus is its mobile application that backs smartphone files to the external drive or through its cloud support. No formatting is required for this device to share files across Windows or Mac computers. Multiple 3.0 USB ports allow for convenient data transferral while providing an extra port to charge USB powered devices.

Its glossy black tower does not stand out when compared to the numerous other black external drives but the key attributes focus on functionality.

This drive would complement the technological savvy user who could benefit from the storage capabilities this device provides for their collection of digital devices.


2. Fantom Drives Gforce3 Pro

This desktop hard drive features a fan-free design meant for silent use while still offering fast transfer speeds. File transfers utilize the rapid 7200 rpm which is the industry’s leading standard for high performance data storage.

Externally powered to maximize hardware efficiency, the hardware components are secured in a sleek black tower that complements a professional home office setup.

This drive suits users who work with audio and video files who need a quiet yet powerful external storage device.

Generally speaking, this is the best 3TB external hard drive on the market.


3. Western Digital Black Passport

This 3t external hard drive which is built for portability and security. The Western Digital Black Passport offers secure data storage with its password lock and 235-bit AES hardware encrypted security.

While this will require formatting for Mac computers, the Black Passport does allow Windows users to utilize an automated back up feature through its software interface.

Professionals who want to back up their files while they’re traveling on business would enjoy the secure and mobile features.


4. Toshiba Canvio Connect II

This portable hard drive provides a compact device perfect for carrying personal files on the go. With cloud support and password protection, the Toshiba Canvio Connect II is a nimble device that’s backed by a 2 year warranty.

Compatible with Windows and Mac computers without formatting requirements, this hard drive showcases a simplistic glossy design with an array of color options to suit personal tastes.

This budget-friendly external HDD would best serve the casual computer owner who is looking for a simple external storage package but would also enjoy the color options for personalization.


5. LaCie D2

This desktop data storage device is highlighted by its file transfer speeds that can reach upwards of 220 megabytes per second. Not only that, the USB 3.0 and dual thunderbolt ports allow for platform flexibility between Mac and Windows interfaces.

Fast file transfers are complemented with AES 256-bit encryption and a 3-year warranty from the manufacturer.

Housed in a silver aluminum tower which reduces noise and vibrations, the LaCie D2 is a well-rounded storage device that can be best utilized by everyone at home for dependable storage of music, movies and family photographs with all computer platforms.


6. Silicon Power Ultra-Slim

This portal external HDD package includes the external drive and a retractable USB 3.0 flash drive unit. Featuring a comprehensive data storage system that uses driver software to back up and restore files using a AES 256-bit encryption and cloud storage capabilities.

Both drives have a matching matte geometric finish which makes for a stylish aesthetic when using the devices in public.

With a complimentary 3 year warranty, this portable external drive would best serve college students who could utilize the secure and convenient data storage.


7. Toshiba Canvio Basics

This portable drive has built a reputation for superior protection against external damage and accidental drops. With its internal sensors and technology, the Toshiba Canvio Basics is a traveler’s ideal portable storage device.

The casing is smudge resistant and has a bare black matte finish making it an optimal road accessory built for frequent usage.

Backed with a one year warranty, this external HDD is best used by people who are active, constantly on the move, and depend on their technology to keep up with their busy lifestyle without the need for stylistic flare.


8. Toshiba Canvio Premium

This portable device is designed with the future in mind with its USB Type-C adapter and its USB 3.0 compatibility which helps the drive remain viable as computers continue to evolve over the years.

A key feature of the portable drive is that it can function on both Windows and Mac without the need to reformat, which preserves the stored files without any interface issues. On top of the operating system flexibility, the device has a password lock feature that secures the owner’s private information on the drive from anyone managing to get access to the device.

Boasting a matte finish on both the silver and graphite models, the Toshiba Canvio Premium aims to offer secure housing for its portable drive.


9. Seagate Expansion Drive

This external HDD is a companion device to a desktop computer making it great for a home office setup. Though the design of the drive is not suited for portability, the device does offer fast transfer rates but does require reformatting for Mac computers.

The device comes in only a standard black casing with a geometric pattern for a modern look. If your home computer is running out of storage, this device would suit your needs as long as you’re not planning on sharing your drive across different operating systems.

When it comes to a 3tb Seagate external hard drive, this expansion drive is the best on the market.


The Last Word

While features range from operating system compatibility, to file security with data encryption, each 3TB external hdd can be utilized for numerous functions. Individuals who find themselves needing to access files wherever they go and need platform flexibility should consider the Toshiba Canvio Premium.

Desktop interface users who need to securely back up large files with fast transfer rates should consider the LaCie D2.

Any of these external hard drives can back up user files but buyers who have a specific lifestyle can easily find a device that’s tailor-made for their data storage needs amongst this selection of 3 terabyte external hard disk drives. For example, if you are a musician, you can get a hard drive for music production. Likewise, if you are a photographer, you can get a photography-suited hard drive.

Besides, for those that believe that 3 terabytes of external storage are not enough, there are larger external hard drives.

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