Any photographer understands the importance of being able to back up photos using an external hard drive. Even if you own some of the best SSDs, it’s very possible that you can easily run out of storage space and hence really important that you have a backup for your photography work. You, however, need to be keen when shopping for an external hard drive.

You need to think about important details such as having enough storage space, data transfer speeds, light for portability and a hard drive that is both rugged and dependable. Today, it’s possible to buy hard drives that have up to 4TB of space. Knowing how significant it is for you to find the right external hard drive for your work, we have reviewed some of the best hard drives that you can consider investing in.

1. Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC Hard Drive

buffalo ministation external hard drive for photographers


The Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC hard drive is a portable, rugged hard drive that comes with a special wrap-around USB cable as well as secure hardware encryption.


The external hard drive has an inbuilt NFC technology that makes it possible for users to unlock and access their files using the smart card included without the need to remember a password. Besides, it’s a hard drive that you can afford without breaking the bank. It is compatible with both Windows and Mac machines and is very flexible.

The rugged case makes the hard drive resistant to both water and dust. This means that if you get rained on, or your hard drive falls into a puddle of water, you can be rest assured that your files will be okay. In addition, the rugged shell design also helps protect your data in case the hard drive falls down and comes with the NFC (Near Field Communication) feature and 256-bit AES security feature.

This external hard drive can also be purchased in two available sizes, the 1TB, and the 2TB. So, depending on your needs and files you need to back up, you can buy the size that makes sense for you.


Despite its amazing security features, it’s not the fastest when it comes to transferring files.

2. Western Digital 4TB My Passport Hard Drive

White My Passport Portable External Hard Drive


If you’re looking for an external hard drive that has great capacity and some admirable speeds and is affordable for most people, then the Western Digital 4TB My Passport is your best buy.


This particular hard drive features a cloud storage, an encryption of 256-AES, auto backup plus Western Digital’s own backup software. It performs above average compared to most of its competitors when it comes to data transfer speeds.

The Western Digital My Passport hard drive is available in four different capacities – 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, and 4TB. In addition, it also comes in six different colors – red, white, blue, orange, yellow and black – giving you a wide range of options to choose from in terms of colors.

It is compatible with some Windows operating systems while it requires reformatting for the Mac OS X operating system. It has a 3.0 USB port but is also compatible with a 2.0 USB.

For the amount of storage space, the hard drive is quite affordable compared to its competitors.


The shell material is plastic which means it can easily break.

3. Transcend 256GB Portable SSD

Transcend External Hard Drive


The Transcend 256GB portable SSD external hard drive is available in four different capacities starting from 128GB to 1TB.


The fact that this Transcend hard drive has – a 128GB capacity – which no other hard drive in this review has, makes the 128GB option way affordable than most external hard drives in our review. However, just because it’s affordable doesn’t mean it’ll be suitable for your needs. You must factor in the amount of space you need your hard drive to have. Alternatively, you can opt for other large capacities.

This hard drive has some impressive video, and image read speeds with the write rates being a bit modest. It weighs only 56g and is extremely compact. There is a one-touch auto-backup button that makes it convenient and easy for you to synchronize your backups coupled with the Transcend Elite software.

Being the size of a playing card means that the hard drive is easily portable. It has a USB 3.0 SuperSpeed and USB 2.0 connections with a connection bandwidth of up to 5Gbits per second.


It has a write performance that is relatively slow and is too expensive when compared to other competitor models.

4. Western Digital 4TB Desktop RAID External Hard Drive

WD 4TB My Book Duo Desktop RAID External Hard Drive


If you are in the market shopping for the ultimate external hard drive that offers a huge storage capacity from 3TB to 20TB, then the Western Digital 4TB Desktop RAID external hard drive is your best buy.


This is the perfect external hard drive for a photographer that gets a lot of gigs and needs an external hard drive with a huge capacity. Besides, the hard drive also has a system and auto backup.

The RAID allows you to backup your files in case one of the drives crashes. However, you might need to sacrifice some of the storage space on your drive. The USB 3.0 drive has lots of features that make it a fully-fledged NAS device. If the router contains a USB port that is 3.0, you could opt to use this device as a network attached storage.

The device comes with a two-year warranty, has a hardware encryption of 256-bits AES and the WD SmartWare Pro automatic backup software. The best part is that if you are Windows user, you will receive the hard drive already pre-formatted for you by the WD team.


Requires two free USB 3.0 ports and is very expensive.

Final Thoughts

As a photographer, you really don’t want to lose your work because of one or two reasons. As such, it is important that you invest in a durable and dependable external hard drive. Your main focus requires to be on the space so that you don’t end up buying a hard drive with a lot of space that you won’t even use. Remember, the more storage space you need, the more money you will have to spend.