External hard drives are one of the unsung heroes of the filmmaking industry. But what are the best external hard drive for Mac?

While a lot of filmmakers spend a ton of time choosing the right cameras, microphones, lighting rigs, and so on, if you don’t have a robust and suitable hard drive to store your footage, you won’t be able to do anything.

There are several things you’re going to want to think about when choosing a hard drive. You need enough space to store all your footage, both video, and audio, and you need to make sure the connections are fast enough that you’re not going to be waiting around when trying to transfer files.

You’re also going to need a rugged and durable design that you can take out on set with you wherever you go without the risk of it being too fragile and breaking. Of course, you’re also going to need to think about your budget.

While that’s a lot of things to think about, today we’re going to make your life a little bit easier but detailing eight of the best external hard drives specifically formatted for Mac computers that are ideal for filmmakers of any skill level or profession.

Let’s get right into it.

Best External Hard Drive For Mac

Let’s kick off the list with a favorite of many filmmakers and videographers: the LaCie Rugged!

1. LaCie 4 TB Rugged Mini USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive

To kickstart our list, we’ve opted for the LaCie Rugged Mini USB Portable Hard Drive. Easily the key selling point of this hard drive is the rugged case that makes this one of the most durable portable devices on the market, which is ideal for filmmakers who get around.

This device also boasts an incredible 4TB of available memory which is ideal for storing a tremendous amount of footage, even if you’re recording in 4K video quality. There is also the latest USB 3.0 connections incorporated into the device for lightning-fast data transfer speeds.

With an affordable price tag, eco-power usage modes that save up to 40% battery compared with typical hard drives, this is an excellent solution for anyone looking for a great all-around portable hard drive experience.

LaCie (LAC9000633) Rugged Mini 4TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD – USB 3.0 USB 2.0 Compatible, Drop Shock Dust Rain Resistant Shuttle Drive, For Mac And PC Computer Desktop and Laptop | Orange
  • Shock, drops up to 4 feet, dust and water resistant for all-terrain use
  • For Mac compatibility this Hard Drive requires reformatting. Refer to Application Guide for more...
  • Password protection built in. Maximum speed is 130 mb per second
  • Uses USB 3.0 which is up to 4 times faster than USB 2.0 (USB 2.0 compatible)
  • Includes 1-month complimentary membership to Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps Plan. Must redeem by...

2. Western Digital My Passport 4TB

Western Digital is an industry standard in the portable hard drive industry and is easily one of the leaders that have defined the market over the last few years. With this in mind, it should without saying their core range of My Passport devices has everything you need.

One of the more affordable external hard drives for Mac computers, this device boasts a durable design you can take out with you wherever you go, but it’s worth remembering this device isn’t waterproof, so don’t get it wet!

This particular model is available with the 4TB memory capacity, although there are smaller versions available if you’re shopping on a budget. With a powerful 256-bit AES encrypted system to help keep your files secure, and auto-backup processes to ensure you don’t lose any data, what more could a filmmaker need?

Western Digital 4TB Black My Passport Portable External Hard Drive - USB 3.0 - WDBYFT0040BBK-WESN
  • Auto backup with Included WD Backup Software
  • Password Protection with hardware encryption
  • Trusted drive built with WD reliability
  • USB 3.0 port; USB 2.0 compatible; System Compatibility: Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7; Requires...
  • 3 year manufacturer's limited warranty



What Are External Hard Drives For Mac?

External hard drives are devices that store data digitally. They can be used to back up the entire contents of a computer, or just certain files and folders.

The best external hard drive for Mac is one with an interface compatible with your Mac system.

Macs have two different types of interfaces – Thunderbolt and USB 3, which correspond to the following speeds:

USB 3 (5 Gbit/s) – Super-fast transfer rates for all data types including videos, music, photos, and documents.


Thunderbolt (20 Gbit/s) – Supports video streaming on 4K displays.



3. Samsung Portable SSD T5

Speed is of the essence when it comes to filmmaking and managing your footage. When transferring large video files, you can’t be waiting around for too long. If you want one of the fastest speeds out there, the Samsung Portable SSD is the way forward.

Priding itself on its state-of-the-art USB 3.1 technology connections, you can benefit from speeds of up to a whopping 10GB per second, you’ll be able to transfer 4K video files in seconds.

While slightly more expensive than your typical external hard drive for Mac computers, this device is future-proof, and even in several years, this is a hard drive that will keep on performing and giving you what you need.

SAMSUNG T5 Portable SSD 1TB - Up to 540MB/s - USB 3.1 External Solid State Drive, Black (MU-PA1T0B/AM)
  • Superfast read write speeds: SSD with V-NAND offers ultra-fast data transfer speeds of up to 540MB s...
  • Compact and portable design: Top to bottom shock resistant metal design fits in the palm of your...
  • Secure encryption: Optional password protection and AES 256-bit hardware encryption keeps your...
  • Seamless connectivity: Includes USB type C to C and USB type C to A cables to connect to PCs, Macs,...

Best External Hard Drive

4. Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt External Hard Drive

So far, the drives we’ve mentioned are great for Macs, but you’re going to need to get yourself a compatible USB cable to connect it to your Mac because they use Thunderbolt ports. However, if you want to make things easy in terms of connection, the Buffalo Ministation is ideal.

This is because this external hard drive is designed specifically for Mac computers and comes with built-in Thunderbolt ports and comes complete with cables. This, of course, also means the formatting of the drive is already Mac computer Ready.

On top of this, the drive is designed with minimalist casing that’s easy to carry around, and while it’s not the most durable, if you’re looking after it well, it will continue to serve you well for years to come.

Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt USB 3.0 2 TB Portable Hard Drive (HD-PA2.0TU3),Silver
  • Perfect for creative professionals and multimedia enthusiasts
  • Thunderbolt 2 interface
  • Includes high performance USB 3. 0 port
  • Interface speeds up to 10 Gbps
  • Thunderbolt 2 cable included

5. G-Technology G-RAID with Thunderbolt 3

If you’re a professional filmmaker and you’re looking for the very best that the industry has to offer, there’s no need to look further than the G-RAID external hard drive.

This absolute powerhouse of a hard drive contains an incredible 12TB of available memory space with the option of upgrading to a 16TB version.

Within the base of the device, you’ll find both standard USB 3.0 connection ports and Thunderbolt ports, which make it ideal for Mac computers. You can also enjoy up to 480mb per second transfer rates.

This means you don’t even need to transfer the files to and from your computer but can instead edit and work with your data on your device while reading the files directly from the hardware, practically eliminating the need for file transfers.

Of course, with this much power and numerous features, this hard drive comes with a built-in smart fan to keep everything cool while you work.

While this does mean the hard drive is bulkier than traditional hard drives, it’s still portable and can stand the test of time.



Advantages of Using External Hard Drives For Mac

• Easily back up your data if something goes wrong with your Mac- all you have to do is swap the connections.

• Accessing and transferring files from one computer to another is easier because it’s a lightweight device that can fit in any bag.

• The best thing about external hard drives for Mac is that they offer convenience, versatility, and protection of data.



6. Western Digital My Passport Ultra External Hard Drive

While I spoke about the Western Digital My Passport above, if you like the idea of this external hard drive for Mac but need something that gives a little more, it may be worth turning your attention to the Ultra version of this device.

This specific model is USB-C and USB 3.0 ready and is available in 1TB-4TB versions. You also get all the other benefits the other version has including 258-bit AES encryption on your files, super-fast transfer times, and access to the automatic back-up service.

However, what sets this external hard drive apart is the durability of the design. The device boasts a full metal casing designed to withstand most drops and bumps, which is ideal if you’re working around set and expect the odd accident to take place.

This device is also compatible with Mac computers right out of the box, which means there’s no need to format the drive before you get started. Just plug it into your computer, and you’ll be ready to go!

Western Digital 4TB My Passport Ultra Blue Portable External Hard Drive HDD, USB-C and USB 3.1 Compatible - WDBFTM0040BBL-WESN
  • USB-C and USB 3.1 compatible
  • Innovative style with refined metal cover
  • Password protection with 256-bit AES hardware encryption
  • Formatted for Windows 10
  • English (Publication Language)

7. Adata SD700 External SSD

When shopping on a budget, you’re going to need something affordable but still comes with the benefits that the higher end devices have. This is especially important if you’re starting out and don’t want to spend a lot on storage.

While only measuring in at 256GB of space, this is one of the most durable external hard drives for Mac computers with a rugged design that can survive any trips to set you may need to take.

It’s even waterproof to a rating of IP68, meaning it’s both dust and water resistant.

What’s more, the leading features such as super-fast USB 3.1 and a 440MB write/read speeds are included as standard. Weighing only 100g, and significantly quieter than most traditional hard drives, this Mac-compatible hard drive is a steal.

ADATA SD700 3D NAND 1 TB Ruggedized Water/Dust/Shock Proof External Solid State Drive Black (ASD700-1TU3-CBK)
  • Read/write speed up to 440MB/s
  • IP68 dust/water proof
  • Military-grade shockproof
  • Supports Windows, Mac OS, Android
  • 3D NAND Ruggedized Portable SSD

8. iStorage DiskAshur 2TB External Hard Drive

To close off our list of the best external hard drives for Mac computer, I’ve chosen a true winner that ticks all the boxes of what a filmmaker should be looking for. To start with, the iStorage hard drive is professionally crafted from military-grade materials, so you know you can it anywhere without the risk of it being damaged.

While talking about security, you’ll instantly notice the keypad on the front of the drive. This is a 7-15 PIN code feature that allows you to fully encrypt the files on your drive using 256-bit AES encryption, which is top of the line in the technology industry.

There are storage sizes available ranging from 1TB to a whopping 5TB, but if you’re looking to balance storage capabilities with affordability, the 2TB drive will be ideal, and you’re sure to have more than enough room to store all your footage.

Of course, USB 3.1 technology comes as standard for transferring your files in no time at all between devices, and since it’s fully compatible with Mac operating systems, you can start using it as soon as you have it in your hands!

iStorage diskAshur DT2 256-bit 2TB USB 3.1 FIPS Level 3 Certified, Secure encrypted Desktop Hard Drive IS-DT2-256-2000-C-X
  • Usb 3. 1 portable hardware encrypted desktop drive
  • Fips 140-2 Level 3 certified
  • Common Criteria Eal4+ ready
  • Real time military grade aes-xts 256-bit hardware encryption
  • PIN authentication (7-15-digit PIN)

Best External Hard Drive For Mac – Conclusion

As you can see, there are plenty of fantastic external hard drives for Mac computers out there that are ideal for filmmakers, regardless of your budget, requirements, or how you plan to use the device.

All you need to do now is think about which device here best suits what you’re looking for, and you’ll have everything you need to focus on being the best filmmaker you can be!

We hope this article on the best external hard drive for mac has been instructive. Did we miss out your favorite external hard drive for Mac? Let us know in the comments just below this article.

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