Best External Hard Drives for PS5

Best External Hard Drives For PS5 (Cheap, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 8TB) in 2021

Looking for the best external hard drive for PS5? We’ve reviewed a wide range of good external hard drives for playstation 5, which you can use to expand your playstation 5 console memory.

The standard PS5 comes with 500 GB. As described in the example above, your console’s storage space can quickly run out of air in the future. Sony now also offers consoles with 1TB of storage, but you don’t have to get a new PS5 right away.

There is a wide range of third-party providers to choose from, and user ratings vary considerably, so which hard drive is the right one for your PlayStation 5? I will list hard drives for you in the following guide & what to look out for when buying.

With a new hard drive you can not only increase the storage space of the console, but also reduce loading times. However, there are a number of questions that you have to ask yourself before buying: Would you prefer an external or an internal hard drive? SSD or HDD? 3.5 inches or 2.5 inches? And how big is the advantage of a higher reading speed anyway?

What to look for when buying

The obvious difference between the many offers is the size of the storage medium . The price, which can fluctuate a lot in the area of external hard drives , also depends on this.

In addition to storage space and price, the offers also differ in terms of transmission speed, which for many can also be decisive. But what are the characteristics of the best external hard drive for PS5?

Do you prefer HDD or SSD hard drive for PS5?

The external hard drives can be roughly divided into 2 groups. HDD and SSD hard drives , with SSD for Solid state drive stands. HDD hard drives have long been the standard, but SSD is about to overtake them. However, this is also noticeable in the price. If your budget is limited, you will want to choose an HDD hard drive. Selection of good HDD hard drives.

Best External Hard Drive For PS5

Below are our top choice for the best external hard drives for playstation 5 storage extension. So, choose wisely.

  1. Toshiba Canvio Advance 2TB
  2. Seagate Expansion Portable
  3. Toshiba Canvio Basics 2TB
  4. Western Digital Black P10
  5. Freecom ToughDrive USB 3.0 with 2TB
  6. Seagate Expansion Desktop
  7. Western Digital Black D10
  8. SanDisk Extreme Portable
  9. Seagate Game Driver 2 TB
  10. Samsung T5 1TB

1. Toshiba Canvio Advance 2TB

Toshiba Canvio Advance 2TB

The Toshiba Canvio Advance with 2TByte storage capacity took the top spot in our test. The external hard drive scored particularly well with its weight, size and its fast working speed.

But first things first: with dimensions of 10.9 cm, length 7.8 cm, width and height of 1.4 cm, manufacturer Toshiba has a uniform form factor for its 2.5 inch Canvio series with a hard drive size of up to 2 terabytes created. Since the housing is made entirely of plastic, the device has a total weight of only 144 g. 

On the one hand, this makes it the perfect mobile companion, but on the other hand it also means that you shouldn’t necessarily take the hard drive with you on extreme photo tours, as the housing has no impact protection.

The hard drive only works with 5,400 revolutions per minute, but it still achieves an excellent write access time of just 7.3 ms. The only point of criticism: When reading the data, the hard drive has an average access time of 18.3 ms – that is better. 

This doesn’t make it one of the fastest, but it still reaches a decent pace. Overall, the hard drive offers average transfer rates of 124 Mbytes / s for writing and 134 Mbytes / s for reading – both excellent values, thanks to which you can easily copy or save large amounts of data.

The plate is available in blue, red, black and white. Unfortunately, Toshiba decided to use a piano lacquer finish, which means that the case scratches quickly. If you value the outside, you should also order a bag at the same time. 

The hard disk is connected via a free USB 3.0 slot. USB 2.0 also works, but offers low speed.

2. Seagate Expansion Portable

Seagate Expansion Portable

The Seagate Expansion Portable is a cheap and easy solution if you want more storage space.

The Seagate Expansion Portable is one of the most popular external hard drives, not least thanks to its low price. It is available in sizes from 500 GB to 5 TB. Especially the version with 2 TB for about 65 dollars offers a good price-performance ratio. If you have a large game library, you can get 4 TB for under $100. After formatting, it can be used on PS5 and Xbox Series X without any problems.

Write and read speeds are a maximum of 110 MB / s, the speed is 5,400 rpm. That can be enough to reduce loading times by around 10 to 15 percent compared to the standard hard drives on the consoles. This makes the Seagate Expansion Portable a little faster than similarly inexpensive hard drives like the WD Elements Portable. But if you spend more money, you can get faster models with a higher speed.

Seagate also offers special hard drives for PS5 and Xbox X under the name Seagate Game Drive. Apart from the design, these are basically only characterized by the software: The hard disk is delivered with the correct formatting and suitable drivers. So you save some time in setting up, but you don’t have better hardware and you pay more. We therefore recommend buying the normal portable.

3. Toshiba Canvio Basics 2TB

Toshiba Canvio Basics 2TB

The CHIP price tip also comes from Toshiba. The Toshiba Canvio Basics offers 2 TB of storage space and, thanks to very good transfer rates, ensures a first-class price-performance ratio.

The dimensions of 10.9 cm, length 7.8 cm wide and a height of 1.4 cm are the same as the Toshiba Canvio Advance previously presented , and it also weighs 144 g. As a result, the Toshiba Canvio Basics is also ideal for taking with you. 

However, the same applies here: The external HDD does not have any impact protection, so you should not demand everything from it during transport

The hard disk mounted in the case also rotates at 5,400 revolutions per minute and achieves excellent values ​​similar to the Canvio Advance. The average write access time is a very good 7.7 ms. This is in contrast to the somewhat weaker 18.3 ms during reading. 

Nevertheless, transfer rates of 129 MByte / s when reading and 117 MByte / s when writing ensure a good speed when processing your data, so that you can definitely use the external HDD for backups and for storing archive data.

Toshiba only delivers the hard drive in black, but with a matt look, so that it is quite insensitive to scratches. Ideally, it is connected to a free USB 3.0 port; however, you can also operate them on a USB 2.0 port with reduced transfer speed thanks to downward compatibility. Toshiba also gives you a 24-month guarantee for this model.

4. Western Digital Black P10

Western Digital Black P10

The WD Black P10 is a bit faster, but also a bit more expensive than the Seagate Expansion Portable.

Western Digital produces a whole range of 2.5-inch external hard drives. The WD Elements Portable has to admit defeat to the Seagate Expansion Portable in terms of speed, while the WD My Passport with its encryption system and high-quality workmanship is more for travelers than console gamers. The WD gaming memory stands out as the Seagate game drive only by the formatting.

That leaves the Western Digital Black. Here you have to be careful what exactly you get: 2.5-inch HDDs, labeled “P10”, are available in sizes from 2 TB to 5 TB. Smaller versions of the Black are only available as SSDs with the designation P50. Larger versions are desktop HDDs with 3.5 inches.

Although it only runs at 5,400 rpm, the WD Black P10 is a good deal faster than the Seagate Portable: The 2 TB version manages up to 140 MB / s, the versions with 3 to 5 GB up to 130 MB / s. But you also have to dig a little deeper into your pocket: 2 TB cost around 90 dollars, 4 TB around 125 dollars. It is questionable whether this additional charge is worthwhile. The loading times should be a few seconds shorter at best.

5. Freecom ToughDrive USB 3.0 with 2TB

Freecom ToughDrive USB 3.0 with 2TB

In the test, the Freecom ToughDrive USB 3.0 with 2TByte delivered good speed values , even though the hard drive inside also only rotates at 5,400 revolutions per minute. Nevertheless, the average transfer rate for reading was around 97 MB / s and for writing also a good 97 MB / s.

The length of the HDD measures 14 cm, the width 8.3 cm and the height 1.9 cm. It’s in a silicone case and weighs around 243 g. In addition, it has an internal anti-shock mechanism that protects the hard drive from shocks in the event of a drop. Nothing should happen to your data, even if the HDD falls from a height of two meters. 

So it is both a bit bigger and heavier than our test winner. Dimensions and weight lead to a devaluation in the area of ​​”mobility”. Nevertheless, the external hard drive still gets an overall grade of 1.5 and thus a “very good”, but no longer falls into our top ten. However, it is currently the best-placed “outdoor hard drive”.

The Freecom ToughDrive is connected via USB 3.0. Freecom delivers the Toughdrive in silver and blue and offers a 24-month guarantee.

6. Seagate Expansion Desktop

Seagate Expansion Desktop

Available In 4TB and 8TB Storage. The Seagate Expansion Desktop brings even more storage and is cheaper than the portable version, but uses a lot of power.

Inexpensive, large and a little faster. Seagate also gave us our tip for 3.5-inch hard drives, and in this case, too, this is not least due to the price: for around 80 dollars you get 4 TB, for around 130 dollars you get 8 TB TB. The hard drive is not only cheaper, but also a bit faster than the portable version thanks to a higher speed of 5,900 rpm and a significantly larger cache.

At 17.6 x 12 x 3.7 cm, the format is comparatively handy. Other 3.5-inch HDDs can be an inch thicker. Nevertheless, it is a large disk that weighs 948 grams, almost four times as much as the portable version. If you intend to take the HDD with you in your hand luggage, you should ask yourself whether 3.5 inches is really the right thing.

Incidentally, there are hardly any differences in quality to the most popular competitor, the Western Digital Elements Desktop. This is also a good bit faster than its portable version and it can almost keep up with the Seagate. The main reason why we decided against the Elements Desktop is that it is a bit more expensive. The price for 4 TB is currently around under $100 dollars.

7. Western Digital Black D10

Western Digital Black D10

The WD Black D10 pretty much gets the maximum out of an HDD in terms of both storage space and speed.

In this case, too, the WD Black is an alternative for everyone who wants a little more speed. Your desktop version runs at 7,200 rpm and, according to the manufacturer, should achieve up to 250 MB /s, which is twice as fast as cheap 2.5-inch HDDs. But you shouldn’t expect your loading times to be halved as a result. After all, even the much faster SSDs usually only reduce loading times by around 50%.

Since more heat develops at high speed, the WD Black D10 has its own cooler that makes a quiet noise. In addition, it is not exactly small with the dimensions 19.5 x 12.5 x 4.4 cm. In terms of weight, however, it is not much heavier than the Seagate Expansion Desktop at 980 grams.

Unfortunately, the WD Black D10 is only available in sizes 8 TB and 12 TB. The price is around 200 dollars for the smaller version. The purchase is therefore only worthwhile for those who want to have a large number of games permanently installed. If it’s all about speed, it’s better to use an SSD instead.

8. SanDisk Extreme Portable

SanDisk Extreme Portable

The SanDisk Extreme Portable delivers high speed in a handy form.

When it comes to external SSDs, it is difficult to select a single model as a purchase tip, since the models from SanDisk, Samsung and WD are almost on par in terms of price and performance. 

The read speed of the WD My Passport SSD and the Samsung Portable SSD T5 is 540 MB / s according to the manufacturer, SanDisk promises up to 550 MB / s for the Extreme Portable. In practice, you can hardly notice any difference between these models.

The prices hardly differ either, for 1 TB you pay around 150 to 155 dollars. There are only significant differences in the 2 TB version. Here, the Samsung T5 is significantly more expensive at around 350 dollar than the other two models, which are around $300. 

The 500 GB versions are only moderately worthwhile for gamers with prices of approx. 95 to 105 dollars, while 1 TB offers the best price-performance ratio.

That we ultimately prefer the SanDisk Extreme Portable is mainly due to its slim, handy design and the low weight of 39 grams. The WD My Passport and the Samsung T5 are a bit thicker and more angular. 

However, they are not much heavier and if you are not carrying the SSD around in your pocket, it hardly makes a difference. But with such close competition, it’s the little things that make the difference.

9. Seagate Game Driver 2 TB

Seagate Game Driver 2 TB

The third model, which we call the best external hard drive for PS5, bears the official Playstation logo and is interesting for those who prefer a uniform look. Another advantage: This hard drive is pre-formatted for the PS5 and ready for immediate use. It comes with the same firmware as the game console’s internal memory, which is why it is about as fast as the internal drive.

This is exactly where Sony has not necessarily covered itself with fame. The Seagate Game Drive only manages 110 MB / s in the sequential write and read processes. That’s only a fifth of the speed that the Samsung T5 can achieve.

This hard drive is also mechanical and therefore larger than an SSD. The dimensions: 11.4 x 7.6 x 1 cm. Its weight of only 240 grams is much more comfortable.

10. Samsung T5 1TB

Samsung T5 1TB

The Samsung T5 SSD is without a doubt the fastest and best external hard drive for PS5. It’s also the most expensive, but thanks to the sharp drop in the price of SSD hard drives, it sounds worse than it is. The smallest model with 500 GB is available from Amazon for 95 dollars. This storage miracle originally cost a whopping 220 dollars. The price for the model with 1 TB storage fell from 420 dollars to a mere 161 dollars. So why not buy the best of the best when it’s gotten so cheap?

In the test, the Samsung T5  SSD  achieved rates of up to 520 MB / s in sequential write and read processes. In case that’s too technical for you, in practice it means that games are downloaded as fast as the internet connection allows. There is no waiting time when loading games.

With a weight of only 51 grams and because it is only the size of a business card, the hard drive can be conveniently stowed behind the PS5. Because it’s an SSD, it doesn’t make any noise that interferes with gaming.

How to Connect External Hard Drive to PS5?

After you buy an external hard drive for PS5, it’s easy to install. The hard drive is simply connected to the USB port of your PS5 using a cable. This means that it also doesn’t need another power source , as it draws its power from your console.

The formatting done on your PS5 by the company updates all by itself. After the hard drive you purchased has been recognized by your console as an external storage medium, you can still specify which data you want to overwrite on the hard drive.

Depending on how many already installed games you want to move to the hard drive, this can take a few minutes. From this point on, future titles will be installed directly on your external hard drive, this also applies to future game updates! This video also explains it briefly.

How do I format an external hard drive for PS5?

This question is asked again and again as soon as you buy a new external hard drive for the PS5. However, this is now very easy. PS5 has made a new update that simplifies the whole process.

You just connect the hard drive to the PS5 and then go to  Settings> Devices> USB Storage Devices> Hard Drive. There you select your connected hard drive and then  press -format as extended memory.

Do you prefer an HDD or SSD hard drive for the PS5?

In general, the hard disk can be divided into 2 different groups, the HDD (Hard Disk Drive) and the SSD (Solid State Drive) hard disks. For a long time the HDD hard disks were the norm, but with the digital age the SSD hard disks are becoming more common cheaper and are now catching up with their older brother, the HDD hard drives. However, SSD hard drives still cost a lot more than HDD hard drives. So if you have a lower budget, you should go for HDD hard drives.

However, if you have more money to invest, you should use an SSD hard drive. These work without any internal mechanics and are therefore much faster in the reading and writing process. Also, not much happens if the hard drive falls down. This is why an SSD hard disk offers much more security against data loss. The service life of an SSD hard drive is also much longer, as there are no wearing parts. However, as I said, they are far more expensive.


Of all the hard drives we tested, we can only name three as the best external hard drive for PS5. The Samsung T5 offers the best performance, the Western Digital My Book the most storage space for the money.

Seagate offers more aesthetics for Playstation 5 fans, but doesn’t necessarily impress with top performance. But it is pre-formatted for the PS5 and can be used immediately.

Each of the tested hard drives has advantages and disadvantages, but compared to all other models, these three have definitely earned the title of best external hard drive for PS5.

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