If you have a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air with less storage capacity, then don’t worry you can easily upgrade it by just increasing the internal drive or by purchasing a new external hard drive. Yes, we know upgrading internal SSD (Solid-state drive) is not an easy job. So for you, we have curated a list of the best external SSD for MacBook Pro / Air M1.

The SSD external hard drive for Mac not only adds an ample amount of storage to your device but also improve the speed of your MacBook. The portable hard drives are designed to optimize your MacBook Pro or Air and bring out the best of it. This list also contains Thunderbolt 3 hard drive and USB-C drive. Using SSDs, you can load powerful video games or launch heavy applications instantly on your Mac. Without any further delay, let’s go through this list of top-rated external SSD drive for MacBook Pro / Air M1.

Best External SSD for MacBook Pro / Air M1

#1. Crucial X6 500GB Portable External Solid State Drive for MacBook

Crucial X6 500GB Portable External Solid State Drive for MacBook
Storage Capacity 500 GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB
Read/WriteSpeed Up to 540 MB/s
Interface USB 3.1 Type C
Compatibility (Minimum Requirements) PC, Mac, Android, iPad Pro8
Cables Included USB Type A to USB Type C
Time Machine Backup NO

Crucial is here with X6, a portable external hard drive that lets you carry your backups wherever you want. With a decent read/write speed, the drive performs well and is very handy. In addition, it offers versatile compatibility, and you can connect it with Mac, Windows, and Android OS. 

Excellent Data Transfer Speed 

You can achieve a read/write speed up to 540MB/s, and that makes this drive 3.8 times faster than a regular hard drive. The speed is good enough to transfer photos, videos, and other such files, so you can use this HDD to create backups.

Supports Encryption 

You can set a password to use the encryption feature and lock the data so that no one can access it. The encryption works well with Windows, Android, and Mac. Moreover, you can use this drive with tools like Apple Time Machine, BitLocker, and Windows backup.

Portable to be Carried Anywhere 

You can carry this drive wherever you do, thanks to its portable design! Also, it comes with a small Type-C to Type-C cable, and you can easily connect it to any device you want. There is no need to use any adapters with this HDD.

  • Durable and compact.
  • Ample room to store thousands of songs and movies.
  • You can use a password with it.
  • Some drives have better read/write speeds.

Price: $39.99
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#2. BUFFALO 1TB USB-C External Solid State Drive Stick for Mac

BUFFALO 1TB USB-C External Solid State Drive Stick for Mac
Storage Capacity 500 GB, 1 TB
Read/WriteSpeed Up to 430 MB/s
Interface USB, USB-A 3.2
Compatibility (Minimum Requirements) Laptop, Gaming Console, Desktop, Tablet
Cables Included USB 3.2, Type A &C
Time Machine Backup NO

This external SSD from Buffalo lets you plug in directly into the PC, thus, eliminating the hassle of managing cables. The drive is very compact and still offers decent storage space required to backup your data and keep it safe. Buffalo offers this SSD in 500 GB and 1TB storage options.

Fast Speeds 

The data transfer speeds are fast and can easily reach up to 600 MB/s. So whether you want to store movies, pictures or do direct editing, it is possible with this compact drive. The connectivity port on this drive is USB3.2 Gen2, which ensures stable and fast speeds.

Exceptionally Durable 

This SSD has passed U.S. MIL-STD 810G 516.6 procedure IV test and can easily withstand drops from up to 4 feet. Though it is not entirely waterproof, the drive can handle exposure to splashes. Just make sure to retract the USB port when not using the drive.

No-Fuss of Cables 

This compact SSD has two connectivity ports on both ends. You can fit it into a PC or a laptop for quick connectivity. Buffalo even ships it with a Type-C port in case you have the latest MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt ports only.

  • It comes with a 3-year warranty.
  • Lightweight and durable.
  • You can encrypt your data.
  • Not water-resistant.

Price: $55.99
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#3. Samsung T5 2TB Portable SSD Drive

Samsung T5 2TB Portable SSD Drive
Storage Capacity 2 TB (2000GB)
Read/WriteSpeed Up to 540 MB/s
Interface USB 3.1 Gen 2
Compatibility (Minimum Requirements) Windows 7 Android 4.4 (Kitkat)Mac OS X 10.9(Mavericks)
Cables Included USB Type C to AUSB Type C to C
Time Machine Backup NO

Samsung T5 Portable SSD is an elegant looking hard-drive that weighs 1.6 ounces only. This is one of the best external SSD for Mac and Windows comes with a password protection feature for data protection. Also, it has a handy design that makes the SSD extremely portable, and you can easily carry it in your pocket or backpack.

Faster Data Transfer

The SSD has V-NAND flash memory along with the Gen 2 USB 3.1 interface, which promises optimal data transfer speed. The users will be able to transfer data up to 540MBPS* approximately. In short, the SSD lets you transfer data 4.9 times faster when compared to external hard-drives.

Moreover, the manufacturer offers management software with the device, which makes managing and organizing data even more straightforward.

Advanced-Data Protection

With this hard-drive, you can ensure added safety for your prestigious data. It offers a password protection feature along with AES 256-bit hardware encryption, so you can rest assured that no one can access the data without your permission.

Robust Construction

The hard-drive from Samsung has a sturdy metal body and zero moving parts. Everything is crafted for added durability, and also it enhances the portability of this storage peripheral device.

  • Almost five times faster than a regular SSD.
  • It comes with connecting cables.
  • Designed to offer shock-resistance.
  • You may lose it due to its short size.

Price: $429.99
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#4. SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable External SSD

SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable External SSD
Storage Capacity 1 TB (1000GB)
Read/WriteSpeed Up to 500MB/s
Interface USB3.1Gen 2
Compatibility (Minimum Requirements) Windows 7, 8,10,
Vista, Mac OS 10.4+
Cables IncludedUSB Type C to C Adapter for Type-A
Time Machine BackupNO

The SanDisk SSD is an extremely portable hard-drive that can easily fit in your pocket. Also, the storage device is (IP55 rated), which makes it resistant to dust and water. Moreover, the device is shock-resistant and has a solid shell that is built to last.

Ruggedized Construction

The hard-drive is manufactured with top-notch material which ensures extended durability. The device is also tested for drops, and it can withstand a drop of up to 2 meters* on any concrete floor. There is a loop available on the top that makes it easier to carry the hard-drive.

Supports Quick File Transfer

The hard-drive by SanDisk comes with top-of-the-line USB 3.1 Gen-2 interface that can support up to 500 MB/s file transfer rate based on your system configuration and cables used.

Compatible with Different Adapters

The users can connect this external SSD drive for Mac using the adapters included inside the package. You can make it a Type-A by plugging in the adapter, or you can use it as a Type-C by removing the adapter.

  • The built-in loop makes it easier to carry.
  • Water and dust-resistant.
  • Excellent read-write speeds.
  • No encryption is available.

Price: $92.99
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#5. G-Technology 500GB Portable External Storage

G-Technology 500GB Portable External Storage
Storage Capacity 500 GB
Read/WriteSpeed Up to 560MB/s
Interface USB3.1 Gen 2
Compatibility (Minimum Requirements) Windows 10, 8.1, 7 (via reformat)
macOS 10.10+
Cables Included USB Type C to CUSB-C to USB-A cable
Time Machine Backup NO

G-Technology is a futuristic-looking SSD drive that can easily withstand water, and dust, all thanks to the IP67 resistance. Additionally, this portable SSD hard drive for Mac is tested for crush resistance, and the results were astounding. The SSD weighs 2.4 ounces and is easy to carry around with you.

Extremely Durable

If you are looking for something exceptionally durable, then G-Technology SSD is the option for you. The storage drive can easily bear 1000lb of crushing force, so there is no chance that the device will get damaged even if you sit on it. The manufacturer also claims that the aluminum body regulates the heat, and enhances the performance of the drive.

Shock and Vibration Resistant

This hard-drive is ready to deal with all types of shocks and vibrations. It can endure the drops and bumps while preventing any kinds of data and information loss.

Incredible Transfer Rate

The read/write rate of this SSD is incredible, and it will get your data transfer jobs done quickly. With G-Technology 500GB G-DRIVE you can attain a transfer speed of up to 560MB/s, and that is huge! 

  • It has a durable design.
  • Super-fast data transfer speeds.
  • It is shock and vibration-resistant.
  • It is not water-resistant.

Price: $97.44
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#6. WD 1TB My Passport External Portable SSD

WD 1TB My Passport External Portable SSD
Storage Capacity 1 TB (1000GB)
Read/WriteSpeed Up to 540MB/s
InterfaceUSB 3.1 Gen 2(USB 3.0/2.0 compatible)
Compatibility (Minimum Requirements) Mac, Windows compatible (reformatting required) 
Cables Included USB Type C to CUSB Type-C to Type-A adapter
Time Machine Backup YES

WD 1TB My Passport SSD is a compact SSD with dimensions 3.5 x 1.8 x 0.39 in. The storage peripheral device comes with password protection and advanced hardware encryption that fortifies your data from any possible thefts. Also, the SSD is light in weight and is durable enough to deliver you with decent longevity.

Automatic Backup

The automatic backup feature of this portable SSD drive will make things much easier for you. It backs-up your data to Dropbox or any other cloud using the efficient WD Software. Once you have set auto-backup, the drive will automatically create regular backups to the cloud. The WD software even allows you to enhance the security and assists the users in importing several storage drive utilities from the servers of WD. 

Tough Body

The body of this top-rated portable SSD for MacBook is robust, and it is tested on vigorous scales. The manufacturer claims that they have examined the SSD for a drop test of 1.98 meters, and the results were satisfactory. With WD 1TB you can rest assured that the drive can survive minor bumps and drops.

Password Protection

The SSD from WD has 256-bit AES Hardware Encryption along with WD Security software which extends the security to a next-level. No one can access your data without your consent, and it is beneficial for users who deal with confidential data.

  • Blazing-fast file transfer speed.
  • Password protection with hardware encryption.
  • Compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7.
  • Some users said it disconnects intermittently.

Price: $189.99
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#7. Samsung X5 Thunderbolt 3 External Solid State Drive

Samsung X5 Thunderbolt 3 External Solid State Drive
Storage Capacity 500GB
Read/Write Speed Read- up to 2,800 MB/sWrite- up to 2,300MB/s
Interface Thunderbolt3 (40Gbps)
Compatibility (Minimum Requirements) Macs and WindowsPCs with Thunderbolt 3ports
Cables Included USB Type C to C
Time Machine Backup YES

Samsung X5 is a feature-loaded SSD that will serve all of your purposes seamlessly. The hard-drive is portable, and only weighs 5.3 ounces. What’s more? It has NVMe and Thunderbolt technology that delivers a supremely fast data transfer rate. 

Lighting Fast Transfers

With Samsung X5 SSD, you can attain a transfer rate of up to 40 Gb/s, all thanks to Thunderbolt 3 technology! The drive has SATA interface, which is renowned for its efficiency and quick transfers.

Advanced Heat Protection

Heat is never an issue with this thunderbolt SSD from Samsung. It has Thermal Management Technology with Dynamic Thermal Guard that keeps the temperature lower, and thus you can use the disk for a longer duration.

Password Fortification

The SSD has AES 256-bit Encryption, which allows the users to encrypt the data with the help of password. This fastest external SSD is exceptionally secure, and you don’t have to worry about your data when you have this hard-drive.

  • The built-in indicator tells about the connection.
  • Versatile compatibility.
  • It lets you secure the data.
  • Not rated to offer protection against dust and splashes.

Price: $348.35
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#8. Seagate One Touch 500GB External Solid State Drive

Seagate One Touch 500GB External Solid State Drive
Storage Capacity 500GB
Read/Write Speed Up to 1030MB/s
Interface USB 3.0, USB, USB Type C
Compatibility (Minimum Requirements) Windows and Mac 
Cables Included USB-C cable Type-A cable
Time Machine Backup NO

Seagate 500GB is a smart-looking SSD that has a compact shape and is very portable. The storage drive has dimensions 3.7 x 3.11 x 0.35 in and weighs 2.88 ounces, so it is an option for those who always need a drive handy.

Folder Syncing Functionality

The users who want to keep the data and files organized will find this mirroring feature of Seagate 500GB helpful. You can easily organize the data inside this external SSD hard disk, and this makes it easier to retrieve the data without any hassles.

Efficient Transfer Speed

The buyers can achieve a maximum sequential write/read speed of up to 1030MB/s respectively. The transfer rate is justifiable at the price point this SSD is available.

Free Adobe Membership Plan

You will get two-month free access to Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan as complimentary with this SSD. So if you need an SSD for photography-related purpose, this is an excellent choice for you.

  • The robust design makes it last longer.
  • Multi-device connectivity.
  • One-touch quick connection.
  • It does not let you encrypt the data.

Price: $61.48
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#9. ADATA SD700 512GB Waterproof Portable SSD

ADATA SD700 512GB Waterproof Portable SSD
Storage Capacity 512 GB
Read/Write Speed Up to 500 MB/s
Interface USB 3.1 Gen 2
Compatibility (Minimum Requirements) Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / 8.1 /10 ; Mac OS X 10.6,Linux Kernel2.6, Android 5.0
Cables Included USB-C to USB-C cable
Time Machine BackupNO

ADATA SE730H is an extremely durable SSD that has Military-Grade construction. Also, the drive has an IP68 rating, which ensures excellent protection from dust and water. The storage drive has 3D NAND Flash Technology that increases the transfer speed with better outcomes.

Exceptional Quality

This solid-state external hard drive is manufactured using NAND chips that add an extra feather to the quality. Also, the drive is made using a fully-automated process, so you get the assurance of perfection.

Offers Extreme Protection

The SSD from ADATA is resistant to shocks, dust, and water provided the USB cover is closed firmly. It is ideal for the users who work in an area where all these elements can cause damages to the SSD drive.

Fast and Reliable

The data transfer rate offered by the drive is up to 500 MB/s based on the type of cable and system requirements. Moreover, the interface is USB 3.1 Gen 2, so transfer speed will never create any issue.

  • It has a very robust design.
  • Shock, dust, and waterproof.
  • It supports Windows, Mac, and Android.
  • You cannot set a password for the stored data.

Price: Price not available
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#10. VectoTech Rapid 1TB USB-C External SSD

VectoTech Rapid 1TB USB-C External SSD
Storage Capacity 1TB (1000GB)
Read/Write Speed Up to 400 MB/s
Interface USB 3.1 Gen 2
Compatibility (Minimum Requirements) PC, Mac (All Platforms)
Cables Included Type-C to Type-AType-C to Type-C
Time Machine Backup YES

VectoTech Rapid is again a compact SSD with dimensions 4.5 x 3.2 x 0.5 in. It weighs 0.16 ounces, and you will love it due to its lightweight.  Moreover, the drive has an aluminum shell for extra durability and protection against dings and dongs.

Vibration and Shock Resistant

The SSD external hard drive from VectoTech is manufactured using aluminum plates of 1050 grade. Aluminum makes it resistant to scratches and protects it from any vibrations. Additionally, the circuit is shock-resistant, and you can expect decent lifespan from this SSD.

Quick Data Transfers

You will be able to read/write data up to 450 MB/s, which is a decent speed. Also, the interface is USB 3.1 Gen 2, which is compatible with USB 3.0/2.0 devices.

Supports Time Machine Backup

The users who need an SSD that works with Time Machine Backup should consider buying VectoTech Rapid. The drive has 1 TB size, and you will never feel any issue related to data capacity.

  • Ideal for storing and managing 4K files.
  • You get a 3-year warranty with it.
  • Reliable SSD performance.
  • Some users reported driver failure.

Price: $88.99
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#11. Sabrent Rocket Pro 1TB USB External Aluminum SSD

Sabrent Rocket Pro 1TB USB External Aluminum SSD
Storage Capacity 1TB (1000GB)
Read/Write Speed Up to 850- 1020 MB/s
Interface M.2 PCIe Gen3 x 4 Interface
Compatibility (Minimum Requirements) Windows 10, 8.1, 7 (via reformat)
macOS 10.10+
Cables Included USB cable+ Type-C adapter
Time Machine Backup NO

Sabrent Rocket Pro is an advanced SSD that comes loaded with M.2 PCIe Gen3 x 4 Interface. Moreover, the drive supports NVMe 1.3 and is Pcie 3.1 compliant so you can expect power-packed performance. Apart, from all the latest features it weighs 9.6 ounces only and is very handy.

Solid Construction

The outer shell of the SSD is manufactured with high-grade aluminum that is extremely durable and is excellent at heat dissipation. The NVMe generates quite a lot of heat, but you can rest assured when you have Sabrent Rocket Pro SSD.

Magnificent Transfer Rate

The read/write data transfer rate of this USB SSD drive is up to 850-1020 MB/s, without any external drive attachment. The drive is highly suggested for the users who need lightning-fast transfers without any hassles.

Ultra-Fast Throughput

The SSD from Sabrent promises up to 10Gbps throughput and low latency. The users will be able to copy data at a speed of up to 1000MB/s, and you will be able to accomplish your tasks quickly.

  • Ultra-fast throughout.
  • You get timely firmware updates for this drive.
  • Sleek, durable, and convenient.
  • It gets hot sometimes.

Price: Price not available
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Buying Guide – How to Select the Best Portable SSD Drive for Mac

Choosing the best external SSD for Mac can be a daunting task if you are a novice because some of these storage devices cost top dollars. We are here to make the buying process extremely straightforward for you. Go through the buying guide to know what features you should consider in an SSD drive.

Storage Capacity

These days SSD drives are available in a plethora of options and with different storage capacity, so choosing the exact one is dependent on you and your requirements. These SSDs start from 128 GB and go towards 4TB and so on. Check out your end purpose and then finalize the decision of buying an SSD with desired storage capacity. In case you don’t know how to choose the right storage, then you can go with a 1TB option. 1 TB SSDs are every prominent and are incredibly versatile for different purposes.

Transfer Speed

The transfer speed is again, a factor that depends on the user. The transfer speed will impact the time taken by the external solid-state drive to store a chunk of data. Also, the time taken will affect the read/write operations generated by the user. Some SSDs have 400-500 MB/s, while other devices can offer transfer speed in GBs. So it will vary with your budget and requirements.


Portability is something you should look for in a MacBook SSD drive. A drive should be compact, and light in weight so that you can carry it with you. All the SSDs listed above are incredibly compact, and we have selected them to complement the need of modern buyers. Also, these drives weigh lesser, and you can take them with you without feeling any bulk.


The interface plays an essential role in the performance of the SSD. You need to have an eye on the interface before finalizing the buying decision. If you need a drive for moderate use then USB 3.1 Gen 2 because it will reward you with the best possible speed and is an affordable option. 

The users who want to go an extra mile can consider buying Thunderbolt™ 3 interfaces. It provides lightning-fast speed and is very efficient than USB 3.1 Gen 2. 


Before buying an SSD, make sure that it is compatible with your system and hardware requirements. For your ease, we have mentioned all the compatibility options in the table. Go check them out and then buy an external SSD drive for Mac that suits your needs.

Package Contents

Review all the package contents available with the SSD, because it will help you in saving a substantial amount of bucks. Many users don’t have a Type-C Cable so they have to buy one and that adds more cost to the SSD. Go through the list of cables included and then make the buying decision. All the SSDs listed above have cables included with them, and some of them even come with adapters so you can connect them easily with any Type-A device.

Additional Features

An SSD is an expensive device so you should consider looking for some extra features like dust, water, and drop protection. If you are always on the move and need a very durable device, then look for all the features listed above. Another feature you should look is the availability of password protection. With the help of password protection, you can encrypt the data and it will reward you with better safety.  


Q.1 Hard drive vs. SSD: which is best?

Most of the people have the same question whether to buy an SSD or a hard drive. The answer is really straightforward. An SSD is a flash-drive that is manufactured with advanced chips and has no moving parts. Also, an SSD is way beyond faster when compared to any standard hard drive available in the market. Here are some convincing reasons to prove why an SSD is a better option.


An SSD is more durable than any hard-drive. The reason behind is that there are no moving parts or magnetic tape as present in a hard drive. Moreover, SSDs are more compact, and they take lesser space.

Energy Efficiency

SSD is a more energy-efficient option than any hard drive. The circuits, chips used in an SSD consume less power, and thus you get extended battery life if you are a laptop user.


Have you ever heard the noise produced from the fan of a hard drive? The fan is there to keep the hard drive protected from heat. However, there is no fan in the SSD, and thus, it is much quieter.

Also, the storage space available is higher in SSD, so without any doubts, an SSD is better than any hard drive available in the market.

Q.2 Does an external SSD read/write as fast as an internal SSD?

It entirely depends on the type of SSD you are using (internal) and the kind of SSD you are buying (external). In some cases, the users get limited speed when compared to the internal SSD, and the reason is that their external SSD lacks in the configuration.

Two factors impact the performance of your internal SSD i.e., the speed of the drive, and the transfer interface. Both of these factors have a direct impact on performance. If you buy an SSD that has better interface and speed than obviously, you will get a faster rate, in case, you buy a downgraded SSD then the speed will be lesser.

Q.3 Will this external SSD affect my MacBook performance?

It depends on the MacBook Version you are using and with which configuration. In general, an external SSD is meant to enhance the performance of a device, because it contains various elements that contribute a lot to the speed of your device.

But you need to make sure that you are using the latest OS version, and you have installed all the drivers required to install the new SSD for enhanced performance.

Also Read:

Which external SSD drive are you going to buy your MacBook Pro? Do write to us about your choices and views in the comments section.


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