Thunderbolt 3 adapter guide: How to connect an iPhone, display, hard drive, and more to a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air Make room in your laptop bag. Currently, the best external thunderbolt hard drive is the Samsung X5. Wiki researchers have been writing reviews of the latest external thunderbolt hard drives since 2017. Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac mini (Late 2014) MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2015). LaCie 24TB 6big RAID Thunderbolt 3 Hard Drive Storage - Previous Gallery Image; LaCie 24TB 6big RAID Thunderbolt 3 Hard Drive Storage - Next Gallery Image.

You have a PC or Mac with Thunderbolt capability and you want a super-fast Thunderbolt SSD hard drive to be its companion. You’re requirements for I/O speed go far beyond that of the average user and you need a lot of storage with the best reliability as well. A Thunderbolt SSD hard drive is the perfect match for your needs.

There are not a lot of choices in Thunderbolt SSD hard drives 1TB and above. They are much more expensive per GB than a regular Thunderbolt external hard drive and only a few manufacturers have released these larger drives as of this writing. That should all change in the coming months as the price comes down and more manufacturers provide options. If you need to be on the bleeding edge, for the speed, reliability, and capacity, a Thunderbolt SSD hard drive is the only way to go. If you need the portability and flexibility to move the drive between computers, then you need an external model.

Interested in learning about other popular laptop accessories? Be sure to see our other articles about some of the best!

A couple of the drives in our list were designed and formatted specifically for the Mac. If you have a PC, make sure the drive you buy supports your PC.

We took a look at what is available and researched forums, retail sites, reviews, and manufacturers’ sites to gain a picture of which drives standout from the others. We found what we think are the top-rated 1 TB Thunderbolt SSD external drives out there.

Take a look and see if one of these 1TB drives is the best Thunderbolt external SSD drive for your needs!

#5 – LaCie LAC301558 Rugged Thunderbolt 1TB SSD

Take your project with you even to the boondocks with the LaCie LAC301558 Rugged Thunderbolt 1TB SSD SATAIII External Drive. With dual Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 ports, you can take your work home and perform the fastest transfer available over Thunderbolt or transfer nearly anywhere using the handy USB 3.0 port. Unlike most drives, this external SSD hard drive is ruggedized and has an IP 54 moisture resistance rating to ensure you can take it with you just about anywhere. Here’s what you need to know about this LaCie hard drive.

Thunderbolt SSD Hard Drive: Features

  • LaCie brand reputation for reliability and quality
  • 1TB Thunderbolt Ruggedized External SSD with additional USB 3.0 port
  • Shock, pressure, drop, and moisture resistance
  • IP 54 moisture resistance rating
  • Compact size and weight
  • Secure password protection built-in
  • Dimensions: 3.5W x 5.5L x 1.0D inches

Ports

  • 1 – Thunderbolt
  • 1 – USB 3.0

Customer Reviews

Pros

  • Ultra-fast performance
  • Exterior makes it easy to hold
  • Rugged design
  • Value price

Cons

External
  • Some reports of inadvertent automatic ejections
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#4 – Glyph BBPLSSD1000 BlackBox Plus SSD 1TB (USB-C, Thunderbolt 3)

The BBPLSSD1000 BlackBox Plus SSD 1TB (USB-C, Thunderbolt 3) by Glyph is a rugged, mobile hard drive designed for creative professionals. It features the latest USB-C and Thunderbolt3 technologies, optimized passive cooling and integrated health monitoring. Plus, it’s built to take a beating with an all aluminum chassis and tough rugged rubber bumper. It’s small enough to fit in your pocket, yet powerful enough to be a key player in your data storage plans. It comes preformatted HFS+ with Journaling and is Time Machine compatible out of the box. A simple reformat is all it takes for the Blackbox Plus to work with Windows systems.

Features

  • 1 TB rugged, portable Thunderbolt and USB-compatible SSD
  • USB-C (3.1) is compatible with USB 3.0/2.0 and Thunderbolt 3
  • Compatible with Mac OS X 10.4 and above and Windows XP and above
  • Optimized, fanless passive cooling and integrated health monitoring insure long life
  • Comes preformatted HFS+ with Journaling and is Time Machine compatible out of the box with only a simple reformat required to work with Windows systems
  • It fits right in your pocket, allowing you to take your important documents, photos, videos and other files with you on the go
  • Lightweight, rugged and lightning fast with speeds and equipped with the latest USB-C (3.1) connection
  • All aluminum enclosure and rugged bumper protect drive against damage
  • Compatible with Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.0/2.0
  • 3-Year limited hardware warranty, 2-Year Level 1 Data Recovery warranty, and 1-Year advanced replacement warranty

Included Accessories

  • 1 – USB-C to USB-C (3.1) cable
  • 1 – USB-C to USB 3.0/2.0 cable

Customer Reviews

Pros

  • Lightweight and very rugged drive
  • Fast performance
  • Nice styling
  • Optimized passive cooling and integrated health monitoring promise long life

Cons

  • None noted
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#3 – Glyph Atom 1TB SSD, USB-C (3.1, Gen 2), USB 3.0, Compatible with Thunderbolt 3 in Black

The Glyph Atom 1TB SSD, USB-C (3.1, Gen 2), USB 3.0, Compatible with Thunderbolt 3 in Black is compact enough to fit in your pocket so you can take all of your most important documents, photos, videos, and more everywhere you go. Don’t let its light weight and diminutive size fool you though. It’s a heavyweight when it comes to performance and rugged design. It features an all aluminum enclosure and rugged bumper protection for peace of mind. With speeds up to 480 MB/s and the latest USB-C (3.1 Gen 2) connection, this is one very powerful and versatile external SSB drive.

Features

  • 1TB Thunderbolt-compatible, portable, bus-powered SSD drive with USB-C (3.1, Gen 2) external drive
  • It fits right in your pocket, allowing you to take your important documents, photos, videos and other files with you on the go
  • Lightweight, rugged and lightning fast with speeds up to 480 MB/s and equipped with the latest USB-C (3.1, Gen 2) connection
  • All aluminum enclosure and rugged bumper protect drive against damage
  • Compatible with Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C 3.1/Gen2
  • Comes preformatted HFS+ with Journaling and is Time Machine compatible out of the box
  • Works with Windows systems after a simple reformat
  • Available in four colors including Grey, Gold, Silver, and Black to suit your style
  • Dimensions are 1.88 x 4.8 x 0.59 inches

Included Accessories

Thunderbolt 3 external hard drive for mac and pc
  • USB-C to USB-C (3.1) Cable
  • USB-C to USB 3.0 Cable
  • Rugged sleeve

Customer Reviews

Pros

  • Fast performance
  • Compact and lightweight for easy portability
  • Quiet operation
  • Smart design

Cons

  • None noted
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The Monster Digital Overdrive Thunderbolt External Drive is a high-quality device wrapped in a stainless steel case which houses a high-performance SSD rugged enough to travel just about anywhere. Here’s what you need to know.

Features

  • 1TB Thunderbolt high-performance external SSD
  • Compact and rugged design with stainless steel case and impact resistant to 1500g
  • Built-in LED data transfer indicator keeps you in the know
  • Integrated Thunderbolt cable
  • 3-Year free data recovery
  • Long 3-Year limited warranty

Included Accessories

  • 1 – Protective soft cloth pouch

Customer Reviews

Pros

  • Slim, lightweight, stylish design
  • Lightning fast performance
  • Value priced
  • Highly portable

Cons

  • Some reports that the drive runs hot
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#1 – Transcend TS2TSJM300 2TB Thunderbolt SSD for MAC

Complete with both Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 capability, the Transcend TS2TSJM300 2TB Thunderbolt SSD for MAC provides great flexibility. This solid state external hard drive has a sleek, elegant, tough metallic exterior designed to match your Mac and can be a USB hard drive if needed. Here’s what you need to know about this Thunderbolt external hard drive.

Features

  • 1TB Thunderbolt and USB3.0 capable external SSD designed for Mac computers
  • Elegant, lightweight metallic design matches your Mac
  • UASP support
  • Pre-formatted for your Mac
  • LED power/data transfer activity indicator
  • Built-in support for Mac Time Machine backups making it the perfect backup hard drive
  • Bus powered drive requires no external power adapter
  • Cool and quiet operation
  • Comes with Transcend Elite advanced data management software
  • Dimensions are 4.77L x 2.96W x 0.53D inches and it weighs only 4.9 ounces
  • 3-Year limited warranty

Included Accessories

  • 1 – Thunderbolt cable
  • 1 – USB 3.0 cable
  • 1 – Travel pouch

Customer Reviews

Pros

  • Fast and easy to setup
  • Very compact
  • Flexible with both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt connections

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Runs very warm (manufacturer says it’s due to metal case and Thunderbolt IC but won’t affect longevity)
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Thunderbolt SSD Hard Drive

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As always, thanks for reading our BestLaptopCentral.com article! We sincerely hope that it has given you valuable information that helps you choose the best Thunderbolt SSD hard drive for your needs!

BestExternal Hard Drives for MaciMore2019

When it comes to storing data, personal information, and essential documents, you can never be too safe. External hard drives are not only useful for storing data but are an excellent way to transport files from one location to another. When you take into account price, ease of use, and portability, the Seagate Backup Plus Slim is the most reliable hard drive you can carry around with you at all times.

Best Overall: Seagate Backup Plus Slim (2 TB)

If you want a reliable external hard drive that has a decent amount of storage, is super easy to carry around and has a very affordable price tag, the Seagate Backup Plus Slim is the best option for most people. Formatted for Windows and Mac right out of the box, it's easy to carry all your essential documents from desktop to laptop without missing a beat.

The Seagate Dashboard back up system is a fantastic simple tool that can let you schedule backups to ensure you never miss any critical files you need in case something terrible happens to your computer. You can set automatic backups daily, weekly, or monthly, and change the frequency whenever you want.

Seagate also throws in a one-year complimentary subscription to Mylio Create. This can help you wrangle your photo library if you don't already use some photo managing tool, and a two-month membership to Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Great backup software
  • USB 3.0
  • Metal enclosure

Best Overall

Seagate Backup Plus Slim (2 TB)

Reliable, portable, and affordable.

Don't worry about lengthy setups or formatting procedures. Plug in the Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB which is formatted for Mac right out of the packaging.

Best USB-C hard drive: Samsung T5 Portable SSD (1 TB)

This small compact SSD drive from Samsung comes with both a USB-C to USB-C cable and a USB-C to USB-A, meaning it's perfect to use with your MacBook or Mac.

Its fast 540 MB/s read and write speeds are more than enough to transfer any file. And should be able to store all your photo and video files with ease thanks to its straightforward software. Plus, if you're worried about encryption, the Samsung T5 Portable SSD has you covered with an optional password to launch the drive, and AES 256-bit hardware encryption on all your files.

Pros:

  • USB-C
  • SSD
  • Super compact
  • AES 256-bit hardware encryption

Best USB-C

Samsung T5 Portable SSD (1 TB)

Fast and encrypted

With 540 MB/s read and write speeds the Samsung T5 Portable SSD is fast enough for photographers and videographers to transport all their work.

Compatible with Time Machine right out of the box, the 8 TB storage capacity on the Western Digital My Book is perfect for people looking for a lot of stage at a reasonable price. It's USB 3.0 meaning it's easy to take advantage of its storage speed with fast transfer speeds.

While portability is not the Western Digital My Book's strong suit and it needs a separate power source, it does offer 256-AES encryption when you download its easy-to-use security software. It ensures all your important files and documents stay private.

If you're looking for a drive that has lots of space, os you don't have to have multiple as your storage needs grow, look no further.

Pros:

  • Lots of storage
  • 256-AES encryption
  • Time Machine compatible

Best Capacity

Western Digital My Book (8TB)

Lots of storage for those who need it

Western Digital offers 256-AES encryption when you download its security software, meaning you can rest easy knowing your private information and personal data is safe.

Best Thunderbolt 3 Drive: LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt

LaCie hard drives have always been good for people on the go because of the rugged design. The LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt can withstand some dust, dirt, and even a tiny bit of water being splashed on it.

It's 7200 RPM Hard drive keeps things running smoothly. And the included USB-C cable — which supports Thunderbolt 3 — makes it perfect for MacBook and Mac users alike!

Cons:

  • Only 130MB/s

Best Thunderbolt 3 Drive

LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt

Rugged design with Thunderbolt 3

The LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt 3 is a favorite because it can withstand drops, dust, and even the occasional splash of water, making it easy to carry around!

Best for Legacy Hardware : G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 (4TB)

While Apple has been going the way of USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 for a while now, some of us still use older hardware and thus don't need hard drives that have USB-C connections. If you're still rocking USB-A or even a Thunderbolt 2 connection from your Mac, the G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 (4TB) is a perfect companion.

Its all-metal design is not only more durable than plastic hard drives, but it also looks stylish! Plus, it's 7200 RPM speed allows the G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 to achieve 195 MB/s read and write speeds. This makes it fast enough to transfer large video files quickly and efficiently.

Cons:

  • Needs to be reformatted for Windows

Best for legacy hardware

G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 (4TB)

Stylish and fast even on older computers

With 7200 RPM, this hard drive works hard and fast to get your files transferred quickly. Plus, it uses USB 3.0, and it even has a Thunderbolt 2 port.

The CalDigit Tuff does the best it can to live up to its name, giving you a hard drive that isn't as delicate as most. Its official IP rating is IP57, meaning it can be submerged in 3-feet of water for 30 mins and come out the other side functional. That's not all; this Thunderbolt 3 compatible drive can also withstand falling from about 4-feet high. We still don't suggest that you purposely abuse the CalDigit Tuff. Still, it's always good to have peace of mind when you're carrying your hard drive around.

Cons:

  • Only come in 2TB

Best rugged drive

CalDigit Tuff

Can withstand drops and water

Official rated IP57, the CalDigit Tuff can survive an accidental dip into the water and has a great price tag.

If you're used to dealing with giant file sizes and need a hard drive that can handle transfer data fast, the Samsung X5 is one of the fastest SSD's you'll find. Its read and write speeds are 2,800MB/s and 2,300MB/s respectively, and the entire body is made of metal, making it much harder than plastic drives. Plus, The internal frame on the inside is shock resistant for drops from 2 meters.

This SSD comes with Thunderbolt 3 technology included. This you can take advantage of the fast speeds on your Mac or MacBook Pro, and it doesn't need any formatting, so it's plug and play!

Pros:

  • 2,800MB/s read speed
  • Shock resistant
  • Thunderbolt 3

Thunderbolt 3 External Ssd Hard Drive For Mac

Best fast drive

Samsung X5

Incredibly fast SSD

If you need blazing fast speeds for giant files, the Samsung X5 is a monster external SSD that can handle any workload.

Bottom line

The Seagate Backup Plus Slim is the most reliable hard drive you can carry around with you at all times. It is formatted for both Mac and Windows right out of the box, and its easy-to-use software can automatically do backups for you as often or as little as you want.

Seagate also throws in a one-year complimentary subscription to Mylio Create. This program can help you wrangle your photo library if you don't already use some photo managing tool. A two-month membership to Adobe's Creative Cloud Photography Plan means it's perfect for budding photographers as well.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Luke Filipowicz is an iMore staff writer who has been carrying around his Seagate Backup Plus Slim since his college days.

Lory Gil is the Managing Editor of iMore and an avid believer in having as many backups of your important files and documents as possible.

Thunderbolt 3 External Hard Drive Enclosure For Mac

Rene Ritchie is the foremost authority on all things Apple and has insider knowledge about the goings-on at the biggest tech company in the world. When it comes to accessories for Mac, Rene has used them all.

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Thunderbolt 3 External Hard Drive For Mac Reviews

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