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2017

Best External Hard Drive for PS4 in 2017

PS4 owners now have the ability to plug external hard drives into their consoles and use them for extra storage space – a much-requested feature for many years now – thanks to the system’s most recent update. This opens up a lot of options for external hard drives to get in order to expand your PS4 storage. Here are our top picks for the best hard drives for PS4.

First things first, of course. In order to actually use an external hard drive with your PS4 console, you’ll need to have downloaded and installed the latest PS4 firmware (the first version to enable external hard drives was 4.50). Once you’re updated to firmware 4.50, your PS4 will be able to support external hard drives of up to 8TB in size, which is a massive improvement on the default 500GB that comes with the majority of PS4 consoles.

Think of all that space. Think of all the things you could fill it with – install all your games at once, install other people’s games, fill it with high-quality photos of your family, fill it with high-quality photos of Bruce Campbell, the possibilities are endless. So, which external hard drive is the best for PS4? Well, we’re here to run down some of our top picks for the best ps4 external hard drive.

Portable Hard Drive or Desktop External Hard Drive?

One of the most common questions that will arise when the subject of external hard drives comes up is the difference between what is known as a ‘Portable’ external hard drive and a ‘Desktop’ external hard drive. The answer comes down to a few basic differences between the two formats.

Put simply, a portable hard drive is an all-in-one build, meaning that in order to use it you’ll only need a USB cable and the drive itself. The build will be more fragile than that of a desktop external but will be vastly more portable, as the name would suggest. These ones are much easier to throw in a bag and take with you. As a result of the lack of external power, the transfer speeds will also be slightly slower.

In contrast, a desktop external hard drive is built to stay in one place as a static source of extra storage. This means, it will require an external source of power – usually an AC adapter plugged into the wall.  This makes the hard drive much less portable (given that you’d need to carry the power supply around with you as well as the drive itself) but enables the drives to be much more reliable, much more solidly built and capable of faster transfer speeds. As these drives are meant to stay in one place, they tend to be much heavier and intended to sit beside your computer or console at all times, often as a nice showpiece. Finally, these drives also tend to range up to much higher in storage size than portable drives, with drives of up to 4TB on the market right now.

When choosing which type of drive is best for you, it’s important to consider a few things. Firstly, whether you plan to be moving this drive a lot. If you’re the type to take your PS4 with you travelling or to friends houses regularly, a portable drive may suit you better. If you have no plans on moving your console anytime soon and have a nice setup that you’re happy with, but need more space or faster load times, a desktop external may be for you. Keep in mind all the different factors of each type of drive – portability, storage capacity, transfer speeds and power adapters – in order to help you narrow down which drive is for you.

Once you’ve made your decision, you can pick up one of the hard drives from our list of the best external hard drives for PS4, below.

Best Portable Hard Drive for PS4

If you need to take your external hard drive with you on-the-go or plan on moving your console often, then you’re going to want a portable hard drive. In that case, here are the best portable hard drives for PS4.

Seagate Expansion (Portable)

Seagate Expansion Portable

The portable version of the Seagate Expansion serves as a sleek and stylish option, with a near-diamond plate casing. Inside the box, the drive runs via USB 3.0 and features the fastest transfer speeds of any portable drive on this list – a tested read speed of 129.5MB per second and a write speed of 123.7MB per second. It’s a little on the heavier side, weighing 8.3 ounces (almost twice as heavy as the Seagate Backup Plus Slim) but this serves to make the entire thing feel sturdier and more solid. This is a superb budget option for an external hard drive that performs excellently and looks great, too. This drive is available with up to 4TB of space.

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WD My Passport Ultra

WD My Passport Ultra

Western Digital’s answer to the good looking portable external hard drive is the company’s ‘My Passport’ range, the best of which comes in the form of the ‘Ultra’ series. What separates the My Passport range from all other drives on this list is the option of automatic cloud backup of data which is compatible with DropBox. That feature alone will save the day for many people on more than one occasion. It features read/write speeds that almost rival the Seagate drives featured here (though not quite equalling them) and is available in models of up to 4TB and in a range of colours.

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Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim

Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim

This weird, golf-ball texture looking drive is one of the best portable drives available on the market today. It can easily be thought of as the thinner, newer little brother to the Seagate Expansion and while this edition is only available in sizes of up to 2TB rather than its big brother’s 4TB, what it lacks in space it makes up for in performance and reliability. This one is insanely portable and will fit into almost any space, especially if you want to tuck it in a narrow space beside your PlayStation.

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Toshiba Canvio Basics

Toshiba Basics

If none of the other options here strike your fancy, you may be well-advised to try out the Toshiba Canvio range. The read/write speeds aren’t quite up to the same level as the Seagate or Western Digital drives featured here but the pricing is insanely affordable, especially considering the capacity on offer. A 2TB drive will only run you around £70 / $80 on average, making this a very affordable backup drive to be able to take on the go with you wherever you like. As the title may suggest, the design is a little on the ‘basic’ side, but it’s hard to fault it for minimalism when you’re getting a whole lot of space for a low cost.

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Best Desktop External Hard Drive for PS4

If your PS4 takes pride of place in your media centre and there it shall remain, without being moved and you fancy going for something with a little more storage space than the norm, you’re going to want a desktop external hard drive. Here are a few of our favourite desktop external hard drives for PS4.

Seagate Backup Plus Hub

Seagate backup plus hub

It might not be pretty but it sures does perform. If you’re looking for a little more space, the Seagate Backup Plus Hub brings 4TB of storage capacity to a shiny black box that will sit vertically beside your PlayStation or TV like the gaming data obelisk that it is. Like all Desktop External hard drives, it requires an external power cable in order to run but will consistently deliver much higher speeds than any of the portable drives. The tested read/write speeds for this one are impressive, coming in at 177.2MB/s read and 149.1MB/s write. It’s not the most stylish option but it is practical.

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Seagate Expansion

Seagate Expansion

Maintaining the diamond-plate aesthetic from its portable little brother, the Seagate Expansion Desktop version is a rectangular version that stands on its own merit in more than just literal terms. It doesn’t quite match the read/write speeds of the Seagate Backup Plus, coming in with 165MB/s read and 154.8MB/s write, but it is available in a whole range of storage sizes and is immediately much more affordable.

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WD My Book

Western Digital, learning from the more basic designs of their past iterations, introduces the My Book range of Desktop Externals, with a sleek two-tone aesthetic and a range of sizes for affordable prices. This one stands a little taller than any of the others on this list and is an ideal option for someone who wants a whole lot of storage space on a tight budget. The read/write speeds don’t quite make it an equal to the Seagate drives also featured here but if you’re tight on money and not a transfer speed junkie, this drive will serve you well.

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So there you have it, our top picks for the best external hard drive for PS4. Hopefully, this will help you find the perfect hard drive for you to expand your PS4 storage capacity. Now, you’ll finally be able to have more than a handful of games installed at any one time.

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