Welcome to our Black Friday external hard drive deals post – the place to be if you need extra storage that won't cost you a fortune. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019 just a few weeks away now, retailers are gearing up to start dropping great discounts. So whether you want to upgrade your storage with a hefty hard drive or a super-fast SSD, you should be able to snag yourself some significant Black Friday external hard drive deals this year.
As soon as the best external hard drive deals drop, we'll update this post so make sure to bookmark this page. If you know what you're after and how much you want to pay for it, and you see something that fits nicely within your budget, pounce on it now. The best deals won't last long, and you don't want to miss out altogether.
In the meantime, let's take a look at some of the best deals from 2018, plus what we expect to see this year.
US: The best Black Friday external hard drive
EXPIRED: G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 10TB External Hard Drive:
Save: $100.38: Last year saw a whopping $100 saving on this 10TB high speed external hard drive that's Mac-ready and easy to reformat for Windows. It also came with a three-year warranty. Bargain
EXPIRED: Seagate Expansion 3TB Desktop External Hard Drive:
Save: $30.19: There was a range of discounted Seagate Expansion external hard drives last year, but this was one of the best deals we came across. An easy-to-use, 3TB hard drive capable of delivering fast transfer speeds, all for less than $90.
EXPIRED: WD Easystore 10TB
Save $120: Best Buy had lots of great offers last year, including this $120 saving on a whole 10TB of storage with a 32GB Easystore USB flash drive throw in for good measure. Here's hoping we see more like this in the 2019 Black Friday sales.
UK: The best Black Friday external hard drive
EXPIRED: Transcend StoreJet 4TB
Save £27.71: Last year this spacious 4TB Transcend StoreJet drive saw almost £30 shaved off the retail price. A quality tool, especially thanks to its rugged military-grade body, for a great price.
EXPIRED: Crucial MX500 2TB SATA SSD:
Save: £98.41: Last year, UK shoppers were able to pick up this huge discount on the amazing 2TB Crucial MX500 memory card. Capable of reading/writing 95/90K, this one flew off the shelves.
The best Black Friday/Cyber Monday external hard drive deals: what we expect to see
Let's be clear: external drives aren't especially sexy tech, so you're not going to see much in the way of headline-grabbing Cyber Monday hard drive deals. If you're after a bargain external drive then you're going to have to look hard for it; or rather, just sit back and let us do the hunting.
Your best bet for a getting a great deal on an external drive is to keep an eye on the big names. Companies such as Western Digital, Seagate, LaCie and Sandisk are notable for having large ranges of external drives, and they're introducing new models on a pretty regular basis.
This means that come Black Friday and Cyber Monday, they're likely to have plenty of stock of models that have either been recently superseded by a newer version, or simply aren't selling as well as other external drives in their range, and these will be the most obvious candidates for the best deals.
Our top tip for Black Friday and Cyber Monday external hard drive bargains is to look out for Western Digital offers. It has a huge range of external drives on offer, and there's usually at least one bargain to be found among them; we expect there to be some great opportunities to nab a lot of storage for not very much cash.
How to get the best external hard drive deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019
If you have your heart set on Black Friday external hard drive deals then the best thing you can do is start looking out for them now. There's an increasing amount of competition between retailers to shift their discounted stock, so every year we're seeing stores and sites kick off their Black Friday sales earlier.
Figure out your budget and exactly what kind of drive you're looking for. If you need plenty of storage and aren't too worried about transfer speeds then you should probably concentrate on old-fashioned hard drives; they might not be fast but they'll give you a lot more gigabytes for your buck.
If speed's important, though, you should look for an SSD instead. They're fast and reliable, and because they have no moving parts they're a lot more suitable for taking out and about with you. The downside is that you get a lot less storage than you would from a comparably priced hard disk; that said as the technology matures you can now get a decent chunk of storage at a pretty reasonable price.
Always look for big name brands such as Western Digital or Seagate when you're searching for an external drive; not only are these where you'll probably find the best deals, you can also be much more certain of getting a reliable drive that won't fail on you. If you spot a dirt-cheap drive from a brand you've never heard of, look around for reviews to get an idea of its reliability; it could be cheap for a very good reason, and it's probably not where you want to stash your important backups.
Don't forget to check an assortment of retailers for the biggest choice. Amazon's Black Friday deals are always worth a look, but explore some other online stores as well. Some of them might have cashback offers that could save you a bit extra, so that's always worth looking out for.
Finally, use the same common sense that you would when making any purchase online; check the guarantee, make sure you're buying from a reputable store, and keep your receipt just in case you change your mind later on.
External hard drive features/specs that creatives should look out for
Once you've decided whether you need a hard disk or an SSD, the key thing to look for is the amount of storage you'll get. It all depends on your needs, naturally; 500GB is probably fine if you don't work with enormous files, but if your business involves videos then you're probably well into terabyte territory.
Beyond that, the most important thing to check is what type of connections an external drive has. At the very minimum you'll need a USB 3.0 connection; anything less and you'll be waiting ages for your files to transfer back and forth. If you have a recent Mac then it may have a Thunderbolt 3 port; if so, try to find a drive that's compatible and you'll get lightning-fast transfer speeds.
3 external hard drive to look out for on Black Friday/Cyber Monday
Western Digital My Passport 4TB
The overall best external hard drive for Mac or PC
Capacity: 4TB | Interface: USB 3.0
For an excellent all-round external hard drive, you'll have a tough job beating Western Digital's My Passport 4TB. The latest generation features excellent transfer speeds and cloud storage options as well as 256-AES encryption to keep your files safe, and WD's backup software will take care of transferring your data.
Samsung Portable SSD T5
The all-round best external SSD
Capacity: 500GB, 1TB or 2TB | Interface: USB 3.0
If speed's more important to you than capacity, this external SSD from Samsung ought to do the trick. The Samsung T5 SSD performs brilliantly, with speeds up to 550 MB/sec. It plugs directly into PCs and Macs with either a USB-C port or USB-A, is roughly the size of a matchbox and, as a solid state device, contains no moving parts, so can survive being dropped unlike a hard disk.
WD My Book Duo 16TB
The best high capacity external drive for your Mac or PC
Serious about protecting your files? This 16TB monster from Western Digital is for you. You can either use the full 16TB, or you can instead run the My Book Duo's two 8TB drives in a RAID configuration, meaning that should one fail you'll still have a safe backup on the other. This USB 3.0 drive also features 256-bit AES encryption and automatic backup software; bear in mind though that it's formatted for Windows, so if you're on a Mac it'll need reformatting.
Today's best pre-Black Friday external hard drive deals
What's that? You can't wait until Black Friday to grab to grab a lovely external hard drive deal? Fear not; we've found all the best deals available right now.