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Black Friday external hard drive deals 2020: All the best discounts

Black Friday external hard drive deals

(Image credit: Future)

Jump straight to the deals you want...
- US external hard drive deals
- UK external hard drive deals  
- All you need to know

If 2019 was anything to go buy, this year is going to be amazing for Black Friday external hard drive deals. This confident statement is due to two things. In the first place, there were better-than-ever Black Friday external hard drive deals on offer last year. Secondly, what with so many people working from home this year (and potentially beyond), there's a big increase in demand, so plenty of retailers will be wanting to shift their stock this Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

But what do you need to do? Apart from bookmarking this page, and returning before, and during Black Friday, not a lot! Here we'll be updating the very best Black Friday external hard drive deals as they go live – and many will go live before the actual 27-30 November dates.

Of course, if you want a helping hand on which type of external hard drive to go for, and particularly good brands to keep an eye out for, we've got you covered. Below the deals we've put together all you need to know before buying your external hard drive. 

Selected Black Friday external hard drive deals

The best Black Friday external hard drive deals: US

We will populate these sections with the very best Black Friday external hard drive deals as and when they go live. To give you a taste of what to expect, here are some of the highlights from 2019 (some of which are still alive!!)

WD My Book | 8TB: $209.99 $149.99 at Best Buy
Save $60:
With an easy-to-use USB 3.0 connection that's backwards-compatible with USB 2.0, this large external hard drive is on at a great price – and it has got even cheaper for Cyber Monday. 
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Western Digital | 2TB: $89.99 $72.99 at Office Depot
Save $17:
The My Passport range from Western Digital is Creative Bloq's top rated external hard drive, and it has got a massive discount ahead of Black Friday this year. It's nice and portable, but the red colour should mean you don't lose it.

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Seagate Backup Plus Slim | 2TB: $82.49 $67.99 at Best Buy
Save $14.50:
This 2TB external hard drive has USB 3.0 functionality, but provides backward compatibility with older USB 2.0 drives. And you can get a sweet $20 off at Best Buy.
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Seagate | 2TB: $89.99 $79.99 at Amazon
Save $10:
This ultra-slim external hard drive comes with a two-month subscription to the Adobe Photography plan (that's Photoshop + Lightroom) thrown in. You also get a massive £50 off the list price.
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The best Black Friday external hard drive deals: UK

Samsung T5, 2TB SSD: £369.99 £258.99 at Amazon
Save £111:
The T5 snaps up the second spot in our ranking of the best external hard drives and SSDs, offering speedy performance and a compact size. Okay, so this 2TB model is still expensive... but it's a whole heap cheaper than if you had to pay full price.

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WD My Book 6 TB: £192 £109.99 at Amazon
Save £82:
An incredible saving on a great piece of tech. With enough storage to put your entire life in there, this is an excellent choice of external hard drive. It has WD backup software compatible with Apple Time Machine and Windows.
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LaCie Rugged Mini, 4 TB: £149.99 £132.99 at Amazon
Save £17:
LaCie's external hard drive is designed to be shock and drop resistant. It's brighter than many other external hard drives on the market and this model has 4TB of storage.

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WD 8TB Elements: £169.99 £159 at Amazon
Save £10.99:
An enormous machine with super-fast USB 3.0 transfer, that's plug-and-play ready for Windows PCs. You can get yourself an amazing 25% off this hard drive.
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The three best external hard drives

01. Western Digital My Passport 4TB

The overall best external hard drive for Mac or PC

Capacity: 4TB | Interface: USB 3.0

Large capacity
Good data transfer speeds
WD backup software is basic

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.

(Image credit: Samsung)

02. Samsung Portable SSD T5

The all-round best external SSD

Capacity: 500GB, 1TB or 2TB | Interface: USB 3.0

Great performance
Very high capacity
No USB Type-C

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.

03. Western Digital My Book Duo 16TB

The best high capacity external drive for your Mac or PC

Huge amounts of space
RAID support
Requires two free USB 3.0 ports

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.

External hard drives: All you need to know

Black Friday external hard drive deals: What we expect to see

External drive bargains won't be prominent, but you'll still find them

OK, so external hard drives aren't especially the sexiest of all tech. As such, you're not going to see much in the way of headline-grabbing Black Friday hard drive deals. If you're after a bargain external drive then you're going to have to look hard for it... or you would, if we weren't here to do the hard work for you.

Your best bet for a getting a great deal on an external drive is to keep an eye on the big hitters. 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 (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. And we're already seeing a few deals from these brands emerge as Black Friday approaches.

Our top tip for Black Friday external hard drive bargains is to look out for Western Digital offers (you can see the best WD My Passport deals right now). 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 2020

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.

The best brands for external hard drive

Always look for big name brands such as Western Digital, Seagate, LaCie or Sandisk 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. Very, Best Buy and Walmart are also worth keeping an eye on. 

Traditional hard drive (HDD) or solid state drive (SSD)?

There are two types of external hard drive: hard disk drives (HDD, also known as mechanical or traditional hard drives) or solid state drives (SSD). An SSD is faster, lighter and less power-hungry, whereas an HDD drive will be cheaper and slower than an SSD. HDDs are also good for storing lots of data as they often have a high capacity. 

So, if you want to store huge amounts of data while keeping prices low, a HDD is the way to go. But if speed is your top priority – for example, if you move a lot of large files, or want to run programs off the drive – then choose an SSD. Or, you can always use a smaller SSD for files that you need to access or move around often, and then store the other data that you use less often on a higher capacity HDD.

External hard drive features 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.

The best pre-Black Friday external hard drive deals

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.

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