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Black Friday external hard drive deals: Early discounts available now

Black Friday external hard drive deals are already starting to appear. The big day's a little way of, but if you're planning to upgrade your external storage, there are already some good deals to be had. while they don't grab headlines like other pieces of tech can, external hard drives often come in for big savings on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and Black Friday 2021 looks set to be no different.

We're already seeing deals on a range of external drive deals on both traditional hard drives and faster SSDs. We'll be keeping this page updated with direct links to all the biggest Black Friday external hard drives, so get it bookmarked so you can keep checking back, or scroll down to see the best deal available now.

You can use the quick links to jump straight to the best deals in either the US or UK – each list is divided into HDDs and then SSDs. If you need to brush up on the difference between them, jump down to the all you need to know section. Meanwhile, if you're interested in a broader range of products, see our guide to the best Black Friday deals overall.

Black Friday external hard drive deals: When is Black Friday 2021?

Black Friday always comes the day after Thanksgiving in the US, so in 2021 it's going to happen on 26 November. Cyber Monday comes just a few days later on 29 November. That said, more and more retailers are kicking off their sales earlier, so you can expect to see amazing Black Friday external drive deals from the beginning of November, although the biggest savings may be held back until the day itself.

Black Friday external hard drive deals: How to get the best deals during Black Friday 2021

If you have your heart set on grabbing a Black Friday external hard drive deal, the best thing you can do is start looking 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. Decide on your budget and what kind of drive you're looking for (HDD for size or SSD for speed, then keep your eyes on the best deals listed below.

The best advance Black Friday external hard drive deals: US

The best advance Black Friday external hard drive deals: US

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WD 1TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive: $84 $49.99 at Amazon
Save $34.01:
Here's an unmissable 40 per cent off on a 1TB external drive from Western Digital. This small, lightweight hard drive features a USB 3.0 connection and will give you a read speed of up to 100MB per second.

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WD Easystore 5TB External USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive: $179.99 $107.99 at Best Buy
Save $72:
If you need to back up a lot of data, fast, look no further than this Western Digital drive. It has a USB 3.0 connection, a fast data transfer rate, and it comes with easy-to-use automatic backup software.

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Seagate Expansion 10TB External Hard Drive: $329.99 $219.99 at Amazon
Save $110:
Need all the storage you can get? With 10TB available, this Seagate will take all you can throw at it. If you need even ore space, Amazon also has over $100 off the 14TB and 16TB versions.

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Seagate Backup Plus Slim 1TB External Hard Drive: $79.99 $54.99 at Amazon
Save $25:
If aesthetics are your top priority with an external hard drive, the Seagate Backup Plus is a great option. It has a slimline brushed metal case, 1TB of storage and comes with automatic backup software that means you can leave it to get on with the job.

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Apricorn 1TB Aegis Padlock Encrypted Portable External Hard Drive: $229 $177.32 at Amazon
Save $51.68:
If security is your priority, check out this encrypted hard drive. It uses a military grade FIPS PUB 197 validated encryption algorithm, which means nobody can access it without keying in the right code on the built-in keypad.

The best advance Black Friday external SSD deals: US

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SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD: $249.99 $147.14 at Amazon
Save $102.85:
If speed's more important to you than capacity, then you'll want an SSD rather than an HDD. This fantastic SanDisk Extreme SSD offers super-fast read and write speeds. It can take a lot of punishment too, with 2-metre drop protection and IP55 water and dust resistance, and Amazon has 41 per cent off!

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Samsung T7 Portable SSD 500GB: $99.99 $79.99 at Amazon
Save $20.00:
This is fine little external SSD from Samsung. It transfers files at over nine times faster than an external hard drive, it comes with password protection and it can survive drops from up to 6ft. Amazon has 20 per cent off.

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SAMSUNG 870 QVO SATA III 2TB External SSD: $229.99 $162.02 at Amazon
Save $67.97:
If you need more space, Amazon also has 30 per cent of this 2TB Samsung SSD. It's fast, reliable and comes with tools to monitor the drive's health and status.

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WD 500GB My Passport Go SSD: $119.99 $76.00 at Amazon
Save $43.99:
Another decent saving on a good-looking SSD, this time from Western Digital. It's not the fastest model, with up to 400MB/s performance, but it comes at a great price and is drop-resistant up to two meters. If you need more space, the 1TB version is $139.92 – a saving of $90.07.

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LaCie Rugged SSD 500GB: $179.99 $169.99 at Amazon
Save $10:
Not the biggest saving in the world, but every little helps, and this rugged SSD from LaCie can take pretty much everything you throw at it (or even throw it at). It features IP67-rated water resistance, plus dust, drop, and even two-ton car crush resistance.

The best advance Black Friday external hard drive deals: UK

The best advance Black Friday external hard drive deals: UK

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WD 1TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive: £54.31 £39.99 at Amazon
Save £14.32:
This is a brilliant price for a terabyte of external storage. This Western Digital drive is ready to go for Windows PCs (you'll need to format it for use with a Mac), and it comes with a trial version of WD SmartWare Pro software for automatic and cloud data protection.

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WD 4TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive: £104.99 £84.53 at Amazon
Save £20.46:
For more space, Amazon has a similarly impressive price for the 4TB version of the WD Elements model above. While it's pretty basic in terms of features, this is a fantastic price for this amount of storage.

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LaCie Rugged Mini 4TB External Hard Drive: £149.99 £116.68 at Amazon
Save £33.31:
For a similarly hefty amount of storage and the added benefit of supremely rugged protection, Amazon has 22 per cent off this tough cookie from LaCie. It's shock and drop resistant up to 1.2m in non-operating mode, pressure-resistant up to 1,000kg, and comes with automatic backup software and AES 256-bit encryption.

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Seagate Ultra Touch HDD 1TB Portable External Hard Drive: £64.99 £50.07 at Amazon
Save £14.92:
This fine-looking external drive from Seagate has a stylish tone-on-tone fabric design. It comes with built-in encryption and a terabyte of storage, making it a great deal for just £50.

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WD 6TB My Cloud Home Personal Cloud: £248.99 £211.36 at Amazon
Save £37.63:
Back up everything you have with this whopping 6TB external drive from Western Digital. Not only does it work with Windows and macOS, you can also use it with an iOS and Android device to keep everything is safe and accessible via WD's My Cloud service.

The best advance Black Friday external SSD deals: UK

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SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD 1TB: £159.99 £118 at Amazon
Save £41.99:
Speed things up with an SSD. This SanDisk Extreme drive boasts super-fast read and write speeds of up to 550MB/s. It's durable too, with 2 metre drop protection and IP55 water and dust resistance.

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Samsung T5 1TB External SSD: £149.99 £108.22 at Amazon
Save £41.77:
The T5's a slightly older SSD from Samsung. The newer T7 has the latest features, but this one's now a good deal cheaper and it's still a solid, fast SSD. With 28 per cent off, it's well worth it.

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WD 1TB My Passport Portable SSD: £221.99 £130.51 at Amazon
Save £91.48:
This portable SSD from Western Digital looks sharp and offers read speeds of up to 1050MB/s and write speeds of up to 1000MB/s. It has password-enabled 256-bit AES hardware encryption and shock and vibration resistance. With 40 per cent off, this is a steal.

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Crucial CT1000X6SSD9 X6 1 TB Portable SSD: £115.18 £82.99 at Amazon
Save £32.20:
With a 540MB/s transfer speed, this isn't the fastest SSD you'll find, but it offers an exceptional price for a terabyte of storage, and it's highly portable, weighing just 39g.

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 massive, but you can get good savings

External hard drives aren't exactly the sexiest tech items, so you don't tend to see retailers offering headline-grabbing deals on these essentials. There are also so many different options, with different sizes and write speeds, that it can be hard to know where to start looking for deals. That's why we're the legwork for you. We'll be keeping the list above updated with the best Black Friday 2021 external hard drive deals throughout the sales.

There are already some good savings to be had on some of the best producers of external hard drives: companies like Western Digital, Seagate, LaCie and Samsung. These companies have vast catalogues of different models and introduce new versions fairly regularly, which means that the previous versions tend to get price cuts. 

Come Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we're likely to see plenty of savings on models that have been recently superseded by newer versions, or that simply aren't selling as well as other external drives in their range. Our top tip for Black Friday external hard drive deals is to keep an eye on Western Digital offers (see our dedicated page for the best WD My Passport deals right now). The company has a huge range of external drives, and there's usually at least one big bargain to be found.

Which retailers offer Black Friday external hard drive deals?

  • Amazon.com: Great savings on a wide range of external drives
  • Best Buy: Loads of exclusive savings across several brands
  • Office Depot: Plenty of external drives to choose from 
  • Walmart: Next-day delivery on hundreds of models
  • B&H Photo: Hundreds of dollars off top external hard drives
  • Very: Save on external hard drives from the UK
  • Currys PC World: There are a range of top deals on top quality brands
  • Amazon.co.uk: Great savings on a wide range of external drives
  • John Lewis: There will be loads of great savings to be had here

What are the best brands for external hard drives?

Always look for big-name brands such as Western Digital, Seagate, LaCie, Sandisk or Samsung when you're searching for an external drive. You're most likely to find big deals on their offerings, and you're also more certain to get a reliable drive that won't let you down. If you spot a dirt-cheap drive from a brand you've never heard of, make sure you seek out reviews to get an idea of its reliability before you buy – it could be cheap for a good reason.

Don't forget to check an assortment of retailers for the biggest choice. Amazon's Cyber Monday deals are always worth a look, but explore other online stores as well. Some of them might have cashback offers that could save you a little extra. Very, Best Buy and Walmart are worth keeping an eye on.

Should I buy a 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. However, HDDs are 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.

How do I choose an external hard drive?

Once you've decided whether you need a hard disk or an SSD, the key thing to decide is how much storage you need. One of the smaller external drives with 500GB is probably fine if you don't work with enormous files, but if your business involves videos then you're probably entering 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 a long time for your files to transfer. If you have a recent Mac then it may have a Thunderbolt 3 port; if so, try to find a drive that's compatible for lightning-fast transfer speeds.

More Black Friday external hard drive deals

Take a look at the options below for more of the best current prices on external hard drives.

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Kerrie Hughes

Kerrie Hughes is editor of Creative Bloq. Kerrie was staff writer for 3D World magazine before joining the original Creative Bloq team in 2012. Since then she's written regularly for other publications, including ImagineFX, 3D World and Computer Arts magazines.