It's never too early to be thinking about Black Friday external drive deals. The big day's still a way off, but if you're planning to upgrade your external storage for the best price then Black Friday's absolutely the best time to do it. Every year on Black Friday we see some incredible external drive deals, on both traditional hard drives and faster SSDs, and we expect 2021 to be no different.
Why wait until Black Friday, though? Although the biggest discounts will be on the big day, there are some decent savings to be had right now; scroll down to find the best deals currently available in the US and UK. We'll be updating this page regularly to help you find great prices on external drives, so be sure to bookmark it and keep checking back.
If you need to brush up on what type of external hard drive is best for you, head over to our all you need to know section (we've broken the below into the best traditional hard drives and the best SSDs). And if you're interested in finding a broader range of Black Friday deals, we've got you covered there too.
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, and then a few days later on 29 November it'll be Cyber Monday. Exciting!
That said, with ever-increasing numbers of retailers around the world leaping on the Black Friday bandwagon, every year we see sales kicking off earlier. So realistically you can expect to see some amazing Black Friday external drive deals from the beginning of November, although we can predict that most of the biggest discounts will be held back until the big day.
How to get the best external hard drive deals on Black Friday 2021
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.
Black Friday external hard drive deals: Quick links
- 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
The best Black Friday external hard drive deals: US
The best Black Friday external hard drive deals
WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive:
$129.99 $59.99 at Amazon
Save $70: Here's an unmissable deal on a 2TB 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.View Deal
WD Easystore 5TB External USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive:
$179.99 $105.99 at Best Buy
Save $74: If you need to back up a lot of data, fast, this Western Digital drive is a great option. It has a USB 3.0 connection and fast data transfer rate, and comes with easy-to-use automatic backup software.View Deal
Seagate Backup Plus Hub 10TB External Hard Drive:
$319.99 $204.99 at Amazon
Save $115: Need all the storage? With 10TB available, this Seagate will take all you can throw at it, and it also features a pair of USB 3.0 ports on the front so that you can quickly transfer data cameras and USB thumb drives.View Deal
Seagate Backup Plus Slim 1TB External Hard Drive:
$79.99 $54.99 at Amazon
Save $25: If aesthetics are your top priority when buying an external hard drive, this Seagate Backup Plus is the perfect option. It has a slimline brushed metal case, 1TB of storage and comes with automatic backup software so that you can leave it to get on with the job.View Deal
Apricorn 1TB Aegis Padlock Encrypted Portable External Hard Drive:
$229 $174.49 at Amazon
Save $54.51: For maximum security, get a load of this encrypted hard drive. It uses a military grade FIPS PUB 197 validated encryption algorithm, and nobody can access it without keying in the right code on its built-in keypad.View Deal
The best Black Friday external SSD deals
SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD:
$249.99 $149.99 at Amazon
Save $100: If speed's more important to you than capacity, an SSD is the way to go. This fantastic SanDisk Extreme SSD gives you super-fast read and write speeds, and it can take a lot of punishment too, with 2 meter drop protection and IP55 water and dust resistance.View Deal
Samsung T7 Portable SSD 500GB:
$99.99 $79.19 at Amazon
Save $20.80: A fine little external SSD from Samsung, this model transfers files over nine times faster than an external hard drive, and comes with password protection as well as the ability to survive drops from 6ft.View Deal
Seagate Barracuda Fast 2TB External SSD:
$349.99 $249.99 at Amazon
Save $100: Here's a lot of SSD for a pretty good price. This Seagate Barracuda has 2TB of storage, and features a minimal design so it'll look great on your desktop. It comes with backup software and Sync Plus software.View Deal
WD 500GB My Passport Go SSD:
$119.99 $69.99 at Amazon
Save $50: Another good-looking SSD, this time from Western Digital. It's not the fastest model we've seen, with up to 400MB/s performance, but it comes at a great price and is drop-resistant up to two meters.View Deal
LaCie Rugged SSD 500GB:
$179.99 $139.99 at Amazon
Save $40: 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, three-meter drop, and two-ton car crush resistance, and has Seagate secure self-encrypting technology to keep your data safe.View Deal
The best Black Friday external hard drive deals: UK
The best Black Friday external hard drive deals: UK
WD 1TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive:
£54.74 £40.40 at Amazon
Save £14.34: This is a brilliant price for a terabyte of external storage. This Western Digital drive is ready to go with Windows PCs (it'll need reformatting if you want to use it with a Mac), and it comes with a trial version of WD SmartWare Pro software for automatic and cloud data protection.View Deal
WD 4TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive:
£104.99 £84.99 at Amazon
Save £20: Here's a similarly impressive price for a whole 4TB of external storage. It's a bigger model of the WD Elements model above, and while it's pretty basic in terms of features, the amount of hard disk on offer is tough to resist at this price.View Deal
LaCie Rugged Mini 1TB External Hard Drive:
£107.82 £68.89 at Amazon
Save £38.93: Keep your data safe with this tough little external hard drive from LaCie. It's shock and drop resistant up to 1.2m in non-operating mode, pressure-resistant up to 1,000kg, and it comes with automatic backup software and AES 256-bit encryption.View Deal
Seagate Ultra Touch HDD 1TB Portable External Hard Drive:
£64.99 £48.08 at Amazon
Save £16.91: A great-looking external drive from Seagate, with a stylish tone-on-tone fabric design, built-in encryption and a terabyte of storage. Right now you can get it for just under £50, and it comes with a four-month membership of Adobe CC Photography plan.View Deal
WD 6TB My Cloud Home Personal Cloud:
£248.99 £156.99 at Amazon
Save £92: Back up absolutely everything with this whopping 6TB external drive from Western Digital. Not only does it work with Windows and macOS, you can also use it with iOS and Android device so that everything is safe and accessible via WD's My Cloud service.View Deal
The best Black Friday external SSD deals
SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD 1TB:
£159.99 £125.99 at Amazon
Save £34: Get in the SSD game with this SanDisk Extreme drive. It gives you super-fast read and write speeds of up to 550MB/s, and it's nice and tough too, with 2 metre drop protection and IP55 water and dust resistance.View Deal
Samsung T5 1TB External SSD:
£149.99 £125.59 at Amazon
Save £24.40: The T5's a slightly older model of SSD from Samsung; if you want all the latest features then go for the T7. This one's a fair bit cheaper, though, and still good and fast, wo who's complaining?View Deal
WD 1TB My Passport Portable SSD:
£221.99 £143.99 at Amazon
Save £78: Back up quickly and easily with this good-looking portable SSD from Western Digital. It'll give you read speeds of up to 1050MB/s and write speeds of up to 1000MB/s with password enabled 256-bit AES hardware encryption, and it's shock and vibration resistant.View Deal
Crucial CT1000X6SSD9 X6 1 TB Portable SSD:
£115.18 £102.98 at Amazon
Save £12.20: This isn't the fastest SSD you'll find, with a 540MB/s transfer speed, but if you can put up with that then this is an exceptional price for a terabyte of storage, and it weighs just 39g.View Deal
ADATA 1TB SE800 External SSD:
£149.99 £120.38 at Amazon
Save £29.61: Not exactly a looker, but this Adata SSD is dustproof, waterproof and shockproof, with a terabyte of storage and a read/write up to 1,000 MB/s. At this price it's very hard to say no, we reckon.View Deal
The three best external hard drives
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.
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.
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
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.
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 Cyber Monday deals are always worth a look, but explore some other online stores as well. Some of them might have cash back 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.
Yet more Black Friday external hard drive deals