Best rugged hard drives of 2021: top drop-proof storage

The Silicon Power Armor A80 proves that you don’t need to be big and bulky to be rugged and waterproof. Whether you’re a scientist working in difficult or dangerous environments, an extreme sports pro, or an outdoors photographer or videographer, only these can protect your important files from accidents and the harsh elements. As MyCloud is a single drive NAS solution, there are legitimate concerns over data security.

It can withstand being submerged in up to 1.5 meters of water for up to 60 minutes, and with a 1TB capacity, it also offers plenty of storage space. Backup your USB flash drive with this cloud storage solution It’s not an SSD, but it still performs extremely well when it comes to raw transfer speeds, and its small size means it’s easy to carry around. It’s also built to last with a case that’s water, dust and drop protected. This means you can back up the contents of the NAS to an external hard drive connected via the USB 3.0 port.

With two hard drives set up in RAID 0 configuration, this drive is capable of an impressive 240MB/s speed. MyCloud is the next step on from WD’s MyBook Live line-up and, as such, backup is also part of the deal – MyCloud is fully Time Machine compatible for Mac, while there is also a backup product called SmartWare available for Windows. IDrive, the cloud storage veteran, delivers tons of storage online for an incredibly small outlay. 5TB for $3.98 for the first year is unmatched till now and so is the support for unlimited devices and the extensive file versioning system available.

Sign up to the TechRadar Pro newsletter to get all the top news, opinion, features and guidance your business needs to succeed! MyCloud is based on Western Digital’s WD Red hard drives specifically designed for regular NAS use and features a new dual-core processor. Are you a Pro? Subscribe to our newsletter! But instead of storing your files on the internet, WD’s MyCloud is a local networked repository for all your content so you can access it from your Mac (ideal for those of us that have a low capacity flash drive in our laptops) as well as your iPad, iPhone or Android device using free WD MyCloud apps.

It has an IP68 rating, so it’s also dust-proof, and it has been drop tested to check that it complies with MIL-STD-810 military standards. Nowadays, most consumers can gain access to the blazing fast speeds of SSDs at very low price points, with in some cases prices starting from well under $100 for nearly 1TB (e.g. the Silicon Power PC60). MyCloud is a UPnP and DLNA compable media device, so it can also be accessed from numerous other devices such as an internet-connected TV. WD MyCloud It’s NTFS formatted and is compatible with Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP (SP3); Mac OS X Mountain Lion, Lion and Snow Leopard.

Thanks to the solid state drive that resides in this external hard drive, it’s a lot faster than external drives that use traditional spinning hard drives – so you’re getting great transfer speeds as well as rugged protection. Furthermore, every bit added to the cells increases the need for comprehensive error correction technologies. You’re essentially creating a restore point for your MyCloud. Western Digital’s G-Technology brand is no stranger to ensuring that your data is kept safe, and G-Technology ArmorATD does so by offering several layers of physical protection.

But it’s an awful lot cheaper than Apple’s £249 AirPort Time Capsule, for example. This is a surefire way to reduce costs and increase capacity but it has considerably negative effects on performance, reliability and endurance, the latter being super important if you want to use your drives for Chia farming or as NAS drives. Many even feature military- or aircraft-grade protection (IP68, MIL-STD-810G) that’s enough to survive inclement weather and hard drops.

But, its diminutive stature also means it’s not the most durable drive on this list, but for everyday usage, this is one of the best rugged hard drives you can buy today. Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he’s a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. So by buying a device such this, you can legitimately store all your music, photos, videos and files on the device so you can access them from any Mac or PC. The Adata SE730 makes our list of the best rugged hard drives thanks to its clever casing that uses a concealed port to ensure it’s water-resistant, so splashes and even very quick drops into water won’t faze this drive. These rugged external file storage solutions feature some level of water resistance, drop-proofing and dust-proofing so they’ll easily survive spills, dust, and the not-your-everyday knocks and bumps.

Not only is your data kept protected from knocks and drops with the rugged shell, but it’s also got 256-bit AES security features and NFC (Near Field Communication) features as well. But if you’re using it as the main repository for your content then it itself needs to be backed up. Each additional bit makes it more time consuming to read and write from a cell, voltage needs also grow and so does power consumption. It performs superbly well and remains the only SSD we’ve seen that is IP68 rated.

Solid state drives are still expensive because they are costly to produce and have to compete with other components for production lines. So while you won’t have a problem playing an .mp3 file, you will have a problem playing that video file you downloaded. WD is certainly offering plenty of space. It is important to remember that NAND cells aren’t the only element that has an effect on flash performance, things like the interface being used, over-provisioning (dedicating a portion of the available storage to the controller), SLC caching, controller, inclusion of DRAM, among others also play an important role.

Among the best rugged hard drives out there, it comes with three layers of shock resistance, crush resistance for up to 1000lbs weight, and rain and dust resistance, making it the best companion for anyone who’s always out battling the elements. It’s also dust proof and can withstand up to 300kg of pressure. MyCloud is available in 2TB, 3TB and 4TB capacities, though we’re looking at the entry level 2TB version here. By Dan Grabham last updated 12 October 2013 Need a robust hard drive for fieldwork?

The best rugged hard drives (and more frequently now, rugged solid state drives) might just be what you need. These solutions contribute to the maintenance of good data integrity, however they do so at the cost of higher latency and lower random performance (usually measured in IOPS). It has also been drop-tested to US Military standards, and it shows.

Essentially it allows you to unlock the drive to get to your files quickly and easily by tapping the supplied NFC card onto the drive’s body. The Adata HD710 is certainly an eye catching rugged hard drive, and it’s also one of the best, thanks to a durable case made of a unique silicone material that includes military-grade shock resistance that’s also waterproof and dustproof. With higher voltage comes higher temperatures, which facilitate a phenomenon called electron leakage and might lead to data corruption.

Despite the drawbacks mentioned, the sizable reductions in terms of costs and an ever growing storage capacity make up for a fair trade off. It also comes in capacities up to 1TB, so you don’t have to worry about missing out on storage space just because it uses an SSD – this drive really does hit all the right notes. It also comes with plenty of additional features, such as a one touch Auto-Backup button, and a quick reconnect button to make sure there’s no issues when you unplug it. They’ll be able to withstand just about anything, including high and low temperatures as well as being submerged in liquids.

If you’re just using the box as a backup for your PC or Mac, then that’s one thing. If you want something small, but still extremely durable, then the LaCie Rugged Mini might be the best rugged hard drive for you. You will receive a verification email shortly. If you need to protect a huge amount of data, with incredibly fast data transfer speeds, then the Lacie Rugged RAID is the best rugged hard drive for you.

It’s actually our top choice in our best external hard drive list as well. Ensure that your important files will survive in the harshest of environments with one of the best rugged hard drives. Such levels of build and construction make the best rugged hard drives the most ideal storage solutions for when you’re out on the field. Or you could use Windows Backup if you preferred, of course. The Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC is very flexible, and comes with a rugged case that’s dust and water resistant, along with a built-in USB 3.0 cable.

Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar’s Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site On pure price it doesn’t compare favourably with a standard external hard drive because of the multitude of extra features on offer. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.

The Adata SD700 will suit those looking for a rugged storage device that can provide ample capacity without costing too much.

Best rugged hard drives of 2021: top drop-proof storage


p>Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC 2TB Pretty neat! The MyCloud does also have its own iTunes Server, however, so you can easily browse and play back on iTunes for Mac and PC (though, and we’ve never understood this, not on iOS devices without a third party app). Just as QLC wouldn’t make the cut for a 5G provider looking for storage options for their base stations, SLC solutions would be overkill for the average consumer. It features a solid state drive, so it’s nice and quick as well as rugged. One way of reducing cost has been to increase the number of bits per cell.

WD’s answer to this is a Safepoint feature within the browser-based configuration display. Anthony Spence, Marketing Specialist at Silicon Power, answers this question Thank you for signing up to TechRadar. As most purchases, in the end it all boils down the consumer and its specific needs. These can withstand high temperatures, liquid spills and knocks and drops, all while keeping your important information safe and secure. We’ve also featured: Current page: Introduction LaCie is an extremely trusted brand when it comes to external hard drives, and its expertise shines through with this device.

It’s an impressively compact hard drive that manages to fit in plenty of storage space, and IPX7 waterproofing, allowing it be be submerged in up to 1m of water for up to 30 minutes. This is a seriously sturdy hard drive that can take most knocks and drops – ideal if you often take your external hard drive travelling with you. You can also use it in RAID 1, which mirrors your data give essentially gives you a built-in backup in case one drive gets damaged. The mobile landscape is a little more complex, since the MyCloud iOS, Andoid and Windows Phone apps only support native formats on the device.

The Transcend StoreJet 25M3 is encased in three layers including a shock absorbing silicone shell, and reinforced outer case. The name of WD’s new Network Attached Storage (NAS) unit is an attempt to tap into the new-found consumer enthusiasm about cloud computing or, in other words, storing stuff online.

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