Best External SSD for Mac to Buy in 2024

Here are the best external SSD for Mac to buy in 2024. The list contacts affordable SSDs, high performance SSDs, rugged SSDs, and secure SSDs.

Best External SSD for Mac to Buy in 2024
All of our recommendations are reviewed without bias. If you purchase through our links, we may receive a commission. Read More.

While I love my MacBook Pro and would not give it up for any other laptop, I hate the upgrade premium Apple charges for extra storage. Charging $200 for going to 1TB of storage and a whopping $600 for 2TB is just criminal. That’s why I recommend users upgrade the RAM instead and get the minimum built-in storage they can live with. Buying an external SSD for a Mac is a far better option if you need extra storage. 

Firstly, you pay a lot less for extra storage, and secondly, the new generation SSDs are compact and offer super-fast transfer speeds so you won’t notice any difference. If you want even cheaper options, you can buy external hard drives for your Mac, however, that will come at the cost of transfer speeds. 

In this guide, we will focus solely on the best external SSDs for Mac you can buy in 2024.

Best External SSD for Mac to buy in 2024

While hard drives are cheaper and offer a better solution for long-term archive storage, if you want a super-fast storage solution that doesn’t hinder your day-to-day work, SSDs are the way to go. Here are a few reasons why you should buy an external SSD for your Mac:

  • SSDs are smaller and more portable.
  • Since SSDs don’t have any moving parts, they are sturdy and long-lasting.
  • SSDs offer faster transfer speeds, allowing you to work off your external drives.
  • Some SSDs also offer additional features such as drop protection, water resistance, and more.
  • SSDs offer better encryption tools to safeguard your data.
  • SSDs come with a USB-C port, meaning you don’t need any dongle to use them with your Mac.

If you want all these features, here are the top 7 SSDs for Mac you can buy in 2024.

1. Crucial X9 Pro

When it comes to affordable external SSD for Mac, you cannot go wrong with the Crucial X9 Pro. My favorite feature of the Crucial X0 Pro SSD is its super-fast transfer speeds. You can get read and write speeds of up to 1050MB/s respectively. 

Crucial X9 Pro

You can use this SSD to shoot 4K60 videos on the iPhone 15 Pro, and edit the footage directly off the SSD without having to import the footage on your Mac. The second thing I like about this SSD is its IP55 dust and water resistance. The SSD can survive splashes of water and will keep the dust out. 

Finally, the SSD is also rated to survive a fall of 7.5 feet or 2 meters, making it more durable than your regular SSDs. You can also protect your files by using its 256-bit AES hardware encryption. It is one of the best external SSDs for Mac to buy in 2024. 

Buy Crucial X9 Pro from Amazon

Crucial also makes the X10 Pro series that offers 2,000MB/s read and write speeds. But it uses USB 3.2 2x2 technology, which is not supported by Mac. Even with X10 Pro, you will get the same 1,000MB/s transfer speeds, so don’t spend the extra money buying it.

2. SanDisk Extreme portable SSD

The SanDisk Extreme portable SSD is our choice of recommendation for most Mac users, as it offers the best value for money. This NVMe solid-state drive offers up to 1050MB/s read and up to 1000MB/s write speeds. Thanks to its sturdy construction, the drive can survive falls up to 2 meters (>6.5 feet) and offers IP55 dust and water resistance.

SanDisk Extreme portable SSD

The drive also has a handy carabiner loop that allows you to securely attach it to your belt loop or backpack. It also includes a password protection feature that encrypts your data with 256‐bit AES hardware encryption, so your data remains private even if you lose the drive. With so many features on offer, the SanDisk Extreme portable SSD is the best value for many external SSD for Mac you can buy.

Buy SanDisk SSD from Amazon

3. LaCie rugged SSD and SSD Pro

When it comes to durable SSD, LaCie is a brand you can trust. The LaCie rugged SSD is covered in a rubberized material that makes it highly durable. The SSD has an IP67 water-resistant rating, meaning it is dust tight and can survive 30 minutes underwater up to a depth of 1 meter (3.3 feet). It also offers 3 meters (9.9 feet) of drop protection and can handle two tons of pressure. The SSD is also super-fast, clocking 1,050 MB/s of read and write speeds. Other features of the LaCie rugged SSD include Seagate Secure AES-256 self-encryption, rescue data recovery services, and 1 month of free Adobe Creative Cloud.

LaCie rugged SSD and SSD Pro

LaCie also offers a rugged SSD Pro version, which is meant for video editing and 3D modeling professionals. While costing almost double the regular versions, the LaCie SSD Pro offers playback and recording speeds of up to 2,800 MB/s, making it one of the fastest SSDs on the market. You get all the protection features including 3-meter drop protection, IP67 dust and water resistance, and a two-ton car crush resistance.

Buy from Amazon: LaCie SSD Pro / LaCie SSD

4. SanDisk Professional PRO-G40 SSD

SanDisk Professional PRO-G40 SSD is meant for video professionals. This external SSD drive offers up to 2700 MB/s read and 1900 MB/s write speeds with Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) connection. To give you context, you can transfer a 50GB file in under 1 minute using this SSD. The SanDisk Professional PRO-G40 SSD also offers extreme durability. It is rated IP68 for water and dust resistance, 4000 pounds crush resistance, and 3m drop resistance.

SanDisk Professional PRO-G40 SSD

The SSD has a cool aluminum core that pulls heat from the internals to maintain high transfer speeds for prolonged use. It has a highly industrial design, which we love. Despite offering similar features to LaCie SSD Pro, the SanDisk PRO-G40 SSD is almost $150 cheaper than the former, making it an excellent rugged SSD for professionals.

Buy SanDisk Pro-G40 from Amazon

5. Samsung T7 Shield

The Samsung T7 Shield is our favorite rugged external SSD for Mac. It strikes the best balance between price and protection. As the name suggests, the Samsung T7 Shield is the rugged version of the popular Samsung T7 external SSD. It features a PCIe NVMe drive that reaches sequential read and write speeds of up to 1,050 MB/s and 1,000 MB/s. You can use the SSD to transfer files, create a Time Machine backup, and even edit 4K videos right off the drive.

Samsung T7 Shield

What separates it from the normal Samsung T7 SSD is its high-tech rubber exterior. Its rugged design and rubber exterior ensure that it can handle drops up to 9.8 feet 3 (meters), so you don’t have to worry even if you have butter fingers. The drive also gets IP65 dust and water resistance, meaning it is totally dust tight and can survive against low-pressure water jets.

The Samsung T7 Shield is available in black, white, and blue colors and you can get it in 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB configurations.

Buy Samsung T7 Shield from Amazon

6. Samsung T7 Touch

For most users who are looking to store files in an encrypted SSD, the Samsung T7 Touch is the best option. The drive is based on the popular Samsung T7 drive and offers up to 1,050 MB/s of read and 1,000 MB/s of write speeds. It has a metal aluminum enclosure and offers up to 6 feet of drop protection.

Samsung T7 Touch

What makes the T7 Touch unique is the built-in fingerprint sensor. When you use the drive for the first time, it will ask you to create a password and set up your fingerprint (you can set up to 4 fingerprints). Once you complete the setup process, your drive will store all your files behind hardware encryption.

You can access your files on any device by unlocking your drive using your fingerprint. You don’t need to install any software on other devices, which makes it convenient to use. The Samsung T7 Touch is also relatively affordable, making it the best secure and encrypted drive for Mac users.

Buy T7 Touch from Amazon

7. Kingston IronKey Vault Privacy 80

The Kingston IronKey Vault Privacy 80 is OS-independent hardware encrypted drive meant for users who deal with highly sensitive data. The drive is made to withstand brute force and BadUSB with digitally-signed firmware attacks. The drive is FIPS 197 certified, which is a publicly available advanced cryptographic encryption standard used by NSA. Needless to say, your data will be sure inside this drive.

Kingston IronKey Vault Privacy 80

The best part is that the drive is user-friendly despite its high level of hardware encryption. The Kingston drive features a touch-screen that allows you to enter your password to unlock the data in seconds. We love that the drive features a multi-password structure, allowing for admin and regular accounts, which adds an extra layer of security.

The only drawback of this drive is that you get far slower transfer speeds, with the drive clocking a read and write speeds of up to 250 MB/s. However, if you deal with sensitive data, most of it will be in document form, which lessens the impact of slower transfer speeds, if only a little.

Buy IronKey from Amazon

Top external SSD for Mac: final thoughts

That ends our list of the best external SSD for Mac. We have included affordable SSDs, rugged SSDs, and secure and encrypted SSDs on this list. We hope that the list was able to help you find the best SSD for your Mac. If you have questions regarding any of the products on this list, ask in the comments and we will answer as soon as possible.