7 Best HDD and SSD External Storage for MacBook Air M2 and M1

Samsung SSD and MacBook on wooden table - a person's hand is visible on MacBook keyboard
Photo by Samsung Memory on Unsplash

The MacBook Air has always been the perfect entry macOS device for students and professionals alike. Right now, you can grab the last generation M1 MacBook Air for only $899 and the current M2 MacBook Air for $1099. At this price, you will not get a better laptop that delivers such powerful performance and all-day battery life. The only drawback of the base model MacBook Air, is it comes with only 256GB of storage which might not be enough for everyone. If you need more storage capacity to store your files and movies, here are the best HDD and SDD external storage for MacBook Air M2 and M1 to buy.

But before we begin:

Best HDD and SSD external storage for MacBook Air M2 and M1

SSDs and HDDs are some of the best MacBook Air accessories you can own. Before we get to our list, let’s check out the reasons why you should go for an SSD or HDD external storage for your MacBook Air M1 and M2.

Why you should buy an SSD for your MacBook Air

  • SSDs or Solid State Drives have no moving parts, so they are more durable.
  • SSDs offer faster transfer speeds.
  • SSDs are energy efficient and use less power.
  • SSDs are compact and easy to carry in your pocket or bag.

Why you should buy an HDD for your MacBook Air

  • HDDs or Hard Drives are cheaper, allowing you to get more storage for the same price.
  • They are better for archiving your files due to the relatively cheaper price

In short, SSDs are better, but they also cost more. You should buy them if you frequently transfer files between your MacBook Air and external storage. Hard drives, on the other hand, are a great solution for archiving files as they give you better bang for your buck.

Below, we have listed the price of 1TB models of all SSDs and HDDs to give a reference point for pricing. You can select the storage model as per your need before buying the product.

Also, we have ensured to include only those HDDs and SSDs that come with a USB-C connector, so you don’t have to hunt for dongles to use them. Now, let’s get to our list, shall we?

1. Crucial X8 1TB Portable SSD for MacBook Air

Crucial is a known name in the storage solution industry, and they make some of the most affordable external storage SSDs and HDDs on the market. The 1TB SSD from Crucial that we are featuring is the cheapest SSD on this list. It’s a compact SSD and uses USB-C 3.1 Gen2 connector. You can also use a USB-A connector to connect this SSD to any legacy machines.

Crucial X8 1TB Portable SSD for MacBook Air

The best part of this SSD is that it offers incredible read and write speeds for its price. You are getting 1050 MB/s of average read speeds and 500-1000MB/s of write speeds. The SSD is also durable and can handle extreme temperatures, shock, vibration, and drops up to 7.5 feet.

Buy from Amazon: $99.99

2. Samsung T7 Shield 1TB for MacBook Air M2 and M1

Samsung T series SSDs are some of the best SSDs you can buy. The Samsung T7 Shield SSD delivers super-fast read and write speeds of 1050MB/s and 1000MB/s, making it one of the fastest external SSDs on the market. As its name suggests, the Samsung T7 Shield SSD is also rugged and comes with IP65 dust and water resistance rating, meaning it is dust-tight and protected against water projected from a nozzle.

Samsung T7 Shield 1TB for MacBook Air M2 and M1

The SSD is using a high-tech rubber exterior with Dynamic Thermal Guard that controls heat to maintain steady performance. The SSD can survive up to 9.8 feet of drop, making it extremely durable and one of the best external storage options for your MacBook Air M2 and M1. The best part is that it doesn’t cost that much more than the Crucial X8 SSD we have featured above.

Buy from Amazon: $109.99

3. SanDisk Professional 1TB G-DRIVE ArmorLock SSD

If you want an SSD that protects your data both physically and digitally, you should buy the 1TB G-DRIVE ArmorLock SSD from SanDisk. Talking about the physical protections, you are getting an IP67 rating, meaning it is completely dust-tight and can last for thirty minutes under depths of 1-meter water. That makes it one of the most durable SSDs on the market.

SanDisk Professional 1TB G-DRIVE ArmorLock SSD

Coming to digital protection, the SSD is protected by ArmorLock security technology, meaning no one can access your data without your permission. All your data is encrypted, and you will have to unlock the SSD via a mobile app to access the data. To make it easy to use, SanDisk also offers an auto-unlock feature that allows you to open the SSD without requiring a password on approved devices.

The best part is that all this protection doesn’t cost you any speed reduction. You are getting 1000MB/s of read and write speeds, allowing you to transfer large files with ease.

Buy from Amazon: $199

4. Seagate Portable 1TB external Hard Drive

If you are looking for affordable enteral storage for MacBook Air, you won’t find one better than the Seagate portable 1TB external hard drive. You get up to 120MB/s read and write speeds and USB-C connectivity, allowing you to use the hard drive right out of the box without needing any dongles. There’s nothing more to say about this hard drive, other than that it’s portable, affordable, and durable.

Seagate Portable 1TB external Hard Drive

Buy from Amazon: $49.99

5. WD My Passport Ultra external HDD for MacBook Air

Another excellent hard drive external storage for MacBook Air M1 and M2 is the WD My Passport Ultra HDD. It comes with USB-C (Gen 3.1) connector, allowing you to use it with your MacBook Air with ease. The benefit of this HDD is that you get 256-bit AES hardware encryption, so your data is safe. The hard drive can reach read and write speeds of 120MB/s and is a good hard drive for storing data and taking Time Machine backups.

WD My Passport Ultra external HDD for MacBook Air

Buy from Amazon: $59.99

6. LaCie rugged USB-C 1TB external hard drive

If you want a rugged external hard drive that can survive some drops and falls, check out the LaCie external hard drive. We love that the hard drive comes with a built-in USB-C cable, so you don’t have to remember to carry the cable separately. You get up to 130MB/s read and write speeds, which is better than the competition. The hard drive has a protective bumper covering that gives it drop, crush, and rain resistance. It’s one of the best hard drive external storage solutions for MacBook Air to buy.

LaCie rugged USB-C 1TB external hard drive

Buy from Amazon: $82.99

7. SanDisk 12TB Professional G-DRIVE

For the last recommendation, we have chosen the SanDisk Professional G-DRIVE, which comes in up to 22TB of storage models, making it the perfect backup device for everything you own digitally. The one we are featuring here is a 12TB model, which should be more than enough for most users. Another benefit of this hard drive is that it supports USB-C (USB 3.2 Gen 1) connectivity resulting in 240MB/s read and 240MB/s write speeds. That’s almost double what you get with a regular hard drive.

SanDisk 12TB Professional G-DRIVE

The drive is housed inside a premium all-aluminum enclosure for stylish durability. Note that this is a portable drive and requires an external power source. That means it meant to sit at your desk. A good thing is that the USB-C connector delivers ample power to charge your MacBook Air, so you don’t need two power sources. It comes with macOS formatting out of the box, so you can use it as soon as you unpack it.

Buy from Amazon: $369 for 12TB (available in 4TB to 22TB storage capacities)

Top external storage for MacBook Air M1 and M2

That ends our list of the best SSD and HDD you can buy as external storage for your MacBook Air M2 and M1. We have included both affordable and premium options, so you can choose the one that fits your budget. We recommend you to go for an SSD if you can afford it, as you will get faster speeds and a more compact body that is easy to carry.