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Videogames on all platforms are becoming larger with every new release, and the current generation consoles simply don’t come with enough storage space to accommodate all the titles of a hungry consumer. External hard drives for Xbox One and other consoles are the ideal solution. If you own an Xbox One, chances are you’ve considered purchasing a faster, larger solution than the storage that comes with it.
Best External Hard Drives for Xbox One Reviewed
External hard drives are the most reliable solution to your Xbox One console’s storage space problems because the small and slow internal drive inside isn’t designed to be placed. Sure, you could go on a DIY mission and take some risks, but it’s frankly not worth it when you can get plenty of storage space in the form of an external drive.
In this article, we look at the 5 best external hard drives that work exceptionally with the Xbox One consoles. Before we dive into the reviews, here are a few things you should consider before your purchase.
External Hard Drives for Xbox One Buyer’s Guide
All of the Xbox One consoles support USB 3.0 connections, so for any external hard drive you want to connect to your Xbox One console, you’ll need to use a USB 3.0 cable. It is possible to connect external SSDs with USB Type-C connections to the Xbox One with a USB Type-C to USB Type-A connection as well.
Microsoft underscores the importance of the cable quality on its official support page for connecting peripherals to its consoles, and we also need to emphasize that a high-quality cable connecting your external storage to your Xbox One will make a significant
How to Connect an External HDD with Xbox One
Most external drives do not come with a format supported by the Xbox One consoles. However, there’s nothing to worry about as you will have the option of formatting the drive to the correct file system when you connect it to your Xbox One via the USB 3.0 port.
There are a couple of prerequisites that you should consider though before buying an external hard drive for Xbox One.
- The first is that the external hard drive must have 256GB or higher capacity. Connecting a drive smaller than 256GB will not prompt the Xbox One to recognize it
- The external hard drive must connect to the Xbox One via a USB 3.0 port
Once you connect the drive through the USB port, your console will recognize it and prompt you to format it. Accept the formatting, and your Xbox One will format it with the correct file system. That’s it – you can now use this external hard drive as expanded storage for the Xbox One.
Importance of Data Transfer Speeds
Data transfer speeds are quite important if you want to install games faster and load them up quicker too. The loading times of your videogames (not necessarily the loading time within the videogame) are restricted by the speed at which the hard drive can transfer data.
If you’re looking for a performance boost in terms of installation and load times, then you should consider a faster external storage system like an external SSD. Mechanical spinning drives operating at a significantly slower rate, and the difference between a faster hard drive and a normal hard drive isn’t as significant, especially for external HDDs.
The amount of storage space you require will directly depend on how many videogames you have. If you own a lot of videogames, we recommend a larger external hard drive of 2TB. If you want the ultimate solution because you want to keep 4K content on your Xbox One X, you should consider buying something hefty like an 8TB external hard drive.
Our Top Pick
Famous for all the right reasons, the Western Digital My Passport is an ideal external hard drive for both PCs as well as consoles like the Xbox One.
Western Digital is arguably the most popular company when it comes to storage solutions. This is particularly true for mechanical drives. With several years of iteration and fine-tuning, the company has succeeded in making the WD My Passport the most well known external hard drive in the market.
My Passport has seen little change in its design in the past few years. It has a distinct cuboid design with sharp edges and a textured half for easy gripping. The 1TB and 2TB versions of this portable hard drive are thinner and lighter than the 3TB and 4TB variants. We recommend the 4TB variant for your Xbox One because of just how large games have gotten in recent years.
What makes My Passport so popular though is not just its reliability, but also its speed. This is one of the faster external mechanical drives available on the market right now, reaching average read speeds of 180MB/s and write speeds of close to 170MB/s. This is considerably better than the competition, and one of the reasons to go for it over other competing hard drives.
WD provides a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty for this drive as well, which is a welcome trait.
Best Portable Solution
Seagate Game Drive for Xbox One: Game Pass Special Edition
Seagate Game Drive for Xbox One is a 2TB external portable hard drive with a slim design. It uses USB 3.0 and comes in two editions. The standard edition is colored green while the Game Pass Special Edition (our personal preference) is white.
At least 30% of the reason you’d opt for the Seagate Game Drive for Xbox is because of the branding and style points. The rest is for its portability. The Game Pass edition comes with a 1 month Xbox Game Pass membership as well, which is all the more reason to buy this elegant looking external hard drive.
Seagate’s Game Drive for Xbox in its Game Pass Special Edition colors checks all the style points, especially if you own a white Xbox One. This elegant, lightweight, and portable drive comes in a 2TB format or a thicker and heavier 4TB version. We don’t recommend the latter if you’re looking for additional space, as for a better price you’d be better off buying the WD My Passport.
What makes the Seagate Game Drive for Xbox One so appealing is not just its design, but also its portability. Furthermore, you get a limited, 1-month membership to Xbox Game Pass, meaning you can access hundreds of free titles after you buy this drive.
Since this drive is optimized for consoles, it is a plug and play device that will require no formatting. Simply plug it with its USB 3.0 connectivity and you’re good to go. Speed-wise, it’s not the fastest drive, but what it sacrifices in speed it makes up for in portability.
We do wish though that Seagate were a bit generous with the warranty period. The Game Drive only comes with a 1-year warranty, and we’d have personally liked to have seen the standard 3 years instead. Furthermore, Seagate seems to be demanding a slightly higher price than what you’d normally have to pay for a 2TB drive.
Best External Solid State Drive
If you want your games to install faster and load faster on your Xbox One console, there are few external drives that can match the speed and performance of the Samsung T5.
When speed is what you’re after for the Xbox One, there’s only really one solution, and that’s the Samsung T5. This external solid-state drive is ridiculously fast, with speeds 4 to 5 times faster than what you can get on the fastest external hard drives out there.
This is the marvel of solid-state technology, of which Samsung is the uncontested king. They offer the best SSDs in existence right now, be it external drives, SATAIII drives, or PCI NVMe drives. The Samsung T5 isn’t the company’s fastest external storage drive, but it is the one with the best combination of price and performance out there.
Apart from its incredible speeds that can reach 540MB/s in read and write, this Samsung portable SSD is really small too. It can fit in the palm of your hand and be slipped in a standard pocket with plenty of room to spare. s
The Samsung T5 is by default a USB 3.1 Gen2 device, which means it uses a USB Type-C interface. However, Samsung also includes a USB Type-C to Type-A cable, making it a completely viable external storage solution for Xbox One.
Samsung offers a 3-year warranty for this device, so you’ll be in safe hands for quite a while. We recommend sticking to the 500GB version, as the 1TB and 2TB versions can get expensive.
Best for Mass Storage
With titles that take a lot of space, you need a lot of storage capacity for your Xbox One games, making Seagate Expansion Desktop the best external drive for mass storage.
The drive is bulky in size of course, like all mass storage external hard drives with good performance. But with a storage capacity of up to 10GB, you will not need to buy another drive any time soon because this drive is there to stay.
The size does not really matter really as it will stay connected to your console for most of its life. There is a pattern on the drive to give it a little designer quality and a nice touch in the looks department.
With Seagate as a storage device, you can never go wrong, they are absolutely one of the best choices when it comes to drives. They are affordable and reliable, which you need when you are buying external hard drives, reliability to last long.
The Seagate Expansion Desktop external hard drive is easy to use, no software required, has one port for USB 3.0 connectivity.
The Toshiba Canvio Advance is still below the $100 mark, so if you do not feel like spending a grand on a hard drive and want all the unique features of a high end one, we recommend this drive for use.
With 3 different colors, you can get the Toshiba Canvio Advance in blue, red and white. Not only that you can get a brushed aluminium variant of the drive as well. So if you have some cool skins on your Xbox One then you can choose the drive to match it.
It comes in 4 different variants when it comes to storage size starting from 1TB, it goes all the way up to 4TB.
The unique features about the Toshiba Canvio Advance are password protection and automatic backup that is also present in the WD My Passport, but is more affordable and significantly cheaper in price.
A USB 3.0 that supports USB 2.0 for faster connectivity, the design is very beautiful, easy to carry size as well allows you to take your games with you to your friends console if you want to play your games.
With a lot of size options and features in the price range of below a grand, you are set with a Toshiba Canvio Advance external drive.