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3 Top Portable Hard Drives for Backing Up Your Projects

Jourdan Aldredge

Dec 2, 2022


We all know that video editing can be a very difficult craft. Not only do you have a million creative decisions to make during the editing of a video, there’s also plenty of practical tasks and pragmatic workflows which you need to master to ensure that your videos are backed up, organized, and shared properly.

And, sadly, if you’ve been an editor for long enough you’ve probably experienced the terrible horror of losing footage due to a lost, or bad, hard drive.

To help all of our video editor friends and family, let’s take some time to explore some of the best portable hard drives currently on the market. These portable hard drives can be great resources for any run-and-gun videographers or high-end editors looking to back-up footage for safety sake.

Using some recommendations from OWC, we have some of the best portable hard drive options currently available on the market.

OWC Envoy Pro FX

OWC Envoy Pro FX with tethered USB-C to USB-A adapter

The first selection on our list comes from the video above and is really one of the best options for run-and-gun videographers. The OWC Envoy Pro FX is about as fast and secure as data storage comes. We recommend checking out the 2TB Envoy Pro FX External SSD which features transfer speeds up to 2800 MB/s and utilizes a Thunderbolt 3 connection that supports USB-C 3.2 Gen 2.

With an internal M.2 NVMe SSD, this portable drive can offer faster data transfer than your SATA SSDs and older hard drives. It’s housed in durable IP687 rated aluminum casing which is tested to MIL-STD-810G standards and is compatible with all of your OS-based encryption methods.

This SSD is a true plug-and-play option for any freelance videographer or indie filmmaker looking to quickly, easily, and securely back up footage on the run with little worry about the safety of your footage as you concentrate on your creative projects.

  • 2TB Storage Capacity
  • Thunderbolt 3 & USB 3.2 Gen 2
  • Up to 2800 MB/s Data Transfer Speed
  • Bus Powered
  • Supports Encryption
  • Mac Bootable
  • Durable, IP67 Aluminum Housing
  • Plug & Play Design
  • Included Thunderbolt Cable with Adapter
  • Works with Mac, Windows, iPadOS & Chrome

Price: $449.00

OWC Envoy Pro Elektron

OWC Envoy Pro Elektron with USB-C Port

Moving on, our second recommended selection is the OWC 2TB Envoy Pro Elektron USB Type-C External SSD (preferably in this sleek silver casing). Another true run-and-gun SSD option, the Envoy Pro Elektron might be even better suited for grab-and-gun videographers looking to make vlogs or social content on the fly.

With an ultra-portable form factor and design, this USB Type-C External SSD delivers transfer speeds up to 1011 MB/s and is Mac-bootable and perfect for any OS device (or feel free to experiment with alternate operating systems). It’s also super crush-proof and water and dust resistant, plus known for its silent operation.

If you’re working with a simple mirrorless (or even DSLR) camera setup which doesn’t require a large camera cage or mount setup, the OWC Elektron is really a great option which doesn’t take up much space, but is still fast and reliable enough to work as your main or backup SSD for quick projects and shoots.

  • 2TB Storage Capacity
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2
  • Up to 1011 MB/s Data Transfer Speed
  • Bus Powered
  • IP67 & Crushproof
  • Mac-Bootable Design
  • USB Type-C Cable & Type-A Adapter
  • Plug and Play
  • Supports Mac, PC, iPad, Android & Chrome

Price: $229.00

OWC Mercury Elite Pro mini

OWC Mercury Elite Pro mini with PC laptop and photography equipment

Going even smaller, we have the 1TB Mercury Elite Pro Mini 5400 External SSD from OWC to recommend. With a capacity of 1TB this drive really can be used as a great additional storage option for all of your video files and assets. The Mercury Elite Pro Mini is able to connect to devices with its included USB Type-C cable with a USB Type-A adapter tethered to it which provides up to 542 MB/s data transfer.

A true backup hard drive, this SSD doesn’t need to bother you with any additional power adapters while on the go thanks to its bus powered design. It’s plug-and-play and doesn’t require any driver installations to use either.

If you’re simply looking for a great, and affordable, drive to use strictly as a backup (or as a main drive in a pinch) for your shoots, this is about as solid of an option as you’ll find for the price point and reliability. 

  • 1TB Storage Capacity
  • USB Type-C Interface
  • Up to 542 MB/s Data Transfer Speed
  • Bus Powered
  • Included USB Type-C Cable
  • Compatible with Mac and Windows

Price: $199.00

Reviewing the best portable hard drives for video

So, to recap, external drives for video editing need some specific things to be great. Fast transfer speeds, ample storage space, USB C or other useful connectivity, and fast write speeds. Many of the SSDs (solid state drives) out there and other external drive options should have all of these backup software and high transfer speed capabilities. However, the best external hard drives for you might come down which portable SSD simply helps you in a pinch.

So shop around, do your own research into different portable external hard drive options with different write speeds and fast data transfer speeds, but also ask yourself what you actually need these external hard drives for at the end of the day.

If you've found this buy guide to be helpful, be sure to check out some other great guides and articles from the Soundstripe blog.